Wow! I'd sure like to make some real money at it! I've only done mystery shopping with Military stores and you have to fill out forms afterward and get a $20 gift card. But I could only do it once a month.
Depending on what you get into you can make some serious cash mystery shopping. Some of the good ones are hard to get, but once you do they will hire you on a regular basis. They have their regular shoppers that they trust will get the job done. So be persistant. I like doing the credit unions and banks they pay well with nothing out of pocket execpt your time. Some pay by check some by pay pal, you can transfer your money out of pay pal into your checking account, so it's no big deal. There are all kinds of mystery shopping, Moives, Trailers for moives, banks & Credit Unions, gas stations (these are a pain in the butt, if they are not an inspection), shoe stores to see if they are putting out certain shoes or displays,ect. I stay away for fast food, pay ok put I just don't like them, Hotels are nice if you can get them. Once you get out there and show you are a good shopper you will get better jobs, also if your certified (cost is 15.00 and a test) you get the better jobs.
The company I use reimburses you X amount of dollars for your shop, plus a payment. So let's say I do a grocery shop. The company reimburses you up to $3.00 for your purchase, and $11.00 payment to do the shop. 20 minutes in the store, then however long it takes to type your report. It's the only company I'm with now, there was one I signed up with, but they hardly ever reimburse for the shop, just a flat payment, and the payment isn't worth the gas usually. But I don't have a list. If you have lots of places near you that the company uses, you could probably do decently at it. I think I would do ok if I signed up for more shops than I do.
I am off to my first mystery shop next week and I must say all goes well untill now but with the company I'm doing the mystery shop for you need to call them after you've signed up for a mystery shop, to tell them that you really signed up So what happens... you need to call abroad (to the Netherlands for me) and make an expensive phone call, just to tell them what you already sent them online. I think that's quite ridiculous, I just hope that they'll pay me on the end of the day, else it was all for nothing.
I shopped a few times for Market Force. The company is fine but all the work I put in to doing a good shop, writing the report, and scanning and submitting the receipts was too much for the meager reward. I figured I would take mostly grocery store assignments because I have to do my own shopping anyway. I found that I spent more than the minimum time in the store to accomplish all the assigned tasks and I ended up buying more stuff. Not a win for me.
I wouldn't accept a mystery show for a store or company that wans't going to be beneficial in some way. I recently accepted a shop for a tennis shoe store. I had to make a purchase and was not allowed to return the purchase. So, if I wanted already in the market for a pair of tennis shoes, I wouldn't spend $50 (for example) for shoes that were more than the shop reimbursement and that took time away from my family. I would only do shops that either paid enough to reinbmurse me for the total time spent (including writing the report and driving time to and from the shop) or was for something that I already wanted to do, and it just made sense to do the shop and get reimbursed anyway.
I generally accept shops for restaurants and oil changes. I also accept a few apartment shops - they do take longer but the pay is pretty good.
But if there is any chance that I'm wasting time (time is money), or it will cost me money that I wouldn't normally spend (that I'm not getting reimbursed for) - then I don't accept the shop.
You do have to be disciplined in order to do this.
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