Good customer service is fast becoming a fading trend and companies are losing profits because dissatisfied customers spread bad news faster than satisfied customers. Just think about it. When was the last time you told your friends or family members about a store that offered average to exceptional service? Now how many times have you “ranted” about customer service that was really lousy?
If you’d like to change the way employees treat you and your family, you could send an unsolicited letter to the manager or CEO of the company, or you could let your opinion carry more weight by becoming a professional shopper. Professional shoppers, or mystery shoppers as they’re often referred to, get paid to eat out at fast-food restaurants, to dine at sit-down restaurants, to visit local attractions, and shop for cool things like books, clothes, electronics, and baby products while spying on employees and evaluating the company’s public appearance.
Mystery shop assignments come in many forms: restaurants, apartment complexes, hotels, shopping malls, bookstores, financial institutions, banks, clothing stores, auto dealerships, and even auto repair shops—which shops you take are entirely up to you. The idea is to take mystery shop assignments that you feel comfortable doing because if you don’t feel comfortable, you’ll forget an important aspect of the assignment and won’t get paid.
Each mystery shop assignment varies in both payment structure and duties, but on average, a part-time shopper could earn enough money to make a car payment while the more serious shopper could earn enough to make a house payment. And that’s not counting the reimbursements received for meals, products, or services purchased.
Mystery shopping companies are nationwide, so it doesn’t matter if you live in California or Iowa... if you have a decent size city nearby, your services will be needed. And since mystery shopping companies rotate their shoppers so store employees don’t get suspicious and evaluations stay untainted, there’s always a need for new mystery shoppers.
Mystery shopping is a relatively easy job to perform, just go about your normal day-to-day shopping routine then report back to the company. What you report will vary from company to company, but all reports will be written out so it’s important that your English writing skills are up to par. If you weren’t an “A” student in English, don’t worry. You don’t have to be an English major to answer the online surveys; you simply need a basic understanding of the English language.
A routine mystery shop will consist of finding out the name of the person who helped you, describing the overall appearance of the establishment you visited, and detailing any positive and/or negative experiences.
If you were visiting a clothing store for example, the hiring company may want to know how many sales associates were on the floor when you entered the building and what each associate was doing. The company may also want to know if you were greeted at the door and if not, when you were approached by an employee for help. The company may further want to know where the promotional items were located in the store and if the employee helping you informed you about the promotion. Finally, the company may want you to buy a piece of clothing and pay with cash, and reporting back to the company what that employee did with the cash once he/she received it.
If you were visiting a fast-food restaurant for example, the hiring company may want to know how clean the bathrooms were, if there were any flies or other bugs flying around the sitting area, if the employees were wearing hairnets and/or gloves when preparing your food, how hot or cold your food was, how your food tasted, and if you were able to get a refill on your drink when asked.
Mystery shopping companies are everywhere, but there are also a lot of mystery shop scams so you need to be really careful about who you work with. Take the time to read the contracts you are signing and make sure that you never pay an application, club, or membership fee to become a mystery shopper. And never, ever deal with wire transfers or shipping of products out of the country.
If you're new to mystery shopping and want to know more about the ins and outs, download my free e-book, Mystery Shopping Earns You Perks! How to run and operate a mystery shop business.
In just under 61 pages, you'll discover how mystery shopping works, how to answer surveys, how to write narrative reports, and where to sign up for legitimate mystery shop jobs. As of January 14, 2014, I updated all the Mystery Shop Company links!
I received my first "shop" within 24 hours. I get to take my kids to ride on a carousel at a local mall—how fun! Thanks—great information in an easy to read/use format.
-- Susan Stitch
I received your e-book on Tuesday, April 1st, and had a shop scheduled by the next morning!
-- Dawn C. Pitsch, WA
THANK YOU! You delivered some very valuable information. I will continue to recommend your mystery shopping e-book to my friends and family.
-- Tracey Jamison
I have already started getting many mystery shops and I am only to letter 'C' on the list!
Thanks for telling me about Mystery Shopping. With your help, I am enjoying the opportunity to make some extra cash—a few hundred dollars a month from just one company! And to think I thought it was a scam and was scared to get started.
-- Virginia, NY
Thank you for the wonderful e-book. Also, I came across a site that was offering a class for Mystery Shoppers and it was 60 bucks!! Sure glad I found your e-book first. Thanks again.
-- Jessica Battle
My first shop was a lot of fun and I got great feedback. Due to summer craziness around our house I'm holding off until school starts to really jump in with both feet, but your manual was VERY helpful to finding and successfully completing my shop.
Thanks for the great information. It's a great way to get something we already do, for free, like free oil changes, tire rotations, meals at a restaurant, watching a movie, reading a book, etc.
-- Scott, PA
Here I am 4 years after downloading your e-book on mystery shopping and I wanted to update you—to let you know what a wonderful tool you have made available. That e-book started me in a business that has given me a great part-time income. It's helping me to stay at home with my kids... You have saved me hundreds, and the e-book has made me thousands over the years... THANKS MUM!
-- Amanda Krukow
Alyice Edrich spent 13 years producing an award-winning online publication for BUSY parents. She has authored 10 e-books, won a few industry awards, interviewed over 375 entrepreneurs, and has been featured in print and online. She is also the creative soul behind this website. To learn more about her, click here.
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