Some of my recent work, current clients, and associated income is due to acting and following through with Craigslist ads. (I can almost hear gasps) . Its true. But, I have developed my own formula for weeding through the scam-spam. I have been inconvenienced a few times with spam, but fortunately have avoided the scams.
Here is a wild statement of truth. There are some verifiably safe and productive work opportunities posted on Craigslist.
I may have even passed by some real opportunities–because an ad must have verifiable contact information for me to apply. I would never send a resume to a blind ad (one without a company name or any contact information). If the ad sounds good but lacks any verifiable information, I may send a quick email explaining that I would love to send my resume because the job or project sounds like we could be a great fit–but, I promised myself I would never send personal information through the Internet without some information in return. For example, I may have already applied through other channels…. The point is–I would love to apply, but I cannot apply without more information from you. Can you tell me…. Another reason I give for asking for more information is… I hope you understand that I would guard your company with the same caution and due diligence.
Several times I have received verifiable information in return from the advertiser of a blind Craig’s list ad. There was a time near Christmas last year that I went through the above scenario and ended up working a short retail reset project that put food on the table and saved my car from being repossessed. As an Independent Contractor, I now have two clients that I connected with through Craigslist that have taken me from 0 income to $600 a week cash flow. I am beginning to get caught up with bills I fell behind with. (Coming soon–survival skills for dealing with creditors)
Of course there will be people who ‘game’ the Craigslist system, and they are indeed irritating. Craislist realizes that there will always be people who do not play by the rules so they gave some fun buttons which I use liberally. Actually, it has become a weird little hobby when I feel moody (zapping TOS violators). I was going to tell you what the buttons are–but, for fun I would like to see if any of you can figure out what the buttons are. Here is a hint: it irritates me when people do not read or abide by terms of service (TOS).
In closing–just in case you are not familiar with some terms I have used; here is a quick explanation of a few of them. Please feel comfortable contacting me with any other questions.
*Adhering to TOS helps keep competition fair. Violating the TOS of any entity skews odds and wrecks the reliability of someone else’s creation. Terms of Service
*Independent Contractors pay their own taxes (self employment tax), purchase their own benefits, pay for their own expenses unless negotiated differently.
*Independent Contractors have clients, not bosses. However, if you do not take care of your client someone else will.
*Independent Contractors get to claim expenses against income at tax time. (Yippeee)
*Claiming .51 cents a mile if you drive a lot–can be sweet. Yesterday, for example, I drove 350 verifiable miles.
*If you will be claiming mileage–have a system set up to track your miles. This is one of the questions asked at tax filing time ‘Do you have written records?’