A secret shopper, also called a mystery shopper, is a paid consumer who is hired to shop in stores and collect data. Think of mystery shoppers as "undercover customers" sent in to observe, interact, and report on other customers and store employees.
Mystery shoppers are typically employed by a third party rather than the store or company itself. I have made $4000+ in a year and that is only doing about an average of 10 jobs per month mostly on weekends because I have a full-time job. If I were to be more diligent and perform more jobs, I could make much more. You truly work when and where you want to. There are NO SCHEDULES! You go to the sites, see what jobs are available, when they need to be done, and pick what works for you.
Most of these companies require PayPal for your payments which works well for me. There are basically three types of shops when it comes to payment:
1. Jobs require that you purchase food or services and then they reimburse you as well as pay you a fee (like my movie visit today, I had to pay upfront, but I will get it all back plus $50 payment).
2. Jobs that reimburse you with no extra fee on top, but usually that is with high-end experiences like a dinner that is expensive so it is usually payment enough (like a good steak and Ruth Chris😂).
3. Jobs where you don't have to buy anything, TOTALLY FREE, you just evaluate service and receive a fee for doing so. These are like jobs where you go to a cell phone store and act like you want to get service but leave before closing the deal. You will evaluate the salesperson and how they handled you.
Also note, most of these companies will require a detailed commentary to be submitted with receipts or proof of visit usually within 12-24 hours of completing the job. They score you on how well you write and complete assignments, if you score low, they will not offer you future work or higher-paying jobs. Also if you sign up for jobs and then don't complete them, they will remove you from their shopper system. Definite no-no😁
Payments are usually made between 15-45 days after the job is complete, so once you start performing shops regularly, money starts coming inconsistently. I recommend starting with one company, performing consistent shops like once a week or every weekend doing on, then you will see the money start coming in very regularly. The main things you need are a laptop, printer/scanner and cell phone with a good camera and a digital timer (some shops will have you time how long it took to receive service).
Now understand, you will be considered an independent contractor for these companies. They will pay you with no tax being withheld. So if you plan to do this hustle as a strong side hustle, keep track of your shops and expenditures. You will have to fill out a W-9 and file taxes at the end of the year (which also means you will be able to write off expenses related to your work so read up on being an IC). Also, you never have to pay to be a legit Mystery Shopper so if you come across any company asking for money, leave them alone. It is a scam.
Again, this is a real gig so they will often ask for tax documents (W-9), your social security number, photo ID uploads, etc. if you don't want to give this info to the companies, you won't be able to be a secret shopper😰.
If you need more information or have any questions about doing this, please feel free to contact me!
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