Market Research Companies and Focus Groups

A popular misconception is that mystery shoppers give our opinions about the businesses we shop. Nope. We share objective observations—opinions have no place in a mystery shopper report. If you like to give your opinions (And who doesn’t?) focus groups are perfect for you. Not only do you get to tell them what you really think, you get paid for it! What could be better, right? Focus groups and other opinion research studies are typically run by market research companies. {Read More}

Mystery Shop Report Design

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Do you ever wonder about how clients decide on the questions that appear on mystery shop reports? In theory, mystery shopping measures what is most important to the business. However, if care is not taken in the design of the shop report, the information the client gets (and the message they send to employees about what matters) will be way off base. A few years ago, Office Depot hired a new CEO. He immediately noticed that sales were declining although {Read More}

Do You Have to Pay to Be a Mystery Shopper?

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Short answer: No. But let’s look at a few specifics where you may be asked to pay. First, there are companies that represent themselves as mystery shopping companies that can award shops, and they charge shoppers a membership fee or other charge to access available assignments. These are not mystery shopping companies. Mystery shopping companies do not charge you to apply. Never pay to apply, and never pay a “membership fee” to get mystery shopper jobs. You do not need {Read More}

How to Find Mystery Shopper Jobs in Your Area

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One of the questions I get asked most often is about how to find local mystery shopper jobs. Here are some tips on finding opportunities all around you. How do I find mystery shopping companies in my town? You don’t really need to find companies in your town, you need to find companies that have clients in your town.

Get Your First (or Next) Mystery Shopper Job

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Question from a shopper: I have been applying to mystery shopping companies, but I never get any jobs. What am I doing wrong? Should I give up? Whether you are a brand new shopper trying to get started, or an experienced shopper looking for more assignments, there are several possible reasons you are not getting as many assignments as you would like. Let’s take a look at some of them. Did you submit a complete application? Make sure that you {Read More}

Your Mystery Shopping Business

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Most mystery shoppers do not think of themselves as business owners, but that is exactly what we are. As business owners, we are responsible for our profitability. Don’t like the shops you are doing, the people you are working with or the amount of money you are making? It is up to you to change those things. Start by having a business plan. That’s right, a business plan. No, you don’t have to have a binder full of spreadsheets, charts {Read More}

The Green Dot MoneyPak Mystery Shop Scam

The scammers continue to come up with new angles for scams. One that is becoming more popular is a variation on the fake check scam. Instead of wiring the money to the scammer via MoneyGram or Western Union, the bad guys have their victims purchase Green Dot MoneyPak Cards or other pre-paid cards and send the PIN numbers to the scammers. Here is how it works:

Is It Normal to Be Scared to Mystery Shop?

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We have all heard of “stage fright,” but is there such a thing as “shop fright”? Some people who are interested in mystery shopping tell me that they are too afraid to take their first assignments and get started. How can they get past the fear and launch their mystery shopping careers? Any time you do something new, it is normal to be a little nervous. You were probably nervous the first time you got behind the wheel of a {Read More}

Make Money at Home and Work in Your Pajamas

The flexibility of mystery shopping is part of its appeal to many shoppers. We can work when we want to and work as much (or as little) as we wish. But how great is it when you can earn money without leaving the house? Maybe even without getting out of your pajamas! (But you really should shower once in a while. Really.) Connie Brentford knows all about this. She is the author of several books about making money from home. {Read More}

That Which Confuses Us About Which and That

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If you’re like me, you have safely become a successful adult by completely avoiding situations that involve complex use of the words, “which” and “that.” They’re confusing, and hard to understand. Below is a quick and easy guide to getting rid of the stress associated with these two rascals, so that you can properly use them in a sentence. Knowledge is power, and confidence is key! So What’s the Difference? There’s a very subtle difference between the two words, but {Read More}