Are you searching for some solid information about mystery shopping jobs and wondering if this is legitimate or another scam that you need to avoid.
Mystery shopping has actually been around for nearly 80 years now and this was one of the multitudes of ways for you to earn money for doing something that we all love to do which is shopping.
Back in 2011 before I discovered affiliate marketing, I applied for many mystery shopping positions which unfortunately ended up taking advantage of me and almost had me commit fraud.
I have always wanted to do a post on this topic and really dig deep to see if there really were any legitimate companies out there that would pay you for this type of work.
Surprisingly enough, I was able to uncover quite a bit of information regarding this topic and I’ll be sharing all of this with you guys today.
I’ll be showing you if these jobs exist, where to find the best opportunities, a few basic requirements that you’ll need to meet, as well as how much you could potentially earn here.
Follow along and ask me any questions you may have in the comments below and I promise I’ll get back to you A.S.A.P with a detailed and informative reply.
Let’s Get Started!!
A Basic Overview Of Mystery Shopping & Some Background History
Who doesn’t like to shop? Everybody loves new nice things. In most cases, however, the bank account balance just won’t allow it.
Otherwise, you would probably go shopping when you are happy, sad, bored, excited, annoyed and pretty much every other time.
Because circumstances don’t give you that luxury, you have to restrain yourself; which sucks if you are a shopaholic.
What if someone paid you to shop?
Yes, you read that right.
Mystery shopping jobs involve getting paid to visit malls, jewelry shops, furniture stores, restaurants and other outlets.
Market research companies and other organizations require someone to be a secret shopper and gather information for them like compliance with rules and regulations, customer service, and prices.
The store or outlet usually has no idea that you are there to gather information, as you pretend to be just another shopper, hence the name “mystery” or “secret” shopper.
The mystery shopping concept was started or became common in the early 1940’s (so it is really not something new). Back then, it was a tool to weigh employee integrity.
The job was mainly done by private investigators to assess retail stores and banks. The concept has since evolved into a known industry and is used in movie theaters, hotels, gas stations, and (lately) the medical industry, among others.
What Exactly Does A Mystery Shopper Do?
Since this is a part-time job, mostly, you work according to your availability. Once you let your employer know that you are available, they give you a list of the target mall, shop or restaurant and a set of instructions.
Sometimes you may be given a specific time for visiting the shop (maybe during peak hours). In some cases, you will be emailed an evaluation form that you are supposed to fill for every place you visit.
After you have understood the instructions clearly, you discuss the estimated time you will be working and agree on a deadline.
The next step is the job itself. It may entail actually visiting the store or calling them over the phone.
Carry out the instructions as outlined by your employer, for instance, asking about prices and promotions.
While filling the forms and grading employees, try to be honest about how you were treated.
When you are done, notify your employer and send in your forms. If you worked more hours than you had estimated, let your employer know so that you can be compensated.
How Much Can You Earn As A Mystery Shopper?
Nobody wants to start a job not knowing how much they will get paid, or if they will get paid at all. The same goes for aspiring mystery shoppers.
However, you must understand that, although some people end up making a career out of mystery shopping, that will most likely not be your case.
Mystery shopping is best suited as a supplementary source of income; side hustle, if you like.
A lot of mystery shoppers are paid per hour because it is a part-time job for most people. Occasionally, you will find employers that pay a flat rate, but this is rare unless you are experienced.
If that is the case, you can expect $40,000 – $70,000 annually.
Beginners working on hourly contracts are usually paid minimum wages, 8/hr. it’s not a discouraging amount and if you work hard and become experienced you can easily rise to $25/hr.
Other secret shoppers are paid per assignment, which ranges from $10 to $75 dollars.
Mystery Shopper Scams
For clarity, mystery shopper jobs are not scams. However, online mystery shopping has really made it easier for scammers to invade the industry.
In your curiosity and eagerness to get into the mystery shopping business, you may want to be very careful not to fall prey to these sly frauds and scammers.
With that being said, here are a few things you should be on the lookout for to avoid being scammed or potentially committing fraud unknowingly like I almost did.
- Companies that offer you work and don’t bother with a screening process
- Employers that require you to pay to become a secret shopper
- Companies that pay you even before you begin working(Money laundering)
- Companies that are not in your country (it is easier to verify a local company)
What Are The Requirements Of A Mystery Shopper?
It’s never wise to jump right into any job without knowing what is required of you and how you can be good at it—however easy it may sound.
Mystery shopping is about shopping but that is not all there is to it.
There are some skills that you have to possess to be good at it.
You should be objective and open-minded.
You may be asked to evaluate a restaurant you like or one that you do not. It is important that you put your feelings aside and be honest to avoid being bias.
You should also have a keen eye for detail.
It helps if you can remember how the employees carried themselves, treated customers, whether they were friendly and even the language they used.
You should be able to communicate clearly. Employers want someone who can give clear and detailed feedback.
Where To Find Mystery Shopping Opportunities
ShadowShopper- This is more of a middleman that connects mystery shoppers to companies that need them.
To get jobs, go to their website and sign up.
They have two packages; the Bronze package that is free and the Gold package that goes for $6.95.
Volition.com: this is a site that lists mystery shopping companies. They have quite a number listed and you can sign up for all of them to increase your chances.
The listed companies are reputable.
JobSlinger: if you do not want to pay a dime, try JobSlinger.
It’s just like ShadowShopper, except it’s free.
There are tons of companies listed there.
Do not kill yourself trying to stretch your paycheck to meet all your financial needs.
Try your hand at online side hustles like mystery shopping.
This job will not require you to leave your job and you can create a schedule that works for you.
Just make sure you love shopping and have skills that will make employers want to hire you.
For every job you do, be thorough. Be keen not to fall for scams.
My Closing Thoughts
Mystery shopping can be an excellent way for you to earn some cash for doing things that you already do anyway.
Probably 1 of the benefits that I like the most about this opportunity is that you can go out to eat, go shopping, as well as participate in many other activities at the company’s expense.
You may need to pay out of pocket when you officially go out and shop a specific business, however, you will be fully reimbursed once you turn in your timesheets and complete all the necessary paperwork to get paid.
How sweet is that?
If you have always been interested in mystery shopping jobs and wondering if there are truly any legit companies out there then you should check into the companies that I’ve listed above.
However, due to the fact that these jobs are only part-time and the income potential is limited, you should think of this as a way to supplement your income, not replace your 9 to 5 job.
If you’re looking for a way to build a business that will earn you a much more substantial amount of money doing something you love then you might want to check into a company called Wealthy Affiliate.
This is where I officially got my start in the online world and the place that has shown me how to create this very website that you’re visiting that earns me a solid 4 figure income each month with this number constantly growing as we speak.
If this sounds like something you would be interested learning more about then I would highly recommend that you check them out for yourself and see what they can do for you.
Other than that, I really hope this article has given you guys some insight into what a mystery shopper does, how much they can earn, and a few of the legitimate mystery shopping companies that are out there in the online world.
Questions, comments, feedback?
A personal experience you would like to share?
Feel free to leave them for me in the comments below!!
Until Next Time