Who doesn’t love getting something for free? Especially a meal at a nice restaurant, a hotel room or an afternoon of bowling. Thanks to the years I’ve been mystery shopping, those are a regular part of our lives.
In just the last month, I’ve had a breakfast date with my hubby ($42), went bowling and played laser tag with the kids ($115), had pizza and beer for lunch over Spring Break ($50) and got a carry-out lunch at a national chain restaurant ($35). This is just me doing a shop or two here and there. If I had the time I could do so much more.
I started mystery shopping almost twenty-five years ago when the company I was working for closed its doors and I was out of a job. I started doing a few dinner shops a month so we could still enjoy a nice meal out without spending money we didn’t have!
Now I just do it for fun, to stretch our entertainment dollars, and to force myself out of my routine and try new things.
It would be challenging to make a full-time living mystery shopping; most shops don’t pay much outside of reimbursement, but for cutting costs or adding extras to your life, it’s a great part-time gig.
It is important to understand that once you conduct the shop, you will have to come home and fill out an online form (sometimes within 12 hours of doing the shop), upload some pictures, and be available for the next few days for questions.
At first, it would take me an hour or so to fill out a shop form, but after years of doing it, I can typically be done with the paperwork portion in 30 minutes or less. It’s also something I can sit on the couch and do while watching TV with the family.
If this sounds like something you would enjoy, last year I created an online class that will teach you exactly how to begin as a mystery shopper. It takes about an hour and when you are finished you’ll be ready to find, sign up for and conduct your first shop. Interested? Check it out HERE.
If you aren’t ready to take the class yet but want to give it a go on your own, please take this bit of advice: you should NEVER have to pay to conduct a shop – if the company wants you to pay money before you work for them, they are probably not a legit mystery shopping company.
Have fun, and let me know if you decide to give mystery shopping a go!