Is Mystery Shopping for You?
You can get paid to shop! Think that sounds too good to be true? Think again.
Millions of people are discovering the benefits of Mystery Shopping - also referred to
as Secret Shopping. Mystery Shopping is a legitimate business opportunity where you can
earn money and freebies while you shop. Couples can enjoy free romantic dinners. Hurried
families can grab a free bite to eat at a local drive-thru. And with the high gas prices,
who wouldn't jump at the chance to fill their gas tank for free?
This is especially gaining popularity with stay-at-home moms who may be on a budget and
still want to enjoy lunch with friends or catch a movie with the kids.
Why Would Companies Pay Shoppers?
The biggest reason companies pay Secret Shoppers is to make sure their employees are
doing their jobs. Customer service is (and should be) a priority for companies. After all,
customer service is the number one thing that keeps us coming back (or not). It is no
surprise, then, that most companies want to do everything they can to maintain a good
How it works
Most Mystery Shopping companies have online registration or application forms. A few
minutes of your time and voila! You're a Secret Shopper.
Typically, companies require you to review their training manual which gives an
overview of how it all works and what is expected of you. Be sure take the time to
carefully read every word so you understand the rules and can give the company exactly
what they ask for. This will keep you in good standing as a Mystery Shopper and ensure
that you continue to get approved for the jobs you want.
Many companies post shopping opportunities on their Job Boards or send email
notifications with a first come, first served policy. Others contact reliable and proven
shoppers with specific job opportunities chosen just for them. The great thing about
Mystery Shopping is that you are able to snag the jobs you want and pass on the ones you
don't. Job postings will likely list the company, the location, the required duties, and
the pay involved. Again, be sure to review all of the details, including the time frame
you have to get the job done, so you don't commit to something for which you can't follow through.
Once you complete your assignment, there is normally a survey or form you need to fill
out. Companies like these forms to be thorough and well-written. The more details you
include, the more helpful it is to them. Surveys can often be submitted online, but
sometimes you are required to snail-mail these back to the company.
When to expect payment varies. The time frame can be anywhere from two to eight weeks.
However, more and more companies are choosing to pay shoppers via PayPal, which means
quicker cash in your pocket.