Monterey Mystery Shopping

Company Overview: Monterey Mystery Shopping is another mystery shopping company that has focused on a niche industry.  In this case, it’s the luxury and ultra-luxury motor vehicle industry.

Monterey Mystery Shopping was founded 10 years ago, in 2003.  They proclaim themselves to be the “premier mystery shopping provider for the motor vehicle industry.” Although they say visits should last 30 to 45 minutes, I find, because you are shopping luxury to ultra-luxury brands, the visits typically last 60 to 75 minutes.  Also most of the shops require that you ask for a test drive if one is not offered. This does not include the motorcycle shops which do generally last 30 to 45 minutes.

The company is headquartered in Monterey, California and is a member in good standing of the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. A check with the chamber has revealed no complaints against the company. Monterey pays within 25 to 40 days on average by PayPal.

The shops for this company range from motorcycles to four hundred thousand dollar plus automobiles. Payments start at $30.00 and range up to $150.00, depending on the brand being shopped. If you don’t already have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license, don’t incur the expense of getting it; test drives on motorcycles are not allowed.

Registration is at http://montereymysteryshopping.com and is a standard Prophet form. Start my clicking on the “New shopper? Join us!” tab. The site is easy to navigate and shops are fairly easy to find and self-assign. I’ve also had good luck with the schedulers when I’ve needed a question answered, or further clarification on a project’s details.

Comments on www.mysteryshopforum.com have been mostly positive. Like most shops, there are complaints from some shoppers [a definite minority] who feel the pay scale is not commensurate with the time involved and the detail required. I find the shops to be relatively easy and generally in line with the pay scale. One positive, in my opinion, is by shopping the luxury and ultra-luxury automobile market; I find there is less pressure exerted by the salesperson to close the sale today. In fact, I generally have noticed a tendency for the salesperson to want to make sure the automobile is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. This makes the shops more enjoyable in my opinion, because you’re not going to experience the high pressure to make the purchase decision before you leave the dealership. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, if you are new to Mystery Shopper Magazine, I generally find new car shops to be, for the most part, enjoyable.

As so many of our fellow shoppers have said on the forum, don’t let the idea of shopping, or test driving, an ultra-luxury automobile scare you. In this job we all have to act to one degree or another. Get your mindset right and leave the checkbook at home just so you won’t be tempted…

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