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There are hundreds of mystery shopper companies that work with thousands of businesses on mystery shopping assignments on a daily basis. Mystery shopping is not a scam. I have been a mystery shopper for 4 years now. In that time I have performed close to 100 shops. My favorite shops are ones that I can do with my family, which typically consist of dinners, activities for children, and stores with products children use.
There are many mystery shopping jobs that do not allow you to take children with you, in fact, most of them do not allow children. In the past four years I have not gotten rich from mystery shopping, but I have taken my family out to extra dinners and enjoyed extra merchandise that we would not have normally experienced or enjoyed. Becoming a mystery shopper is easy but there are some things to keep in mind.
If you are new to mystery shopping you will find these six important tips for becoming a mystery shopper very helpful.
1) Research, Research, Research! You have the power of the internet at your hands. Before applying with a company do your research. Check the forums on Volition.com or MysteryShopperForum.com. See if a company is certified by the Mystery Shopper Provider’s Association. Legit companies are not always certified, but certified companies are always legit.
2) Be Able to Spot a Scam. Never pay to apply to a mystery shopping company. A reputable company will not charge you for an application. Would you pay your current boss an application fee? Do not fall for outrageous claims. Sites that claim to pay $50 to $100 per hour for mystery shopping are not legit. Check cashing is always a scam.
3) Don’t Be Afraid to Give Your Social Security Number. Mystery shopper companies hire you as an independent contractor. They are required to report your earnings to the IRS like all employers do. If they do not collect this information then they are breaking the law.
4) Create a Company List. Keep track of the sites you sign up with. Make a spreadsheet that has the mystery shopper company’s website, your username, and your password. Include a notes column and keep track of jobs that are available in your area so that a few weeks after you sign-up when you wonder, “Where was that Alphabet City shop again?”, the answer will be easily accessible.
5) Get Organized. Whether it is on your phone, your calendar, or in a notebook, organization is essential to mystery shopping. Make columns that include the mystery shopping company name and website, shopping assignment name, due date, shopper fee, and paid date. Below is a copy of my spreadsheet. I found that the more details I fill in the better I am at keeping track of everything.
6) Check Your Email Daily. You have the option of receiving daily emails from companies as they post jobs. If you like your inbox clean and clutter free I recommend starting an email just for mystery shopping. The faster you reply to emails the more likely you are to be assigned a job, so it is imperative that you check your email daily (if not more frequently).
If you would like more information about mystery shopping or you would like to read about my experiences with certain companies please visit Coupons Are Great. I truly enjoy sharing my experiences and love helping people learn about mystery shopping.
About Leandrea. Leandrea is a married mother of two young girls, ages 2.5 and 4. After graduating with her Master’s degree in Special Education Leandrea taught for a year as a 1st/2nd grade teacher at a charter school. Two years later she became a mom and found coupons! A week before her younger daughter was born (almost 16 months after the birth of her first daughter) she accidentally discovered Target’s semi-annual toy clearance. After that she decided that if she could get amazing deals on toys she should be able to do the same with food and household items. By adding mystery shopping to the mix Leandrea found that her budget could be stretched even further.