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Mystery Shopping: Can you Make Money?

You will see ads make money mystery shopping, so begs the questions:

  1. What is Mystery Shopping?
  2. Can you make real income with mystery shopping?

Let’s start with the first question, what is mystery shopping? Mystery shopping is when you go to a place of business like a retail store, bank, restaurant, as a few main examples, also this can entail calling a place of business to inquire about their establishment, like apartments. In a retail store, you may need to make a purchase to rate the sales associate, for a bank you may need to inquire about opening an account to rate the type of service that you received. At a restaurant, you will rate the service and your overall experience. With apartments, you may need to call and visit the apartment complex to be able to rate your entire experience from the initial phone call to the tour of the apartment complex. How does this work?

First let me say there are scams just like anything else. You Never should pay for a list of companies or any type of training to be a mystery shopper. You do not need any special training or to be certified to be a mystery shopper. Also mystery shopping companies do not charge you to view their positions, they need consumers to complete these tasks for their clients. Most companies pay you through PayPal and have set days that payment is made, for example, the 15th of every month. Keep in mind you are an independent contractor, not an employee so no taxes will be taken out. You will need to keep track of your earnings.

Now how do you find the jobs? You sign up on a company’s website (list of companies at the end of this article, plus a site that lists most of these companies), you will create an account with your login details. Once you create your account, you will be able to search for assignments in your area. It will give you the store name, location, description of what you Ned to do, plus the pay. You can also opt in to receive emails when assignments come available in your area. Although the companies are different, their systems will be similar.

So you are thinking, sounds simple enough what is the catch? Can I make a real income? Mystery shopping is legitimate (with the right companies), I know this firsthand. Years ago when I was a stay at home mom, I became a mystery shopper. I was curious to learn more about it and if you could earn an income doing it. I found it to be a fun job that I could do on my own time, perfect for a stay at home mom. You are able to choose which assignments you want to complete and it is very flexible. Now what you really want to know….How much money can you make? Mystery shopping is not going to replace your full time job; it is great if you want to supplement your income or if you are a stay at home mom and would like to earn some extra money each month. You are paid per assignment, which can range from $8 up to $35 (may have higher assignments, but this was the highest I seen) depending on the type of assignment. The pay will be different for each company and assignment. For example, a clothing store may pay $8 to complete the assignment plus reimbursed up to a certain amount to make a purchase. Another example, one of my favorites, is apartment shops; this is where you pretend to be interested in renting an apartment. You can be paid typically anywhere from $15 - $25, but this is a little more involved usually a pre-call is needed to schedule an appointment then you tour the apartment complex and once home need to complete a detailed report. All of the assignments will require that you complete a report about your experience, the length of the report and questions will be dependent on the company and assignment. There are various assignments, too many to list. One positive is that you can work when you want. If you are looking for something flexible and fun to do then mystery shopping may be for you.

Here is a website that lists legitimate mystery shopping companies, you will need to register for each company separately: http://www.volition.com/mystery.html

Click on the Mystery Shopping Companies List option, they are listed in alphabetical order. Plus there is a forum that you can read up on companies and other people’s experience or ask your own question.