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Ever done mystery shopping?
Old 05-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
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Ever done mystery shopping?

I came across this site as a result of filling out a restaurant survey (which I generally avoid doing): Mystery Shopping Job in USA - Market Force

Here is a more detailed idea of what one would be getting into: https://www.applymarketforce.com/

Quote:
What kind of “shops” might I do? We shop a variety of retail shops including gasoline stations, fast food establishments, sit-down restaurants, drug stores, computer stores, warehouse clubs, wireless telephone providers, bookstores, etc.
What do I get paid? For many shops you will be paid a fee to compensate you for completing our service questionnaire and for other shops you make a reimbursable purchase of a meal. Shoppers are paid once a month either by check or direct deposit, for all approved shops completed in the prior calendar month. Fees are paid only for reports acceptable to our clients.
What are the requirements for being a mystery shopper? You must be at least 20 years old and have a minimum of a high school education. You need excellent observational skills and must be very detail oriented. Most shops require a digital watch that displays seconds or a stopwatch for timing the store’s service. Access to a computer is required and high-speed access is highly recommended. A digital camera is necessary for higher paying audit-type assignments.
Anyone with experience in this? Was it fun or just a lot of work? I'm just a bit curious, not seriously considering this.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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Friend had signed up for one a few years back. I can't say it's the same for all mystery shopper places, but what my friend signed up for was a scam.

In my friend's situation, the outfit would have her do the questionares, then sent her what looked like a real check. But the check was bogus. I think it's like another way of phishing or the old pigeon drop scam. I remember the bogus check she got was supposed to be from some university. She actually called the university and said, "Is this true, a check from you?" and they said, "No, it's a scam."
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
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I've never tried them, but just on the off-chance someone reading this has never heard, there's a common "secret shopper" scam that goes like this:

You respond to an ad for a "secret shopper" on Craigslist or Kijiji. They want you to evaluate the local Western Union outlet. They send you a cheque for $1,800, and want you to use Western Union to send a cheque for $1,500 to a confederate (the $300 difference is your payment for "helping" them with this survey).

Needless to say, the $1,800 cheque they sent you is bogus, but the money you sent them was real, and you're out $1,500.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
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The only mystery shopping I do occurs when I receive a package from Amazon, and I don't remember what I ordered.

You can do this on purpose: order things on Amazon when you're drunk, and when they arrive it will be like Christmas.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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You do a lot of SUI Al?
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
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I do not think the link I posted is a scam because it was a link at the end of a survey I did for a well known restaurant chain. If it is not legitimate I'll edit out those links. Anyway, I'm just curious about the legitimate experiences. These scams are becoming all too frequent, bummer.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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I have two people who mystery shop... one sits to the right of me, the other to the left... one introduced the other to it...

I have only talked to the one who has been doing it for a few years.... she said that it is work and you have to fill out a long questionaire etc. Some are shopping for cosmetics and there are specific instructions they are supposed to follow (IIRC, it was awhile ago when I asked and do not care to go ask again)...

She did say that her husband enjoys going to places they would not normally go as he does not have to pay as much attention to what is happening... she does like doing it and thinks it is worth the hassle...

This is just my feel from the conversation.... that if you do a good job, you get more and more offers for your service... IOW, she can pick what she wants to do and leave the ones she does not as she gets a lot of requests...
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kombat View Post
I've never tried them, but just on the off-chance someone reading this has never heard, there's a common "secret shopper" scam that goes like this:

You respond to an ad for a "secret shopper" on Craigslist or Kijiji. They want you to evaluate the local Western Union outlet. They send you a cheque for $1,800, and want you to use Western Union to send a cheque for $1,500 to a confederate (the $300 difference is your payment for "helping" them with this survey).

Needless to say, the $1,800 cheque they sent you is bogus, but the money you sent them was real, and you're out $1,500.
Thanks for the description. This process sounds a lot like the type of scam my friend almost got duped into.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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I was a secret shopper briefly . I thought it would be more fun that it was . It basically was a long questionnaire after you visited the site and very little pay . A better thing to do is take surveys for Amazon gift cards . I do that when they send me surveys . It takes about ten to fifteen minutes and you get between $10 or $20 in Amazon gift cards . The more you do it the more and higher paid surveys they will send you .
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I was a secret shopper briefly . I thought it would be more fun that it was . It basically was a long questionnaire after you visited the site and very little pay . A better thing to do is take surveys for Amazon gift cards . I do that when they send me surveys . It takes about ten to fifteen minutes and you get between $10 or $20 in Amazon gift cards . The more you do it the more and higher paid surveys they will send you .
I get tons of survey request but nobody mentions giving me anything. Where are the Amazon gift card surveys? I'd actually consider doing this a bit if it was not too long a survey.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
Anyone with experience in this? Was it fun or just a lot of work? I'm just a bit curious, not seriously considering this.
Yes, DW and I do a bit of this for free food/small pay. DW is more into this than I am. Market Force is a legitimate company, but you have to give up your SSN for each company and a lot of them are scams. DW signed up for around 10 different companies. Some are a lot of work, if you do them and miss an item or do the wrong day/time, you don't get reimbursement or any payment fee. She knows which are easier to do and stays away from the ones that require pages of written info. If you don't like writing, I'd recommend staying away from doing this. Also, try not to be too critical if something goes wrong, some shoppers aren't used after being too negative.

Since we have a 12 yr old, it helps that we can go out for burger/fries and pizza quite a bit. We have figured out to wait until bonuses are offered to do the shop. Typically, they pay for the food (or a big portion of it) and then you get a small payment, say $7. We wait until we can get $12 - $14. We also do other shops where we can get food up to $35, but there's no extra pay for the work. We only do these every 2-3 months.

Market Force does McD's, problem is you need to take a test to qualify. They don't pay a lot and make you do stupid things to complete this shop. They require you to order inside and time everything, then you leave, get in your car then visit the drive thru and order again while doing multiple timings. If the shop identifies you as a mystery shopper, you'll be banned from doing these shops again.

Some companies are demanding you fill out a W-9 now. If you make $600+, you'll receive a 1099-MISC and then you pay taxes on this. You need to track your payments so you don't go over, reimbursements are not included in this amount.
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