When you rifle through your mailbox, chances are you don’t give a second glance to the stack of random promotions, surveys, and other notices that often pile up. But did you know that there may be a little dough lurking in those unopened envelopes — and that you could potentially get some extra funds from sending them back? In fact, you could make a not insignificant amount of money from your junk mail.
One of the most famous examples of a company that has long sent a few dollar bills through the mail is Nielsen, which pays people $2 for filling out surveys related to audience ratings and include two legitimate dollar bills in the mailing. You’ll get another $5 if you send the survey back to Nielsen. Similar organizations send a couple dollars to respondents, like the Pew Research Center or Scarborough Research, when they’re looking for people to participate in their work.
Once you’re done sifting through your junk mail for that small change, did you know that there are also companies that’ll buy that mail back from you? Organizations like market research firm SBK Center will send you Visa prepaid cards in exchange for your old mail, which one blogger said comes out to roughly $80 to $100 a year. Other companies will send an even bigger payout at $50 a pop for filling out brief surveys about your junk mail. Why? These firms are often paid by larger corporations to track if their mailings get to customers and what those consumers end up doing with them. Knowing that you did receive something but categorized it as junk mail is helpful for them to know.
Though you won’t necessarily be swimming in dough from your various mail-related enterprises, it’s nice that you can make a quick buck off of something that would normally head for the shredder anyway!