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      November 15, 2018

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Market Force 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 Market Force 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
Market Force

MARKET FORCE Visit Site

Types:

Banking/Financial, Entertainment (theatre, theme park), Fast Food, Gas Station/C-Store, Grocery, Restaurant F&B (casual & fine dining), Retail - General

As an accredited business with an A+ rating at the BBB and MSPA Shoppers' Choice awards in both 2016 and 2017, MarketForce is a reputable source for mystery shopping jobs today.

When you visit the MarketForce intro page for secret shoppers, you'll find a basic overview of their process, including a demonstration of their mobile app. This app, known as Eyes:On, allows you to search for mystery shopping opportunities as well as submit completed shops from your phone - much easier than trying to remember everything later, and helping you keep your "cover" while walking around the shop (instead of trying to take notes on paper).

Unfortunately, that's the extent of the information they offer prior to creating an account on the MarketForce site. You'll have to create an account in order to see exactly what types of shops are in your area. We went through the account set-up process and found, however, that you can create a dummy account to get a feel for their dashboard and shopper expectations. Fortunately, you don't have to enter your SSN to get to that point, unlike many of the other mystery shopping companies we surveyed.

That means that you can actually see real shops that are available in your area today. For example, when we entered our zip code, we found more than 100 shops that we could apply for, most of which were either burger places, grocery stores, or small retail businesses. This is one of the few mystery shopping sites where you can access that kind of information without providing your SSN, and we definitely recommend you take advantage of that availability.

That also gave us a window into how much MarketForce pays for their shops. We weren't impressed. One shop for a small retail location offered $8, or if the mystery shopper got to a location and found out that it was actually closed, they'd be paid $4. How would you feel if you drove to a location only to find out it was no longer in business? Would $4 cover your gas and time? Probably not.

We also weren't thrilled with what many mystery shoppers had to say about MarketForce's contractor support. We found comments describing how they were unavailable during priority shops and didn't get the answer to the shopper in time to complete the shop, and then the mystery shopper was penalized for a late or incomplete report. Many secret shoppers also say that you should expect MarketForce to be extremely strict when it comes to the quality of your evaluations; misspell a sales associate's name or leave out one answer, and you are likely to not be paid for the shop.

Because of how stressful that would be for new shoppers, we think MarketForce may be a better choice for seasoned mystery shoppers. Their reputation is excellent, as demonstrated by their BBB grade and their Peoples' Choice awards at the MSPA, making MarketForce a solid mystery shopping provider - just maybe not if you're brand new to the industry.

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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