- How to Get Motivated : 4 NLP Techniques that Work!
- 5 Financial tips for families having disabled kids
- Tricks to Travel On the Cheap
- Securing a Successful Financial Future for Young Adults!
- Copywriting Tips to Improve your Online Business
- Preparing for the Secret Santa
- The Holidays: Stress-free
- Cost Effective Business Services
- Team Development Hints For Teams Of All Sizes
- Tips for Successful Negotiating
Is Mystery Shopping for you?
You can get paid to shop! Think that sounds too good to be true?
Millions of people are discovering the benefits of Mystery Shopping - also referred to as Secret Shopping. Mystery Shopping is a legitimate business opportunity where you can earn money and freebies while you shop. Couples can enjoy free romantic dinners. Hurried families can grab a free bite to eat at a local drive-thru. And with the high gas prices, who wouldn't jump at the chance to fill their gas tank for free?
Mystery Shopping is especially gaining popularity with stay-at-home moms who may be on a budget and still want to enjoy lunch with friends or catch a movie with the kids.
Why Would Companies Pay Shoppers?
The biggest reason companies pay Secret Shoppers is to make sure their employees are doing their jobs. Customer service is (and should be) a priority for companies. After all, customer service is the number one thing that keeps us coming back (or not). It is no surprise, then, that most companies want to do everything they can to maintain a good reputation.
How it works
Most Mystery Shopping companies have online registration or application forms. A few minutes of your time and voila! You're a Secret Shopper.
Typically, companies require you to review their training manual which gives an overview of how it all works and what is expected of you. Be sure take the time to carefully read every word so you understand the rules and can give the company exactly what they ask for. This will keep you in good standing as a Mystery Shopper and ensure that you continue to get approved for the jobs you want.
Many companies post shopping opportunities on their Job Boards or send email notifications with a first come, first served policy. Others contact reliable and proven shoppers with specific job opportunities chosen just for them. The great thing about Mystery Shopping is that you are able to snag the jobs you want and pass on the ones you don't. Job postings will likely list the company, the location, the required duties, and the pay involved. Again, be sure to review all of the details, including the time frame you have to get the job done, so you don't commit to something for which you can't follow through.
Once you complete your assignment, there is normally a survey or form you need to fill out. Companies like these forms to be thorough and well-written. The more details you include, the more helpful it is to them. Surveys can often be submitted online, but sometimes you are required to snail-mail these back to the company.
When to expect payment varies. The time frame can be anywhere from two to eight weeks. However, more and more companies are choosing to pay shoppers via PayPal, which means quicker cash in your pocket.
What types of work are available? And what is usually involved?
Here are just a few of the types of businesses that may be available for Mystery Shoppers in your area:
Fast Food Restaurants
Casual or Fine Dining Restaurants
Mall Stores, including chains, anchors, boutiques and specialty stores
The duties involved in your shopping assignment will vary. You may be asked to simply rate your overall service from the time you arrive to the time you leave. You may be required to inspect the premises for cleanliness, either generally or more a more specific location such as the restrooms. You might be asked to make a purchase and then return it and record your customer service experience.
Pay close attention to details and remember names. This is vital. Most Mystery Shopping companies will ask for the names of the employees you came into contact with. Because you don't want to draw attention to yourself as a Secret Shopper, you'll need to mentally file away this information until you get to your car and can write it down.
Where to find Mystery Shopping companies and what to look for
The Web is filled with information about Mystery Shopping and Secret Shopper companies. And, like everything else, not all companies are on the up and up. The main way you can spot a scam is if you are asked for money or are promised a ridiculously large amount of money per hour. Legitimate Mystery Shopping companies will never ask you to pay for anything up front. They pay you for your services, not the other way around. And they won't try to lure you in with promises of big bucks.
Do your homework. You would be wise to get referrals from other successful Mystery Shoppers. Visit work at home message boards to see which companies are recommended.
Here are two links to check out for extensive lists of companies, as well as some Secret Shopper tips: http://www.volition.com/mysteryUSA1.html and http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/mystery-shopping-companies
Will you get rich as a Mystery Shopper?
This is doubtful, since "payment" for many Secret Shopper companies does not involve cash at all, other than the reimbursement of items you are required to buy. But, companies do sometimes pay mileage and a small cash amount anywhere between $5 and $50, depending on the company and the amount of work involved.
In conclusion, Mystery Shopping is a fun and rewarding way to supplement your monthly income and save money on products and services you would probably buy anyway.
If you love to shop, have an eye for detail, and love free stuff, Mystery Shopping just may be for you.
Back to listings of articles about Money