Working as a Mystery Shopper

by Saundra Coyle

I am a stay at home mom who has been mystery shopping for 2 years now. I agree with the lady in your January 18th volume# 4 number 3 issue, that you must be selective in choosing jobs and what companies you work for. I plan our family of four meals away from home using my mystery shopping assignments. So the few times a month we go out to eat we are getting paid for it. I get paid for the meal and a few dollars. Just last week I took my family out to a nice restaurant and the meal cost us $30.00 for the four of us and I get paid $35.00 for going , enjoying and evaluating the restaurant. So my family enjoyed a evening out and a nice meal and we get paid $5.00 for our time we shared. You can't make a fortune doing mystery shopping but it can be rewarding and does have some perks!

I also do many shops that take to my local mall and other area stores where I need not buy anything and get paid to interact with the store associates and fill out short evaluation and get paid on the average $10-$25 for a hour or so of shopping. These kind of shops I enjoy the most it is a way to get out and walk and window shop or get my errands done and make a little extra money also.

I have also done some really big shops for a couple of the companies I work for. I did a "Disney Ice show" a couple of years ago. I was asked if I could get together about four other moms and up to 6 other kids and they paid for the ice show tickets and gave us $100.00 to spend on concessions which we got to keep and paid us a additional $40.00. I got together 3 other moms and 6 kids and we enjoyed a great show and all the moms had to do was shop the concession stands and fill out a report on service and what we saw and how we were treated. So we all came home with toys, shirts and other disney items from the vendors. We ate plenty of popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones. and all it cost us was the drive to the show and sit back and enjoy and also made $10 each mom for taking our kids out for the afternoon! You can't beat that can you!It only took about 15 minutes to complete the paper work for the Ice show , so $10.00 wasn't bad for 15 minutes paperwork,for each mom. So, I as a stay at home mom enjoy the extra money I make doing and getting out working as a mystery shopper. I use my calendar and plan out my shops and errands and family nights out.

This is especially handy after the holidays and long dreary winter we have in the upper midwest. Example, February is a busy month we have my husband's birthday, my birthday and Valentines Day. Who doesn't like to go out to eat on those occasions? Well, with my planning of the mystery shops I have coming up in February, I get to take my husband out on his birthday and we will get back $50.00 on that dinner. I get to take him out to eat again a day before Valentines Day for dinner and we get $25.00 back on that meal. Plus a day before my birthday we get to go to dinner again and get $30.00 back on that meal. The total usually spent going to all three of these restaurants is $85.00 that including tips left. I am getting paid $105.00 for eating and evaluating these three restaurants. So I get to have three wonderful nights out and dinner with my husband come out $20.00 ahead. That sure makes going out much more fun and you don't feel guilty eating out!

It takes a little work to get into mystery shopping, but it has paid off for me. It usually takes some time and a hand written letters and postage, to get on a companies list of shoppers. but it can be rewarding and make a few bucks and enjoy some of the other things you normally give up being a stay at home mom, or one income family.

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