Work at Home Ideas

Start a Business

Right now the opportunities are endless for creating unique work-at-home positions along with some tried and true ideas for selling established products, hosting parties, or selling online.

Childcare Services

Since you are already at home with your own children, you could offer childcare for others in your area. Take out an advertisement in your local newspaper or offer to your friends, folks in your playgroup, or at your church. Make sure that you look into your state laws on how many children you can have in your care without being licensed. This is an especially profitable thing to offer around the holidays when parent’s need to get out to do a little Christmas shopping. They will be happy to know that their child is safe with an experienced mother and you can make a little extra cash when you probably need it the most.


If cooking is your strong point, then maybe doing some baking or catering on the side might be a good option for you. They offer wonderful classes on cake decoration, candy making, and other baking courses for a relatively low fee at many of your local craft stores. Check into these and see if you can acquire a new skill. As mentioned under childcare services you will need to check into your local laws for what you can do within your own kitchen. If you are required to meet certain commercial kitchen standards, you could always go to the person’s home to prepare the baked goods, meals, or whatever type of food you might be offering.


This is a very hot and exciting time for people who are in the scrapbooking business. There are so many people who are enthralled with the hobby, but few who actually have the time to do it. You could start a business offering your expertise in scrapbooking to create the scrapbook of their dreams. Many people who do not have the time would pay for someone to put these together for them. They make wonderful anniversary, birthday, and wedding gifts as well. You would need to pay for start-up costs, but with enough people interested you could recover these costs quickly.

Errand Services

You have to run errands yourself, right? Might as well see if someone else might need errand services as well. Many elderly people or those without vehicles would benefit from these types of services and you could earn a little money doing what you were planning to do anyway.


Do you make beautiful wreaths? Are you creative with making holiday ornaments, gifts, or knick knacks? Maybe you could earn money selling these at craft shows, garage sales, or to friends/relatives.

Mystery Shop

Be sure to check out my mystery shopping section for more information. This is where you are sent out by a company to different shops in your location and you are responsible for completing a survey on behalf of the company. The mystery is that no one knows that you are working for a company; therefore they act as they normally would with their regular customers. Upon completing the survey the company either reimburses you for a purchase made or you receive a cash payment for your services. These can range from five bucks on up depending on the lengthiness of the survey and the effort that is involved. I have been doing mystery shopping for the past several months and have been very successful at it. It is important to know that you DO NOT have to pay anyone to become a mystery shopper- you do not need an e-book to explain how to do it and you do not necessarily need to be a member to any organization in order to do it.

Gift Baskets

There are many inexpensive ways to create beautiful gift baskets and many people pay top dollar to have gifts put together for them. You can find beautiful vintage baskets at garage sales and antique stores. Using these baskets you can fill them with gifts that all center around the same theme. For example, center a bridal shower gift all around pampering the bride. Fill the basket with pretty bath soaps, a cooling eye mask, pretty nail polishes, lotion, and a pretty loofah scrubber. Contact local businesses around the holidays and ask if they need help in creating unique gifts for their employees. Many higher ups don’t have time to devote towards making unique gifts, but they are looking for something special for their employees and your basket could be the ticket.

Selling on eBay

This is a very hot time for selling on eBay, and even Oprah is doing it for her charity. As the old saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” Begin by checking out books at the library on selling on eBay. Also think about a specific type of thing you might like to focus your selling on- fine china, old maps, dolls, or wherever your interest may lie. It is easier to begin with a passion you have already had because you won’t have to start from scratch with your knowledge. Once you have picked your item start watching the listings on eBay. I would suggest starting small when you are first starting out. The worst thing in the world would be to buy something at a huge cost, try to resell it, and then no one have an interest in your item. There are many great books that you can get at your local library that will provide the beginning tools you need to start on this business venture. People make incredible amounts on eBay- why can’t you?

Join a Business

Along with creating your own business, you could begin taking part in a business that has already been established. This can really work to your advantage because the products that you will be selling or the parties you will be hosting will already be recognized by individuals. Immediately an individual can tell you whether or not they like certain products or if they are too overpriced. The problem you run into is that people already have these preconceived notions and the market is very saturated with lots of people selling the same thing. Every market is competitive though, but with the right mindset and drive you can make your dreams possible in any of these home businesses.


Ding-Dong, Avon calling. See, all I said was the word and you are already thinking about a positive or a negative experience that you have had with the company. Let me begin by saying that Avon sells in over a hundred countries and they have over three million sale representatives all over the world. They are the world’s leading direct seller of beauty products and their line doesn’t stop at just make-up. Avon sells everything from jewelry to clothing to children’s toys- there really isn’t anything that you won’t find in an Avon catalog. Your income is determined by how much money in products you sell and it is completely commissioned based. The beauty of Avon, in my opinion, is that there really is no huge investment other than your time. You can begin selling Avon with only a ten dollar investment. These ten dollars get you started with your first two campaigns of catalogs, a training manual, and a bag full of goodies which include samples for customers, ordering booklets, and information on embarking on your career in Avon. If you are interested in selling Avon click here and I can get you started or answer any questions you might have.

Mary Kay

This is also one of the largest direct sellers of beauty products. Mary Kay offers a large line of face care products and make-up along with health supplements. Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash. Consultants sell products by organizing home parties, selling door to door, and selling through their internet Mary Kay approved web sites. The starter costs for this company is a bit higher in that you need to invest a hundred dollars to get your starter kit. This kit includes all the sales materials and products you would need in order to get started. As an Independent Consultant you are also eligible for a fifty percent discount on your products. The company offers wonderful incentives to its top sellers including the ever famous pink Cadillac for the company high-rollers. If you are interested in selling Mary Kay products please call 800.MARY.KAY for more information on how to get started.

Pampered Chef

Pampered Chef is a direct seller of guaranteed, professional-quality kitchen tools and pantry items. These include cookware, preparations tools and gadgets like ice shavers and apple corers. The company was founded in 1980 by Doris Christopher and the majority of the money made by the company is made through the Kitchen Shows which are hosted by the Pampered Chef consultants. There are many different sizes of starter kits you can obtain to being as a consultant and there is a price to fit the range of each individual. The Pampered Chef’s Kitchen Consultants host shows or parties in homes to sell products. The company provides various incentives to their consultants including jewelry and vacation rewards for good sales. Call 800.266.5562 if you are interested in obtaining more information about Pampered Chef.

Southern Living

Southern Living magazine has been around for decades, but the latest and greatest addition to the Southern Living family is their home parties where you can buy and sell products that are featured in the Southern Living magazine. The products include food products, cookbooks, pottery, and other accessories. As a Southern Living at Home consultant, you will sell products primarily through home parties and catalog distribution. Southern Living at Home offers a basic starter kit, which includes business supplies and 20 products, for an investment of $199, plus sales tax. Consultants get a commission of 25 percent on each product sold and can buy company merchandise at a 25 to 40 percent discount. Most products in the Southern Living at Home catalog range in price from $7 to $100. The company also provides incentives such as free merchandise and annual trips. To get information in the mail, send a $10 check to receive the Fast Track Opportunity Pack (includes an informational video, application form, product previews and a current catalog) to:

Southern Living at Home
Fast Track Opportunity Pack Request
P.O. Box 830951
Birmingham, Alabama 35283-0951

Published June 09, 2004 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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