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Mystery Shopping


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  #1  
January 11th, 2006, 09:56 AM
ConnectingRainbows's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Fletcher, NC
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OK... So Jenn posted about it.... and I just started with mystery shopping... Sounds like a good topic for conversation.

I use http://www.nationalshoppingservice.com and https://www.shopnchek.com.

I don't have any tips yet because I'm still new, but I'd love to hear how Jenn has increased her income so much this year.
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  #2  
January 11th, 2006, 11:10 AM
Alice's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I've never even thought of doing that before. COuld you guys fill me in on the basics??

Thanks!
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  #3  
January 11th, 2006, 12:18 PM
ConnectingRainbows's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
I've never even thought of doing that before. COuld you guys fill me in on the basics??

Thanks![/b]

Well... I probably can't provide much more than the basics so far, so you're in luck! LOL!

Basically, the mystery shopping companies send you to stores, restaurants, etc to evaluate them. You go as a regular customer and check out the things that the mystery shopping company asks you to check out. The place being evaluated doesn't know you are there to evaluate them. Sometimes you make a purchase at a store. Sometimes you purchase a meal at a restaurant. Sometimes you just look around. You then file a report and get paid for it. Reimbursements for your purchase can be none, partial or full.

You get to select which "shops" you are interested in doing.

Probably not the best explanation. Hope it helped a little.
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  #4  
January 11th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Radish4ever's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Here is a copy of an email I sent out to someone regarding mystery shopping:
Hey there - Congratulations on wanting to become a mystery shopper!

I am a stay at home mom/full time student and find mystery shopping to make a GREAT part time income for me! I am also able to take my daughter with me to most of my shops, so that's great too!

You asked for some companies and tips, so I thought I'd pass these along to you



For starters, NEVER EVER pay to mystery shop! They pay YOU, not the other way around!!

Next, don't feel pressured to take jobs that you are unsure about or don't want to take just to "get experience".... It's best to read through all of the information and decide if a shop is right for you. Get your feet wet with a shop that isn't extremely complicated!



A company that you MUST sign up for is Kern Scheduling Services. They are not an actual mystery shopping company, but they schedule shops for OTHER companies that have difficulties finding shoppers. I LOVE Kern! It is FREE to sign up, of course. Go here:

http://kernscheduling.com/shoppers/code.php

A WONDERFUL list of mystery shopping companies can be found here:

http://volition.com/mysteryUSA1.html (This is the first page of companies. At the bottom of that page, there are links to the rest of the alphabetized list.)

APPLY, APPLY, APPLY!



I personally recommend QAMS, Sinclair Service Assessments, and TNS, International.



ALSO - As a mystery shopper, you are an independent contractor. This means that you get to choose which jobs you want to take, you have to do your own taxes, and you have to uphold the strict confidentiality and other standards as stated in each company's Independent Contractor Agreement. Basically, it is against the rules to talk about which company shops which retail establishment and for how much.



This is probably very overwhelming, and I apologize! Start slowly and enjoy!



Oh, also - most companies pay through Paypal, so if you don't have an account, I recommend signing up for one (It's free)....



Have fun!!



Jennifer (Radish4ever) from the WAHM boards



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Get Paid for Shopping!
Secret shoppers are people who visit businesses posing as customers, evaluate the service they receive, and complete an evaluation form. Business owners and managers use these reports to insure their employees are practicing good selling techniques and providing quality service to their customers.


There are many types of mystery shops.
Fast Food, Casual Dining, Fine Dining, Bowling, Grocery Shopping, Movie Rentals, Movie Theaters, Age complianc eshops (like with alcohol or cigs), hotel shops, other retail shops, shops done over the phone, and MORE.

The key is to apply for every company that you can that is listed at the site above (Volition.com) .....



The way I've gotten more shops is that I have applied with more companies, gotten pickier (only taking shops that are worth my time for the money that they offer), and established myself with several different companies.
I've also learned how to "group" shops when possible, doing as many as 6 or 7 in a single outing! That makes for a profitable day!

Any more questions, please ask
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  #5  
January 11th, 2006, 03:05 PM
ConnectingRainbows's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks Jenn!
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  #6  
January 12th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Does anyone know what the earning potential is for mystery shopping. I'd like to find a way to WAH but I don't want to be overwhelmed with several jobs. I want one dependable one I can put everything I have into.
Thanks
Amy
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  #7  
January 12th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Radish4ever's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Does anyone know what the earning potential is for mystery shopping. I'd like to find a way to WAH but I don't want to be overwhelmed with several jobs. I want one dependable one I can put everything I have into.
Thanks
Amy[/b]

It depends on your area, whicj companies you are signed up with, how many shoppers there already are in your area, which shops you are willing to do. etc - so far this month I have made well over$200 in shop fees and about $250 in reimbursements for meals/groceries
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  #9  
January 15th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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I've been a mystery shopping scheduler for over 6 years now. My hobby is to help people get started. I hate seeing people get scammed! Don't ever pay to learn to mystery shop!
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  #10  
January 16th, 2006, 11:12 AM
ConnectingRainbows's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Jenn,

I'm just curious if you have either the silver of gold certificates? Do you think they are worth it?
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  #11  
January 16th, 2006, 04:10 PM
Radish4ever's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am silver certified.
It's SIMPLE to become silver certified (If you've been doing mystery shopping for a while, the info is like second nature to you!), and if you don't have a lot of mystery shopping experience, you will learn a lot through the training they provide prior to taking the test.

I'm not sure if I feel that the certification has changed my shopping at all. I got certified after becoming very established with several of my "staple" companies that I shop for often.....

If you're fairly new and part of a heavily-shopper-populated area, though, companies might see that certification and decide that you might be better suited to the shop because you will have had some prior training.

I don't know! I guess in short, I would say that in my area, shoppers aren't swarming all over the place, so I don't think it has changed my shop load or opportunities.
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  #12  
February 2nd, 2006, 10:59 PM
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this was SOOO completely helpful. iwill be starting soon! thanks!
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  #14  
February 3rd, 2006, 12:47 PM
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I too do shopncheck. The shops in my area are very limited (but I live in the boonies!) I also do gapbuster (most of my mcdonalds shops).
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  #15  
February 3rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
dkmommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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thank you so much for all the info - i just signed up!
when you start out, how do you get re-imbursed? is it a monthly thing?
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  #16  
February 5th, 2006, 03:10 AM
Radish4ever's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Ladies, please do not list which companies shop which clients - it is against your Independent Contractor Agreement that you agreed to when you signed up with the various companies.




Re: Reimbursement - You will get paid according to each particular mystery shopping company's schedule. Some companies pay within 2-3 weeks, others pay the last day of the month following your shop (i.e. you shop January 20, you will get paid Feb 28)
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