If you’ve been looking for a legitimate way to make a few extra bucks per month without actually getting a second job, mystery shopping may have crossed your mind. Many people like the general idea of becoming a mystery shopper, but they are afraid that mystery shopping opportunities are nothing more than a scam. Discover the truth behind mystery shopping and learn whether it’s a good opportunity for you.
What Does a Mystery Shopper Do?
Mystery shoppers visit businesses that they are assigned to assess to determine how well the business is operating. In many cases, the mystery shopper has to purchase a specific product, which they later return so they can evaluate the store’s quality of customer service. Each job that a mystery shipper receives has specific details and instructions. For example, a mystery shopper may be instructed to count the amount of open checkout lanes, track the amount of time it takes them to check out or return an item, and inspect the cleanliness of the bathrooms. You can’t take notes as you go, because you have to be discreet, so mystery shoppers need to have a good memory. Once the mystery shopper leaves the premises, he or she fills out a questionnaire about the experience to receive compensation.
How Are Mystery Shoppers Paid?
Mystery shoppers aren’t always paid in cash. Some assignments allow the shopper to keep the item that they purchased — the company reimburses them for cost of the item. Sometimes mystery shoppers are assigned to review restaurants, and are paid by getting the cost of their meal reimbursed. The best shops allow you to keep the merchandise they’ve reimbursed you for and pay you in cash.
Finding Mystery Shopping Jobs
While you may come across a few scams from time to time, there are many legitimate mystery shopping companies out there. A good way to start is to obtain your mystery shopper certification through the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association (MSPA) Americas. The website also has links to several legit companies that hire mystery shoppers to inspect locations in their area. You don’t have to be certified in order to get work, but a certification can lead to higher paying tasks and jobs you may not otherwise be able to access.
The fact is, mystery shopping is legitimate work. It might not replace your full time job, and the amount of opportunities in your area may vary, but mystery shoppers do exist. If you’d like to be a mystery shopper, all you need to do is find a reputable company and submit an application.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!