We all have reasons to want to make extra money. You could be in between work-from-home jobs or freelance projects. Maybe the home-based business you started hasn’t taken off yet and you want to make some extra money in the meantime.
Or maybe you just want to make some extra money to pay some bills or to cover back to school expenses. No matter what, any reason is a good reason to make some extra money, right?
Aside from the usual ways you can make money from home like doing data entry work or doing internet research, there are some jobs that might sound like they’re coming out of left field but they really are legitimate.
For example, what if I told you you could make money as a mystery shopper? Seriously. You can get paid for taking your family out to dinner, going to a movie, even traveling. All you have to do is fill out a form to evaluate your experience. And it’s all on someone else’s dime.
I know you’re probably thinking is she for real? Yes, I most certainly am! But before you shrug off the idea of being a mystery shopper, hear me out.
Being a mystery shopper may not sound like a big deal to you but for businesses it’s a very big deal. Nowadays, companies use mystery shoppers to evaluate their employee’s performance and quality of their product to get a more realistic picture of how consumers perceive their company and product.
What sucks is that there are some mystery shopper scams out there and that overshadows the importance of providing your feedback to a company who wants to improve their overall product or service for consumers like you and me.
So, I put a list of legit mystery shopper sites to check out but before that list, let me tell you how mystery shopping works.
Here’s How It Works
A mystery shopper goes to a department store, restaurant, electronics store, mobile store or gas station just as they would normally do and complete a transaction. It could be buying an item at a department store, a combo meal at a fastfood restaurant, inquire about a product at an electronics store…I’m sure you get my drift.
The job is to evaluate the entire experience. From the time you enter the store, you will score them on whethere you were greeted in a happy manner or not, if they called you by your name, if they offered you a meal upgrade or dessert, repeated your order to make sure it was correct, if your meal was prepared the way your ordered it and whether they thanked you for your business.
Mystery shoppers are paid doing the things we normally do such as:
- Fill up your car with gas
- Have dinner on a local restaurant
- Shop in your local hardware store
- Request information about a computer
What You Get Out Of Being A Mystery Shopper
And then there are the benefits. Here’s what you get out of being a mystery shopper:
- You get to set your own hours. Once you’ve accepted an assignment, you can complete it’s most convenient for you.
- There is a variety in the type of work you do. One day you might go to a five-star restaurant, the next day you might go to a movie theatre. None of the same hum drum routine.
- You get tax breaks as if you were runnng you’re own home-based business.
- And let’s not forget the free stuff you get.
Mystery Shopper List
If being a mystery shopper sounds good, check out this list of networks you can join.
Consumer Research Group (CRG Proshoppers)
Just like you do a work-from-home job, make sure you research the company carefully. I did my best to leave out the ones with a bad BBB rating or complaint but I could have missed one or two.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post you will come across a mystery shopper scam. If you’re asked to wire money or pay to become a member that should raise a red flag.
The best thing to do to be sure the mystery shop site is legit is to do a research about the company. Check the BBB and forums to see what folks are saying about them. You can also check the Mystery Shoppers Provider Association to search their database and see if they’re a member or not. I know that doesn’t mean if a site isn’t a member they’re not legit but I would feel more comfortable doing business with one who is, you know what I mean?
Are you going to make a lot of money as a mystery shopper? That all depends. The amount of money you make will depend on how many assignments you accept and how much you’re paid. But I’d say it’s definitely worth giving a try.
Over to You
What are your thoughts about mystery shopping? Would you try it out? Have you? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments section below.
If you know anyone who might be interested in becoming a mystery shopper, please share this post with them.
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