Can You Really Be A Mystery Shopper Who Gets Paid To Shop Or Eat
Can you REALLY be a secret shopper or mystery shopper? Will people really pay you to dine out or shop? Absolutely. I’ve been a secret shopper MANY times eating out and shopping on my own (and being reimbursed for it). I’ve done the same with my husband or a friend (yes…sometimes the meals are for two). If you’re observant, keep appointments, can answer multiple choice questions and write a few detailed paragraphs about your visit, you can be a secret shopper too.
Companies hire mystery shoppers to shop and experience a service and product. Then you (the mystery shopper) complete and turn in a written evaluation per that company’s instructions.
Mostly a mystery shopper acts undercover (the location doesn’t know they’re being shopped); but sometimes the hiring company asks you to reveal yourself at the end of the shop for various reasons such as to give an employee a reward for top customer service. Or some even ask you to use a digital camera now to take a photo of the product.
I shopped for several years as a mystery shopper and now I only do so every now and then due to my schedule. Regardless, I still receive weekly e-mails alerting me to potential mystery shopper assignments in my area from lots of companies. So once you’re on a mystery shopping agent’s list and you’ve bagged a couple of shops as a mystery shopper without making errors, you’ll keep getting asked over and over again.
I’ve personally shopped and been reimbursed for meals (sometimes for two people) at restaurants like Ruby Tuesday, Applebees, Red Hot and Blue, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Arby’s ,CiCi’s Pizza and more.
I’ve shopped inside mall and outlet stores that sell clothing or other items and was paid flat fees. I’ve shopped free-standing stores such as Kmart. I’ve bowled at two different bowling lanes as a mystery shopper. I’ve bought books at book stores paid for by the mystery shopping company. I shopped a golf range and store with my husband at the mystery shopping company’s expense. I’ve purchased gas and drinks at convenience stores as a mystery shopper.
I’ve had offers to do mystery shops at banks, bus stations, home sales/model showrooms, hotels, bars and other places.
When I was actively mystery shopping, I had more offers than time. So I decided to limit my mystery shopping experiences to meals for two (with my husband) for which I’d be reimbursed. $40 or $50 meals is nothing to snicker at!
And in fact I’ve just lined up a mystery shop for a new steakhouse in town. They’re going to reimburse me $35 for dinner for two. Maybe it won’t cover the entire bill (the way we eat) but try to find a coupon that pays that much for dinner out at a nice dine-in restaurant.
Likewise, as a mystery shopper you should only accept assignments that you want, preferably ones in your area that fit conveniently in with your working schedule.
A final word of advice…be patient once you apply to a mystery shopping company. I’ve had jobs roll in weeks later after applying. It all depends on demand and supply at that time. But often the demand rules (and I’ve even been paid double and triple fees for taking assignments from assigning companies who were in a last-minute bind to get the job done).