Work-from-home job ideas you can use

A young woman drinking coffee at her home office desk.

“Another hard day at work from home” is anything but facetious. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Ashley/Flickr)

The U.S. job market has been sluggish to recover from the recession, which means many Americans are still out of work. Work from home opportunities abound, however – and most of them don’t even involve eBay. Here are some work from home ideas to get you started.

Why work from home?

Most people pursue gainful employment because they need money to meet their expenses. However, by working at home or even telecommuting 50 percent of the time, U.S. workers and employers could save more than $750 billion per year, according to the Telework Research Network.

A hefty percentage of that total comes from reduced dependency on oil. Productivity would increase by a projected 6.2 million man-years, which equates to $200 billion worth of labor annually. Businesses would reduce spending on real estate and utilities by at least the same amount each year, while highway maintenance costs and traffic accidents would drop significantly.

What work from home idea is best for you?

Selling on eBay is always an option, although amassing significant returns can be difficult unless you have access to a product everyone wants that can be delivered in great volume at minimal cost. Luckily, there are lots of work from home options you can research online without having to wade through the many work at home scams that tend to congregate on Craigslist (there are some gems, but they’re hard to find). As Clark Howard says, if a company says it will find you a work from home job for a large fee upfront, it’s probably a scam. Avoid the red tape with these work from home ideas. Keep in mind that some may charge a background check fee.

Work from home opportunities to fit your lifestyle

  • After paying $45 for the required background check, can match you with a virtual call center job. Positions typically involve customer service work.
  • In addition to customer service telephone positions, Convergys can help you find work from home human resources and billing service opportunities.
  • A great source for freelance talents who like flexibility. Small businesses look to Elance for web design, programming, SEO, graphic design and copywriting professionals. Bid for jobs, but watch out: Elance is so popular that unless you’re a highly experienced, award-winning professional, you may have to bid lower than you’re comfortable in order to secure work.
  • Want to work from home as a virtual call center agent for a Fortune 200 company? can get you there, provided you pay $175 for a more extensive background check than the standard $50 check gets you. A dedicated land phone line for work only is required.

Worried about work from home scams?

Check with the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau websites for advice on how to spot work from home scams. It can save you time, money and big headaches.


Better Business Bureau

Clark Howard

Dr. Phil

Federal Trade Commission

John Tesh has everything you need to work from home

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