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If you're looking for an easy-to-understand, helpful introduction into all things mystery shopping, you'll love AboutFace. From the very first "Become a Mystery Shopper" page, they make it very clear what to expect, from your Independent Contractor Agreement to the steps of their assignment process.
Don't get bogged down by all the words on that page, though. Click on the links in the upper right-hand side of the page (or the three horizontal bars, if you're on a mobile device) to see why AboutFace is the name to know. For example, in the Shop with Us section, you'll find links for why you should partner with them: their A+ rating with the BBB, toll-free number for any questions you may have, and a description of other benefits are all there. Also, according to that page, AboutFace offers more than mystery shopping - you can also take advantage of opportunities in field research, focus groups, even product demonstrations.
You also want to check out the Resources tab. Whether you decide to work with AboutFace or through a different mystery shopping provider, the information AboutFace offers can help you be successful. From how to use mobile devices to choose available shopping opportunities or submit reports, to the basic steps for how to have a successful evaluation, you'll go into the working relationship knowing exactly what's expected of you. They don't want there to be any "mystery" involved when it comes to turning in your work, so they give their shoppers clear expectations from the start.
And, of course, the Shopper FAQ page is the best resource for any other questions that prospective mystery shoppers tend to have. On that page, you'll see how often and in what method to expect payment (45 days after you submit your shop and via PayPal, by the way), as well as links to AboutFace's social media accounts. We strongly recommend you give those a click even before signing up; according to the FAQ, AboutFace uses those channels to let their shoppers know in advance about any upcoming projects that might be of interest.
AboutFace has a great reputation among mystery shoppers for high-quality shops, excellent shopper support, and on-time payments. Combined with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, those marks of success mean that AboutFace should be at the top of your list when deciding which mystery shopping provider to choose as your partner.
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.
To help you find the Best Mystery Shopping, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of About Face and Sinclair Customer Metrics.
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.
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:
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!
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.
Mystery Shopping In The News
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (The Gazette) - 11 News lead Call For Action investigator Katie Pelton pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette, but is about to be on maternity leave for the birt...
Published: Mon, 05 Nov 2018 08:20:00 GMT
Smartly dressed staff, superb service and great venues - these are just a few of the highlights from this week's Northampton town centre BID Mystery Shopping Awards. At the awards ceremony this week, ...
Published: Fri, 16 Nov 2018 08:02:00 GMT
There are a lot of reasons to be wary of mystery shopper opportunities. Let's dissect an actual example shared by a couple of our astute readers who called to see if this was just a scam and if so, to ...
Published: Thu, 15 Nov 2018 04:00:00 GMT
"I thought it was a rumor," said Brownington resident Sandra Cortez who was also still in disbelief. Walmart couldn't say how much the mystery shopper spent or how many people went home with free gift...
Published: Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:32:00 GMT
"One of the questions was, 'Would you like to be a secret shopper or mystery shopper'" Crim said. "I thought, yeah I'd love to do that." Here's how the secret shopper scam works. Typically an unsuspe...
Published: Fri, 09 Nov 2018 03:23:00 GMT
The shopper wants to buy a holiday home on the Isle of Wight, costing about £300,000. She has a mortgage on her south London home, which is valued at £500,000. She wants to know whether she should rem...
Published: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 03:36:00 GMT
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