Car Wrap Advertising for Cash - We Tried This, it Works
Wrapping your car in advertising sounds like the ultimate in passive income.
A company pays you $300 per week to slap its logo all over your car, you drive around like you normally do, and now you can make your car payment and afford gas, insurance, maintenance and the other costs of car ownership.
Finding a legitimate business to wrap your car and pay you for it takes a little legwork, especially when you have to wade through offers from scammers.
How Auto Wrap Ad Scammers Work
Scammers are most likely to contact you through email or text. They may not accept your phone calls and only offer to work with you through text messages. You may also see an offer on a job board or on social media.
The message offers a few hundred bucks to simply shrink-wrap your car in ads for a popular brand such as Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Pepsi, according to a Federal Trade Commission warning on such scams.
If you agree, you’ll be sent a check for more than the pay rate it offered. This is an early sign that something illegitimate is going on. They’ll tell you to deposit the check, keep part of it as your share, and wire the rest to another company that will wrap your car.
Weeks later, the check bounces in your bank account and the money you wired is gone. You also have to pay the bank back for the fake check.
Oh, and no one is wrapping your car in an advertisement.
How Money From a Fake Check is Deposited
The FTC warns that being told to deposit a check and wire money back is a big sign that you’re being scammed.
If it was legitimate, the company would pay the car-wrapping vendor directly instead of asking you to do it.
A cleared check doesn’t mean it’s good.
The money from a fake check can enter your bank account quickly after you deposit it because laws require deposited funds to be available quickly.
The bank may not learn for days that the check was bad. You could withdraw some of the money and wire it to the company or “specialist” who will put the ads on the car. Other types of money transfers commonly used include money orders, Walmart money services, or making a cash deposit directly into the “specialist’s” bank account. All are difficult to cancel or get your money back.
Once your bank learns you deposited a bad check, you’ll be required to repay the bank.
The FTC recommends contacting your bank before acting on such a request, and to be wary of who you deal with in accepting payment for an amount higher than what you should be paid. It also recommends never sending money back to someone who sent you a check.
Finding Legit Car Wraps
Legitimate car wrap advertising businesses do exist. Along with the above tips on how to avoid illegitimate ones — not accepting money up-front or working with anyone who contacts you out of the blue — another sign of a scammer is a large paycheck that’s promised.
Legitimate companies won’t pay you $300 to $500 per week, as the fake ones promise. Real companies are more likely to pay $200 to $500 per month.
Let’s say that again: per month.
To find a legitimate company, start by searching online for the company name and read reviews and check how legit its social media accounts look. Here are three that we’ve found:
3 Legit Companies
You should still check the backgrounds of these companies before doing business with them. You’ll need to contact them about advertising opportunities.
This advertising company promotes national brands in seven major cities and surrounding areas.
Partial and full wraps are available. From $100 to $200 per month is paid via direct deposit, depending on your driving habits and size of the wrap. Advertising campaigns last from two to six months.
A 2008 model vehicle or newer is required, along with a clean driving record and commuting at least 30 miles per day.
This company works with rideshare drivers who drive 30 or more miles per day, mostly in major cities in Florida.
Full and light wraps are available, as is a back windshield wrap. Payment is as high as $500 per month, though $250 is the average monthly payment.
A 2010 model or newer car is required.
The nationwide company Wrapify has wrapped more than 250,000 vehicles. Driving in a larger city is more likely to get you a campaign.
A 2010 vehicle or newer is required, as is driving at least 50 miles per day. Drivers must be 21 or older and must pass a background check.
The lowest monthly pay rate is $174, and the highest is $452.