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      July 19, 2018

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IntelliShop vs Sinclair Customer Metrics

Best Mystery Shopping Programs

To help you find the Best Mystery Shopping, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of IntelliShop and Sinclair Customer Metrics.

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Who wouldn't love to get paid to shop, eat out, or go to the movies? That may sound too good to be true, but thousands of mystery shoppers across the US and Canada are doing just that: getting paid to visit restaurants, retail stores, and even theme parks in order to provide a customer's perspective on the cleanliness, service, and overall experience at the location.

How does mystery shopping work? Most "secret shoppers", as they are also known, are hired by third-party companies that specialize in helping businesses evaluate their performance. These third-party providers maintain a database of all of the current opportunities in your area, allowing you to apply for the jobs you'd like to do.

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Best Reviews

2018

Mystery Shopping Reviews

3.5 stars
IntelliShop

INTELLI SHOP Visit Site

Types:

Automotive, Banking/Financial, Business-to-Business, Entertainment (theatre, theme park), Fast Food, Gas Station/C-Store, Government, Grocery, Health Care, Home/Apartment, Insurance, Lodging (hotel, motel, inns, etc.), Restaurant F&B (casual & fine dining), Retail - General, Shipping/Freight/Postal, Storage, Telephone, Transportation, Other, Casino/Gaming, Marine, Tourism

IntelliShop is another one of the "old guard" when it comes to mystery shopping. In business since the 1990s, this provider maintains an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau and was named a 2017 Top Company for Shopper Insights by Quirk's Magazine.

We like the amount of detail offered on the main shopper page. You can expect an application process that involves filling out their form, taking a brief aptitude test, and downloading the apps that they use for shop notifications and verification of your geographic location (the apps are free and optional). There's also a great section that includes four topic areas: News and Alerts, Shopper FAQ, Job Board Basics, and Insite 101. We strongly suggest you take the time to go through those sections, as they contain everything you need to know before applying to work with IntelliShop. The application itself goes through a system known as SASSIE; if you've applied with other mystery shopping companies, you'll find this application to be very familiar.

For newer shoppers, IntelliShop may be a lot to handle. In looking through the five dozen complaints on the BBB site, a common thread seemed to emerge: mystery shoppers who hadn't followed all of the requirements to the letter were being denied payment for their jobs. In an industry like mystery shopping, it is critical that every instruction be followed to the letter in order for the evaluation to be valid and submittable to the end client. While it is absolutely understandable for IntelliShop to have such high standards, we found secret shopper comments in other places saying that their representatives can be overly negative when relaying their concerns on incorrectly-completed shopping assignments.

IntelliShop checks the boxes, so to speak, when it comes to providing thorough information before applying and an easy-to-understand process. They also have a long history in the mystery shopping industry. But, if you're brand-new to being a secret shopper, you'll want to make sure you pay meticulous attention to detail when filling out your shop evaluations in order to have a successful experience.

Visit Site

3 stars
Sinclair Customer Metrics

SINCLAIR CUSTOMER METRICS Visit Site

Types:

Banking, Convenience Stores, Grocery, Quick-Serve Restaurants, Restaurants, Retail

Sinclair Customer Metrics has been in business for more than 40 years, making them a well-established business when it comes to mystery shopping. Their primary industries for secret shoppers include restaurants, banks, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Some of those shops are done via video. From what we were able to determine from other shoppers' reviews, you rent the video equipment from Sinclair in order to evaluate the business.

Sinclair has a good reputation among secret shoppers. At the time of our review, they had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and were among the top three picks for many experienced mystery shoppers.

Where Sinclair fell short for us was on their New Shopper page. Where most of their competitors have ample information for their prospective secret shoppers prior to applying, Sinclair's page was very basic and outdated-looking. In order to get any information, we had to enter our name and a valid email address. From there, we were taken to their requirements checklist, which includes an information page for new shoppers, Sinclair's independent contractor agreement, the online application, and a "New Shopper Challenge". Sinclair doesn't allow you to access all four requirements at once; you have to complete one step before being given access to the next.

Because Sinclair has such a solid track record among established secret shoppers, we're fairly confident that you'd have a positive experience working with them as a new mystery shopper. However, to be competitive with other mystery shopping providers, Sinclair would do well to increase the amount of information they offer to prospective contractors instead of making them jump through a number of hoops first.

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Continued from above

Sometimes, if there's a high-priority shop near you, you may even receive a direct invitation to do the assignment. Of course, in order to be eligible, you'll likely have to fill out an application to be accepted as a mystery shopper for each provider that interests you.

Payment varies by company; some mystery shops pay you for your time, while others reimburse you for making a purchase that you get to keep. In either case, you'll be expected to fill out some kind of survey or evaluation regarding your experience in order to get paid. Most mystery shopping companies make payments via PayPal, though some still use traditional paper checks for their contractors.

No matter which mystery shopping company you choose, however, you should never have to pay to be a secret shopper: though you can opt for shopper training and certification to increase your chances of being selected for certain jobs, joining a reputable company's shopper database shouldn't cost you anything.

When considering the many different companies that specialize in hiring mystery shoppers, there are several aspects to keep in mind. Some of these include:

  • Selection. How many businesses does the company work with? Do they have any businesses that you'd enjoy reviewing?
  • Transparency. Does the company offer plenty of information upfront about their process for hiring mystery shoppers? Or do you have to give them your information first?
  • Reputation. Does the mystery shopping company have a good track record for quality jobs, on-time payments, and support for their secret shoppers?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best mystery shopping providers available today. We hope this free information gets you on the road to your secret shopping experience right away!

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