If you go online and look for an honest Caretaker Gazette review, you won’t find a lot to choose from. Despite the fact the publication has been available since 1983 and appears to have helped pair up a lot of people who need caretakers with people who need caretaker jobs, when it comes to finding unbiased reviews—or any kind of review—with the Caretaker Gazette it’s pretty slim pickings.
In fact, if you do a Google search for “Caretaker Gazette Review”, you will find very few sites worth visiting on the first page of the SERPS.
I began doing research for this review last November. At that time, one of the top results was a complaints page from the Ripoff Report. This is no longer the case. The page in question has stopped ranking well for that search term.
However, when I saw the Caretaker Gazette was being a called a rip-off I was shocked. I’ve been a subscriber (on and off) for a number of years and have always believed the publication is 100% legit. I only began looking for reviews because I was thinking of writing one. If the subject had already been done to death I would not have bothered.
Most of my income comes from writing in-depth supplement reviews. Work of this nature often requires a lot of research and I’m used to investigating companies and their activities. Seeing that scam report made me want to put on my detective’s hat and try to get to the bottom of things.
If you want to learn what I found and discover the truth about the Caretaker Gazette, continue reading this review.
What is the Caretaker Gazette?
The Caretaker Gazette is a bi-monthly publication that lists caretaker jobs and house sitting opportunities. Every issue also provides a profile of a person or couple who has used the publication to find one or more caretaking assignments, sometimes in quite exotic locations. Though, in reality, most of the positions on offer are generally in and around the USA.
A typical issue of the Cartaker Gazette also contains paid listings placed by people who are hoping to find caretaking or house sitting positions, along with a number of letters to the editor. The magazine is available as a print magazine and you can also read it online or download it from the company website.
Who Publishes the Caretaker Gazette?
The Caretaker Gazette is a family-run publishing business based in Austin, Texas. It’s owned by Gary C Dunn.
Mr Dunn didn’t create the Caretaker Gazette. He bought it when the former owner and founder retired in 1993.
Despite a 10-year history, when Gary Dunn bought the business things were not going well for the Caretaker Gazette. There were only 500 subscribers and there was a danger the business would fold.
Dunn has done a wonderful job of turning things around. The Caretaker Gazette now has more than 10,000 subscribers and a lot of people consider it to be the #1 source of caretaking opportunities.
Furthermore, the Caretaker Gazette has received a brief mention in several articles on the subject of caretaking.
In fact, in May 2009, the New York Times ran an article about people who are leaving the rat race and becoming caretakers instead. Caretaking opportunities can offer excellent living accommodation in exotic locations without the worry of mortgages, rent, or utility bills. It can be a great way to live. The article places a lot of focus on this and the people who have ditched their jobs, become caretakers, and never looked back.
Dunn was one of the experts who provided a few professional insights. The other contributor was Susan Hotltham form MindMyHouse.com. Dunn was not the focus of the article. Neither was the Caretakers Gazette, though it was listed as a resource. So was MindMyHouse.com.
Despite the fact that, the Caretaker Gazette was not the focus of the story, Dunn often links into the article at the New York Times using the term “review”. The article is not a review of the Caretaker Gazette. He does the same with many other publications. If he or the Caretaker Gazette receive so much as a token mention he seems to class it as a review.
In order to be classed as a review, the articles would have to focus on Dunn’s publication and evaluate the pros and cons. This is a real Caretaker Gazette review.
How Is The Caretaker Gazette Funded?
Although it’s possible there may be additional income streams as well, the Caretaker Gazette primarily makes money from paid advertising and subscriptions. So, on the one hand, people who have caretaking positions or similar opportunities are paying Mr Dunn to advertise them in his Gazette and subscribers are paying him for the opportunity to learn of the opportunities available. In addition to this, some subscribers also pay to post advertisements stating they are available for caretaker jobs and/or house sitting positions. As a business model, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
Caretaker Gazette Customer Feedback
Every issue of the Caretaker Gazette contains a number of letters that are alleged have been sent in by happy customers.
There is every chance they are legitimate but it’s never good to rely on information shared by such a biased source. Let’s be honest, Dunn isn’t going to publish letters that say anything that may damage his business. That wouldn’t be smart and the way Dunn has managed to turn things around for the Caretaker Gazette suggests he’s a very clever guy. Whenever I see customer feedback published on sites that have the most to gain from positive comments I have to presume it’s handpicked.
It could very well be that Dunn only gets readers letters from people who love the Caretakers Gazette and are filled with gratitude. The problem is there is no way to be certain the picture being painted is true.
However, there are also a number of positive comments on third-party websites including SiteJabber.com. Comments published at sites of this nature have a little more credibility.
Unfortunately, comments published at such sites cannot be seen as 100% reliable either. It’s too easy to create accounts under various different names and place comments intended to boost the credibility of a product. I’m speaking in general here, not about Dunn, or the Caretaker Gazette. When I’m doing research for supplement reviews I often find fake comments, testimonials and customer reviews. It works both ways as well. Sometimes people post a lot of fake comments to ruin the reputation of a product and try to force people out of business. I’ve learned to be sceptical and not believe everything I read.
A lot of respected travel bloggers and vloggers recommend the Caretaker Gazette. That’s a big point in its favour. The problem is, many of them are doing so without any experience of finding caretaker positions with the Gazette. That’s not good, but I did manage to find more reliable sources of information.
The Professional Hobo
In an article on her Professional Hobo website, Nora Dunn states the Caretaker Gazette has been “instrumental” in helping her find places to live on her travels and trade work for accommodation.
It’s less than ideal that Nora has the same surname as the owner of the Caretaker Gazette because that could suggest a family connection, However, I’ve been reading Nora’s blog for years. She’s an experienced traveller who knows what she’s talking about. If she’s got such good things to say about the Caretaker Gazette, I take that as strong indication the publication does what it’s supposed to do. I see her as a credible source.
An article published on the Nature Camp website introduces the camp’s new caretaker, Gary Barker.
In a short “autobiographical sketch”, Gary states he found the position through the Caretaker Gazette.
The Jewish Journal
The Jewish Journal also has an article written by someone who found a short-term housesitting assignment with the Gazette.
An article published on MindMyHouse.com also mentions some Caretaker Gazette success stories.
Can you really find caretaker jobs with the Caretaker Gazette?
Yep! It appears you can.
Complaints About the Caretaker Gazette
At the time of this review, the main complains being made about the Caretaker Gazette appear to be:
- It’s a poor source of caretaker jobs
- It spams Craigslist
- It makes false allegations about being approved by Consumer Reports WebWatch
- It publishes Out-Dated Ads
Do the Complaints About the Caretaker Gazette Hold Water?
It’s a mixed bag. Some of the complaints cannot be justified, others cannot be verified either way, and one appears to be true.
I’ll go through them one by one.
A Poor Source of Caretaker Jobs
This Complaint comes from the SiteJabber website. Tom J says there are no real caretaker jobs, just live-in opportunities with low pay that will make you a slave.
That comment is unfair. Even the assignments that are low pay, are not going to have anyone working their ass off. Furthermore, the positions include free accommodation. That has value because being a live-in caretaker you save hundreds of dollars/euros a month on accommodation costs and you do not have to pay utility bills.
I have occasionally lived in peoples houses and traded certain skills I have in exchange for free accommodation. Although I did this through a specialist website. It saved me a lot of money. A few years ago I lived rent-free at a hostel in Seville. All I had to do was sort out any problems that occurred during the night and tame any rowdy guests.
When I lived rent-free in Enschede in exchange for using my skills as a handy-man. Free accommodation saves you money. It has value. Tom J’s complaint does not hold water.
A couple of other users of the SiteJabber website complain the Caretaker Gazette is a scam. The allegation is also made on other websites. In order to be a scam the Caretaker Gazette would have to be not fit for purpose. People can and do find house sitting and caretaker assignments via Gary Dunn’s publication so it is not a scam. Again, the allegations are unfair.
It Spams Craigslist
This is a complaint made via the Ripoff Report.
There is no way to verify if the allegation is true. However, even if people are contacting Craigslist users and suggesting the Caretaker Gazette, it does not mean that Gary Dunn or anyone from the Gazette is behind it.
It could be due to the actions of well-meaning individuals or of one of Dunn’s competitors who is trying to sully is reputation.
False Allegations About Being Approved by Consumer Reports WebWatch
When I began doing some preparatory research for this Caretaker Gazette review, the front cover of the Gazette used to bear a statement claiming: “We are a family-owned and operated publishing business and have been approved by Consumer Reports WebWatch.”
The same person who complains the Gazette spams Craigslist also alleges Dunn’s claims about Consumer Reports WebWatch is untrue.
When I recently revisited the Caretaker Gazette website I noticed the claim has been amended. It now states the Gazette is in compliance with and supports the Consumer Reports WebWatch guidelines.
In order to verify the original claim, I went straight to the Horse’s mouth. I rang Consumer Reports WebWatch.
When I asked if they were familiar with the The Caretaker’s Gazette, the representative did some checks and told me they were not. Futhermore, the company representative I spoke to told me they never approve print or online magazines. They only approve items like washing machines and treadmills etc.
The claim that the Caretaker Gazette is not approved by Consumer Reports WebWatch appear to be true.
Publishes Outdated Ads
This is another complaint published at the Ripoff Report.
This seems highly unlikely. The Caretaker Gazette is published bi-monthly in print and online. When a position is filled Dunn would be able to amend the website content, but changing the PDF version would be harder to do and he could not do anything about the print versions already in circulation. With a magazine of this nature, it makes sense that all three formats should match.
Additionally, it’s important to note the fact that Caretaker Gazette subscribers receive regular updates via email when new positions become available. Sometimes I receive updates every day. Why would Dunn need to post outdated ads? He obviously has plenty of fresh ones to use instead.
Caretaker Gazette Review: Final Opinion
I can’t say I like the way Dunn uses the word “review” when its use is unwarranted. I was also disappointed to hear what the lady at the Consumer Report WebWatch had to say about the Caretaker Gazette. However, it is not a scam because it is possible to find caretaker opportunities with it. I found plenty of proof of this, much more than I am publishing in this Caretaker Gazette review.
As I mentioned earlier on in this review, I am Caretaker Gazette subscriber. I subscribe because I find it interesting to see what positions are available and where. I travel a lot and it’s possible I may find something that is a good fit for me.
However, although the Gazette publishes caretaker jobs all over the world, the majority of them are in the USA. If you are looking for a position in Europe it’s going to be pretty slim pickings. Be aware of this if you are thinking of becoming a subscriber.
The good thing is, you don’t need to go into things blind. The Caretaker Gazette website has an archive page that provides sample copies of the magazine. The contact information is removed, but the sample copies do allow you to get a good idea of what kind of positions are available.
Based on my own experience with the Caretaker Gazette and the things I discovered while doing research for this review, I believe the Caretaker Gazette is an excellent resource for anyone who is seeking caretaker work and house sitting assignments. Having said that, If you are looking for positions of this type, I strongly suggest you read some of the sample copies first. It will let you see what to expect from the Gazette. Additionally, the caretaker profiles will also provide you with an insight into what it is like to live this kind of life.