Edited By Ceridwyn

Featured Shopper: James Bond 007.5

Forum Alias: James Bond 007.5

How long have you been mystery shopping? I started on August 1, 2012, and I’m signed up with 136 companies right now.

Where are you shopping? Based in Myrtle Beach, SC, but willing to travel in the southeast and New England.

What got you started? I was looking for supplemental income, now full time while I get my photography business started. In a previous life I was an assistant manager at Books-A-Million, and was on the receiving side of the shops. It’s so interesting to be a “shopper” instead of a “shoppee”. I also think, having been in retail, that I bring a broader perspective to the shops.

What was your first assignment and how did it go? I shopped a Columbia Outlet store. Only one of the three associates was doing her job. I spent over an hour in the store and noticed the other two associates were in their own little world and ignoring everyone. I’ve been back since and I have noticed the two associates who were in their own world aren’t there anymore.

What is your favorite type of assignment? Favorite…any that pay. In all seriousness, I tend to enjoy car and bank shops. I also count reimbursement shops for grocery stores and some restaurants as favorites. Of course there was the BMW shop where the salesman had a perverse idea of how to do a test drive, including 100+ mph on an open interstate, but that’s another story.

What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? New home shops. I would like to give some of those a try, especially now that I have my own video equipment.

What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? Don’t be afraid to try a shop. Everyone has different tastes. Let me revise that, based on the comments I’ve read on mysteryshopforum.com, don’t be afraid to try a shop, except for Ikea. Likewise, just because someone may not like Company X, doesn’t mean you won’t. I always read the discussions about each company before I decide if I want to shop for them or not. If I’m not sure, I’ll try one shop for a company and see what happens, then decide. I also keep a spreadsheet where I color-code the companies that I need to be cautious about. Also, everyone has to begin somewhere.

What’s your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? The companies that drag payment out 75-90 days. I will do some of those shops, but I try to balance things so I have an even cash flow each month. I’m also a ham radio operator and believe in the importance of communication, therefore I really appreciate the companies that do communicate. A close third is shoppers on the forum who ask for advice, then get upset because the advice isn’t what they wanted to hear.

What’s your favorite MSC? Troy Dolan and Customer Service Profiles.

MSPA certification: None yet. I do want to get the Silver certification this year.

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