Mystery Shopping Advice?

I am interested in mystery shopping. Has anyone done this with any companies that don't charge a fee and are easy to deal with? I know there are a lot of these companies, but I also know you have to watch which one you deal with.


Thanks for any help,
Malinda from Pennsylvania

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July 20, 20060 found this helpful

I currently do shops for National Shopping Service, and they appear to be legit. No sign-up fees, and I have gotten paid. It's not much, but for free pizza and gas (those are the only two types of shops I've gotten so far), it's been worth it.

good luck!

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July 20, 20060 found this helpful

I've done stops, about 12, for three different companies. They aren't hard to find. I decided however, that it was way too much hassle for not enough compensation. Escpecially now with gas prices it would be even worse.


The biggest pain were the extensive forms to fill-in after shopping the assignment. It would take me 20-30 minutes! And I'm pretty good with a keyboard. I decided that while it could probably get faster as I did more assignments for the same companies, it still wasn't worth it.

BAI is one that I recall if your're still hungry.

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July 21, 20060 found this helpful

I did mystery shopping with several companies for about two years. I stopped because it isn't worth the time and effort, and now with gas prices being what they are, it probably actually costs money to mystery shop!


My husband wasn't happy about the extra time and hassle for him either, as he does my taxes. People don't think of the fact that they do have to pay taxes on that income, as most mystery shopping companies sign you up as an independent contractor - you are self-employed and must pay taxes as such.
I liked the "Shop N Chek" system the can check to see if there are shops near you and sign up for them online. Don't know if they still do it that way but that's how it was a year or two ago. They also always paid me on time, and sometimes even called to offer me shops after I had done quite a few successful shops.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
July 21, 20060 found this helpful

Never pay to get work. These are scams! Google search under mystery shopping and you will get lots of companies. Due to the price of gas, you really have to weight the cost of the shop to you in terms of time and travel vs. the compensation. You aren't making money if you get a free meal and no money (or too little) at a place you wouldn't eat at anyway.


I never do any shops now for less than 15 dollars compensation (i.e. PAY). That is apart from the reimbursement. My time is valuable, as is the gas! Some shops are shop and return, which means you get no product, have to go to the store twice, and file 1 or 2 reports-usually not worth time.

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July 22, 20060 found this helpful

I was a mystery shopper at local coffee places. By the time I filled out the paperwork, it was not worth the ten dollars I received. Twice they didn't pay me because they said I didn't answer one of their zillion questions with enough details. Aggh. No more.


Northern Virginia

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By (Guest Post)
July 23, 20060 found this helpful

NEVER COMPLAIN INTELLIGENTLY TO THE MANAGER OF A GROCERY. HE'LL LIKELY CONVINCE AND CHARM YOU INTO BEING A v o l u n t a r y "MYSTERY SHOPPER", (AND NOT THE ONLY ONE HE HAS!!),WITH A LOT OF FLATTERY AND A LARGE POT OF FLOWERS... one time! I really did a GREAT job for this one groc. and had to write it all down, include names, time, particulars. Although very
interesting to search for things wrong and mistreatment of customers, it gets REALLY OLD after the first time or two, especially without payment.
Plants don't pay the bills, so I'm with the others on this point. Even $15.00 would figure out to be about
minimum wage per hour, AND YOU PAY THE GAS, unless you do as I did and shop while I shopped for my own needs. There are many better jobs that I would try to work if I were younger and in better health!!

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October 13, 20080 found this helpful

Ellis is an apartment mystery shop company. I have worked for them for 6 months. The shops pay $30 and they pay twice a month by check, the reports are done online. I spend 30 minutes on the shop and phone call and 30-45 minutes doing the reports. I have received payment within 2 weeks with no problems, they have an easy site to use with lots of info and they respond to any questions you have.


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