Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mystery Shopping for extra income

 In a recent post, I mentioned that Mystery Shopping is one of my favorite ways to make extra income or at least cover the expenses of a night out.  After writing that post, I realized that people really have no idea how to get started mystery shopping or what it really entails.  So with that in mind, I've decided to give you a little first hand insight.  By working as a mystery shopper, you are essentially working free lance with a variety of companies who arrange for you to go undercover to visit retailers and restaurants to evaluate customer service. I have done work with restaurants, department stores, hotels, movie theaters, gas stations and even car dealerships.  They all want the same thing... They want you, the mystery shopper, to provide feedback on areas of their businesses that need improvement. They look for things like:  Did the bartender overpour?  Did the bartender ring in the sale correctly?  Did the sales clerk smile? Were you greeted at the door? Was the floor clean?

There are several good places to find mystery shops, but I recommend Volition.com and MSPA.org as the two primary sites to use.  However, you can always check back here because I post urgent shops on a regular basis.  Since you work as an "independent contractor," you can accept or reject assignments on a case-by-case basis. So if you're extra-busy one week or month, you can turn down offers for assignments.

Once you get approved as a mystery shopper with a particular company, available assignments in your area may start rolling in right away or could take a while.  I would recommend that if you are wanting to earn decent income from mystery shopping that you sign up with a number of different companies because you never know how many other shoppers may be vying for the same jobs.
The assignments, often sent by e-mail, typically give background on what the shopper will be doing, when the job must get done, and roughly how much the job pays. Wages can vary. A restaurant may only reimburse the cost of a meal, while a department store might pay around $10 to $50 per assignment.

Part-time mystery shoppers who do at least 20 assignments a month could make $500 to $1,000 in a month. Shoppers usually pay for travel to and from assignments.  After the job is assigned, the shopper gets more details about the particular job. Mystery shops can take anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour. But usually the shopper has to fill out an online questionnaire afterward and those can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the type of shop.  For example, a full service hotel shop is going to take significantly longer than a phone shop for a car dealership.

So, I hope this post gives you a little insight into mystery shopping and how you might go about becoming a mystery shopper.   Feel free to tell the mystery shopping companies that you heard about the available shops through SunEGrl Loves To Shop.    I don't get any sort of referral fee or anything, but as I don't do as many shops as I used to; it's still nice to be recognized by the schedulers if a shop becomes available in my area. 

Back in 2009, I posted some of my favorite mystery shopping companies so I would be sure to check them out first.  So, get out there and sign up for shops people and most of all; have fun and make money!!  :)

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Beverly Burton said...

I did a mystery shop at a bank once and got the job through a temp agency. It was interesting and fun!

Thanks for the info!

Beverly Burton said...

I am following you on twitter

SweetieRose said...

No,I have never been a mystery shopper but I assume it must be fun

Jo said...

Am def going to look into this a a way to make some $$$ ! Thanks

Kelly Moore said...

This information is so incredibly helpful, especially for someone who is new to blogging and mystery shopping. Thanks for all the amazing tips! I cant wait to hear more!

anieb said...

This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme about Mystery Shopping Service. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.