The new year is almost upon us, and that is the time many of us make resolutions. This year, in addition to the usual resolutions about losing weight or getting organized, there will be an emphasis on resolutions to spend less and save more money. That is where mystery shopping can help.
Mystery shopper jobs allow us to earn extra money that can be used to build our savings, or pay down those credit card bills. And, by choosing assignments wisely, we can also get many things for free, or at a reduced price, that we would normally have to pay for.
In my career as a professional shopper, I have been reimbursed for meals, haircuts, eye examinations, dry cleaning, car oil changes, groceries and much more. In addition, by using a rewards credit card for many of my reimbursed purchases, I have received gift cards and other perks from my credit card company.
We can even splurge a little now and then, thanks to mystery shopping.
In the current economy, one of the first things to go from many budgets was eating out at restaurants. If that is an indulgence you hate to give up, mystery shopping may allow you to dine out at least once in a while when you accept restaurant mystery shopper jobs. Although some shops are fast food (hardly an indulgence, but your kids may enjoy the burger), many family, casual dining and fine dining restaurants are also mystery shopped.
There are several mystery shopping companies that specialize in movie theater audits and mystery shops. If going to a first-run movie is no longer in the budget, this may be an opportunity to do so.
Some things are necessary, even if money is tight. Have you been putting off getting your eye examination or buying new glasses? There are secret shops of optometrists and opticians where you may receive a free eye exam and a deep discount on glasses or contacts as part of your compensation.
Mystery shopper jobs that do not include a reimbursement for products or services purchased provide extra cash, something we all can use. These types of shops are available at banks, apartment complexes and new home communities, and some retail stores. (Mystery shops of retail stores may not provide a reimbursement if there is no purchase required or the shop calls for the purchase and return of an item.)
Although you will not get rich as a secret shopper, mystery shopping can be just the answer for making some extra cash, or stretching your dollars to help them go further.