Can You Really Get Paid for Ads on Your Car?
By Steve Gillman - December 21, 2013
I recently received an email that essentially promised me
$300 per week for putting ads on my car. In case there are any
companies out there willing to actually do this, let me assure
you that I will charge only $200 per week for any amount of advertising
stickers you can send me to place on the front, back, and both
sides of my 2008 Suzuki SX4. You might even talk me into lower
rates than that as long as you are providing all of the materials.
Okay, some of you have heard of car advertising, and there
really are companies that will pay you for ads that you put on
your car, although they come and go so fast that I hesitate to
point you to any specific ones. I just signed up for what appears
to be a legitimate company a few minutes ago, and I will report
on any results from this in my "Unusual Ways Newsletter"
(if you're not already a subscriber you can sign up on the homepage
or using the form in the side bar to the right).
But for now, let's return to that email. After responding
to is with some personal information (which was minimal and seemed
relevant), I received another email supposedly telling me about
the details. It started with the explanation that "Wrap
advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially
covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery,
thus turning it into a mobile billboard." Okay, I guessed
as much already. So how do I sign up and get paid?
This particular company's email went on to say that that they
were looking for people in the United States (Great news -- I
qualify so far!), and would be wrapping my car in a banner promoting
a popular energy drink. Yes, it is a real and popular energy
drink, and they gave the name, but I will not, because i doubt
the drink company had ever heard of this "advertising agency."
But I have to admit that at first the proper English (so many
scams by email are obviously written by people who can barely
read or write the language), and the name of the drink company
and other details made the whole thing seem legitimate.
I started to wonder about the deal when they mentioned that
if I didn't have a car I could be paid to wrap my bicycle in
ads. But I have a car, and the process they described sounded
realistic. They send me to a local place to wrap the car in the
vinyl sheets that have the advertising, and I agree to keep them
there for at least one month. The email continued with this:
"You will be compensated with $300.00 per week which
is essentially a 'rental payment' for letting our company use
the space no fee is required from you."
No proof of miles driven is required, and no scale of payments
based on that or the locale? That was suspicious. Certainly a
car full of ads in Miami should be worth more to them than me
here in Naples, Florida. Also, the first grammar lapse made me
wonder. I know I have typos and grammar problems all over my
websites, but those are normal mistakes. Read the sentence above
again and you might notice the lack of a new sentence or other
appropriate conjunction when they go from the first part to "no
fee is required from you." Non-native speakers and immigrants
are (lately) more entrepreneurial than citizens who were born
here (if you wish you can argue that point with me another time,
but think Google and eBay for starters), but scammers overseas
know they can rarely be prosecuted. This foreign-based-operator
suspicion was further confirmed when they answered the question,
"Does it cover the whole car?" with "No, the decal
it only install in the car trunk and doors."
My suspicions prompted me to search online using the words
"car advertising scam" and the name of the energy drink
company I would supposedly be promoting. Sure enough there were
many posts about this scam. Apparently the company will send
you a check for more than the $300 that is supposed to cover
the first month. Let's say it is for $500. They then tell you
to use the excess $200 to pay -- using your own checking account
-- the installer that will put the ads on your car. That person
will then disappear after you pay, and the first check will bounce,
while yours is long gone through a few intermediaries.
Having had a man in England buy plane tickets using my credit
card, I can tell you that local police will do nothing to actually
catch people who are not local. But at least you can, as I did,
dispute and not pay credit card charges, unlike checks that have
already been cashed. Good luck trying to get the FBI to pursue
your criminals to recover your $200. You have been warned. If
there is no fee for something there should be no check written
by you for any reason. Don't fall for this car advertising scam
or any similar scheme. I'll let you know if I actually find a
way to get paid for ads on my car.
If you liked this page please let others know with one of
Other Relevant Pages
Odd Ways to Make Money
(The newsletter has been discontinued.)