Mystery shopping has become a very lucrative home business for some. With good reason, reasonable hourly pay, free products/services and gas reimbursement! For those that are serious about mystery shopping, there is good money to be made.
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Make Money While You Shop!

Mystery shopping has become a very lucrative home business for some. With good reason - reasonable hourly pay, free products/services and gas reimbursement! For those that are serious about mystery shopping, there is good money to be made.

As with all things though, some jobs are better than others. Not all companies will pay you for everything I've outlined above. However, you get to choose which jobs you'd like to do and which ones you'd rather pass on. It's entirely in your hands how much or how little you make.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Well, it's quite simple, really. Companies use mystery shoppers to help them rate their customer service, overall appearance and product placement. You are simply informing the company as to whether they are meeting their customer's expectations.

Mystery shoppers apply to different companies and when a placement is available for you area, you are contacted via email, generally. Upon receiving the details of the job, you decide whether or not to accept it.

Upon accepting a job, you print out the instructions for that job. Generally, those instructions will pertain to the store's overall appearance and cleanliness, the level of customer service, the speed in which is required to make a purchase, whether specific product displays are available, etc. All the instructions are provided to you ahead of time. You simply make mental notes while inside the store and afterwards fill out the appropriate online reports.

Can I be a Mystery Shopper?

Different companies have different age requirements. However, if you are over the age of 21 with a good grasp of the English language, you can be a mystery shopper. With that said, you must also be reliable, detail oriented, and dependable. Schedulers (people that offer you the jobs) are much more likely to continually provide you with the choice assignments if you are someone they can rely on and someone who provides them with good quality written reports in a timely manner.

I Thought Mystery Shopping is a Scam?

No, it isn't. You hear that from people who were not committed, reliable, detail oriented or were otherwise just plain lazy. The fact is that if you do not produce what is required of you - you don't get paid. It's really that simple. Everything is laid out for you ahead of time. You choose whether to commit to what is required or not. If you work at a typical 9-5 job and don't produce the work you know is required of you, you'll get fired. Mystery shopping is no different.

Does it Cost Money to be a Mystery Shopper?

No. There are resources that you may or may not choose to purchase. That is entirely up to you. However, there is no up-front fee to become a mystery shopper.

You may also choose to become certified (which I suggest) for a mere $15. You write a short test which determines your understanding of the process. Once you pass that test, you are a Silver Certified Mystery Shopper. Preference is often given to certified shoppers when schedulers are offering assignments. Why, you may ask? Because if someone was serious enough to dole out $15, they're quite often serious enough about mystery shopping to do a good job. You will make your fifteen dollars back from the increased number and better quality assignments.

Where do I Sign up?

Check out Mystery Shopping Providers Association and Volition to begin with. They have great resources and fabulous message boards/forums that will help answer all of your questions and get you started as a mystery shopper. You can get certified with Mystery Shopping Providers Association, if you wish.

Where Can I Find More Mystery Shopping Resources?

Check out the IFHB's Mystery Shopping Resources! Also, make sure you have a dictionary and thesaurus available to you while completing your reports. Quite often a digital watch or one with a second hand is required to time a purchase. Also, a small recorder is handy to take notes on once you leave the establishment. Neither of these are required unless otherwise instructed but they do come in handy.

Good luck with your mystery shopping and enjoy the fabulous perks!

Dawn Roberts, is the creator of - your complete home business resource. IFHB will help you from the planning stage, straight through to marketing your ideas for home businesses! Learn how you can start, maintain and propel a phenomenally successful home based business!

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