I used to mystery shop a lot!! Actually, I made quite a bit of money-not enough to live on but enough for some extras. I would do maybe three or four shops a day. Because I’m a bookkeeper I ended up doing some of the higher paying shops involving banks as well as some of the real easy fast food ones. I think it was around 2009 that I started to slow down mainly because gas was on the rise and I had more then enough private bookkeeping clients to keep me busy. The shops near me were spread out and the bank jobs—well you could only go to one branch so many times.
Fast forward to Dec 2012—I left my main income job in New Jersey. I did scour every single temporary agency for part time bookkeeping positions-to this day—nothing. But I started writing on my blog for money or getting paid for guest posts. I didn’t make a whole lot-but enough to supplement the early social security I had been forced to take in order to pay bills. Then Google decided to take me from a PR 3 to a PR 0 (yes I have since changed every link in my blog to no follow) and they have yet to “re visit” my blog! All the extra money dried up—now what?
Well, although I never planned to mystery shop again I was and am still receiving in my email possible “jobs” from the various companies. One looked easy enough and it was about 5 minutes from my apartment-I took it. Then took another job from a different company which was also very easy and close—I have since taken a third and am actively watching those emails!! You do sometimes have to lay out some money for the "purchase"-but as long as you stay within the budget given to you at the time you accepted the shop-you will get reimbursed.
If done correctly Mystery Shopping is NOT a scam. But it is work. The first thing you have to know is NEVER PAY A COMPANY FOR A JOB—most of those are just selling you lists which in reality you can get for free! You do have to sign up for each individual company and sometimes test before you can accept a job. I happen to be “silver certified” which did cost a little money but it pays off in the long run.
Here are a couple of legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies which I am using currently—there are more and there are groups where you can network with other mystery shoppers. Unfortunately I am not positive of these groups since I have been out of it for so long.
Second to None http://www.second-to-none.com/become_a_mystery_shopper.asp
Trendsource (MSI) http://www.trendsource.com/msi/agent.aspx
Goodwin and Associates http://www.mysteryshopperprogram.com/
Kenesis these usually come and are hosted on other sites but you must register here as
Once I get into this a bit more I will be able to tell you other legitimate companies you can sign up with. Of course I am still hoping that Google will raise me up again so I can get paid to write!!
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