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      September 21, 2017

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Mystery Shopping is a Big Business

The Purpose of Mystery Shopping

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How to Find Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs

Popular Industries that Use Mystery Shoppers

Tax Deductions for Mystery Shoppers

How to Spot Mystery Shopping Scams

Mystery Shopping Frequently Asked Questions

Mystery Shopping & How to Present Yourself While On the Job

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Mystery Shopping Programs

Mystery shopping programs can offer you a simple and fun way to earn money. Companies pay you to shop at their stores, buy their products, attend movies, and eat at their restaurants. In return, you send them a survey reporting on your experience. You are your own boss, and only work the assignments that you choose.

You can earn a substantial income as a mystery shopper. There are a variety of mystery shopping programs available today. But beware, some websites feature programs where you have to pay to become a mystery shopper - you should avoid those. You should never have to pay to become a mystery shopper.

Continue reading below reviews

2017

Mystery Shopping Reviews

5 stars
Paid Shopping Providers

PAID SHOPPING PROVIDERS Visit Site

Cost:

$34 one-time fee for unlimited, lifetime access

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award If you’re looking for a reputable resource for mystery shopping jobs - and one of the best satisfaction guarantees in the industry - you’ll want to check out what Paid Shopping Providers has to offer.

While their one-time membership fee of $34 is on par with their competitors, PSP stands out with their satisfaction guarantee: cancel your membership at any time during the first 60 days for a full refund. There are no other hoops to jump through, no fine print or hidden requirements - which we love.

With more than 200 companies in their database, you could be paid to shop at some of the following businesses:

  • Walmart
  • AMC Theatres
  • Staples
  • Best Buy
  • Home Depot
  • Starbucks
  • McDonalds

To get an idea of a typical assignment, click on the “Recent Shopping Jobs” link at the top of the page. When we read through some of the examples of shopper assignments, we found them to be very representative of what to expect from a mystery shopper job, both in terms of the requirements and the payment amounts.

When you become a member of Paid Shopping Providers, you can expect the following as part of your paid subscription:

  • New jobs available each day, sent directly to your email address
  • Personal online support
  • Shopper’s assignment organizer log
  • Mystery shopper’s newsletter
  • Information on working as a merchandiser
  • Details on extra online money-making opportunities
  • Surprise bonus information

Because Paid Shopping Providers offers a 60-day risk-free guarantee on their mystery shopping membership, we recommend them as a solid starting point for anyone looking to get paid to help businesses improve their customer service and their products.

Paid Shopping Providers earns five stars and is our top pick for Mystery Shopping companies.

Visit Site

3.5 stars
Secret Shopping Center

SECRET SHOPPING CENTER Visit Site

Cost:

$39.97 one-time fee for lifetime membership

As with the majority of companies that connect mystery shoppers with secret shopping opportunities, Secret Shopping Center charges a one-time fee for lifetime access to their database.

Their fee is higher than most at $39.97, and it’s important to note that their refund policies are significantly different and stricter than others’ as well: members who do not register with at least 20 of companies out of their top 30 listed will not be eligible for a 100% refund, only 50%. In addition, for those seeking a full refund within the 45-day limit (also stricter than other sites, who typically offer an 8-week or two-month window), they may be required to provide proof of registration with those 20 companies in order to get their money back. A $10 processing fee is also deducted from all refunds, which strikes us as being overly strict given that it represents at least one-fourth of the total membership fees paid.

However, we greatly appreciate that Secret Shopping Center puts those details very plainly on their website, so that most new members should have no reason not to be completely clear on what they’re getting for their money. The FAQ section is quite comprehensive and should leave users with a solid understanding of what Secret Shopping Center has to offer. A detail we didn’t see on other mystery shopping sites - and probably should have - was that Nevada state law requires secret shoppers to be registered as a private investigator; kudos to Secret Shopping Center for pointing that out to their members.

Secret Shopping Center also seems to go the extra mile to not only encourage their members to get involved but to be successful in their mystery shopping efforts. For example, they offer a $10 referral bonus to anyone who submits a new mystery shopping company/opportunity for SSC’s database. Also, their $10 Challenge pays members for signing up for at least 20 of the paid market research sites that Secret Shopping Center offers.

Although their refund fees are much stricter than other companies and their membership fees are generally higher than most, we like Secret Shopping Center’s efforts to get their new members involved with mystery shopping and their openness regarding the challenges involved with succeeding as a secret shopper.

Visit Site

3 stars
Paid Surveys and More

PAID SURVEYS AND MORE Visit Site

Cost:

Normally $69, currently $24

According to the website, Paid Surveys and More was started by a single mom who left her job after discovering the benefits of how online surveys financially helped her friends and family. Paid Surveys and More is similar to many of the other websites reviewed in that it is one long page, with much information and text. This page, though long and wordy, is much better organized and easier to read than many of the other sites.

The website does a good job of explaining the benefits, and the process of the online surveys. Right up front, it explains that this isn't a get quick rich scheme, and that it takes time and effort to make money. It even goes as far as saying if you can’t commit to an hour or two each day, that this opportunity might not be a fit for you. There is a handy calculator that helps give you an appropriate estimate of how much money you can make by how much time you are willing to put into the business.

There is a 100% 60-day money back guarantee offered by Paid Surveys and More. Once you have signed up you have access to a member’s only area that has resources and assistance in getting assignments and learning tips to cash in on some of the best surveys. Check out the website for more bonuses that are available when you sign up.

Paid Surveys and More is clear about what it takes to make money working with them, they are more upfront than other companies about the expectations and effort required. Unfortunately, no companies are listed to give you an example of what you'll be working on.

Visit Site

Continued from above

However, some companies offer services where they constantly find and send you all the mystery shopping jobs in your area, and alert you when new ones are added. These companies charge a small nominal fee for their efforts to help you find good mystery shopping jobs. The best of these programs provide you with supporting materials in addition to a large number of job assignments.

When evaluating mystery shopping programs, you want to consider a number of features. Some of these include:

  • Selection.  Does the program offer a variety of mystery shopping jobs?
  • Support.  What services does the program offer to help you maximize your potential income?
  • Cost.  How much does it cost to participate in the program? Is it a one-time fee or a recurring expense?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best mystery shopping programs available today. We hope this free information helps you start your Mystery Shopping adventure today!

Benefits of Mystery Shopping

If you're thinking of becoming a mystery shopper, there are a number of benefits awaiting you. In addition to terrific hours, the convenience of taking a family vacation without asking the boss and having more fun at any job than most people will ever dream of having, you will enjoy the potential for a decent income at a job that offers plenty of free perks. Below are just a handful of detailed benefits for mystery shoppers.

Flexible work schedule. When you get a job as a mystery shopper, you receive paperwork necessary for your evaluation and you will enjoy being able to arrive at work according to your own schedule. Once you have completed your assessment, you simply fill out the evaluation and submit it to the company that hired you. Being able to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want are two of the greatest benefits to being a mystery shopper.

Variety. Instead of sitting in the same old office and staring out the same old window every day, mystery shopping offers a literal change in scenery. One day you may be evaluating a retail store, the next a fine restaurant and the next a movie theater. Can you imagine being paid to watch a movie or dine out? If you would enjoy getting out of a career slump, mystery shopping may be the boost that you need.

Income potential. Whether you want to participate in mystery shopping as a way to earn a few extra bucks or you want to turn it into a part or full-time career, the choice is yours. The more mystery shopping companies that you sign up with, the more income you may receive. As is the case with anything, your reward(s) that you receive will largely be determined by your efforts.

Be in business for yourself. The fact is that you are the best boss that you will ever have. When you work for yourself as a mystery shopper, you are working on your schedule, according to your hours and have more control over your income. Self-employed individuals receive tax advantages, receive higher rates of pay and are much more likely to enjoy their work.

Free stuff. When you are a mystery shopper, you are assigned a job that requires you to evaluate either a product or service. You will be given specific instructions as to what items, if any, are required to be purchased in accordance with your evaluation. Whether it is a slice of pizza or a pair of sunglasses, you will almost always be reimbursed for the cost of these items by the company who hires you as a mystery shopper. What this means for you is, in addition to being compensated financially for your job, you will also often enjoy the benefits of freebies.

Interesting work. At the end of the day, which side of the customer counter would you prefer to be on? Would you rather be the cashier ringing up the purchase or would you rather be shopping and getting paid for it? If you are like most, the latter is the most appealing option. When you are a mystery shopper, your work is never boring because it varies from one day to the next. You can never get bored by seeing the same people every day or doing the same activities. Mystery shopping will keep you stepping high and well over any slumps that a traditional job may offer.

 

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Shoppers at Birmingham's Bullring have been bemused to find a big hole where an escalator should be. Now the mystery of the missing escalator has been solved - although shoppers won't be able to use a new one for THREE WEEKS. Until the replacement is ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 06:33:00 GMT



Top of the lake: What TaupŨ's mystery $30 million Powerball winner could buy

We've put together a shopping list of what the First Division winner could buy if they tried to spend $30m in TaupŨ. First up is a helicopter. Take your mates for a spin in this four-seater helicopter, which has a top speed of 240 kmh. Zero to 100 in 2 ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT



London parrot does online shopping by mimicking owner

London (AFP) - A pet parrot managed to place an online shopping order by mimicking its owner on a voice ... The Sun reported. The mystery order triggered an inquest in Corienne Pretorius's house in southeast London, but after ruling out her husband and ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:08:00 GMT



Mobile commerce shopping will make up half of e-purchases in 3 years

It's no mystery that mobile commerce shopping trends are on the rise, but a recent report by UPS predicts that by 2020, orders made over mobile device will represent half of all online purchasing. In fact, the forecast showed that m-commerce will make up ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:32:00 GMT



Which surfwear brands are riding highest online The Drum's Mystery Shopper dives in

James Hammersley compares the ecommerce performance of the companies in the headlines against their key competitors and benchmarks them to find the real winners & losers. Surfwear brands have often managed to weather the ups and down of the economy, but ...

Published:  Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:27:00 GMT



Mystery Shoppers Visit Pine Ridge Vineyards

Pine Ridge Vineyards is located on a strategic stretch of the Napa Silverado Trail within the Stags Leap District. They are known for their single vineyard varietals harvested in some of Napa Valley's most prestigious AVA's. The visitor center offers ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Sep 2017 01:00:00 GMT



Brit fighting for life after mystery incident on his Magaluf stag do 'may have fallen from building site'

A British firefighter battling for his life after a mystery incident on his Magaluf stag do may have ... he fell from the site of an old hotel where a new four-star hotel and shopping centre is being built. Investigators have reportedly concluded the ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 01:04:45 GMT



Shop It, the Stealth Note Taking App, is a Hit with Mystery Shoppers

Tarushi Technologies, the maker of world's first and unique secret note taking app, Shop It, has been receiving amazing response from mystery shoppers. Shop It is a stealth note taking app created by Saketh Ashvapuram, and is specially intended to help ...

Published:  Mon, 11 Sep 2017 16:07:00 GMT



With more than a dozen options, Orange's Tustin Street is where to go for second-hand and thrift shopping

Specializing in mystery and suspense, Book Carnival isn't strictly a ... Oddities and rarities Part of the fun of thrift store shopping is never knowing what might be around the next aisle. With so many shops on Tustin Street - including a Goodwill ...

Published:  Mon, 11 Sep 2017 12:22:00 GMT



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