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Working from home, and Merchandising

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ditch witch, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    OK. I got hired by two different companies and they hire across the US so am passing the info along.

    westathome.com Companies outsource their call centers to these guys. West has actual call centers but also has people who work from home taking inbound calls for things like orders to LL Bean. It is part time, low pay (minimum to $8.50 hr usually), no benefits, BUT all you need is a feature free landline (no caller ID, no voice mail), a headset, and a PC with high speed net access. You test and apply for it online. It may take a few months to get hired as they have a lot of people applying. It is only inbound calls, no cold calling or anything like that.

    drivelineretail.com These guys do merchandising in stores like Walmart, Dollar Store, and Dollar General. You may go in and inventory the greeting cards or restock the gift cards or do manual audits of inventory. Pays $9 an hour where I am. It's part time, no benefits. Took about 3 weeks from the time I applied until I was hired.

    They aren't great jobs but they beat being unemployed. :)
    cdnboy66, Sapper John and chelloveck like this.
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    ditch witch likes this.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Thanks for these. I have my normal job, just took on book work for a small company to do on weekends but... I still have some time left in the week and have been thinking of a work from home call type job. Since my land line keeps going up & up I would like to make it pay for itself. Is there a minimum of time that you have to work?
  4. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Moto, I'd forgotten I posted this. I no longer work for either company. West didn't send me enough work to cover the cost of the landline... I only installed it for the job as we just use our cells.

    As for Driveline, you get an online account and your area leader posts available jobs to your account. You download the info, then go to the site and take care of it, take photos with your phone of the completed task, and send it back to them to get paid. Generally you have a week or two to get the job done and generally it only takes a few hours. The problem I ran into was that because Driveline sets the maximum hours the job should take (and that they'll pay for) if it takes you longer you're working for free. Five minutes or so, no big deal, but when I'm only allotted 45 minutes to complete and it takes me 30 minutes just to figure out where the highly uncooperative Dollar General manager stashed the stuff I need to do the job... Even worse, the merchandiser before me either didn't do the jobs or the store's staff rearranged things on their own, so when I'd go in to restock/rearrange a shelf of say shampoo, I'd get there to find no shampoo in sight and the shelf covered with an assortment of clearance crap. I'd end up having to hunt it down in the other aisles, relocate it, then fix the other aisles. Suddenly a 1 hour job has turned into 3 hours. At the end of the second week I added up time spent and time actually paid for, and I was making about $2 an hour. I asked the big dogs to approve the additional time spent fixing other's eff ups, denied. But the final straw came when they refused to pay me for a job. It was a rack of children's sing-a-long CDs. I was supposed to restock the existing and add some new titles. I did. They sent back that there were not supposed to be any DVD movies on the rack and wouldn't pay until they were gone. I checked my submission photo twice. No movies. Drove the 20 miles to the store and rechecked, no movies. Resent a new photo. Asked them which one they thought was a movie. They never said, just kept saying the vendor insisted the movies be removed from the rack or they wouldn't pay. It was only a 15 minute job to begin with, and I'd wasted five times that plus fuel.

    I went back to writing. No driving, no polyester uniform, and my publisher never tries to cheat me out of my earnings.
    chelloveck likes this.
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Your bookkeeping may qualify as an home-based business and allow for deductions (like phone).
    Motomom34 likes this.
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Thanks for the heads up Tracy. I am going to call my accountant to see what I can deduct and what I need to do to make the most earning power on this. The second jobs is going well but I am always looking for new earning opportunities.
  7. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    My DIL works from home as an Insurance inspector. She travels to a site, takes photos and measurements, then completes the report at home and sends it in electronically.
    If you are detail oriented (fess-budget level of detail) this may be something that will work for you.
    You will need to make the appointment to visit, travel to the site and record the details, so a quality digital camera is a must, as is reliable transportation. A wheel-type measurement tool (Surveyors wheel) may be needed for larger jobs.
    The report you submit will be used by more than one department at the Insurance Co, so good English skills (spelling, punctuation, etc) are important.
    This is piece work, paid by the job. You may be able to negotiate for an hourly rate for any windshield time and a mileage allowance. A person that is quick - that is to say doesn't waste time, should be able to average over $20/hr for the work.
    Visit the Society of Field Inspectors, also known as SOFI, for a list of companies lisiting this kind of work.

    It may take some time to work your way up 'the list' - speed (turn-around) and accuracy of reports are the normal things that will move you up on the job call out list.

    Many folks aren't even aware this work is available, so I thought I'd post something here.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
    ditch witch, kellory and Motomom34 like this.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Cautionary note with this item. I have a friend that did that for a while in the southeast US. The outfit (a pool underwriter) did NOT provide mileage (some called for a couple hours driving) nor meals away, did NOT always accept the reports, did NOT pay for go backs to fill in info not originally asked for in the assignment. Even when the detail sheets were done exactly as required, they didn't accept all of them for sometimes obscure reasons. Not all of the supervisors really knew what they were doing, apparently. Frequently, the directions to the target property were unclear at best. Frequently, inadequate time was allowed for the inspections. Time on the computer and telephone tag to set up appointments and to submit the reports was not an extra paid for, it was assumed included. (A 15 minute allocation for the inspection was common, you can see that added up to a net loss for the inspector.) While some effort was made to get two or three inspections in an area was made occasionally, it wasn't often possible. Often, the property was leased, and the owner didn't tell the lessee that there was going to be an inspection, and the time required to sort that out was not paid over the flat rate in the inspection contract.

    This note is based on what I was told and specific to the outfit involved. I don't have a dog in the fight. Due diligence REQUIRED.
    Tracy likes this.
  9. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Absolutely, my DIL has worked in the industry for a number of years - is just short of being an underwriter. She and my son just moved to Texas. When word leaked out she was willing to do this kind of piece work, several outfits contacted her and offered work, even before they left Alaska!
    The underwriter she works with offered $45/hr, drive time and mileage, mostly because of her long experience and the fact she also hold a Masters in Accounting. Not everyone will get anywhere like this - because experience and education still count for something.

    Still, local underwriters here (Alaska) offer a fee/time package that works out to about $20/hour and you can claim the mileage on your taxes - see an expert for your situation. IF possible take only commercial/business property inspections.

    As with any piece work offer, always check confirm they pay on time and as agreed.

    As with everything you see on the web, YMMV.
    Tracy likes this.
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