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The Truth about Mystery Shopping

By Edited Sep 29, 2015 1 5

There is a lot of fuss these days about mystery shopping as a work at home income and some think that this is not a legitimate way to make money. It does sound absurd. If you are considering this work at home option, you might consider first researching which companies you do business with. There are a lot of mystery shopping companies you can do business with but there are also scams out there that you should be aware of.

Mystery shopping

There is a lot of fuss these days about mystery shopping as a work at home income and some think that this is not a legitimate way to make money. It does sound absurd. If you are considering this work at home option, you might consider first researching which companies you do business with. There are a lot of mystery shopping companies you can do business with but there are also scams out there that you should be aware of.

If you’re looking for an at home business that is easy, and can easily be worked around your schedule, mystery shopping may be for you. There is a lot of misconception about being a mystery shopper. Over the years there have been some scam mystery shop companies that ask for money in order for you to get shops. That’s not to say that all companies that ask you to pay are a definite scam but always check out how long they have been around and where they are located. Most do not ask for a fee and there are so many who don’t that it is not necessary to pay.

Mystery shopping works like this. Mr. Corporation wants to know how his branches, franchises, etc are truly operation on a customer level if they are compliant to company rules. The only way the corporation can do this is by asking the customer, or mystery shopper. Mr. Corporation hires a legitimate mystery shopping company (there are hundreds) to set up the shops and hire the shoppers. The mystery shopping company will set up guidelines according to the client needs, decide what the shoppers get paid, and develop an online form or questionnaire for the shopper to fill out. There may be brief tests associated with some shops that must pass 100%. The scheduler would be available by phone or email to the shopper for questions or concerns. The shops require a report which is sent through their website and most companies require that you do the online report with 12 hours of the actual shop as well as uploading receipts.

 

Some shops may take only 5 or 10 minutes while others may take up to an hour.  A revealed audit shop may take even longer. The more time you’re required to spend on a shop usually will involve a larger fee. There are fees and reimbursements. Reimbursements are for food or products that you are required to buy. Some shops have both and some have one or the other. Bonus shops usually come at the end of the month when schedulers are having trouble getting some locations done.

You can even take your family on some of these jobs. For instance, an amusement park shop or movie theatre shop may pay for 2 or 3 tickets. Each shop is specific to the client they are hired by. Many shops must be done alone though.

The key to mystery shopping is detail. You are hired to reveal the detail of your experience good or bad. If you are a beginner, start out slow with the easier shops. It’s best to build a portfolio of all types of shops as schedulers may share information about their shoppers and this may give you more opportunity. Once you build a nice portfolio of shops, you will get more jobs and better paying jobs.

When you have experience, mystery shop companies will call you when they are in a bind and offer a bigger bonus to entice you. You can make quite a bit at the end of any month by accepting these offers.

One last thought is that if you’re serious about mystery shopping as a form of income, you should consider getting a certification.  This requires training online, a test and is not expensive.  Some shops will require that you be at least silver certified.

 

Mystery Shopper's Manual, 6th Edition
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Comments

Jul 26, 2011 7:37pm
Phoenix737
Thanks for the article - do you know of any good mystery shopping services out there? I've seen lots of "scammy" looking businesses that promise easy money, so it would be good to have info on any legitimate services you might know about.
Nov 22, 2011 8:43pm
mommymommymommy
My friend did mystery shopping for years at restaurants. She and her hubby got lots of free meals that way!
Dec 2, 2011 12:29am
AuroraWindsor
Mystery shopping is something that I would love to do. It would be good to know about some reputable services.
Feb 12, 2012 4:01am
mrkrytical
I would like to get into as well.
Apr 13, 2012 9:44pm
Sonni57
I have been curious about mystery shopping thanks for the information.
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