Monday, July 28, 2008

Is Mystery Shopping Dead?

Hi All,


Is mystery shopping still a good way to make money from home, or have gas prices, mystery shopping scams and stores doing their own surveys made mystery shopping something to stay away from?

Answer From Coach Melanie:

The three things you named are concerns. High gas prices mean you have to work smarter as a mystery shopper to make a particular mystery shopping assignment viable enough to be worth your time. Think grouping mystery shopping assignments together, combining mystery shopping with merchandising assignments, doing mystery shops where your daily life takes you anyway and negotiating higher pay for a shop (yes there are times the pay for a mystery shopper job is negotiable).

Mystery shopper scams from a few bad apples mean you have to use common sense and know that if someone sends you pay upfront (like the current check scams do), run for the hills.

And yes, many stores now use their register tapes and receipts to get regular shoppers to give their opinion to win cash or merchandise or at least a discount on a future purchase.

On my United Airlines boarding pass for my trip last week, an invitation to complete a survey for the chance to win airline miles was offered (I am going to have fun with that one since they broke my luggage and told me in customer service that "that's what the luggage is for--protecting its contents"). Eating places like Baja Fresh, Johnny Rockets and Johnny Carinos all offer you a freebie or discount for doing a survey by phone or via the internet after eating at their establishments.

However, I do not believe that any of these items, or even all of them together are nails in the coffin of mystery shopping so to speak. Mystery shopping does remain a flexible, legitimate way to make some money from home, and I suspect that it always will.

As always though, if you are looking to be self-employed, mystery shopping is one income stream, and you should be open to adding others to get to your desired level of overall income and not put all your eggs in one basket. More on this concept behind self-employment coming soon.

So do you think mystery shopping is or isn't dead? Let me know what you think!

Have a great day and happy shopping !

Taking the mystery out of professional mystery shopping--Melanie Jordan

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Make Money In Foreclosures

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At 8:45 AM, Blogger Maria said...

According to the numerous calls I receive from several Mystery Shopping companies each month to complete shops, I do not believe that Mystery Shopping is dead. A person filling out a survey form usually does not give enough concise details regarding their experience. Many companies are willing to pay extra for gas, extend assignment times and combine shops to fit my schedule. If you prove to be reliable and willing to help schedulers meet their deadlines, they will remember you and offer incentives not given to other shoppers. After recovering from two back surgeries earlier this year, I find Mystery Shopping a viable way to earn extra money each month.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Coach Melanie said...

Great attitude Maria! You're obviously the kind of mystery shopper I try to help everyone to be--responsible and professional. Glad to hear you are recovering from your back surgeries!


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