Believe it or not, you can get paid to receive mail. This is what is called a “mail decoy.” There are some different companies that pay people to be mail decoys, and the purpose of the job is so that companies can see how efficiently their mailings are being delivered.
What does a mail decoy do?
As stated above, you're allowing companies to send their mailings to your mailbox. For the most part, you'll get catalogs, magazines, flyers, and so forth. After receiving the mail, you let the mail decoy company know what you got and on what day. The process for inputting the mail differs from company to company. Some may want you to do it online, while others may ask that you call an 800 number and input a code from the mailings.
This sounds fishy. Is it a scam?
Absolutely not. I am currently doing some mail decoy work for one company and it's not a scam. The people who send you magazines and catalogs do have a need for this service. They need to be able to track how quickly their mailings get to people after they are sent out.
But what about all the junk in your mailbox? Isn't that a pain?
Some people don't like the idea of it, which is why they pass on mail decoy opportunities. I have personally not found it to be that much of a hassle. Some of the catalogs I receive are pretty interesting. The ones that aren't just get recycled. If you don't think you'd like the extra mail, this might not be the extra income-opportunity for you.
How much does being a mail decoy pay?
The pay varies depending on who you are signed up with. It's not full-time work so you don't get full-time pay. You can expect to receive a little extra cash for going to the trouble.
Will you get the mail forever once you're signed up?
If you decide you don't want to be a mail decoy any longer, you will no longer receive the mailings. The only exception might be if you received a catalog and actually decided to order something from it.
Where can I sign up to be a mail decoy?
There are a few different places. Here's a quick rundown of the ones I know about:
US Monitor – Pays $10 per month plus .25 per each piece of mail received.
SBKC – This is a company that will take your junk mail and, in return, give you gift cards.
Is there a guarantee I'll get approved to be a mail decoy if I apply at any of these places?
Unfortunately, no. For example, US Monitor is pretty limited because they only need one person per zip code. I am not certain that SBKC is always open, either.
Good luck if you register at any of these places!