Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mystery Shopper Tips

Mystery Shoppers Tips

During times of economic stress, many of us are looking for opportunities to make extra money online. One of my good friends, who has been out of work for several months, called me a few days ago to tell me that she had just started as a mystery shopper in our area. My first response was one of concern as I proceeded to lecture her on the pitfalls of the countless scams surrounding mystery shopping. I couldn’t help but pop off a long list of questions. Are you paying anything upfront? Did you get a check for $4134 in the mail? Are you spending your own money? If she hadn’t been talking to me on the phone, she may have slapped me up side the head.

No, she assured me that she had done her research. Being the most organized of all of my friends, she calmly told me that she had found an organization that was legitimate and very highly regarded. Apparently, there is an association online called the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA). From the website:

The MSPA is the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. With over 150 member companies worldwide, our diverse membership includes marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Our member companies work with their clients to establish mechanisms to measure and improve levels of service.

Mystery shopping is a valuable tool used by some of the largest retailers, restaurants and banks to understand and enhance the experience they provide to customers. However, it is not a quick and easy way to make a large sum of money and receive “freebies.” The MSPA has developed the following tips for those interested in becoming a mystery shopper:

  • Prospective shoppers do not have to pay a fee to become a mystery shopper. Shoppers should be extremely wary of any mystery shopping offer that requests a fee.
  • Visit the MSPA Web site ( for a list of reputable mystery shopping companies and opportunities. Contact the companies directly, not the MSPA, for more information on how to become a shopper.
  • Be patient. It takes time, sometimes months or even longer, to be contacted with an offer to conduct a shopping assignment.
  • Be cautious of opportunities that offer large sums of money for simple tasks like cashing a check or wiring money. A typical mystery shopping evaluation will earn about $8 to $20. If an assignment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

My friend has been very pleased with the process so far and has agreed to an interview about her experiences which I will post in the near future.

This company requires you to pay for a GOLD MEMBER SPONSOR after you sign up for free - as they claim that the only good jobs are offered to Gold Level - so now instead of that - they have made a DVD for you to become gold level for $99.00 plus s&h.
If you don’t put in for gold status - there are very few jobs. I thought there was a company that did not require you to pay?

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