Get paid to shop! Who wouldn’t like that?
But is mystery shopping true?
I’m sure you’ve noticed those advertisements somewhere online promising easy cash and free products simply for shopping.
Can you really receive a commission to shop?…
We will answer these and several other questions concerning this hot topic, plus demonstrate how to avoid scams, in addition to giving you a huge set of free and legitimate businesses that may actually pay you to look.
Mystery shopping as a robust tool for businesses became a regular practice in the past in the 1940s, when it had been used to measure the integrity of employees. Such shopping evaluations use a variety of tools ranging from basic questionnaires to even complete video and sound recordings.
Secret shopping may also be used across many industries, with common examples being hotels, shops, movie theaters, junk food joints, restaurants, gasoline stations, banks, apartments, car dealerships, healthcare facilities, and health clubs even.
Since 2010, mystery buying has been widely adopted in the medical tourism sector. Countless health care companies and various other providers use this device to evaluate and enhance the overall customer service experience.
What is Mystery Shopping?
Before we reach the list, let’s find out a bit more concerning this idea and how it functions…
Mystery shopping, aka mystery customer, is one of the methods externally utilized by companies conducting market research or watchdog organizations.
The tactic can even be used by a company to measure its own quality of service internally, or regulation compliance, or even to gather certain information regarding products/services.
Usually, the precise identity and intent of the mystery shopper aren’t released to the establishment that’s beneath the scanner. Such people perform specific tasks like investing in a product, putting up queries, registering their complaints or actually behaving in a specific manner.
Later, they provide an in-depth feedback and reviews of their experiences.
It is basically want paid surveys or focus organizations, but instead of going for a survey online or likely to a focus group service and discussing the subject of the analysis, you truly go to the store, act as a standard shopper, you then report back your experience.
In a way, it’s nearly the same as those item testing surveys you might receive from a few of the survey sites, where the product is used by you for a few days or so, then complete a survey answering queries about your experience.
How Does it Work?
When a company that delivers mystery purchasing services is hired by a customer company, a survey model is first used and arranged by both parties predicated on which the parameters (that your client desires measured) to be assessed are decided.
Later, these are sectioned off into certain study assignments and instruments, which are then directed at people signed-up with the said mystery buying services providing company.
A few of the information and information that shoppers usually observe include:
The worker count of the store noticeable upon entering
Enough time is taken before someone greets the mystery shopper
The employees’ name
If the greeting is ideal and friendly, as per objective measures
The types of products displayed
The sales pitch accompanied by an employee
The questions set up by the mystery shopper to be able to locate a product
If the worker extended a visit-again invitation to the shopper
If and how the worker strived to close the offer
Cleanliness of shop and that of the shop associates
If the worker suggested extra add-on sales
How Much Money IS IT POSSIBLE TO Make?
Every shopping assignment differs and as such, takes a different amount of time as the pay is varying as well.
However, normally, a shopping assignment usually takes between 10-120 minutes as the purchase the same can range between $10 to $150.
I have heard of buyers getting paid up to $300 for an assignment. Again, everything is dependent on the assignment and its own requirement. Plus, in some instances (where applicable) you can keep the product free of charge.
Quickness of service
Compliance with standards collection by the business regarding service, grooming/presentation, and store appearance
Usually, the shoppers are created alert to procedures or instructions to create their transactions unusual compared to the rest to be able to test the service skills and understanding of the employees regarding a far more specific or stringent service issue (aka scenarios).
For example, a mystery shopper at a cafe might pretend to be lactose-intolerant, or in a clothing shop the shopper could require gift wrapping service.
In fact, a purchase isn’t mandatory for each shopping assignment.
While gathering this given information, the shopper typically blends in with the standard consumers at the establishment undergoing evaluation.
He or she might be asked to click pictures or take measurements also, return a purchase, or even count the quantity seats, products, and the individuals who visited during that time. The utilization of a stopwatch or timer is fairly common in such a setting.
Once the visit has ended, the shopper submits the collected data to the mystery purchasing service providing company, whose job is to examine and analyze this information.
The business further completes a qualitative or quantitative analysis of the stats involved and forwards a written report predicated on the same to the said client company. Such a written report allows the comparison of what sort of restaurant or store does vis-à-vis previously set criteria.
HOW ABOUT the Scam Rumors?
The answer is no. It’s not really a scam and in truth, is a business worthy of billions of dollars.
However, don’t eliminate running right into a mystery shopping rip-off here or there. As may be the case with whatever becomes productive and popular, scammers constantly try to create a quick buck by scamming mystery consumers in countless ways.
What helps this further may be the reality that the mystery shopping market is not one to overload with the advertisement (they are extremely choosy about their shoppers).
This has enabled scammers to reach your goals at scamming those who are interested and who don’t have in any manner of obtaining reliable information about the industry. Such people can’t tell the true from the scam!
However, you can you shouldn’t be a victim of being alert to the following things:
1.If it Sounds as well Good to be True, It’s likely that it Probably is!
This pertains to most truly unbelievable offers! For example, there may be the sense in a business rewarding you with a $2000 flat Television or perhaps a solitaire ring for a buying evaluation assignment that hardly lasted 20 minutes!
Remember that mystery shopping companies run a business and if they’re throwing money about such handouts, they’d be deep in losses neck.
Put simply, keep your distances from such companies.
2. Do Not Payout to become Secret Shopper
One of the good stuff about secret buying is that genuine and legit businesses never require any money/costs for signing-up with them; not a single cent.
If you encounter an organization claiming to provide genuine providers asking for any kind of upfront payment/fees to supply you with assignments, change without a seconds’ hesitation and leave!
3. Avoid Mystery Shopper Rip-off Western Union
The “secret shopper scams western union” is among the most famous such scams on offer.
The individual is then asked to deposit the same into his/her bank-account and wire some amount of this money through wire transfer services like Western Union while keeping the rest of the money for themselves as a reward for the shopping assignment he/she didn’t even do.
Of course, the individual discovers that the said check he/she deposited is poor, where the time it’s already a few days because the wire transfer via Western Union was done by him/her. Aside from making money, the individual actually went on to reduce money here!
Always remember a legit mystery shopping company never ever supplies you with a check prior to the actual shopping is performed with at your end.
You are required to shop with your money first and then report the whole experience through phone, email or even in-person, which is completely dependent on the company you’re working for.
Once that is done over with, the whole quantity you spent for the purchasing session is reimbursed.
Also, the FTC advises consumers to stay away from companies who:
Put up their advertisements for mystery buyers in the “help wanted” portion of papers or in email messages. Although they may be genuine in their intent indeed, chances are pretty high they are more thinking about pitching unwarranted, and fraudulent probably, secret shopping “services”.
Sell “certification”. A company that uses mystery shoppers does not need any certification normally.
Assure you employment as a secret shopper.
Charge fees to allow usage of secret shopping assignments
Sell directories which contain names of companies offering mystery shopping services.
In case of you being scammed by a company, file your complaint with…
The Federal government Trade Commission (FTC)
Your State’s Attorney General
Where to find Legit Mystery Shopper Jobs?
You may become a mystery shopper for a legit company without paying hardly any money.
Here’s how you may do that:
Search the net for organizations that are available to new applications.
Legit companies do not charge any application fees even. Most accept registrations through their websites also.
Check with the MSPA
Additionally, there is the MSPA (Mystery Shop Provider’s Association), which may be the governing body for the trick shopping industry.
From the information on their site, you can choose for yourself concern which companies are reliable and that are not.
Check with the BBB
The BBB contains a history of near about every business you can name.
Apart from learning more in regards to a company’s history, you may also see if any issues were filed through the preceding 36 weeks and the way the BBB rates it overall.
Note: You ought not to turn from a company because it doesn’t bring BBB accreditation. All of this means is that the business doesn’t pay the fee that’s mandatory to be outlined as a certified business. However, it is still recognized as the best business by the BBB.
Read Related Online Forums
Forums related to MS have a tendency to end up being informal, but even they are quite informational given that they provide an online community where active mystery shoppers talk about their experiences.
This makes forums an excellent place to assess the firms that are good to work for and the ones that are not so excellent.
Consider carefully and pay out heed to the term going around. Ask around to observe if any of your friends and relations know or have a connection with mystery shopping for any business.
Most people can let you know about the secret shopping businesses that are legit within their experience.
100 Paying and Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies
In the event that you don’t want to waste your time and effort weeding through a huge selection of forums and weblog posts to look for a few legit companies, this is a set of 100 confirmed secret buying companies that can be done paid shopping assignments for:
- A&A Merchandising
- ALCOPS – Allied Corporate Protection Services
- A Top Shop
- A Closer Look
- A Customer’s Point of View
- ABA Quality Merchandising
- Anonymous Insights
- Ann Michaels & Assoc
- Apartment Shoppe
- Ardent Services Inc.
- At Random Communications
- At Your Service Marketing
- Associate Consumer Evaluations, LLC
- Ath Power Consulting Corporation
- Beyond Hello Inc
- BMA Mystery Shopping & Incentive Programs
- Bare Associates International Inc
- Barry Leads & Associates Inc.
- Business Evaluation Services
- Campus Consulting
- Certified Reports
- CheckMark Inc
- Capstone Research
- Cirrus Marketing Consultants
- Commercial Service Systems
- Comsumer Critique
- Consumer Impressions
- Confero Inc.
- Consumer Research Group
- Count On Us
- Coyle Hospitality Group
- Corporate Research International
- Creative Picture Consultants (CIA), Inc.
- Customer Perspectives
- Customer Service Experts, Inc
- Cross Financial Group
- Customer Service Profiles
- David Sparks & Associates
- Devon Hill Associates
- Data Quest Ltd.
- Douglas Stafford THE UNITED STATES, Inc.
- Ellis Property Management Services
- Evaluation Systems for Staff (ESP)
- DSG Associates
- Excel Shopping & Consulting
- Franchise Compliance Inc.
- Graymark Security Group
- Focus on Service
- Greet America Inc.
- HR & Associates
- Hilli Dunlap Enterprises, Inc.
- Imaginus Inc.
- Infotel Inc
- IAG Infinity Assurance Group
- ICC/Decision Services
- J.M. Ridgway Co. Inc.
- Kern Scheduling Services
- Instant Reply Inc
- LeBlanc & Associates
- Maritz Research
- Management Consultant Group, LLC
- Market Viewpoint, LLC
- Mars Research
- Melinda Brody & Company
- Merchandise Concepts
- Marketing Endeavors
- Marketing Systems Unlimited
- MarketWise Consulting Group, Inc.
- Mystery Shoppers
- Mystery Shopping Solutions
- Michelson & Associates, Inc.
- Mintel International Group Ltd
- Mystery Guest, Inc
- Mystique Shopper
- Northwest Mystery Shopping Service
- National Shopping Service Network, LLC
- Nationwide Services Group
- Pacific Research Group
- Premier Service Consulting
- Promotional Network, Inc.
- Pat Henry Group
- Patron Edge
- Person To Person Quality
- PulseBack, Inc.
- Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers, LLC
- QSI Specialists
- Ritter & Associates, Inc.
- The Search for Best Mystery Shoppers
- Reality Check Mystery Shoppers
- Restaurant Evaluators
- Satisfaction Services, Inc.
- Second To non-e, Inc.
- Secret Shopper
- Service Impressions
- Service Intelligence
- Sensors Quality Management Inc.
- Service Alliance, Inc
- Service Evaluation Concepts
- Service Excellence Group, Inc.
- Shoppers, Inc
- Shoppers’ View
- Service Performance Group Inc.
- Service ProbeServiceSense
- Sinclair Service Assessments
- Spies in Disguise
- SG Marketing Group, Inc
- The Shadow Agency
- Shoppers’ Critique International, LLC
Ideas to Find Success as a Key Shopper
Like any other side income activity, if you would like to reach your goals and make decent money, you need to take this seriously.
Here are some ideas to help you succeed in earning money as a secret shopper.
Be Mindful of What’s Needed
Be sure you are fully alert to all instructions regarding every assignment and the items required from you, whose examples include analyzing the prices, inventories, or even noting down the names of 1 or all employees.
Accept LAST SECOND Shopping Assignments
Try and accept assignments which come in at the last second; regardless of how large or small the chance is.
Don’t Ignore Smaller Assignments
Also, treat little assignments with the same importance mainly because of large ones. And as may be the case with most careers, do not expect to property a large assignment at the outset. Just keep carrying out to your best, which tells the company that you are reliable and reliable as a shopper.
Also, assignments can be found in varying examples of simplicity. Some are fundamental as seated in a clinic’s waiting around the room for 30 minutes although some are as hard (or enjoyable) as a completely paid vacation for two weeks to a distant vacation resort!
Most mystery shopping companies consider the usage of the web and email, cell phones, and even fax devices as an advantage for individuals working as their shoppers. This is so since it allows the companies to immediately communicate with their shoppers.
For example, to evaluate the cleanliness of a cafe, access a digital camera is a far greater method of recording that aspect instead of writing a complete page’s report on a single.
Shop On Time
When you complete a purchasing assignment on time, the business considers you to be reliable. Such an image will certainly assist you to earn bigger and even more rewarding shopping assignments in potential.
In my honest opinion, this is simply not something I could make a living out of.
Yes, there are specific shopping businesses that do compensate rather perfectly, but with the caveat that purchasing assignments won’t come each day of the week. This means that sometimes, it may be weeks before you have any meaningful and well-paying work.
In a nutshell, keep your expectations real.
Nevertheless, if shopping (and complaining) can be something you love, then signing-up with these mystery shopping companies will be a good way to create some extra cash privately!