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Second To None vs Sentry Marketing

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SECOND TO NONE

Based out of Ann Arbor, MI, Second To None has been in business since 1989 and has worked with leading brands in the US and Canada to improve their customer experience.

On Second To None's main mystery shopper page, you'll find a general overview of what makes a successful mystery shopper and the benefits of doing this type of work. We found most of the information to be too generic to be useful; most people interested in mystery shopping already know that it allows them to earn extra income according to their own schedule, and that they're expected to have excellent skills with respect to observation, writing, and speaking. We would have liked to see more specifics about Second To None's approach to secret shopping: do they use an app for job notifications and evaluations? What does the shopper portal look like? How often do they pay their contractors? None of these questions are answered on the shoppers' info page.

While you can enter fake details to create an account if you'd like to see what the signup process includes, along with the independent contractor agreement, you are required to click on a link that is sent in a verification email. So, at the very least, you'll want to provide an accurate email address to see what STN has to offer. Fortunately, in creating that "placeholder' account, you will not have to include a Social Security Number.

We would have loved to rank Second To None higher, because we found many positive comments from current and previous mystery shoppers. But, in comparison with other secret shopping providers, this company has much less information to help a prospective contractor make the decision. We'd easily move them up in the rankings if their site included more in-depth details, such as a video showing the shopper dashboard or an FAQ page explaining their payment schedule/process, any use of mobile devices for their shops, or even access to a live list of shops in a person's area.

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SENTRY MARKETING

Created by former Ford exec Dave Agius, Sentry marketing was developed to help companies create "the best versions of themselves". Do they also help mystery shoppers have the best possible experience? We don't think so.

First, Sentry offers virtually no information to prospective shoppers prior to sign up. Do they send their secret shoppers to pizza places, amusement parks, or oil change shops? No idea. Do they pay via PayPal or check? Great question. What are their requirements for mystery shoppers? It's anyone's guess. To get any information at all, you'll have to go through multiple pages of their online registration form; they ask for your Social Security Number before you even get to see the agreement you're signing.

Second, we found multiple complaints from mystery shoppers who have worked with Sentry. Criticism typically centered around payments: the consensus was that it can often take months to get paid for completing a shop. Also, many people report that Sentry requires their mystery shoppers to receive payment through a third-party vendor that also deducts a service fee with each transaction.

Finally, while Sentry Marketing Group did have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review, and they were a member of various mystery shopping organizations (CXPA, MSPA, and IASE), they didn't appear to have any recognitions from any of those groups. Compared with other providers in our review that had awards and other accolades from both organizations and mystery shoppers themselves, Sentry doesn't seem to offer their secret shoppers the level of service that they try to help their clients achieve themselves.

The "mystery" in mystery shopping isn't supposed to refer to wondering when you're going to get paid or what types of companies you could be evaluating. Unfortunately, with Sentry that's probably what you'll get - so we strongly suggest you look at the higher-ranked secret shopping providers in our review.

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Mystery Shopping

To help you find the Best Mystery Shopping, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Second To None and Sentry Marketing.

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:

  • 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!



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

Naira abuse: Mystery shopper to monitor new banknotes - CBN

"The exercise consists of on the spot-checks to the premises of the beneficiaries after the receipt of disbursement as well as mystery shopper approach to shops, markets and toll gates and any ...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 05:29:00 GMT



The Mystery Shopping Measure: Jancyn Helps Companies Understand the"

"Exceptional customer service in the retail store, along with merchandizing, timeliness, and knowledgeable sales associates, make the shopping experience rewarding. " SAN JOSE, Calif. (PRWEB) Septembe...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 04:58:00 GMT



Mystery shoppers find solicitors ignoring clients for days

Law firms risk missing out on significant amounts of business because they fail to properly handle incoming calls and emails, mystery shopper research has found. Potential clients had asked for firms ...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 01:26:00 GMT



Mystery man seen leaving site of Kings Plaza mall blaze: cops

Police have deemed Monday's massive car inferno at Brooklyn's Kings Plaza Shopping Center suspicious, authorities said. A security camera at the garage captured a man leaving shortly before ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:08:53 GMT



New CEM software, LiaCX™, inks deal worth $200,000 over 2 years

The retailer, which operates 1,500 locations, currently uses Intouch mystery shopping, audit and customer survey product lines. The existing agreement for these products, which was set to expire ...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:07:00 GMT



How an Unsolved Mystery Changed the Way We Take Pills

That was, and still is, a mystery. "It made no sense," said Tyrone C ... a new bottle with the sorts of safety elements now familiar (if at times exasperating) to every shopper: cotton wad, foil seal, ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 03:10:00 GMT



Mystery shopper app Shepper wins £4.2m from Aviva

A gig economy start-up that pays consumers to do spot-checks on big brands such as L'Oreal has raised £4.2m to fuel growth. Shepper has developed a mobile app that recruits people to inspect things su...

Published:  Sat, 15 Sep 2018 16:01:00 GMT



'Packing sex toys, mystery shopping': How to make a living as an Airtasker in Melbourne

The ad said the job was to ''pack showbags'' but when I turned up for work at a warehouse in Sunshine West the next day, I was given the full brief: to stuff 500 showbags for what was billed to be the ...

Published:  Thu, 06 Sep 2018 18:57:00 GMT



WWE Smackdown preview: Mystery guest to appear on Miz TV, title match set

Miz TV with a mystery guest to open the show ... Prowrestling.net when you shop Amazon by starting your online Amazon shopping at Prowrestling.net/amazon. You are not charged extra, but we ...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 08:38:00 GMT



Free Gift Cards, Shopping Bags At Alameda Grand Opening

20. The first 200 customers will receive Grocery Outlet Bargain Bucks in "mystery" amounts ranging from $5 to $200. All shoppers will receive a free reusable bag, while supplies last. And the ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:06:00 GMT




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