General chatter - Mystery Shopper?

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11-07-2008, 09:47 AM
What's that all about? Does anyone do it?

I like to shop :D

11-07-2008, 09:55 AM
Basically, you go "shopping" at the places where the agency tells you to - while there, you must be aware of your surroundings - is the place neat and tidy? Did you get good service? Did you get ANY service while you were looking? You give a full report based on the service you received - or service you have seen others receive. Usually the stores managers will go to the mystery shopping agencies to "hire" someone... that way NO ONE knows who is there observing - they just seem like any normal shopper.

Sometimes they will give you a partial refund of your bill, sometimes a full refund - and sometimes none at all - it just depends on the agency.

If you like to shop, and you don't mind spending money - it's a good way to help out... but many people believe that all mystery shopping is free (the agency gives you a full refund) and this is not the case - my girlfriend was told to spend $1000 at a furniture shop. She did so, made her report - and they didn't refund her a dime.

Some agencies will Pay you for your feedback - it usually depends on how much you have to spend - in my friend's case, they just entered her into a "draw" for a 7 night all expenses paid trip to Florida... which she didn't win. At least she got a nice couch! haha

11-07-2008, 10:01 AM
Some of these are a total scam, they take money from you and you receive nothing. There are legitimate ones, but how to tell the differance? Be careful.

11-07-2008, 10:14 AM
I found one that asks for $39 for a membership:s: Not!

Shannon in ATL
11-07-2008, 10:49 AM
I work in fast food, and in my last job worked for a Burger King franchisee - we hired shoppers to order food at our restaurants four times per month (some months four different people, some months two that took turns, the same four-six people most of the time.) We rotated them through each daypart, two weekdays and two weekends. They had a list of things to look for that they had to fill out immediately after the visit and had to time their total service time. We reimbursed them for the food, paid them mileage and paid them $50 per visit. We had eleven restaurants so it was a nice bit of extra income for some of them. We usually found people who went to church with the owners.

I know fast food isn't where you would like to mystery shop, just wanted to give you a real example of it working. :)

I would say look around at small retail places in your area that might be independently owned and approach them if you are interested. Most of the bigger chains have a program like ours in place as well, it might be listed on their websites?

11-07-2008, 11:47 AM
I've done it a lot. I'm registered with an online agency that sends me "leads". I apply for the leads that interest me and get paid anywhere from $3 to $30 for a "shop". Sometimes they just ask you to go in and ask questions, sometimes you have to buy something. Usually they'll tell you what to buy (or a general range of things to buy) and how much they'll reimburse.

In the last year I've done:
Aveda (at 2 different malls, reimbursed for $25 worth of product each time)
Saturn (when I owned one, I could get paid to take my car in for service at the dealership)
Honeybaked Ham ($15 reimbursement)
Macy's (2x)
Airtrain (filling out a credit app at the airport)

Hmm ... a couple of others that I can't remember right now.

Usually what happens is that I get the assignment, am given a timeline of when I need to complete it by, am given some guidelines as to what to ask for (for example at Aveda, there's a list of things the salespeople are supposed to do or say), am told what product line I should buy from, and then have to come home and fill out an online survey within 24 hours of my "shop".

It's not a ton of money - but it's fun, and I only pick the things where it's a company I'd go to or buy from anyway.


11-07-2008, 12:04 PM
I know alot of advertisements I get in my email are always saying how you could earn anywhere between $100-$1000/month doing this. The only thing is, if this is your basic amount of income, I'd pass on it. I don't think you'll make a good amount of money to pay bills or get loads of spending money by doing this. I also don't like how you have to spend money to make money through these things. You can go into a store and not buy anything and still not like or like the service. In my opinion, I would do some research on what is legitimate and what is not.

11-07-2008, 12:13 PM
Oh no ... I have a job. I just like to shop and a little extra money never hurt anyone. Since I go fairly often in search of bargains ... I thought it might work out.

11-07-2008, 03:13 PM
I did some mystery shopping for a company that specialized in banking. I went to several bank branches in my general area. There was a three page list of things I had to report on. Depending on the type of shop they gave me, it either paid $30 or $10, plus mileage. Eventually I decided that all of the paperwork wasn't worth the time I was putting into it. It was just another thing with another deadline, and I already have enough of those in my life, so I finished the ones on my list, but didn't accept any more.

I never paid for those leads, they were definitely legit, just too time consuming for what they paid.

11-07-2008, 08:15 PM
I have done mystery shopping at restaurants, hotels, banks, optometrists, photo developers, sporting goods stores, big box stores, clothing stores, airports, home improvement stores, video rental stores, banks, and oil change outlets.

Do not ever give anyone money for giving you information about mystery shopping. A good google search will give you all the info you need.

You sign up with companies that hire mystery shoppers. They post jobs, and you request them (in most cases, some companies email you jobs).

For some companies, it helps if you have gone through mystery shopper certification (available online for a fee).

You do fill out a report and you should be able to discreetly take notes or record messages to yourself, because you will be asked to observe very specific things and report back with details and names.

It is quite fun, but the pay tends to be quite low - not worth doing unless the "shops" are close.

You are also self-employed, so you must keep good records and complete your taxes accordingly. You can deduct certain business expenses.

Bottom line - it is a fun way to make a few extra bucks. I did it for about 4 years. It got "old" after a while, and I agree with Tammy - I came to a point where I preferred to use the time to work out and do other things - for me.

11-07-2008, 08:26 PM
I've done quite a bit of mystery shopping. Mostly restaurants, but some shops like T*rg*t.
I like the restaurant ones because your meal is pretty much paid for. With the other shops, there are usually specific parameters that you need to fall into, such as what you buy, or how much you spend. Sometimes you are required to spend more than they reimburse you for, which is a little silly (but hey, any discount is good).

I have used quite a bit.
The only thing is, you can't visit the same location more than once every 3 months. But if there are multiple locations in your area, you could conceivable do one every month.

11-08-2008, 01:57 AM
Wow... I'm working part time in retail at the moment... this makes me wonder if a mystery shopper has even come into my shop.