Rewarding and Fun Mystery Shopper Jobs
One of my best friends from the office took a golden handshake early retirement, an opportunity that was too good to pass up. I still keep in contact with her – when I can can catch up with her. Usually, along with her husband, she’s out and about and has become a Mystery Shopper.
Not only do mystery shopping jobs allow flexible scheduling and supplemental income but many find mystery shopping jobs a perfect complement to a retiree’s existing passion for shopping and dining out.
Have you ever heard of mystery shopping? It’s a method that some people use to make money in their spare time, but many people mistake it for a scam. In some cases, it is, but there are plenty of perfectly viable opportunities out there for WAHM’s that are legitimate. The right opportunity with a well established company can provide the prospective shopper with several benefits in addition to welcome extra money for groceries.
So what do mystery shoppers do, and how do you go about discovering shopping opportunities that are legitimate?
Mystery shoppers are customers hired by a company to shop undercover, sometimes in a competitors’ store, oftentimes in their own franchises. They shop everywhere, pose as customers, and gather intelligence about all sorts of areas – from quality of service to cleanliness. Mystery shoppers act just like regular shoppers – they buy merchandise, make returns and ask questions, all while making a lot of observations. After their shopping trip is over, the mystery shopper completes and submits a report.
This isn’t a way to get paid for what you think about the experience; it’s more like a form of journalism, and your report form will contain mostly yes or no questions. Most mystery shoppers are actually hired by businesses to tell them about the experiences of customers in their own stores – things that a supervisor might not see. After all, most people are on on their best behavior in front of the boss. The information gathered by mystery shoppers can even be used to reward good employees.
There are all kinds of businesses that might use mystery shoppers – hotels, restaurants, spas, boutique shops, theme parks and banks. There are even government agencies that send out people who do a similar job to that of mystery shoppers, to find out how citizens are treated. Plenty of opportunities are available, and if you want to get involved, you’ll need to find a mystery shopping company. Approximately 2.5 million people are currently working in this position.
Like any job opportunity, this kind of position has brought out some scammers, too. Rookie mystery shoppers should be forewarned before they sign up with any randomly selected service. Look for companies that belong to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), which have to agree to certain ethical standards and be formally approved. Try to find out more about the company before you commit to a fee. Never pay any company to apply, or to get a “kit” of information that’ll supposedly help you get the job. Legitimate jobs are available for free.
If you see promises of high pay rates, it’s probably not on the up-and-up. Most mystery shoppers get paid around $10 per assignment although complex assignments can be in the $100 range. While you’re not likely to get rich doing this job, it is a way to make a little extra money while having a lot of fun shopping.