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Being a Secret Shopper

If you love to shop or dine out, a part time job being a secret shopper might suit you. You have the chance to share your shopping experience to improve the business. Payment is often in goods or discounts rather than cash but there are many different programs.
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4 Questions

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Does anyone know anything about the online "Mystery Shopper" and how it works. I would like to try it, but don't want to sign up first, do you need a charge card, PayPal, etc?



Thanks in advance if you have any info for me.

Rosa

Answers

By Christine (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful
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NEVER pay to become a Mystery Shopper. I have never paid. Some require that you have a paypal account for them to pay you. Some cut checks monthly or bi-monthly and pay that way. All should require your SS#. I have recently moved to another state and have found three that keep me very busy. Mysteryshop.com, sassieshop.com, & feedbackplus.com are the ones I am currently using. Also, if you have a Schlessinger Associates near you to do in-house studies, you can make $75 - $100/study. I did them in my old state but haven't done one here as it is a pain to drive into the city. Hope this helps.

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November 10, 20060 found this helpful
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Check out jancyn.com. It isn't very lucrative-- I think the most I've made in one month is $100-- but this site is legit. It was mostly going to convenience stores and finding out if they really do ask for id when you want to purchase alcohol. I got paid $8 per shop for that. I had to make up an excuse not to buy the alcohol after they rung it up and checked my id-- they didn't reimburse for that. I've been reimbursed for eating at a restaurant a couple of times, but didn't earn anything extra besides the free meal.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful
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I work for a number of mystery shop companies and never paid them a fee to work. Google mystery shopping or secret shopping and follow up with the companies listed. Most are legit, and many do require you to have a PP acct to be paid. Never pay anyone a fee to find you work. There are many legit companies, but consider each assignment and whether you will actually make any money doing it. As a rule I never take a shop that pays les than $10, and even that isn't enough unless I get to have a meal, a movie or make a purchase at their expense. You have to drive to the shop, shop according to what they tell you to do, drive home and then do a report-so consider what your time and gas is worth.

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful
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Check out mspa.org its the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association for legitimate companies. It's the equivalent of the BBB. I dont shop for any companies unless they are listed on their site.

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Can anyone tell me about the secret shopper jobs in markets? I believe people are hired to visit competitors stores and record prices, etc. Any advice? Also, how can I get that job. Thanks.

By ANNETTE from Cocoa Beach, FL

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December 11, 20090 found this helpful
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Sometimes secret shoppers are for the stores that employ you. My sister many years ago was a secret shopper for a company. They went around to their own stores. They would be given so much money to purchase things. The tricky part was doing different things that require the purchase to be rerung or modified. They did this to catch cashiers ripping off the stores.

You go through the line, wait till everything is rung up and given a total then notice something by the register to purchase like a candy bar. You would say "Oh why not" and hand the candy bar to the cashier. Many of them would just say, "that's 50 cents plus tax so 54 cents please". But they wouldn't ring up the sale, they pocket the money.

That's just one variation of secret shoppers. She did it in Connecticut and I don't know who the employer was.

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December 15, 20090 found this helpful
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It's best if you apply for and are accepted from the store itself because then you're an actual employee. You can apply for the postion at several stores in your area because being a secret shopper is not a full time position and you can schedule each secret shopper shopping accordingly.

I've never heard of an online secret shopper application being legitimate :-( Those companies expect you to pay for all costs up front without guarantee of reimbursement :-( If you're an actual employee of a local store you'll be protected!

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December 15, 20090 found this helpful
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One that is legit is Ritter and Associates. Toledo, OH. You can look them up on the internet. They are very legit and very honest. I am personal friends with the guy that used to own the company. Even tho there is a new owner, they are very much on the up and up. They have a physical building and do other things at the company such as loss prevention and phone work. I used to work for them. I will tell you though that the pay is not the greatest. It depends on how many hours you want to work and whether or not they have clients in your area. You do have to use your own vehicle and in most cases have a cell phone that is capapble of taking pictures. After you do the shop, you must fill out the paper work on line and fill it out very accurately and be within deadline. You are an independent contractor and therefore are responsible for your own income tax, etc.

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Does anyone know of a legitimate "mystery shopper" website? I would like to do this but am scared of getting scammed.

By Joyce Lambert from Nokomis, AL


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July 24, 20110 found this helpful
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Try Ritter & Associates. They are located in Toledo, OH. However, working as a mystery shopper is not as easy as you think and you don't make a ton of money. You have to use your own car. You have forms to fill out precisely with no errors after the shopping and you also need a cell phone (at your own expense) to take pictures. But this is a very reliable company who has been in business for many years. Hope this helps.

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December 11, 2009

Has anyone ever tried being a "secret shopper"? Is it legit?

Kate from MD

Answers:

Being a Secret Shopper, Is It Legit?

It is legitimate and fun, but you have a certain amount of work to do. First, you don't have to pay anybody to give you names of companies to do mystery shops for. Do a web search and find the companies yourself. Many now have their open assignments online so you can just log in and choose an assignment, but others will email or call you, or expect you to call them.


There will be a list of things you need to look for and remember, and to write a report about. Some reports are as simple as a multiple choice test, but some require narrative answers. I recently did an oil change shop in which I won't be paid any extra money, but I'll get the cost of my oil change back. I had to make an advance phone call, get the guy's name, ask for directions and a price, and let him ask me to make an appointment. When I got there I had to ask how long it would take, and notice several things: who worked on my car, if the restroom was clean and well-stocked, if the cashier was friendly or distracted, and on and on. If you can't remember details, you might have a hard time writing the report. You aren't allowed to take notes on a mystery shop, the customer might easily realize what you are doing.

I've done shops where I've had to make a purchase and then a return on the following day. I've had dinners, show tickets, oil changes, etc. paid for. It won't amount to even a part-time job income, but it can be fun for an extra interest. My husband and I use it to have more dinners out. Some companies will reimburse and also pay extra, between $5 and $15. I signed up with over 20 companies, and it took about 6 months, but I started getting some regular assignments. Some of those companies probably don't have assignments in my area, some use only certified shoppers (certification isn't worth the money, in my opinion) so there are about 6-8 companies I check regularly to work for.

It's fun, so I hope you give it a try. My mom (in her 70s) is also doing mystery shopping, and enjoying it. (10/17/2005)

By Donna

Being a Secret Shopper, Is It Legit?

I have done secret shopper work off and on for about seven years now. I've never had any problem with getting paid. I've done work in restaurant, shoes, fast food, etc. It's not much money, but it does come in handy. (10/17/2005)

By Irene Yanke

Being a Secret Shopper, Is It Legit?

There's a great site at mysteryshop.org. It is MSPA's (Mystery Shop Providers Association) site with ability to search for jobs by state. (10/17/2005)

By Beth

Being a Secret Shopper, Is It Legit?

Although I haven't been a Secret Shopper, I can tell you for certain that it is legit. Companies hire people to be a secret shopper as a way of checking to see that franchises running their business are doing their job exactly the way the company wants it done. For example, are they asking customers certain questions like would they like oil checked, in a gas station business, etc. If you have a chance to do this go ahead as it's a great way to make extra money. (10/22/2005)

By Linda

Being a Secret Shopper"... Is It Legit?

I have been a secret shopper before. It is a real thing, but it's also easy to get duped. Don't pay them anything no matter what. And it's difficult to find a reputable company, but when you do, it's awesome.(09/21/2007)

By Ann

Being a Secret Shopper, Is It Legit?

I was a mystery shopper for a pizza chain. I had to order pizza once a month, and have it delivered. There was a form with questions that I had to fill out. Everything from times, to uniforms, to smiles. And of course, rate the pizza; eveness of toppings, cooked properly, etc. I even had to take the temperature of the pizza. And sometimes I was told to return the pizza with a complaint.

It was great getting pizza every month, except for the fact that the pizzas they had me order cost more than the amount of money they paid me, but we had pizza every month for 6 months for about $5 for a large pizza, pretty good. The only problem is that most companies only want you for 6 months, or so, because the businesses get to know who the mystery shoppers are if you do it for any longer. I was a restaurant manager for a few years and we could spot most of the shoppers after the second visit. (07/06/2008)

By Dena Roberts

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