If you love to shop, wouldn’t you love it even more if you get paid to do it? Many people are looking for ways to earn some extra cash, and many have heard of mystery shopping as a way to do it but don’t know too much about it. It is possible to earn extra money by mystery shopping, and anyone can start doing it. There are lots of reputable companies you can work for, and all you have to do is sign up and start accepting assignments. However, mystery shopping isn’t for everyone. Should you do it?
Mystery shopping companies hire people like you to visit certain stores and establishments that contract with them. The store wants to know more about the experience their consumers have, and they will pay you to tell them how their employees treated you and your opinion of other things such as the appearance of the store and the atmosphere. After you complete your shopping, you’ll go home and fill out a survey. Then, you’ll get paid for your time and input.
All mystery shops are different, and each assignment you choose to take on will come with detailed instructions. You’ll be asked to do and observe specific things while you’re in the store, and to spend a certain amount of time there. You might need to ask an employee specific questions and gauge their response and helpfulness. You might be asked to try on clothes in the fitting room, or ask about a return policy, or browse for twenty minutes, or attempt to buy cigarettes without an ID. You’ll need to complete all the tasks, and you’ll need to make a purchase. Sometimes you can buy anything you want, and you’ll be reimbursed up to certain dollar amount. Sometimes you won’t be reimbursed but you’ll be able to return your purchase later. When you return home, you’ll fill out a survey online providing all relevant details, and then you’ll send in a copy of your receipt to prove you were in the store and request your reimbursement if applicable. You can usually scan your receipt, or mail in a copy.
Mystery shopping is a good way to earn a little extra cash if you have the time to do it. For example, if you’re going to the mall one day, you can check and see if there are any available mystery shops for that mall and easily complete them because you’ll be there anyway. It’s a neat way to try out new stores and establishments, and you can score some free merchandise through reimbursements.
One of the cons of mystery shopping is that it usually requires you to invest a little bit of your money. You’ll have to buy something before you get paid for it. It can take up to a month, or sometimes longer, for your payment to process. If you don’t have any extra cash to spare, mystery shopping might not be for you. You’ll get it back, but not everyone can afford to wait.
There are lots of reputable mystery shopping companies, but make sure you do your research before joining. A couple examples of trustworthy companies are ICCDS and Beyond Hello. Anytime you join, you’re signing a contract. Remember to report your income on your taxes if you need to. With some companies, you’re only required to report earnings if you make more than $600 in one year. With anything, read all the fine print and ask questions to clarify anything you’re unsure of.
Byline: Lisa Hann loves finding creative ways for making and saving money. She is a writer with several years of experience and a user of Grammarly grammar checker, the most user-friendly resource for grammar correction.
Found this page useful? Tell your friends. Use the social share buttons below: