There are lots of sites promising legitimate work from home jobs with no start-up fees. But if you spend much time combing through the suggestions, you will see a lot of bogus jobs. It’s not a real work from home job if you have to leave your house, and having to spend hundreds of dollars on inventory sure sounds like a start-up fee.
Being able to work from home has baked-in flexibility, making it a great option if you have kids, want to make extra money, and more. That’s why we’re here to teach you how to make money from home with no start-up fees. Plus, you’ll learn how to avoid work-from-home scams.
What are Legitimate Work From Home Jobs With No Start-Up Fee?
1. Facebook & Instagram Ad Management
Running Facebook and Instagram ads means creating and managing digital marketing campaigns for small business owners, both online and brick-and-mortar. These types of social media ads work so well for businesses because it’s a low-cost way to run a highly targeted ad campaign.
You’ve probably come across a Facebook ad that seems to know you. It’s relevant to your interests or maybe you’ve heard a friend talk about this specific product or business. That’s the work of an ads manager!
Unless it’s a large company, most Facebook and Instagram ads managers are freelancers who work from home and likely don’t have a background in marketing or advertising.
The skills you need to become a Facebook ads manager are all things you can find online in tutorials and videos. And it’s one of our top picks for legitimate work from home jobs with no start-up fees because you can realistically earn $1,000-$2,000/month per client. Most ad managers spend 2-3 hours a week on each of their clients after they’ve set up a campaign.
While you can learn how to run Facebook ads on your own — and you 100% can — you can also jumpstart the process and get the support of trained experts. Check out the Facebook Side Hustle Course to learn more.
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2. Online Surveys
If you are looking for the easiest way to make money from home, taking online surveys is it. You can literally sign up for free and start making money today with a number of paid survey sites. These are market research companies that pay consumers for their feedback. While surveys only pay $1-$3 on average, this is an extremely easy way to make a little extra money.
If you’re interested, here are two of the best online survey sites:
- Survey Junkie: You can sign up for free, and Survey Junkie pays in points that convert to PayPal cash, bank transfer, or gift cards.
- Branded Surveys: This site is 100% free to sign up for, and there are no fees. You’re paid for every survey you take, and you can cash out via PayPal, bank transfer, or gift cards when you have $5 in points.
Proofreading is one of the most important steps in the publication process, and it’s how authors, bloggers, academics, and other professionals publish error-free content. Even the best writers make punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors, and proofreaders are paid to catch those errors.
The need for error-free content is why this is one of the best legitimate work from home jobs with no start-up fee. Plus, freelance proofreaders can make $15-$40/hour.
There are a few ways you can start your freelance writing career:
- Check out the FREE Well-Paid Proofreader seminar to learn the five steps to becoming a paid proofreader.
- Reach out to bloggers and website owners if you notice errors in their writing. Write an email that points out the mistake, and see if they’re in the market for your services.
- Use social media to let people know about your proofreading services.
- Get in touch with friends, family, and professional contacts to let them know you’re starting a proofreading side hustle, and ask if they have any leads.
- Create a profile on freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.
- Look on job boards like FlexJobs to find work-from-home opportunities.
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Freelance bookkeepers help business owners record and manage daily financial transactions. This can include paying bills, managing payroll, and collecting payments. Bookkeeping is not the same thing as accounting, and that difference is why you can start bookkeeping online without a degree or certification.
Bookkeepers need to be familiar with popular financial software like Quickbooks and know how to read and create balance sheets. Pay averages $20-$40/hour, and you can work online and get paid daily or weekly. It's a great side hustle for home if you like to nerd out with numbers.
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5. Freelance Writer
Freelance writers contract out their writing services for all different kinds of businesses and professionals. I’ve been working as a freelance writer and editor for seven years now, and here’s a shortlist of the kinds of writing I’ve done:
- Sales copy for a couple of high-end online jewelry stores
- Ghostwriting for a New York Times bestselling author
- Articles for personal finance, wellness, and fitness bloggers
- Emails for a CEO who said, “I hate writing emails. Can you write them for me?”
Freelancers are paid depending on the job. You could be paid per hour, per word, or per project. Writers who are paid by the article can earn anywhere from $50-$1,000/article depending on their experience and their clients.
Most freelance writers test out different kinds when they get started. You get to see what you enjoy doing, what you’re naturally good at, etc. In the beginning, it’s all about gaining writing experience and identifying what topics you’re best suited for writing about. Experience and knowledge are what higher-paying clients want, and that’s when you can focus on a niche and really start to grow your business.
If you’d like to find legitimate work from home jobs as a freelance writer, here’s what to do next:
- Read How to Become a Freelance Writer | The Ultimate Guide.
- Spend some time looking at platforms like Fiverr and Upwork — these are great places to start finding work.
- Reach out to bloggers you follow and pitch them an article.
- Start your own blog — blogs are excellent because they can showcase your work while also giving clients a way to reach you.
- And if you want to jumpstart your writing career, you'll want to check our freelance writing course, taught by Ariel Gardner. She grew her freelance writing side hustle into a full-time job, and Ariel's comprehensive course teaches you how teaches you how.
Side note: You’ll notice that several of the legitimate work from home jobs with no start-up fees that are on this list are for freelancing. That’s because you can leverage skills you already have to start working from home.
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6. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants, or VAs, help business owners keep up with all kinds of routine work that doesn’t have to be handled by the business owner themself. These are things like:
- Billing and invoicing
- Social media management
- Email inbox management
- Scheduling appointments
- Managing travel arrangements
- Organizing calendars
- Data entry
- Online file storage
You might do all or just a few of those jobs — it depends on the client. Entry-level virtual assistants can earn $15/hour with experienced VAs earning $25-$50/hour. You can earn on the higher end for more valuable tasks like knowing how to run Facebook ads, for example.
This is a great work from home job with no start-up fees because most of the skills you need are easy to learn on your own. Some of the most important ones are knowing how to use software like Google Docs, Excel, WordPress, Quickbooks, and project management tools like Asana or Trello.
To get started, we recommend:
- Read How to Become a Virtual Assistant (Best Courses Included).
- Check out Fancy Hands, which is a platform used to connect virtual assistants with clients.
- See our list of virtual assistant companies that are hiring now.
- Fast track your business with the Fully Booked VA course from Gina Horkey — she’s a freelance VA turned entrepreneur.
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7. Resell on eBay
We have a reader who’s earned over $85,000 in one year selling things on eBay, and she was only working 15-20 hours a week. She finds things from garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and then lists them for sale on eBay.
You can find things for cheap, and selling them on eBay lets you reach a wide market of buyers for vintage, unique, and collectible items. There are also eBay sellers who do really well reselling gently used clothes, sporting goods, video games, and home goods.
Successful eBay sellers get their start by selling things they already have at home. This lets you get started with no start-up fees. You can test out this work from home job to see if you like it before dumping any money in your business.
8. Online Tutor
If kids are falling behind in a school subject or need a competitive edge, parents are willing to pay good money to help their kids out. Online tutors can make anywhere from $15-$50/hour depending on their experience, where they are tutoring, and what kinds of services they offer.
Like many of these other work from home ideas, you’re leveraging your knowledge and experience to find work. Maybe you’re amazing with math or you speak a foreign language fluently. If you’re able to make that knowledge easy-to-understand, then tutoring could be a really good fit for you.
Here are a few ways you can make money as a tutor:
- Reach out to parents and students in your community: Using apps like Neighbor and Facebook, you can connect with families in your area. There are also neighborhood groups on Facebook, and you may even want to contact local schools.
- BookNook: This platform is currently hiring K-8 tutors to boost critical reading and math skills, and tutors are paid $15-$22/hour. BookNook tutors must have either a bachelor’s degree or two years of teaching or tutoring experience.
9. Customer Service
You probably know that companies outsource their customer service teams. There was a trend a few years ago towards outsourcing to overseas call centers, but the trend is reversing because customers prefer U.S.-based customer service reps.
There are now more and more big companies outsourcing to remote, contract-based positions in the U.S. These jobs involve answering questions, handling complaints, processing orders, etc.
After a quick search, here are a few companies that are currently hiring:
- Williams Sonoma
- UnitedHealth Group
- GE Appliances
You can earn $11-$19/hour for part-time work or $27,000-$45,000/year for full-time work.
There are no start-up fees with this work from home job, and many jobs only require a high school diploma or GED. You’ll need to be patient, know the company well, have excellent communication skills, and be compassionate.
Interested in getting started? Here are 10 places to find legit customer service jobs from home.
10. Pet Sitting & Dog Walking
Anyone who has a pet will tell you that one of the hardest parts of going out of town is finding a trustworthy person to take care of your animals while you’re away. It’s like finding someone to watch your kid!
The need for trustworthy people to care for your animals is why this is one of the best legitimate work from home jobs with no star-tup fees. Dog walkers can make $15-$40 per walk while pet sitters and boarders make $35-$70 for an overnight stay.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Join Rover: This platform connects you with families in your area who need pet care services. You set your own rates, services, and availability. There is a one-time sign-up fee.
- Reach out to your network: There’s a good chance you already know people who could use your services. Send them a text or email and see if they’re looking, but also ask them to pass your name along to other local pet owners.
11. Cash Back Sites
We’re not sure you can really classify this as a job, but it is an easy way to make money from home. There are a bunch of legitimate cash back apps and websites, but Ibotta is our favorite.
Ibotta is free to sign up for, and you can make up to 30% back when you shop online or in-store at thousands of top retailers. It’s 100% free to sign up, and here’s how it works:
- Shop through the Ibotta mobile app: You click on the site you want to shop at, and Ibotta tracks your purchases and automatically adds cash back to your Ibotta account.
- Shop on your computer: Once you download the free Ibotta browser extension, Ibotta pops up when you’re on a partner site. You then click on the Ibotta extension button to activate the cash back offers that are automatically applied to your account.
- Get your cash back: When you have $20 in your Ibotta account, you can withdraw your earnings.
12. Watch Videos
Again, not exactly a work from home job, but getting paid to watch videos is a legitimate way to make extra money — it's super easy too. You can realistically expect to make under $1/hour watching videos, but think of it as something that can run in the background while you’re working on other things.
Here are a few platforms to check out if you want to learn more:
- MyPoints: Get paid to watch videos, take surveys, play games, and more. New users can earn a $10 bonus reward for signing up today.
- InboxDollars: Make money watching videos, playing games, and taking online surveys. New users can claim a $5 sign-up bonus.
- Swagbucks: Get paid to watch videos, take online surveys, shop online, and more. New users can take advantage of a $10 sign-up bonus.
13. Start a Blog
Blogging easily has the highest earning potential on this list of legitimate work from home jobs with no start-up fee. Take this site for example: what started as a side hustle turned into a 7-figure business in less than five years. Not every blogger will have that same success, but it is possible.
You can start and grow your blog on your lunch break, after the kids go to bed, and on the weekends. And while you can start a blog for free, we highly recommend making a small investment and starting your blog with Bluehost. Here’s why:
- Bluehost has a ton of free themes to choose from, and that means you can get a professional-looking blog without paying for web design services.
- It’s as little as $2.95 a month!
- They have stellar customer service, so if you have any issues, there is a team of people ready to help.
- You get a free domain name for your first full year.
- WordPress is included with Bluehost — that’s the platform THIS blog is built on!
- When you sign up for Bluehost using our link, our team will set up your blog and install key components at no additional charge with Launch That Blog.
14. Sell Old Electronics
Decluttr is a company that will buy gently used electronics so they can refurbish and resell them. This site will buy tablets, computers, smartphones, video game consoles, and they’ll even buy Legos and textbooks.
The process is super easy: simply find the item you want to sell in their database (you can use the app’s barcode scanner for some items), and see if you agree to sell at the offered price. Once you agree to sell, Decluttr will send you a prepaid printing label so you can ship it to them for free. Payments are processed one day after Decluttr receives your items.
15. Rent Out Your Car
If you’re working from home, you can put your car to work too and rent it out on Hyrecar. This is a peer-to-peer rental platform where you can list your car, which dates it’s available, and then rent it out to prescreened customers. Don’t worry, HyreCar offers up to $1,000,000 liability coverage and coverage in the event of theft or physical damage.
HyreCar says the average car owner makes $700+/month. Most of the cars listed on HyreCar list for approximately $35/day, and HyreCar takes a 15% to 25% commission. This is a great side hustle to offset the cost of your car payment, or if you aren’t driving as much these days. Check out our HyreCar review for more information.
16. Sell Printables on Etsy
Etsy has grown into a massive marketplace that saw over $3 billion in sales in 2021, and some of the best things to sell on Etsy these days are printables. We love this legitimate work from home job because it can turn into a passive source of income!
Printables can be things like:
- Planner pages
- Lifestyle/financial trackers
- Wall art
- Printable games
- Business cards
Because printables are digital files, all you have to do is create the product once, and you can sell it an unlimited number of times with no additional overhead. Plus, there’s no need to store or ship physical products.
There’s a fantastic free ebook called the Seasonal Products Secret that outlines printable ideas for each month of the year and how to capitalize on each idea. You should definitely grab a copy of that free ebook if you’re interested in learning more.
17. Sell Clothes
Make extra money from home and clean out your closet. That’s a win-win! There are several online sites specifically for selling gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Poshmark: It’s free to list on Poshmark, but they take $2.95 for sales under $15. There is a 20% fee for sales of $15 or more.
- ThredUp: This is a styling service and online thrift store. You can request a free Clean Out Kit, and send very gently used clothes to ThredUp. There’s no guarantee that ThredUp will accept all of your clothes — you only get paid for the items they keep. For things they don’t keep, you can have them sent back for a fee or ThredUp will donate them for you.
- Facebook Marketplace: Sell clothes one item at a time or list them in lots. The benefit of Marketplace is that it’s 100% free to use.
- eBay: An excellent platform for selling designer, hard-to-find, and vintage clothing.
- Depop: Best for selling on-trend, unique, and designer clothes.
18. Test Websites
Testing websites is another legitimate work from home job with no start-up fee, and it’s similar to surveys with higher pay. The way website testing works is that companies list tests on crowdsourced platforms like UserTesting. Tests vary by company, but it might involve testing a website that’s still in beta mode or trying out an app.
You use your computer’s recording software to record yourself testing the product, and then companies take your insights to create a better user experience.
UserTesting pays participants $10 for each 20-minute test you complete. All you need is an email address to sign up, and you’ll also need to complete a sample test before you are officially approved.
Working from home as a transcriptionist means you’re taking audio files and converting them into text documents. You might be transcribing podcasts, interviews, web conferences, lectures, or instructional videos. There are even transcriptionists who specialize in legal and medical transcription.
The most successful transcriptionists have a quiet work environment because you’ll need to be able to focus carefully on what you’re hearing so your typed documents are as accurate as possible.
Can You Make Money Stuffing Envelopes at Home?
You may have seen ads online claiming that you can easily make up to $500 to $3,000 a week stuffing envelopes. You contact the company, you have to register or request a starter kit, and you need to give them your credit card number.
This is a common scam, and the Federal Trade Commission warns consumers about this scam.
Stuffing envelopes is something that pops up when you search legitimate work from home jobs with no start-up fees, but there’s nothing legit about it.
The fake company claims it’s “just a small fee” to start working, but you’re never sent the starter kit or envelopes to staff. They’ll tell you to extend this “opportunity” to your friends and family, which is the only way you get paid.
The Final Word on Work From Home Jobs With No Start-Up Fees
Being able to work from home is an awesome opportunity for stay-at-home parents and side hustlers. But whatever you do, watch out for scams. Envelope stuffing isn’t the only one out there. It might be a scam if it sounds too good to be true or requires a big upfront investment (think multilevel marketing). A quick search on the FTC’s website will let you know if those questionable jobs are legitimate or scams.
But there are some really legitimate options that require zero money upfront, like:
Think about the skills you already have and what you’re passionate about doing. There are courses that streamline the information and share best practices from people who are extremely good at these jobs. But, you can learn a lot of this stuff on your own if you’re willing to put in the time.
FlexJobs is a job platform that lists legitimate and genuine work-from-home and remote jobs. You can set up a customized search so you are only browsing listings that match your needs. And FlexJobs removes jobs once they are filled, so there’s no out-of-date job listings. Read our FlexJobs review for more information.
Taking online surveys is honestly the easiest way for beginners to start making money from home. You get paid for your feedback on different products and services, and you can make $1-$3 per survey. It’s not a lot of money, but you can do it while watching kids, eating lunch, while watching TV, and more. We recommend Branded Surveys and Survey Junkie to start with.