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Being a Secret Shopper... Is It Legit?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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December 12, 20090 found this helpful

I have never done it but I have heard there are legit ones out there. Unfortunately there are far more scammers.

I would read the links below first. And be sure to research any company online. Go to google.com and search "company name" scam (or review, complaints, etc) and also at the BBB.

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www.snopes.com/.../shopper.asp

articles.moneycentral.msn.com/.../how-to-become-a-mystery-shopper.aspx

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