March 12, 2009

Free Stuff

Is anything really free? The question you want to ask yourself is, "Who's paying for this?" Most free stuff is paid for by:
  1. Advertisers
  2. The government (tax payers)
  3. Nonprofits (donations/corporations/government)
When free stuff is paid for by advertisers, whether it is a job site, website, social networking site, email address, or marketing promotions, the advertiser is either actively or passively trying to get you to buy something.
  • Marketing promotions can be efforts to get you to by things you don't need. But the best promotions are free samples to let you try the product.
  • Job sites such as Career Builder are fine for job search, but may sell your information to the highest bidder if you put your resume online. Know who you are giving your information to, and don't give out personal information about yourself or your references.
  • Social networking, emails, blogs, and websites are often a combination of active and passive advertising. Watch for active marketing such as linking your site or email to promotions, other links, and networks. You can usually opt out of the active advertising if you watch for it. Passive advertising just shows advertisements on a site to pay for you to use it.
  • Get a free dinner, computer, vacation, etc. These sites can take you through a long list of questions and then require that you buy something to get your free stuff.
  • Work-at-home schemes often require you to pay money to sell a product. This is another scheme to sell their product when you think you are getting a job.
  • Government programs provide a service paid partially or completely by tax payers.
  • These programs are for the purpose of helping the greater community one person at a time.
  • Assistance should be used when needed to provide basic services, employment information, opportunities, and training.
  • You will be paying for these services when you get a job.
  • Provide services to benefit the individual and the community
  • Nonprofits provide an opportunity to receive services when needed and then give back by donating or volunteering.