Assignments

How to Get Mystery Shops in Your Area

July 2, 2017

We received an email asking us how a mystery shopper can get more shops in their area. Our team of experts researched and brainstormed some of the strategies needed to increase the number of assignments. Here are the top 5 ways you can get more shops and make more money. Sign up with more companies….

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13 Assignments that Mystery Shoppers Love to Hate

March 28, 2016

There are some “nightmare” mystery shopping assignments that most shoppers avoid like the plague. The Swedish Furniture Store shops are the classic example. Many shoppers hate doing Purchase and Return Shops. Oddly, these assignments continue to exist. Which means some shoppers don’t hate them after all. Here is a list of 13 undesirable shopping assignments….

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Auditing Assignments for Mystery Shoppers

November 2, 2015

Overview: Since quite a few mystery shops can include auditing as part of the assignment, either covert or revealed, I think it’s important to review auditing, either by itself or combined with a mystery shop, as a major part of the mystery shopping industry. Project Variations: There are many kinds of audits: vitamin store audits,…

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Movie Theater Assignments

October 26, 2015

Overview: Movie theater assignments can be pretty fun and somewhat time consuming. They are assignments where you go into a movie theater and evaluate the associates, concessions, pop signs, patron counts, standees, movie posters and cleanliness. In some cases, you take pictures of extreme issues, such as: overly greasy foods, damage to the following: standees,…

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Fast Casual Restaurants

August 31, 2015

Overview: Fast Casual restaurants came on the scene in the mid 1990’s and mainstreamed into popularity around 2008-2010. The difference in Fast Food to Fast Casuals-Fast Casuals do not offer full-table service like Olive Garden or Applebee’s. The service is limited to self-service fair and “most” do not have a Drive-Thru. The Fast Casuals promise…

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USPS Assignments: Are They For You?

July 6, 2015

Introduction: These shipping shops are one of the most widely talked about on the forum. Is it because they are widely available, offered frequently, can be quick, are enticing for the opportunity to be paid to mail a package with at least partial reimbursement for the shipping costs, and are very detailed? All of the…

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Apartment Assignments

February 2, 2015

Overview: This type of shop can be fun, but it requires more narrative than the average shop. Paying attention to detail is a must, so is writing a thorough report. Once you get the hang of doing apartment shops, they will become a breeze to complete. Project variations: The assignment is more structured than most…

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Phone Shops: The Pros and Cons

January 26, 2015

Phone shops seem to be a love them or hate them shop among mystery shoppers. This discussion is dealing with shops that are exclusively a phone call, not a call with a follow-up visit. The chief complaint is they don’t pay much, and that’s true. It’s rare to see a phone shop paying more than…

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Compare and Contrast Financial Institutions

December 22, 2014

Overview: I recently completed a new kind of assignment.  The assignment is to Compare and Contrast two different financial institutions. When I received the email about the assignment I hesitated before applying because it seemed like it would be a lot of work, but I told myself that I would try it because I love trying…

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The 5 Best Assignments for New Mystery Shoppers

December 15, 2014

Disclaimer: These suggestions are solely the opinion of the author. As widely documented on Mystery Shop Forum, one shopper’s “best” shops are another shopper’s “worst” shops. In addition, many more shops could have been mentioned, but due to space limitations, only five examples were cited. Welcome to the World of Mystery Shopping, New Shopper! Although…

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Grocery Store Assignments

November 8, 2014

Overview: I love doing grocery shops but they can be slightly tedious depending on the mystery shopping company. The payment for this type of shop can range from reimbursement only to reimbursement plus a fee. One of the things that I like about doing grocery shops is that you can have an opportunity to try…

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Gas Station / Convenience Store Audits

September 15, 2014

There are several different types of gas station/convenience store audits, and they can be broken down into basically two types, revealed and unrevealed. Both require at least one purchase, although the revealed audits usually require two purchases; one of gasoline, and one of an item from the convenience store. Having an economy car, it becomes…

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Thank You, Sandy, for Blowing It

September 8, 2014

Written by dspeakes Two years ago this month I tucked my old pocket tape recorder into the cell phone pouch on my purse and walked into a sub sandwich shop in a local strip mall to do my first-ever mystery shop. I was nervous as a cat on a freeway at rush hour. I had…

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Apartment Shops and Railroads

September 1, 2014

Early on in my shopping career, I had a route of apartment shops that consisted of eight different locations in five cities over some 300 miles of interstate highway. Sounds easy enough until the mystery shopping company said they were all for the same client and once you visit one property, you’re in the system…

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The $6,531.35 Resort Assignment

July 14, 2014

With a recent discussion about a resort shop offered to the overall shopping public gathering so much interest, James Bond 007.5 approached me about setting the record straight on what resort shops entail. While each different company has it’s own methods and requirements, there are basic similarities with all of them when it comes to…

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Gas Station Assignments

June 2, 2014

If you’ve browsed very many mystery shopping job boards, you’ve probably seen assignments available for gas stations/convenience stores. We’ve previously written about these assignments. But, they’re not as straightfoward as they might seem. In this article, we’ll walk you through preparing for these assignments, so that you can take full advantage of the opportunity they…

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A different kind of business verification.

May 19, 2014

I like to do business verifications, even though the pay is usually nothing to get excited about. I like that they are revealed and there is a script, and all I have to do is go through the questionnaire, mark yes and no answers, and take pictures of the door locks and file cabinets. Easy…

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Casino Mystery Shopping Assignments

May 5, 2014

Overview: Looking for an entertaining day or weekend away with your significant other? Casino shops can be the means to get away for a break while making a little extra money. Meals, concerts, drinks, and gambling may be reimbursed. You may even win some money gambling! Project variations: These projects can vary from a 2-hour…

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The Basics of Mystery Shopping.

May 5, 2014

So, you want to be a mystery shopper but you’re afraid something will go wrong. Of course it will. Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s start. We’re going to hit some highlights on starting out with basic shops, which is where all of us should start. Basic shops include those such as fast food, convenience…

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College Admission Assignments

April 28, 2014

College admission shops that you’ll find on mystery shopping job boards are aimed at “for profit” institutions [think the schools you see advertising degrees on TV]. Usually, these shops have very specific aims regarding what is promised during the admission process. First, you admissions officer, or counselor, cannot promise that you will get a job,…

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Bank Investment Shops

April 21, 2014

In an attempt to become one stop financial service stops, banks have expanded beyond their traditional checking/saving/CD’s and have expanded into stocks/bonds/mutual funds and other investment vehicles. It’s this second group that are the focus of Bank Investment Shops. Banks are extensively regulated while stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. are subject to many fewer regulations….

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Bank Phone Shops

March 17, 2014

Overview: Why would a bank want a phone shop? Often, customers who are searching for a new bank, because they have either moved to the area, or are looking for a bank with lower fees, will use the phone to help narrow down the number of banks they will ultimately visit. These shops generally cover…

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Car Wraps: Turn Your Car Into A Billboard for Money

February 17, 2014

UPDATE: WARNING: WRAPMATCH.COM APPEARS TO BE A SCAM. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THEIR SERVICES. While this isn’t exactly mystery shopping, and it will make your vehicle memorable, after discussing this with Jacob we decided this is an avenue some shoppers might want to pursue to generate additional income. Adz In Motion, www.adzinmotion.com, and Wrap Match,…

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Signal Piracy Assignments

January 27, 2014

Overview: Signal piracy shops is a fancy way of saying showing a program without paying for the right to show it. Generally you’re going to be shopping a bar. The bar can be any type of establishment, from a relatively classy place to a dive. Project variations: There’s pretty much no variation from assignment to…

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Unrevealed Compliance Audits

January 13, 2014

Overview: Not all audits are revealed. I recently completed an audit for an upscale manufacturer where I was to pose as a typical customer interested in purchasing their top of the line product. Project variations: You may not always be assigned a top of the line product. In any case, be observant for attempts to…

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“Adult” Retail Shops

January 6, 2014

Overview: The last time I was in one of these “Adult Entertainment” emporiums was in the early 80’s shortly after graduating college. At the time, these were places where you generally went at night, parked behind the building or, if you were forced to park on the street side, you did your best to back…

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Credit Card Shops

December 16, 2013

Overview: These shops aren’t applying for credit cards, but rather seeing if you’re offered a credit card application with a purchase that’s within a certain dollar range. Project variations: There are two main variations, and it will depend on the type of store that is the target. In some of these shops, you will only…

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Coyle Hotel Shops

December 9, 2013

A few weeks ago, I did an assignment review of hotel shops. Coyle hotels shops are really a shop unto themselves, so I felt the need for a separate column on this particular shop. Overview: These shops aren’t for your typical Holiday Inn or Marriot. Rather, hotel shops for Coyle are going to be involving…

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New Home Shops

December 2, 2013

Overview: Do you like going to open houses around town to kill time on weekends? Then consider doing new home mystery shops. Most of these do take place on weekdays rather than weekends, but they afford the shopper the opportunity to visit new home subdivisions. I like them because I live in a small house…

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Retail Video Shops

November 11, 2013

Overview: Video retail shops are one of the newer areas of mystery shopping and it is a growth area. Retailers are beginning to see the advantage of having the full experience of interacting with one of their associates, from the customer’s point of view, completely unedited. Project variations: As this is a new area for…

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Banking Assignments: They’re not all about the money.

November 4, 2013

Overview: Although they can appear intimidating, bank shops are some of the easier shops available to mystery shoppers. These shops can range from inquiring about accounts, actually opening an account, asking about investment services, or asking about other services the bank may offer. Project variations: If you’re doing more than just a teller shop, have…

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Fast Food

October 28, 2013

Overview: Craving your favorite hamburger? A fast food shop could pay for your lunch and, depending on the restaurant and the mystery shopping company, you might collect a reimbursement on top of your meal. Project variations: While the basic scenario is probably the easiest in the mystery shopping world, just be yourself, these are not…

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Shoe Shops

October 14, 2013

You don’t have to be Imelda Marcos to like shoe shops. The former Philippine First Lady was rumored to have a closet with over 500 pairs of shoes…that could have been a shop all on its own. Overview: Everyone needs shoes. Why not get paid to shop around for something you need? These shops all…

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Competitor Mystery Shops

September 30, 2013

Overview: Competitor shops are, as the name implies, where Company A wants information on the customer service, or other customer aspects of its competition. Rather than send their own employees to shop the competition, they hire a mystery shopping company to get the job done. Competitor shops can include, but are not limited to, restaurants,…

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Exit Interviews

September 23, 2013

Overview: As the name implies, exit interviews take place after the customer has left the targeted location. In general these aren’t interviews per se, but rather surveys that generally average five to seven minutes, although they can be as short as three or as long as ten. Almost all are for the targeted location in…

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Restaurant Loss Prevention Audits

September 16, 2013

Overview: Although not a mystery shop, loss prevention audits are conducted by several mystery shopping companies. These are similar to revealed gas station audits in that you will have to take pictures, often of the good as well as the bad. The major difference is that there is no “mystery” portion of this audit. Visit…

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Hotel Mystery Shopping Assignments

September 9, 2013

Overview: Hotel shops aren’t for everyone. Some have a basic set or requirements while others can require multiple interactions with different employees and narratives that can rival novellas. Payment can range from reimbursement only to reimbursement plus a fee. The shops that are connected with national chains do have the added advantage of allowing you…

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New Home Video Assignments

September 2, 2013

Overview: This is another love them or hate them assignment.  There are two positives in my book—being video shops, in general less reporting will be required and, being video, the pay will tend to be higher.  Multiple locations are usually available which allows for routes to be built. Project Variations: These assignments will almost always…

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Mattress Assignments

August 12, 2013

Overview: This is one time you get to lie down on the job and get paid for it. So give those tired feet a break from tramping through malls and the plethora of mega stores. Instead of having to wearily stand in one place while listening to yet another interminable sales presentation, lie back on…

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Laboratory Testing Assignments

August 5, 2013

Overview: For the most part, these of the assignments are quick and easy, requiring very little effort on the part of the mystery shopper. The hardest and longest part of these assignments is finding the clinic. These are usually located in small nondescript buildings with minimal signage advertising their presence. Still if you are leery…

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Bar Integrity Assignments

July 29, 2013

Overview: If you’d like to have a drink out on the town at someone else’s expense, you might want to try out a bar integrity assignment. These are somewhat similar in nature to retail integrity assignments but are different from most mystery shops that you might be used to completing that focus on customer service….

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Disability Compliance

July 7, 2013

Overview: Want a chance to get off your feet while you do some shopping? Ever wanted to try out one of those mobility scooters you see people driving around in the stores you visit? Check out these assignments that evaluate ADA compliance. ADA stands for the American Disabilities Act. This law provides for those with…

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Medicare Presentations

June 30, 2013

Overview: These assignments are for those wanting a change from the typical retail mystery shops with multiple interactions, as well as a break from narrative reports. They don’t require a lot of effort, can pay decently when bonused, and won’t take more than an hour of your time at the most. Sound good? They can…

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Retail Integrity Assignments

June 24, 2013

Overview: Although there is a merchandising company by the same name, don’t let it confuse you. The assignments that are termed as retail integrity evaluations have nothing to do with merchandising. As a matter of fact, these types of assignments are different from most mystery shops that you might be used to completing that focus…

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Clothing Store Assignments

June 17, 2013

Overview: These types of assignments are great for shoppers looking to stockpile gifts for others throughout the year. In addition to actual clothing items, the stores usually have a wide variety of accessories available. Your indirect savings for gifts can be quite sizable when totaled up over a twelve month period. Project Variations: Assignment scenarios…

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Postal Shipping Assignments

June 9, 2013

Contributed by ItsaSecret. Overview: How would you like to be able to mail a package without paying for the postage? With a USPS shop, you will evaluate the facility condition and customer service while shipping a package. These shops are particularly popular with people who sell on eBay. Project variations: Postal shops come in four…

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Credit & Financing Assignments

June 3, 2013

Overview: These assignments are all about our evolving world of commerce relying less and less on cold hard cash. Credit and financing are a business within a business. It’s the norm to use these payment options for everything from refrigerators to designer jeans. And it’s another way to make money from the consumer beyond the…

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Car Dealership Assignments

May 27, 2013

Overview: Car dealership assignments are commonly available. The pay varies widely, but is often around $15. The best assignments pay well and let you test drive luxury super cars. But there are shoppers who, plain and simple, don’t like car shops. I can understand it. You need to have as thick a skin as a…

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Funeral Home & Cemetary Calls

May 20, 2013

Overview: The name of these types of assignments should be a dead giveaway – pun intended – that you won’t be having the time of your life while completing one. A bit of gallows humor from time to time is to be expected while discussing such assignments. Few mystery shoppers are truly comfortable with the…

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Pizza Assignments

May 13, 2013

Overview: Trying to figure out what to do for dinner? Too busy catching up on your mystery shopping reporting to cook? Don’t worry about it. With one phone call you can have your meal delivered to your home, or you can have it ready to pick up. Pizza assignments can be a fun change from…

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Electronics Assignments: Gadgets, Tools, and Toys

May 6, 2013

Overview: Shoppers that are interested in looking at and learning about what kind of new techno toys are out there on the market will want to check out this assignment. There is a bewildering array of desktop computers, laptops, e-readers, video games, tablets, and mp3 players available. It seems like every month there are new…

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Pet Store Assignments

April 29, 2013

Overview: Mystery shopping can be a lonely endeavor at times. There are many times that assignment requirements do not allow you to take a companion. But if you look hard enough, you can find some that will even let you bring along your furry friend. So gather up all your usual mystery shopping gear and…

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Optical Assignments (Eye Exams, New Glasses, New Lenses)

April 22, 2013

Overview: If you’re an eyeglass wearer, be sure to indicate that if asked when you are signing up with a new mystery shopping company. That way you will be sure to qualify for available assignments in the optical industry. It’s a great way to earn a fee, and/or to get reimbursed for an exam or…

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Adult Boutiques

April 15, 2013

Overview: These assignments are definitely not for everyone. Those that embarrass easily should probably consider taking a pass. Others that are a bit more adventuresome might find these interesting and even fun. So what are adult boutiques? Well, a lot of people have the idea that these businesses are seedy and tawdry. The ones in…

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Automotive Services & Oil Change Assignments

April 8, 2013

Overview: Although these assignments are not flashy or exciting in comparison to other available mystery shopping opportunities, they still have their own allure. These share a quality with other non-glam assignments such as grocery stores and gas stations, that being if you have to go there anyway, you might as well get paid for it….

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Grocery Store Assignments

April 8, 2013

Overview: At first glance, many types of assignment visits hardly seem like shopping in the traditional sense. Those new to the field sometimes wonder when they actually are going to do some real shopping after completing a plethora of assignments involving banking, alternative financial, fast food, casual and upscale dining, automotive services, cellular phones, events,…

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Fine Jewelry Mystery Shopping Assignments

April 1, 2013

Overview: Many of us only have one or two landmark occasions in our lives that would lead us into the premises of a fine jeweler, usually an engagement or anniversary. Typically at such moments, it is easy to be swept away by the event itself. As first time-consumers, the sparkling merchandise overwhelms all. By stepping…

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Cosmetics Mystery Shopping Assignments

April 1, 2013

Sorry, gents, this one is for the ladies out there in mystery shopping land. Gals, get ready to get pampered and dolled up when you go out on one of these assignments. These are great to do before an evening out on the town! Project Variations: Assignment scenarios are fairly straightforward. The shopper usually presents…

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Assisted Living Assignments

March 25, 2013

Overview: While the faint-hearted or shoppers with weak stomachs need not apply, nursing home, or assisted living assignments can be very profitable and rewarding. Most of the assignments require an actual tour of the facility so if you have never visited a nursing home, be prepared for some unusual (and sometimes unpleasant) sights, sounds and…

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Apartment Mystery Shopping Assignmets

March 25, 2013

Overview: With forum posts ranging from “love them” to “hate them” apartment shops are definitely not for every shopper. However, as they usually requiring extensive narrative with every question, these shops do generally tend to pay more than other types of shops. For the experienced shopper, multiple locations are almost always available, and if you…

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Cell Phone Assignments

March 18, 2013

Overview:This is a standard piece of equipment for almost all mystery shoppers. Yet they vary in features and capabilities. If you ever wanted to know what’s available out there in the way of cellular phones and plans, here’s your chance to find out all about them and get paid for it. Project Variations:Most scenarios require…

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Travel Center Mystery Shopping Assignments

March 18, 2013

Overview: Hey, citizen! Wanna boogity to the upcoming convoy real estate for some 40-weight and a hubcap? 10-4, good neighbor! Translated from trucker lingo, this means: “Although you’re not a trucker, would you like to meet up at the nearest truck stop for a cup of coffee and an egg sunny side up? It’d be…

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Restaurant Assignments for Mystery Shoppers

March 11, 2013

Overview: This is one of the assignments that initially draws potential mystery shoppers into the industry. At first glance, they seem very enjoyable and appealing, and they can be. But sometimes these projects are not as glamorous as one might think. Restaurant assignments can vary from upscale casual to formal fine dining. For those that…

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Gas Station Assignments for Mystery Shoppers

March 11, 2013

Overview: One of the businesses that people least like visiting nowadays happens to be a favorite destination for mystery shoppers. They’re not fun or fancy places by any means. But the payoff can most definitely be worthwhile. A mystery shopper can make some decent cash while fueling up their vehicle when conducting gas station assignments….

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Event Mystery Shopping (Sporting Events, Concerts, Plays)

March 4, 2013

Overview: Do you like attending sporting events? Going to concerts or theater productions? Checking out tradeshows? You can do all this and get some well-earned entertainment while mystery shopping! Venue assignments can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to get free tickets to an event. But they do require some work….

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Fast Food Mystery Shopping Assignments

March 4, 2013

Overview: Surprisingly, one of the assignment types that most would think would be the easiest also happens to be one of the most problematic to complete successfully. A majority of shoppers have at one time or another had a report rejected and/or payment declined due to noncompliance issues with one of these. If you’re an…

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Bank Assignments for Mystery Shoppers

February 25, 2013

Mystery shoppers that are seeking steady assignment opportunities should consider adding this type of evaluation to their repertoire. Many banks, as well as some credit unions, have active mystery shopping programs in which on-site assessments are made regularly and frequently. Some have a short rotation time period of only a month. Project Variations: Assignment scenarios…

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Alternate Financial Services Assignments

February 25, 2013

If you’ve heard of check cashing and payday loan businesses, then you already know what kind of assignments fall under the heading of alternative financial services.  These places offer services that traditional banks and credit unions don’t. There’s a lot of myths and misconceptions about these types of assignments, so read on to learn more….

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