Understand the purpose of fees involved with online jobs. Some illustrations may help deciding when it’s okay.
I. When no investment ought to be paid
Firstly, when an employer is seeking to hire you for a part or full time online position, one ought to expect no investment requirement. Why would an employer demand a fee from you in order to pay you for your work?
II. Some legitimate investment requirements for online jobs
However, there are certain kinds of online jobs broadly conceived that may reasonably be expected to involve some investment of capital. A freelance photographer may reasonably be expected to purchase his or her own camera and image editing software like Photoshop, for example.
Or at-home call center applicants through arise.com are expected to pay for their own certification training and background check. These things enable arise to present employers with a list of workers who have met certain minimum skills and qualifications. Arise acts a a mediator between online job seekers and employers who need remote customer service people.
Or a service like flexjobs charges job seekers for the service of qualifying their job openings. That way the list of jobs reduces the chances of scams being included. Other types of investment for online jobs may be for products or services that may or may not deliver exactly as promised, though something useful for making money online is delivered. Or the charge may be for materials useful for getting hired by an online employer rather than for the employment itself. Help writing a resume or educational programs are examples of the latter.
III. Independent online business fees
But in the main, online jobs requiring an investment are the type of positions where one becomes an independent business owner. Or at least such work is independent even though in some cases one may be working with only one company or set of products and services.
For example, in network marketing (also multi-level marketing) online, one may be an independent sales representative whose business investment may include buying leads, company website hosting fees, and capital tied up in a small inventory. Or in affiliate marketing online, investment may be in website development and hosting, training, technical support, certain kinds of automation software such as for keyword research, and money for an email autoresponder service.
And in both network marketing and affiliate marketing online, one is not selling one’s own products and services.
Or if one is writing or tutoring independently online, one may need to pay for advertisement of one’s services or pay a portion of one’s income to a site that attracts students for its tutors or clients for its freelance workers. Or if one is engaged in forex trading, at least a minimum capital investment is needed to use for trading initially.
But these are just illustrations intended to give a rough idea of some possibilities. One should also beware of charges for what one does not really need. Or worse, beware of fraud.
IV. “Investments” to avoid: Fraud
Do not engage in any online job in which you are asked to use your bank account or credit card or funds wiring service as part of funds transfers for someone else’s trade business. Beware of paying a one-time lump sum for services that will supposedly be delivered over a period of months future to your payment. Prefer month by month payment unless the company is well established and the services automated. Be aware of your cancellation rights prior to investing your cash in case you want to back out.
Some fraudulent charges begin with a one time fee as advertised, but then charge your credit card monthly thereafter. The monthly fee was either unstated or buried in the fine print. Even if these are illegal, beware. Read the fine print and watch your bank account and credit cards.
In principle, there is nothing wrong with investing money to make money online. Understanding the purpose of the fees, however, is important in deciding when to pay and when to walk away.