Mystery shopping is a touchy subject. It seems that a lot of people are interested in the idea of getting paid to shop, but are quick to dismiss the entire concept as a scam. While there are a number of scams that do tarnish the reputation of mystery shopping, you need to know that there are legitimate companies that will pay you to shop.
I spoke with I’ve Tried That reader Mary Jane last week about certain scams revolving mystery shopping. She told me she has been evaluating companies and getting paid to shop for nearly ten years. I asked her to write a quick post regarding some companies she used and she jumped at the opportunity.
Mary Jane writes…
Here’s the Mystery Shopper Info I mentioned to you in a previous email. Although I was not able to find the original listing for which I paid $15 – here are the companies I deal with most often. I never did find the time to register with all 100 companies – just seemed like too much at the time. I was working full time and always thought being a Mystery Shopper would be so much fun. Is the work legit? Yes – but also time consuming. Some of the companies only require you to fill out a registration form others require you to take a test.
When you first register you will be at the bottom of the their shopper list. It’s up to the Mystery Shopper to check out as many shopping opportunities as possible so they can bring their score up. Some jobs will require the shopper to have a certain evaluator level before accepting certain shops.
Once you register you will receive emails from the companies telling you about shops. This is the only way you know about the jobs that are available. So make sure you check your email everyday – the shops go quickly as you are competing with other shoppers from your area.
Once you complete a shop then you have to fill out their evaluation form to receive credit for the shop. The most important thing: YOU HAVE TO COMPLETE THE SHOP EXACTLY AS STATED OR YOU WILL NOT GET PAID!!!
Most shops are time and date specific – there is no getting around this. And it helps if you have a fax machine or are able to email the evaluations in along with any other info they require i.e., company brochures, business cards, receipts, etc.
Mystery Shopper Addresses are:
www.bareinternational.com (click on new evaluator registration – upper left corner) In additional to regular shops (i.e., restaurants, stores, oil changes, etc., Bare offers U.S. Post Office Shops. You must take their exam before they will permit you to accept this type of job. If you pass the exam you’ll see the “USPS” Qualification in your Apollo Shop Log within 72 hours. If you do not receive your Qualification within 72 hours, you didn’t pass the exam so please study the guidelines and take it again.
You will typically earn between $8.00 to $10.00 per evaluation plus allotted reimbursement amounts depending on your scenario type. Each scenario requires that you mail a package. Scenarios are very specific and will be provided to you when you are assigned to a location.
www.sassieshop.com (click on contact us; shoppers; at new shoppers you will find a listing of 11 shopping companies. You will be required to fill out a registration form for each company).
This should get give your regular readers a good start on the Mystery Shopping game. As I mentioned earlier you’ll never get rich but you can make a few bucks and get food or services for free.
Thanks Mary Jane!
Mystery Shopping Scam Information
We can all agree that mystery shopping isn’t lavish or extravagant. At best, you can expect a few free purchases, a free meal, and a little bit of compensation. However, there are scammers out there who are using mystery shopping as a guise for payment processing and package reshipping scams.
If a mystery shopping company wants you to handle payments or receive and reship packages, it is 100% a scam. If the words Western Union or MoneyGram are used in the mystery shopping ad, it’s guaranteed to be a scam. The easiest way to not get scammed is to flat out refuse any assignment that makes you question its authenticity. If you’re asking yourself, why are they paying this much or why do I have to receive money then send it back, you can be sure you’re in danger.
As always, you can click here and send me an email if you are questioning a job offer and want a second opinion. I’m always here to help!
I recommend taking a look through the companies Mary Jane has used if you’re interested in getting started with mystery shopping. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!