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Earn Money From Home as a Mystery Shopper

Saturday, May 15th

Earn Money from Home as a Mystery Shopper

You may be surprised to know this, but you can actually earn money from home by being a mystery shopper. But, shopping involves going outside of the home, right? Wrong. Thanks to the internet, shopping is just a click away and, if you are a mystery shopper, you can make money from home at a time and place that is convenient for you.

The best way to find mystery shopping jobs that allow you to earn money at home is to search for businesses that need online evaluations. Aside from dealing with a live person, you can evaluate the same factors in an online store as you could in a physical storefront, including product availability, convenience, the checkout process and even shipping and delivery times. If you are hired to evaluate customer service for an online store, you may be asked to make a telephone call in order to check the status of shipment. You may be required to assess professionalism, promptness and the friendliness of customer service as these are essential to a successful online business.

Today, online mystery shopping is extremely popular. Whether you want to purchase apparel, a sports collectible or even order specialty chocolates, there is no shortage of companies or services that are offered online. With so many advancements in technology, you can even watch movies online or place an order for fast food and have it delivered right to your door.

Once you have found the right mystery shopping company, your first step is to register as a shopper. You will be required to provide general information, including your name and address for payment information and possibly even additional questions relating to your shopping preferences. As opportunities become available, the mystery shopping company commissioning the project will offer you assignments, which you can either accept or decline. If you accept, you will receive detailed instructions to follow during your shop and a questionnaire for your evaluation. If you receive a mystery shopping job online, you are likely to complete the evaluation online as well. This provides for the ultimate in convenience and, best of all, you can earn a paycheck without even having to step out the door.

Many professional mystery shoppers find that online opportunities prove to be the most beneficial and profitable. Without the cost of gasoline involved to travel to and from shop locations or the time spent in transport, professional shoppers can take on an increased workload simply because they can complete one job quickly online and move directly on to the next. With traditional shopping, you would have to leave one location and drive to the next. During the time that you are driving in your car, you could be completing another mystery shopping assignment online.

As more people turn toward the internet for their latest career move, many are choosing to get paid for shopping. As amazing as it sounds, there is a great potential for extra income as a full or part-time career. If you want to earn money from home, you may never have guessed that you could accomplish it simply be shopping. But, guess what - you can.

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Mystery Shopping Company FAQ

Mystery shopping, sometimes referred to as "secret shopping" , is the way that many businesses get information about how their stores, offices or locations are doing with respect to customer service. Are the employees friendly? Are the proper signs displayed for a holiday promotion? Companies contract with mystery shopping providers that send in "secret shoppers" , who pretend to be there as a regular customer but are actually taking notes on their experience. Does that sound like fun? It is!
There's really no limit to the types of "mystery shops" you might have the chance to complete. You could visit a restaurant and place a specific order, go to a movie theater and see how clean the restrooms are, or even ship a package at the post office. Some mystery shops require you to buy a product and return it later, to evaluate how well the employee handles the transaction on both ends.
You'll get a lengthy series of instructions for each mystery shop assigned to you. In order to get paid, you'll need to follow those details to the letter. Common requirements are noting the time it takes to be approached by a salesperson, how long you wait in line to ring up your purchase, or the number of customers present at a particular time of day. You might also be asked to take photos or video (as surreptitiously as possible!).
It shouldn't! Reputable mystery shopping services allow you to register as an independent contractor at no cost to you. If you see a website that asks you to pay to become a secret shopper, you'll know it's not on the up-and-up. In fact, they're probably just going to give you a list of the real mystery shopping companies that you could have signed up for without their help!
That varies widely. Some shops only pay you a small amount of money, because you get to keep the product (or eat the meal, or see the movie, etc.). If a shop is high-priority - because it's time-sensitive, or maybe another shopper cancelled at the last minute - you could get a bonus payment. It's unlikely you'll make a living as a mystery shopper, but it could put some spending money in your pockets, give you a free date night, or provide you with some fun merchandise at no cost.
Yes, most of the time. Mystery shopping is always done on a 1099 (independent contractor) basis, and most providers understand that their secret shoppers will be working with more than one service at a time. But, during the sign-up process, be sure to read all of the requirements of the company where you're applying, just to make sure there aren't any non-compete clauses that would prohibit you from working for a rival service.
You want to avoid that happening at all costs! Think of mystery shopping as an acting role: you're not really "you" , but rather someone that could be an everyday customer at the store. If you're outed as a mystery shopper before you've finished gathering the required information, it could invalidate the entire job - and you won't get paid.
While there are absolutely some scammy services and sites out there, who just want to get your money in exchange for a list of mystery shopping opportunities, the industry itself is absolutely legitimate - and used by most of the big-name corporations you know to gather insights on their many locations nationwide. There's even a certification process you can participate in, which may boost your chances of being accepted by a mystery shopping provider and then landing more shops. Check to see if a mystery shopping company is a member of the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Professionals Association) before you register: it's a good sign that you've chosen a trustworthy, established service to start your adventure as a secret shopper!
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