You’ve probably seen the signs or ads which promise that you can make hundreds of dollars every month by shopping and going out to eat. And you’ve probably though it was too good to be true.
Well, those advertisements are likely a little over-the-top and just designed to get you to sign up for some overpriced list which you can find yourself with a little searching online. But Mystery Shopping is a very legitimate source of income and in many area, the jobs are plentiful and the pay is good.
Erin recently emailed me about her experiences with Mystery Shopping:
I heard about the idea of “mystery shopping” a few years ago, when my husband was in between coming home from a tour in Afghanistan, finding a temporary job, and returning to Active Duty Military. We needed a little extra cash, and this seemed to work well with my schedule.
At that time, I only had my son, but I’ve continued to do these shops with my second child. There are some very simple shops that pay $5 and $10, all the way up to more complex shops that pay out up to $200!
I also have taken on jobs that have compensated me for meals that my family and I have eaten. I get paid very quickly and I have never had any
problems with any of the sites I’ve used. A few of them are:
Mystery Shoppers Provider Association
National Shopping Service
Again, these are all real businesses. I have done jobs for every single one of these companies and have been paid for all of my work. -Erin
When I first began mystery shopping, I signed up for all of the legitimate mystery shopping companies I could find. I opened up a separate email account which was dedicated to mystery shopping emails and used that when I signed up. It took me hours to sign up with all of the companies and it was quite time-consuming.
If you’ll thoroughly fill out all the applications and have patience, you’ll likely begin to see quite a number of job opportunities sent to you. Many times, these jobs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so you’ll want to check your email for job openings a few times each day and be quick to respond to any which you are interested in.
Most mystery shopping jobs pay between $7-$15 and include some sort of reimbursement as well. I have done lots of fast food shops, casual dining, high-end restaurants, gas stations, beauty supply stores, pet stores, and even a bowling alley, to name a few. I found restaurant shops to be my favorite as they usually not only reimbursed for a meal for myself and my husband, but they also usually paid at least an extra $10 for the work involved. It was very worth it to me to get a nice free dinner date with my husband some cash — all for about 30 minutes of extra work!
One very important caution: DO NOT PAY TO MYSTERY SHOP! Legitimate jobs or companies do not require that you pay a fee to join or be accepted as a mystery shopper. There are many scam companies out there charging fees for lists or supposed job opportunities which are nothing that you cannot find yourself by applying to the companies listed above.
A good mystery shopper is someone who is attentive to detail and thorough in everything they do. In addition, it is very important you keep accurate records and follow instructions carefully.
Mystery shopping is a lot of work–especially in the beginning when you are first learning the ropes–but it can be a fun and rewarding experience which also can help supplement your income.
If you’re looking for even more recommendations for legitimate mystery shopping companies, check out this Facebook post with great info from readers who are experienced mystery shoppers!
Have you been a mystery shopper before? If so, I’d love to hear your tips and advice for someone who is considering dipping their toes into the world of mystery shopping.
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