If you are a stay-at-home mom, finding real mystery shopping jobs may be a great way for you to earn extra cash. Believe it or not, there are reputable companies out there that are willing to pay you for your time and effort to perform shops for them. This article explains the basics of mystery shopping.
What is Mystery Shopping?
Mystery shopping is when you contract with a company to perform a “secret” shopping job for them. You are an independent contractor, and not an employee of the mystery shopping company. This is how it works: A mystery shopping company is contracted by a well-known business, such as a restaurant or retail shop, and the mystery shopping company contracts people who will go out and perform a “fake” shop to assess the business’ operations. You will almost always be asked to complete a survey after you have performed a shop before you are paid.
The purpose of mystery shopping is to let management know how well their business is performing and if there any changes to staff or other entities that need to be made to make their business more pleasing to customers at large.
Types of Mystery Shops
Mystery shops can include anything from evaluating a restaurant’s service, to assessing a doctor’s office operations in dealing with customers, to spending a fun day at an amusement park just so you can report on the park’s cleanliness and the friendliness of the staff working at the park. Mystery shopping opportunities are endless. And, you can accept or decline the shops that you want with no pressure from the mystery shopping company.
How Are You Paid?
Most mystery shopping companies pay you for completing a shop and completing the survey that follows. They are picky about having an objective view of your visit, and want you to avoid using personal opinions. The mystery shopping company reviews your survey, pays you for the shop, and then forwards your report on to the business that you evaluated. Most mystery shopping companies prefer to pay by check or PayPal.
The pay differs from shop to shop, but an average shop pays between $12 to $20. Some people are actually professional mystery shoppers, and plan their entire days around performing shops. But, if you just want to make a little extra cash, you can make enough to satisfy your needs on a very part-time basis.
A large majority of mystery shopping companies will grade your performance on shops. This helps them gauge whether or not they decide to select you for future shops. If you follow directions precisely, are detail-oriented, and can meet deadlines (and they can be very strict about deadlines), then this may be a good fit for you.
The good thing about mystery shopping is it hardly ever gets boring. There are so many different types of shops that it keeps your interest. You can usually schedule your shops around your day. If you are out running errands, why not drop in a bank and do a quick shop! Now you can decide if you want to become a mystery shopper.