Question about Mystery Shoppers.

Is this for real? Every place I see advertising this is not offering a job but is selling a kit (usually between $30 and $60). Do stores even hire anyone out-of-house for this? If so, how did you find/get the job?

My family used to be mystery shoppers for O’Charleys.

It kinda sucked, really. They paid for only half of your food bill, and most of your time at the table was spent logging the time the server showed at the table, the time they took your order, etc. There was no pay other than the 50% off. We started doing it because my brother was a manager of some sort at another location.

YMMV.

An ex-girlfriend of mine was a mystery shopper for a while. She got jobs through a couple of agencies she found on the web. I don’t know the names of the agencies. She never bought any sort of kit. That sounds like a scam.

There wasn’t a lot of money in it. Each job paid about $30 - 40 and took 2 - 3 hours including travel time and writing the report. Each agency will only send you on so many jobs because they only have so many stores they contract with. They need fresh faces so the employees don’t get suspicious. It doesn’t take long before you’ve shopped all of the stores in your area and they have no further use for you.

I understand that it is not that great of work. I just need a job right now and I like the flexible hours and the need to wright reports for it.

There are a couple of different kinds of mystery shopping. One seems to be tied into the security/loss prevention and tends to be handled through those kinds of agencies on a subcontractor basis.

The other seems to be a rather loosely maintained freelance thing. There are a couple of reputable things on the internet, I’ve done some shops with one of the agencies and there really aren’t reports, you’re not paid right away and the hours aren’t all that flexible. But it can be kinda fun.

I did Mystery Shopping for a while…
I thought it was wonderful, I wasn’t in it for the money,
just the free food…
We shopped Logans Roadhouse and recieved 2 free dinners + one dessert, but you know the WORST part???

We HAD to order steak!!!.. :wink: WOOOHOOOO!!!

Love their food…
Also did some mystery grocery store shopping…
They paid 15.OO, it took me about 15 mins to finish the required duties, and heck I had to be there anyway…
so not a bad deal at all…
REALLY wish they would call me again for a Logans shop… I miss that terribly…

NEVER had to order any kind of a kit… = RIPOFF

I filed my reports online …

Right now… one company is desperate for people with a Digital camera to shop for Papa Johns… its for pick up or delivery, they were paying 20.00 + the free pizza

Pizza doesnt do a whole lot for me, so I passed on that one…

I believe it’s Mysteryshops.com
Also shopped a Gateway store, very easy 15.00

What is this “mystery shopping”? Could someone explain?

It looks like there is info. via Google, like
http://www.finitesite.com/ishopaz/

Also, I heard that in CA at least, Jack-in-the-Box Restaurant chain hired mystery shoppers. Maybe you could check online or ask at fast food chains and restaurants. Also, as a result of the discrimination suits against Denny’s Restaurant a while back, people were hired to visit their various locations around the U.S. & do some undercover eating to ensure their compliance with a federal agreement. Sounds like a good idea you have to check this out. I would not pay for a kit when you could get direct work. Have you tried key word searching through Monster.com or CA classifieds or Hot Jobs, etc.?

A Mystery Shopper is a person who is hired by a business establishment to go in and purchase goods, then write a report on how good the experience is, how helpful the staff was, etc. They hire outside people to do it so the employees don’t know they’re being judged.

The movie theater I used to work for had them come in. We (the employees) absolutely hated them. If we didn’t smile BAM infraction, and less of a raise at review time.

The major grocery chains in NoCal (and elsewhere, I’m sure) have forty-hour-per-week mystery shoppers. A friend is employed by Raley’s and travels all over NoCal going to one or two stores per day. The majority of her time is spent driving and completing the store reports.

She has a checklist of questions she asks in the various sections of the store: Where does this produce come from? When was the potato salad made? Is this chicken free-range? Where can I find clam juice? There is lots of interaction with employees and often the questions are embarrassingly half-assed.

I don’t know exactly what she makes per hour, but I think it’s in the 10-12 dollar range plus transportation expenses. Raley’s pays for her purchases, which she returns to headquarters.

She enjoys the job because it’s a no-brainer and offers the driving freedom when the stores are a few hours from headquarters. At the end of each day, or the following morning if the store is far away, she returns to headquarters to complete a painstakingly thorough report.

Another friend worked for a hotel chain going from hotel to hotel, often flying several days a week. She disliked the job because as a pretend-businesswoman, she was expected to be bitchy and demanding. On the other hand, she enjoyed it because she accumulated lots of frequent flier miles, took great vacations, staying for free with the hotel chain.

I think it would be a great interim job, certainly nothing to make a career out of.

Yes, but how did you and they get the jobs?

** Muad’Dib **

Go to the stores’ websites - try Raley’s, Safeway, Bel Air, etc., and use their Human Resources or Employment options. I think that sending a paper resume works better (this is from friends who work in HR who tend to delete internet applications and file paper applications). At least you can get HQ addresses from the websites.

Same thing is true of hotels and stores such as Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, etc.

One advantage of the grocery store shopper is that you can dress as an average person shopping. When shopping for a hotel chain or upscale department store chain, you’ll be expected to dress accordingly.

You might try contacting managers at some of the grocery and restaurant chains in your area to find out if they do mystery shopping and if they hire their own or use a firm. My experience is most of them use a firm. Your goal is to get a name and contact at a reputable firm (NOT one of the kit-selling scams).

I’d expect to make a few calls, get blown off some, and maybe have some success. If you have previous experience managing or evaluating customer service, or an excellent track record in customer service yourself, that would make you more marketable for this type of work.

Most of the larger multi-family property management (think Trammell Crow and Post Properties) firms hire mystery apartment shoppers. Those of us who are in the business ask such blatant shopper questions, we get busted right away and that’s only if we don’t get made walking through the door; so quite often a mystery shopper is brought in from “off”. This type of mystery shopping can pay pretty well and if you like looking at new apartments it can also be fun. I still do this occasioanny for some valued colleagues in other markets (and very rarely get busted).

if you are looking for part -time work along the same lines try merchandising
sign up here http://www.narms.com/employment.html its free you will literally have more jobs that you can handle. Some of them will lead to full time work and its a great way to meet people and you pretty much set your own hours

There are agencies you can sign up with that give your name to the stores. My mom works for one called “Shop N Check”. You sign up, and the companies inj your area contact you with assignments. It doesn’t pay all that well, but you get free stuff (ice cream, fast food, eyeglasses [mystery shopping a WalMart vision center], etc.). It helps to have experience in the field and be able to travel – my mom’s a sales rep for a grocery broker, and travels all over four states.