View Full Version : I have been a mystery shopper for 10 years
03-09-2005, 07:10 AM
I see no body posted here and my guess is that most of you haven't done mystery shopping before. I started 10 years ago and would love to tell others about it, I no longer do it full time just when a company needs an expert and they contact me.
I have worked with several companies and know the ins and outs of mystery shopping so feel free to ask me questions I would love to be able to explain more about this business. I don't get paid to talk about this I just know how much it helped me out when I really needed the money and it was an easy and fun "job" to do.
03-09-2005, 07:12 AM
Hi Rebecca! Thanks for offering "insight"
Most of the boards are brand new and since we just reopened them a day or so ago - many are still "bare" waiting for people to post and share.
I'm sure you'll get people with lots of questions!
03-09-2005, 10:38 PM
Mystery shopping sounded like fun, I thought about it but then chickened out.
03-10-2005, 12:31 PM
I have heard of it, but do not know how to get started. How did you get started? Was there any money you had to pay to start?
03-10-2005, 01:04 PM
I have heard of Mystery Shopping but never found any true information on the subject hopefully you can help us out. :)
03-10-2005, 01:06 PM
I paid for a book but that was before computers were in everyone's homes and it cost me $25. Now you can do a search on the internet for mystery shoppers, mystery shopping companies, secret shoppers etc and a whole list will come up.
I have worked with http://www.shopnchek.com since the beginning and highly recommend them. I do not do alot of mystery shopping anymore as I am too busy to do so. But once in a while I will be contacted for a high paying job because they know the quality of work I do.
I am going to try to round up a few resources and write an ebook to help all those who are interested in mystery shopping. I will let everyone know when it is available.
Another site is http://www.volition.com they used to have a great resource library of mystery shopping companies.
One piece of advice don't pay to work for a mystery shopping company the ones that are real will tell you that somewhere on their page.
03-10-2005, 11:16 PM
Thanks for the information. I went right to the sights. :D
03-11-2005, 12:36 AM
When I was in high school working in fast food, we had a shopper come in. It was a real busy day but my maganger, who took the shoppers order got handed a $25 check for good service!! That made her day. All we knew was we would have 3 mystery shoppers but did not know what day or time. They said they could all show up on the same day or different weeks. It was pretty cool how it worked though.
03-11-2005, 06:33 AM
I have done camera stores, jewerly stores, phone calls to stores, fast food, sit down restaurants, grocery stores, theaters, car lots, and so many more it would take me too long to say it all :)
When you do a search for the sites to become a mystery shopper read the whole page somewhere on the page (this is different for each company so I cannot give you a specific place to do this) there will be a link that will take you to a sign up page to become a mystery shopper.
NOW sometimes when you do sign up with a company you may not ever be contacted just because they may not have an assignment in your area. I signed up with over 100 companies and ususally got about 20 job offers a month. Be sure to read everything slowly don't rush.
Mystery shopping companies sometimes do interviews just like a real job. You can earn good money if you do it full time and I mean doing 2-3 a day BUT this will take you time!
You will not get rich! I did it for 10 years, and the most I made was $350 a month when I did it full time.
BUT I was able to be home with my kids sometimes I was allowed to take my kids with me etc other times I was not allowed to take anyone to the "shops" so be sure you read everything, one thing with mystery shopping is you have to be meticulous and be able to remember details!
03-12-2005, 12:39 AM
It sounds like fun. Get out of the house and shop, two things I love! Do they offer mystery shopping in small communities also?
03-12-2005, 07:02 PM
I have never done it full time, but it can be a lot of fun to go out and shop or eat and make money doing so! Here are some sites I recommend - you do need to be sure and follow the rules for each shop and if they have tests on the site you need to complete - do complete them because that shows you are really interested and you will start to get shops.
I agree that you aren't going to get rich..but think about this - if you go in to do a shop at a cellular store....you spend 15 minutes tops - and you get paid $12.50 to do so...you then spend another 15 minutes filling out the forms that they want you to fill out. That's $25 an hour if you can do just two of those. :-) Nice for a little extra spending money! I do recommend that you select towns that are close by so you aren't haven't to travel too much - OR if you are going to travel to another city - be sure you plan it so you can do 3 - 5 shops in that city on one day.
Here are a few different sites:
By the way - I would never PAY to be a part of a mystery shopping company!
03-14-2005, 12:36 AM
I started mystery shopping about 2 years ago. I completely agree with Donna as you won't get rich from it but it's fun and if you were going to go to the movies, out for dinner, or shopping anyways why not get paid for it. After a few times out you'll start to figure out what shops are worth it and which ones are just out of your way.
I also absolutely agree you should not pay to become one. There are plenty of free companies out there looking for you. I just wanted to throw out some more. So good luck and happy shopping!
That should get you going!
03-14-2005, 06:58 AM
Donna I agree when I was doing it full time I would be sure to center all shops in a certain area and see if I couldn't get 3-4 on the same day, also keep good track of your mileage so that you can write it off on your taxes.
I have done cell phone shops before too and I have done merchandising and surveys all were good extra income, I know I have heard people say you can make a lot of money doing mystery shopping. Those that make an excellent income do 3-4 shops 5-6 days a week it all depends on what you can find and how many companies need you in your local area.
03-15-2005, 07:41 AM
I have signed up with several but I don't ever get a response from the companies! I want to do it but I don't know what I am doing wrong! I don't want to make a lot of money I just want to get free stuff.
Helping Moms Stay Home
03-15-2005, 07:43 AM
I am in Ohio too! I am near Akron where are you located?
Helping Moms Stay Home
03-15-2005, 09:07 AM
Rebecca you seem to really know the ins and outs. I haven't had a chance to check out the sites you mentioned yet. When I started doing research on it though it seemed like all the sites wanted money. Is that the case? If so, what is a fair amount to pay to belong to their list of shoppers?
03-16-2005, 09:28 AM
It could be that there just aren't a lot of companies requesting Mystery Shopping in the areas you have said you would be willing to shop. It starts out slow, but as time goes on, more and more requests should come in - BUT they have to be in your area.
Sometimes it just takes time to find the company that works in your area the most too....keep trying! It is fun once you get rolling.
If there aren't shops in your area - if you are close to another larger city, you may want to sign up for that area and just plan all your shops for one day in that one area.
03-21-2005, 11:37 AM
I actually have always wondered about this. After hearing many stories about companies that were not legit, I stayed away from these businesses. Thanks for the info, I am going to check out the 2 sites now!
03-22-2005, 11:51 AM
Yes, but how do you get the companies to respond to you when you sign up?
03-22-2005, 12:03 PM
Many years ago I was a Mystery Shopper and I found those companies locally. So you might want to check in the yellow pages.
03-23-2005, 08:21 AM
I love shopnchek. I just did my first mystery shopping at the beginning of March. It was so easy and so fun.
03-23-2005, 08:44 AM
Yes, you can also find Mystery Shopper jobs in small communities, but depending on the size and demographics of the community it might only be a few a year.
I have heard about mystery shopping, any insight you can provide would be helpful.
03-23-2005, 12:57 PM
Is the shopnchek web address listed somewhere?
06-01-2005, 11:59 PM
I was wondering, do all the mystery shopping sites ask for your social security number over the internet? I am very nervous about giving it. More so because I am not quite sure which are scams and which aren't. I am trying to find something that I don't need to shell out money. I lost my job of 1 years, have 2 samll children and have been in and out of the hospital since January. As my health has greatly improved, my bank accounts have greatly shrunk. Have no spending money whatsoever and am afraid that what little I do have will be taken through iden***y theft, etc. :o
Thanks for any info.
11-13-2005, 09:22 AM
Good information in this thread so far.
Rule #1 - never pay to work as a MSer.
Rule #2 - supply & demand.
By that I mean you will receive offers based on your availability to companies (have you applied correctly, at all to those offering services in your area?) and the need for shoppers in your area (metro areas and retail-rich centers naturally have the MOST available).
The BEST places to start looking up more information on MSing:
#1 - volition.com (http://www.volition.com): extensive (free)list of MS companies and detailed posts. Be careful posting as there are strict rules to follow
#2 - read my monthly newsletter - Read the back issues for more links and inforamtion to get you started - The Shop Logs at www.shoplogs.com (http://www.shoplogs.com ) OR read my more frequesntly updated blog on MSing www.shoplogs.com/wordpress (http://www.shoplogs.com/wordpress)
11-13-2005, 09:41 AM
Most mystery shopping companies ask for your ss# because they have to keep track of who they pay for the taxes etc, if you don't feel comfortable doing this over the internet you can on most places print out the application and mail it to them or you can call their number to talk to someone.
I will warn you some of the mystery shopping can take a few months to even get an assignment as they may not have many jobs available in your area if you live near any major ci***es the best thing to do is too list all the major cities that you would be interested in going to for jobs.
Also for some assignments they may ask you to purchase items with your own money then they will reimburse you so if you are already tight on money some assignments may be hard to do as some companies want you to spend anywhere from $8-$50 then they reimburse you the cost later.
The shop n check website is http://www.shopnchek.com I worked with them for about 8 years and they are very reliable in getting your money to you in time and letting you choose your assignments to be honest shop n check was my favorite to work with!
I have worked with over 50 different companies but Shop n Chek was my favorite, good customer service by phone or email, if you had a problem they would contact you as soon as they could if you sent them an email and the people who worked there were very friendly.
Good luck to all who are looking into doing mystery shopping I loved it when I did it, I did several every week be sure to keep track of your mileage for tax purposes later on and keep everything till the end of the year just in case the company that hired you had a question about a past shop, this happened to me I did a shop for a company and 6 months had pasted and they called me to "ask me " questions about that shop had I not kept all the details of that shop I would not have been able to answer their questions
01-17-2006, 08:05 AM
Rebecca, you have so much information! I signed on to several companies I found through volition.com and have had a couple small assignments so far. I'm finding a lot of fast food jobs in my area that are of no interest to me (eating in the drive through AND inside, same food, tonsof questions, low pay) LOL. Is there a way to find out which companies have better assignments (like sit-down restaurants, etc) without applying at all of them?
01-18-2006, 07:49 AM
TO be honest you will get better assignments after you have shown what ever company you are working for that you are reliable and they can depend on you. Some sites let you sign up for shops in your area they give you a list of companies that are "hiring" mystery shoppers if you want to do an assignment then you can click on a link and self assign yourself.
Although I just did this the other day with a local company they had 25 shops that needed to be done, I clicked and self assigned myself half and waited for the paperwork to be put into my shopper account, it never came...not sure why but even us veterans don't get shops we want lol
Its basically all hit and miss, for the fast food restaruants I don't eat the full meal at first I felt guilty throwing food away if no one else in the family wanted it till I started putting on weight lol now all I do is take one bite out of the sandwich or fries etc to be able to judge the taste for the project etc etc :)
I have done sit down rest. before they are nice but can take well over an hour so its all up to you I like doing those once in awhile.
Be sure you know how much you need to spend before you go to a shop and the compensation, with gas prices the way they are now if they only reimburse me for a meal I don't take it unless its really really close. I use to travel up to an hour away when they did reimburse for gas....now well many do not all they do is reimburse for whatever you bought etc
NOW with that being said I have done eye glass shops when I needed glasses or my son needed glasses and they would reimburse about half of the cost plus the exam so those were well worth it no matter if they paid for gas or not :)
Basically you have to choose if its worth your time, effort etc you are the best person to know if mystery shopping is worth it to you :)
I still do an occasional shop but not as many as I used too
Hope that helps, oh and for the one who asked how do you get the companies to contact you to be honest there really is no way to get them to choose you smaller communities will have less shops then those in larger communities it doesn't mean you won't get a shop here and there but if you don't spread out your travel miles (meaning to nearer towns etc) you won't get many shops I live in a small town so I go to our closest town to do shops
Feel free to ask me any questions :)
01-18-2006, 07:56 AM
Thanks Rebecca for your honest input! Maybe I'll have to take a couple fast food - for a bit. :) I applied for a theatre check in my town but didn't get that - would have been fun! paid for 2 tickets and concession!
It was a reveal - haven't done those before - do you ever get people mad at you when you do those???
01-18-2006, 08:16 AM
No I haven't had a problem with reveals normally a reveal is only done if they have done a good job, if they didn't meet a certain amount of positive transactions etc then you don't reveal yourself. That makes it easier.
I have done mystery shops for movies before and it really is a nice date out lol tickets paid for and so is the concession stand :) those are hard to get so many others want them too most companies send out an email to many many shoppers and they take the first one they get an email from :)
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