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Old 03-27-2010, 11:27 AM   #1
Smiling Cheshire Cat
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Mystery shopping?

Does anyone do any mystery shopping? How does it work and how are you compensated?

Thanks-
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #2
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Basically you are an independent contractor. You would need to research companies to sign up with (and a good, busy mystery shopper will be signed up with dozens if not hundreds of companies) as many companies as you want. A good source for checking out the companies is volition.com.

Shops are assigned a variety of ways (self sign, email, phone). It would be your responsibility to complete the shop. Ahead of time you would know the parameters and pay or reimbursement.

Payment generally comes in the form of monetary or reimbursements, a combination of both, and rarely gift cards for future trips to the restaurant or retail establishment.

You do not have to pay to sign up with any of the reputable mystery shopping companies. You will have to give them your SSN and keep track of everything for taxes. You will need to give the authority to pay you via direct deposit (so they will need you acct info) or paypay. Very few companies still pay by check.

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Old 03-27-2010, 07:48 PM   #3
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I've always wanted to be a mystery shopper - I've worked a couple of places that participated in mystery shopping and was always in awe of the job!
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:50 PM   #4
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Thumbs up I'm a mystery shopper

I've been a mystery shopper for about 10 years and have done lots of different types of shops: fast food, coffee shops, restaurant, casino, clothes stores, food stores, hardware stores, rental cars, parking lots, and many others. I've even done one hotel shop.

I enjoy doing them and only do the ones that fit into my schedule. Hubby and I can go eat out and get reimbursed for our food. The reports are done online and some take longer than others; generally the shops that pay the most require the longer reports. And you will have to have some money upfront to buy the "?" for the mystery shop and then the mystery shopping company will reimburse you and pay your fee usually within the next month. Some companies use Paypal, but most mail out checks.

I'm using my mystery shop money this year towards our trip to Disney! Let us know if you have any other questions.

P.S. NEVER pay to work for a Mystery Shopping company!!! I've never paid and I've done quite well!
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSUmom4kids View Post
I've been a mystery shopper for about 10 years and have done lots of different types of shops: fast food, coffee shops, restaurant, casino, clothes stores, food stores, hardware stores, rental cars, parking lots, and many others. I've even done one hotel shop.

I enjoy doing them and only do the ones that fit into my schedule. Hubby and I can go eat out and get reimbursed for our food. The reports are done online and some take longer than others; generally the shops that pay the most require the longer reports. And you will have to have some money upfront to buy the "?" for the mystery shop and then the mystery shopping company will reimburse you and pay your fee usually within the next month. Some companies use Paypal, but most mail out checks.

I'm using my mystery shop money this year towards our trip to Disney! Let us know if you have any other questions.

P.S. NEVER pay to work for a Mystery Shopping company!!! I've never paid and I've done quite well!

Ok we must work for entirely different companies - I checked my records and last month I worked for two companies that paid by check, ten different companies that paid by paypal, and 4 that paid by direct deposit.

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:59 AM   #6
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I did some mystery shopping quite a few years ago and I didn't like it. I always felt like I was deceiving someone. I had to pose as a customer in a store or bank and pretend I was interested in some service or another. Once or twice I mystery shopped in a restaurant. That's okay because you are there to eat and you are really buying the food, so no deception there. The other times I was pretending to buy something or open an account - didn't like that. One time I was sent to count the seats in a movie theatre after they showed the movie - I think it was "The Mexican". I guess it was to show if they allowed enough seats for the movie. I always got paid to do the jobs though - no paying them to do it.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Can you guys share your shopping resource via pm? I would be greatly appreciative. Any little bit towards Disney would be awesome!

Thanks,
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #8
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Can you guys share your shopping resource via pm? I would be greatly appreciative. Any little bit towards Disney would be awesome!

Thanks,
Every area is shopped by different companies and one company might have a contract this month and next month it goes to another company (which in fact just did happen with a large restaurant chain I shop monthly). So the key is to be signed up with MANY companies. Dozens, hundreds, seriously.

Go to volition.com and there is a pretty comprehensive list of reputable mystery shopping companies. I have shopped over ten years and still find new companies to sign up with and others that have gone along the wayside.

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Old 03-28-2010, 10:45 PM   #9
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It depends upon where you live. I get a lot of requests but most pay an average of $5-10 on the good end. You can not live off of being a shopper. If I was around the 21 yr age I could get a lot of good shops for alcohol buys. I did work for one company where I could do a shop on my lunch and make $15 but the store decided to stop requesting these shops.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenFrasier View Post
I did some mystery shopping quite a few years ago and I didn't like it. I always felt like I was deceiving someone. I had to pose as a customer in a store or bank and pretend I was interested in some service or another. Once or twice I mystery shopped in a restaurant. That's okay because you are there to eat and you are really buying the food, so no deception there. The other times I was pretending to buy something or open an account - didn't like that. One time I was sent to count the seats in a movie theatre after they showed the movie - I think it was "The Mexican". I guess it was to show if they allowed enough seats for the movie. I always got paid to do the jobs though - no paying them to do it.
Thank you Ellen! Getting paid to get waited on shouldn't be anybody's birthright so industrial spying should not be a lazy person's way to riches. Anybody expecting it to be had better remember that the fastest way to get ripped off is to try to get something for nothing.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:18 AM   #11
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I've only done one so far. It was getting my taxes done and getting a loan on the refund (and I actually had to get the loan). The only part they cared about feedback on was the loan process, nothing about the actual tax prep. I was reimbursed for the cost of having my state and federal taxes prepared and e-filed, reimbursed the fees and interest for the loan, and paid $70 for my time. It took several hours to do it and scan/send the copious amounts of documentation required for this particular shop (most have far less required).

On the plus side, I know I haven't been doing my taxes wrong as the refund amount they came up with was the same as what I had (my taxes were already entered into the computer and ready to file when I found out about the mystery shop).

This particular company pays once per month for all the previous months completed shops.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:57 AM   #12
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Can some one pm the contacts as well. I have signed up with a couple of companys and no work!
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:36 AM   #13
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Can some one pm the contacts as well. I have signed up with a couple of companys and no work!
I could PM you a list of ten companies and none might have shops where you live - that is why you need to sign up and sign up and sign up. Go to volition.com and go down the list of companies and start signing up. If you sign up for ones that you self assign you will need to be dilligent about checking for shops.

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Old 04-23-2010, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSUmom4kids View Post
I've been a mystery shopper for about 10 years and have done lots of different types of shops: fast food, coffee shops, restaurant, casino, clothes stores, food stores, hardware stores, rental cars, parking lots, and many others. I've even done one hotel shop.

I enjoy doing them and only do the ones that fit into my schedule. Hubby and I can go eat out and get reimbursed for our food. The reports are done online and some take longer than others; generally the shops that pay the most require the longer reports. And you will have to have some money upfront to buy the "?" for the mystery shop and then the mystery shopping company will reimburse you and pay your fee usually within the next month. Some companies use Paypal, but most mail out checks.

I'm using my mystery shop money this year towards our trip to Disney! Let us know if you have any other questions.

P.S. NEVER pay to work for a Mystery Shopping company!!! I've never paid and I've done quite well!
Just wondering what sites or companies you use?
I saw it on the news once, and the links that they had, all required a payment to sign up as a mystery shopper.

thanks!
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:28 PM   #15
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Just wondering what sites or companies you use?
I saw it on the news once, and the links that they had, all required a payment to sign up as a mystery shopper.

thanks!
As mentioned in the above posts you need to go to voliton.com and go through the mystery shopping list. Before anyone gets on that list the message board readers give their review of the company as there are most likely people who have worked for them before.

It is not necessary to pay to get a list to sign up at mystery shopping sites but it will take you a great deal of time to sort through the companies and fill out all the applications.

I personally have had my biggest month ever with over 100 shops this month. I did not pay to do any of them...in fact they are all paying me!

Liz
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