Shopping: Its Real, But Be Careful
By Beth Jett
Its not a get-rich-quick idea, but Mystery Shopping
can be fun nonetheless. And the money you can save
and make doing mystery shopping can add up quick.
One local couple, who didnt want to be
identifiedfor obvious reasonssaid
theyve been doing this for a few years and in 2013
theyve probably earned an extra $2,000.
And theyve seen all kinds of interesting places as
theyve fulfilled assignments.
Again, its fun, but you do have to be careful who
you agree to work for.
In his world of customer service, consumers are on the
prowl for good deals and good treatment.
Mystery Shopping is a fun way maybe to make some
money or even get some coupons, discounts that type of
thing, said Belinda McCormick of the Better
Business Bureau of North Alabama.
She is very familiar with mystery shopping and says it
fills a need by business owners and managers to check up
on how their staffers are representing their companies
and interacting with clients.
Legitimate companies walk a person through test questions
to determine if the person has observation and
communication skills necessary to complete an assignment,
called a shop.
Once accepted, Mystery Shoppers have access to lists of
opportunities that pay anywhere from two dollars to $100
per completed assignment.
Financial experts say mystery shopping has all kinds of
benefits, including providing new experiences for
shoppers, helping to fulfill a shopping addiction void
for those trying to save money by avoiding shopping.
Also, its a way to get a stay-at-home person out of
the house and can supplement parts of a budget.
For example, Mystery Shoppers can save on food costs by
only eating out when on assignment or save around holiday
time by taking on additional shops in order to purchase
gifts for others.
But, as McCormick warns consumers, not all mystery
shopping companies are legitimate.
The legitimate mystery shopping is not a
get-rich-quick type of thing, said McCormick.
She says beware of disreputable companies that advertise
on craigslist or similar websites. Any such company that
asks a would-be shopper to pay anything or share payment
with them isnt to be trusted.
Most of these are scams trying to steal
If its a legitimate company, you wont get
your money up front. Mystery Shoppers pay after you
have done the survey for them. Its not advanced
pay, said McCormick.
There are quite a few mystery shopper pages on Facebook,
so again, be careful. You might refer to Mystery Shopping
Providers for guidance on how mystery shopping should be
done and the names of reputable companies.
If you have any questions about a specific company,
contact the Better Business Bureau.
Interested in becoming a secret shopper?
MysteryShoppersAmerica.com can get you started today. We
specialize in connecting new shoppers with mystery
shopping jobs throughout the country. Through our
extensive network of hundreds of mystery shopping
companies, youll have plenty of great shopping jobs
to choose from every day!
To become a secret shopper, visit our registration page.
You'll learn about our secret shopping companies, what
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make. No previous experience is required.
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