Home » Business » Home-Based Business

The Mystery of Mystery Shopping

Aug 17, 2007
Many people who want to work from home consider mystery shopping. The idea of being paid to shop sounds wonderful. But then you hear about some of the scams and just have to wonder if it's really worthwhile.

Mystery shoppers go to assigned stores, restaurants, apartments and more to evaluate the service at each place. They may or may not be required to make a purchase. The shopper must carefully remember as many details as possible about the shop, most especially the names they deal with, and write a detailed report about it.

Despite it sounding pretty easy, not everyone will succeed as a mystery shopper. Sometimes you're one of too many available mystery shoppers in your area, and the demand just isn't there. Other times the available jobs just aren't close enough.

Then there are the people who find out that they just can't keep the details straight enough. It can be difficult to remember the clerk's name for some people, and you can't reveal yourself as a mystery shopper, which means no taking notes right in front of the clerk.

One of the challenges can be getting assigned to shops. When you're starting out it may not just be a lack of shops in your area. Many companies look first to their proven mystery shoppers and then to the new ones. Companies want to get the best feedback possible when they pay a mystery shopper.

The pay may not always be what you expect either. Some shops require that you make a purchase of a certain amount, and when they reimburse you for that, that is your only payment. If the shop allows you to take yourself and the kids or a friend out to shop a restaurant, that may not be too bad a deal. It may also be necessary to do some of the low paying shops to build the experience necessary for the better ones.

There are many places to find out about companies that hire for mystery shopping. Many charge, but some do not. If you choose to pay a fee for a list, your main concern may be whether or not the keep it up to date.

There are other sites that claim to help you keep up with mystery shops that are currently available. Some people do find these to be an advantage, but others feel they are a waste. I would recommend finding one with a free trial if this kind of thing is of interest to you so that you don't feel you've wasted money if you don't like it. Just be sure to cancel promptly and confirm the cancellation.

Despite the occasional pitfalls, some people do quite well as mystery shoppers. You have to learn to do them efficiently and to keep great notes so that your shops aren't jumbled in your mind as you type them up. It may only bring in a little extra for most, but it can also be fun.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog/ about working at home. You can get more information on mystery shopping opportunities at her site.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 128
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories