General chatter - Secret Shopper

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05-29-2007, 07:41 PM
Has anyone out there ever worked as a secret shopper?? I think it would be fun and I could use the extra cash. I just dont know how to go about this, there was something in our local paper, but when I went to search on the internet, it said to be carefully that some of these websites just take your money? Anyone ever done this?

05-29-2007, 07:56 PM
My Mom did, but her connection was through an existing job. She worked in a big drugstore, and the greeting cards were her responsibility, so she went through classes through Hallmark cards to be certified. Her teacher asked her if she would be interested in being a secret shopper for some card shops in a nearby town. She did it several times, and had to fill out surveys and in one case give face to face feedback to the employees. She liked it, because it was fun, but I remember her saying the pay was pretty pitiful so she couldn't see anyone doing it for the money as a main or even second job, especially when she figured in transportation costs because they didn't pay mileage.

I imagine some groups pay alot more, but how you would contact the reputable companies I have no idea.

05-29-2007, 09:01 PM
I just signed up for a company in Dallas. There is a free trial for a month then its 9.95 per month thereafter to get the listings. I've seen the free sites but their pay is really bad.

I'll post when I've accomplished my first job. Sue

05-29-2007, 09:17 PM
I suggest doing some research and finding an actual mystery shopper company in your area. Those sites that give you all the listings just get them from those companies, and if you work directly for the comapnies, then you don't have to pay any membership fees. IMO, ANY site that charges you to find the jobs are just suckering you out of your money.

I got into the shopping actually as an editor for a mystery shopping company, and then I started doing some shops myself. I liked the restaurant ones because I could go to some nice restaurants with a guest and have my entire meal reimbursed (2 drinks, a shared appetizer, 2 entrees, a shared dessert, and a drink at the bar). Other shops I haven't found to have been worth my time, honestly. I have lots of opportunities to do some retail and banks and whatnot, but the $10-$15 they offer per shop usually isn't enticing enough for me to drive there, follow all the rules they sent me (if you don't follow their rules, you won't get paid), drive back home, fill out a report, submit my receipts...The actual shopping part itself doesn't take very long, but the process as a whole can take a few hours total. Then again, I suppose if you have enough time to do multiple shops in one trip in one day, it might be more worthwhile.

05-29-2007, 09:48 PM
Im in Dallas, is there anyway you can give me the information?

05-29-2007, 10:19 PM
I started the process - went through the application and was given a couple of jobs (I didn't have to pay anything for the company I was working for). Like you, I thought it would be a fun way to earn extra money - and I suppose it is once things get rolling.

What I was not prepared for, however, was how comprehensive the task itself was. I had a couple of jobs lined up and my first was at a major grocery store. I first had to study the expectations of the store - and prove that I knew what the expectations were. When I actually went into the store I had to make sure I went to the seven hotspots of the store and that in each area someone spoke to me...also, if someone was within something like 10 feet of where I was they had to speak to me in some way. And, I had to know everyones name (that I had any contact with) without writing anything down while I was in the store. After that I had to fill out a long evaluation process. All that for $15?! They must have been kidding.

I suppose after you have done it a couple of times it would get easier, though, but at the time it certainly didn't seem worth the money.

Good luck to you!

05-29-2007, 10:35 PM
Do you know the company where I start this out with?

05-30-2007, 01:03 AM
Sorry, it has been too long ago (6-7 years, I guess). If you do a general google search and eliminate the ones that you have to pay for, you should be able to find a few. Go with a few companies as you need to find one that services your area.

Good luck to you!