Make Money Monday: Mystery Shopping (Guest Post)

So many people automatically think “scam” when they hear mystery shopping. Not true! There are many reputable and legitimate companies out there. I have been mystery shopping for 2 years now and enjoy supplementing my income by $100-$500 per month. I tend to concentrate now only on fine dining restaurants so I can easily get reimbursement of $200 in 1 assignment!

First of all, mystery shopping companies have you sign Independent Contractor Agreements when you register. These agreements say that you will not discuss what stores and restaurants they have as their clients. You don’t want to break this rule. I get a lot of emails from people asking me which companies have which stores and I can’t answer them. I recommend signing up for as many companies as possible since you never know when they may get a great new client in your area! I am signed up with over 100 companies but only regularly shop for 10-15 of them.

I find the companies I sign up with on bulletin boards such as Volition or through the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association. I only post on my blog, Nicole’s Nickels, about companies I have personally shopped with and been timely paid by. I recommend signing up with 5-10 companies to start. Some companies will email you when they have assignments, others post their assignments once a month and still others post throughout the month. There are some sites I check every day for new assignments.
You won’t get rich mystery shopping but it does let me go out to nice dinners and movies, getting reimbursed for meals, tickets, concessions, etc. To be a successful mystery shopper you’ll need a computer and scanner and organization! Please note that many shops are reimbursement only, meaning you purchase goods or food and are then reimbursed after successful submission of your shop report. Be sure to read each assignment very carefully and ask questions before you go!

5 companies that you should sign up for are:

  1. A Closer Look
  2. Focus on Service
  3. Marketforce
  4. Feedback Plus
  5. Shoppers Critique

For more information on mystery shopping as well as to see the companies I am signed up with, please visit Nicole’s Nickels.

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