Want to earn an extra $100 a month? Have student loans or debts to pay? if so why not become a mystery shopper. When I left college my full time job only covered my bills and day to day expenses. I decided to become a mystery shopper and it really helped with the payments.
If you’ve worked in retail which I think we all have during our college days. You’ve probably heard of mystery shoppers.
I remember my days in retail we would be told by the management team that we have a mystery shopper coming in. We would have a checklist to abide by. It would be a normal customer and we would have no idea who or when they would come in. After the visit, we would be able to read the report.
This got me thinking it would be so cool to go shopping for free, get paid for it, and be able to give your opinion on a company. I looked into becoming a mystery shopper and become one myself to help with the extra bills and student loans.
There are many benefits to becoming a mystery shopper some of these include:
- Free meals at restaurants
- Products for free
- Free services
- And many more !!
While receiving these great benefits you can also earn between $100 to $200 a month. When you’re reviewing a company such as a restaurant you will have to pay upfront for the bill and then you will be reimbursed by the company your registered with to become a mystery shopper.
How to become a mystery shopper
Many of you may be thinking of how to become a mystery shopper. You may also be thinking that its too good to be true and why doesn’t everyone do it?. We’ll you’ve come to the right place we’re here to answer all the questions you have and if you need further answers just comment below.
Many of us think its as simple as going into a store and letting the management know how good their staff is. It’s not as simple as that and does require some work. In order to get your money back, you’ll need to keep all your receipts as proof. Once you’ve been to the company you’ll need to fill out a survey and report your experience back to the company you’re registered with. The purpose of Mystery shoppers is to allow companies to improve their customer service experience and really now what’s been going well and not so well.
One of the companies we recommend to join is Bestmark. This is one of the largest mystery shopper companies and will give you a range of companies to review.
Although mystery shopping won’t make you rich or even become a full-time job it’s a great way to earn extra cash. It’s a great way to spend your spare time to earn cash and can become really enjoyable. Becoming a mystery shopper will he;p you reach your financial goals a lot quicker. The great thing is you get to test products and dine out for free.
How do mystery shoppers get paid?
If your thinking of becoming a mystery shopper you’ll need to know how much and how you get paid. There are 3 main ways in which a mystery shopper can get paid these are:
- Cash and reimbursement: (You’ll get paid to participate in the mystery shop and for the products or services you’ve purchased)
- Cash: (If you’ve reviewed a company but not purchased anything then you’ll just get paid for your participation e.g a mobile company)
- Reimbursement: ( An example would be a restaurant review where you would only get paid for the meal, not for participation)
There are many methods in which you can receive payment such as Postage, Cheque, PayPal, and gift cards. You’ll normally receive payment within 2-4 weeks after you’ve completed your mystery shop.
How to know which companies are legitimate.
When you first start to become a mystery shopper you’ll come across many sites that are nor real or scams. When I first started I decided to google mystery shopper sites and became a bit baffled. There are so many companies that exist to scam people out of their money and you need to be aware of these companies.
Leaning to become or becoming a mystery shopper has become more and more popular. As many of us are so keen to become mystery shoppers these companies have used it as a way of luring innocent people in.
Don’t let this put you off, there are many legitimate companies out there that will really help you earn extra cash. If you know someone who is already mystery shopping you can ask them. If you work in retail you may even be able to see which company reviewed your store. Some reviews will give you their company name printed on the report.
The company that I think is the best and most well known is Bestmark. In my opinion, this is the only legitimate company I’ve come across in my time mystery shopping and the only one I’ve used. Since joining they have never asked me for any money and always paid me on time.
The best way to know if a company is real or fake is the fee they charge. The scam companies will ask you to pay upfront to join the company a bit like a joining fee. Once you’ve paid this fee you’ll never hear from them again. Always do your research before joining and the key is not to pay a dime upfront.
Types of Mystery shoppers available
Once you sign up for a company like Bestmart you’ll be given a list of available companies to choose from. Each company will tell you the state in which its located, the time and the amount you are expected to receive. This could be cash payments or reimbursement or even both.
To apply to one of the mystery shopper companies all you need to do is click on the one you’re interested in the available date and click “request”.
Now that you’ve applies the mystery shopper company will get back to you. They get back to you quite quick and will let you know if you can take part. Most of the time you’ll get accepted.
There are many different categories of mystery shops you can take part in these are:
- Restaurants (A yummy way to work!)
- Makeup counters
- Car dealerships
- Cell phone shops
- Movie Theaters
- Electronic stores
- Phone calls ( booking a table at a restaurant or reviewing a call center)
There are so many different options from you to choose from. As well as the above list there are many more companies you can apply to.
Our favorite mystery shops
When I first started mystery shopping I become quite greedy. I wanted to join everything possible and make as much as I could. I soon realized that I was traveling too far and spending a lot of time filling out surveys. By signing up for everything I thought I could earn as much as I did with my full-time job. However, it was very time-consuming.
There are two main mystery shops that we loved. One of which is a car dealership. There are two main things you can participate in with the car dealerships these are:
- Dealership calls: This is great as you don’t leave your house. You’ll need to call, and book in a service for your car and sometimes you may even be able to do them online. This pays between $3-$5 and you can easily do between 3-4 a week.
- Go to a dealership: If you go to a dealership and show some interest in a car you can earn up to $20 a time. However, this does require travel.
The second would be restaurant visits. These are great as you would get anything between $30-$100 to eat that right just to eat. The company would tell you to spend $100 on food in a steakhouse for instance. The only down side to restaurant reviews is the amount of paperwork after. Some Restaurant shops will require you rate the cleanliness of the outside of the restaurant to the time you receive your bill.
When I started I soon realized there are ways in which I could benefit further than just making money from a number of companies. Below is a list of companies we like and companies that can benefit you further.
List of beneficial mystery shops
- Online shop reviews: These are great! As you’re reviewing a shop online you’re not wasting your time traveling and paying for fuel costs. These reviews can be anything from the website to receiving an item in the mail. As you’re reviewing from home you actually make more money.
- Restaurants: Although you don’t get paid for your time at the restaurant, you do get paid for the meal. This means you save on lunch or dinner costs and actually get a luxury meal for free. You can be reimbursed anything from $30 to $100 for a steakhouse.
- Makeup stores: These are great for receiving free products sometimes you’ll just need to review products and these can be full-sized. These normally pay $10 however you can receive up to $200 worth of free products.
- Product reviews: Product reviews are great as the product gets delivered to you in the mail and you get to keep the product after. These products can be highly valued such as a vacuum cleaner.
- Hotels: This is one of my favorites as you get to stay in hotels for free. Sometimes you even get to review the restaurants within the hotel. The only downside is sometimes they are during the week when I’m working so I didn’t do many.
What do you do if you cannot make a Mystery shop you signed up for?
If you sign up for a Mystery shop and you’re unable to make it you’ll need to contact the scheduler. It’s ok to cancel a few times as we all have unforeseen circumstances, However, try not to cancel too often as the scheduler will remember you and may not give you further shops.
Read on about: Ways To Get Extra Money To Pay Off Debt.