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Mystery Shopping for many people conjures up images of scams and fraud. . .however, this thriving, legitimate business has been around for decades and is a vital component of branding and marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes.
Mystery shopping, sometimes known as secret shopping, has been around for decades. The industry has grown astronomically since internet reporting and online recruiting and job assignment are now possible.
As self-employed contractors, shoppers can set their own hours and choose which type of jobs they want to accept. The only equipment needed for some jobs are an internet connection and a telephone. Making phone calls from the comfort of your own home and then reporting your experience in a fact-based manner means that overhead is low-or even non-existent.
Specialty calls (to financial institutions or medical providers) can pay as much as $25 each and some offer an option of adding an in-person visit that doubles that pay. Typical phone calls take no more than five minutes plus ten to fifteen minutes to complete a report and pay from $2 to $12 dollars.
On-site evaluations at restaurants, auto dealers, mall outlets, fast-food venues, grocery stores and other businesses are conducted for a variety of reasons. Mystery shoppers may evaluate customer service, look for branding issues or test products while remaining incognito to get a real customer experience.
There are even highly lucrative offers that result in free cruises, free airline travel, free hotel stays and other expenses benefits. There are for skilled and experienced shoppers, not the novice and require a lot of detailed work, so don't expect to snatch one of these assignments your first week out of the gate.
Keep in mind that you should never pay to work-if a company asks you to pay to register with their company, cash checks and withhold a fee or make any monetary investment up front, walk away. Legitimate mystery shopping companies offer training and support without charging for these services.
You may choose to become a certified shopper and if so there could be fees to take the classes; however, certification is only required by a handful of companies that need highly-trained shoppers.
To gain valuable information about the industry and reputable companies visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Associate website at shttp://www.mysteryshop.org/.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|