Mystery Shopping…Don’t Knock It Until You Try It

Ever wondered if mystery shopping was legit? It is. I’ve done it and been paid for it, so have several of my friends and family members. There’s even an international organization for it, Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA). And you can get certified as a mystery shopper. Now there are lots of scams out there, so check the company you accept assignments from for a MSPA logo or against the MSPA website,

I have done mystery shops for:
1. apartment complexes (need to show an ID to see property)
2. shipping services (some are for shipping empty boxes to predetermined locale)
3. fast food joints (you are reimbursed for food for a dine-in or drive-thru shop)
4. upscale restaurants (most of these allow 1-2 people to accompany you)
5. banks (some are for inquiries only and others are for opening accounts that you are reimbursed for)


Easy stuff. Review the guidelines for the assignment before the shop, obtain info for proof of visit, complete an online form, submit it with any required pics or docs, and wait for payment. Some mystery shops are for phone calls only rather than a visit to a business. And some involve both. My best mystery shop was for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans and the date range for acceptance fell on my birthday. It was a shop that could include 2 people (Hubby was great at helping me observe everything), my food and drinks were reimbursed, and I received a $50 fee for doing it. Great birthday gift!

Companies worldwide utilize mystery shoppers to anonymously rate customer experience for various organizations. It provides a way for them to accurately gauge an employee’s performance. Fees for shops can range anywhere from $5 to $15 to $150+ depending on the assignment and the company. I have seen offers for car dealerships, jewelry stores, colleges, electronic stores, hotels, parking lots, casinos, and clothing stores. The larger your area of residence, the more shops available.

Here are a few mystery shopping companies that I suggest:
1. Pinnacle Financial Strategies
2. Market Force
4. Bare International
5. BestMark


Have you done mystery shopping before? If so, where?


Linking to: The Art of Living Fabulously

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