Unraveling The Mystery of Mystery Shopping

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  1. I see a lot of ads looking for mystery shoppers, usually showing a glamorous lady with a bag full of expensive items. It seems like a dream job, get paid to shop right? Well my wife really does mystery shopping and her daughter does in in England (her daughter is the one who started first, my wife has been doing it since she moved to America).

    First of all they didn't have to complete any offers or pay any money to be considered for the job. Any company with requirements like that is scamming you. I've seen another that doesn't ask for money but they say you have to be an excellent writer and be prepared to write several paragraphs about each job. Scenarios like that are smelling like stinky fish right away because they put the company into a position to reject any writing that doesn't meet their standards. Like the old "make crafts at home" scams you can reject Hemingway if all you are looking for is a reason, I'd stay far away from offers with those kinds of requirements.

    Second is that you don't get any glamorous department store luxury item type jobs. You go to gas stations, pack and ship stores, perhaps the ocassional fast food restaurant. Neither my wife or her daughter have ever been into a botique, never been asked to buy clothing or even a toaster. It's mainly geared toward critiquing the service, not the product.

    Finally, you don't make much money. They reimburse you if you have to buy an item and you get paid for your time but a typical job takes less than 15 minutes and pays less than ten dollars. The jobs also don't show up very often. I think the most my wife has made in a month is about $70. She only does local jobs because anything more than 10 miles away isn't worth it for the money they pay you. There is the ocassional job that pays $50, we've seen them posted but one has never been close enough to our town. Mystery shopping is definitely not a career option if you're looking for anything more than mad money.