Written By Ceridwyn

Featured Shopper: Traveliz

Mystery Shop Forum Alias: Traveliz

How long have you been mystery shopping? About 14 years.

Where are you shopping? Central Illinois and Central Florida, with occasional longer routes.

What got you started? I always knew about mystery shoppers as I worked at Arby’s in high school and we were drilled on never saying, “is that all?” and always asking, “will there be anything else?” because the mystery shopper could be coming anytime!

I was always intrigued by shopping but never pursued it mostly for not knowing how until 1999. Over Memorial Day weekend I broke my foot and I was stuck sitting at the computer most of the day. The weekend before my cast came off I had come to about the end of the internet and I stumbled across a Mystery Shopping board on AOL. I was fascinated, read it all night and applied with 20 companies by morning. This was on a Friday night and on Monday I got my first two calls!

Everything (except an occasional email) was done by mail or fax and moved much slower than today. The shops were received by phone call or mail and then faxed over. Anyway I was off and running and I have never stopped since.

Mystery Shopping has been great for my life. Only a very few friends know I do this; the others just think I like to shop a lot. It’s been a lifesaver when my husband has lost his job (twice) and now while he is underemployed. I like the money but also love the quality of life shops (meals, shows, hotels). I can’t ever imagine not doing this.

What was your first assignment and how did it go? My first mystery shop was for a ChiChi’s in a town about an hour away. Obviously it wasn’t “worth” it but I wanted to see what this was all about and so off we went. It went fine. I still remember the silverware a server dropped on the floor behind our table in a walkway that stayed there the entire time I was in the restaurant.

What is your least favorite assignment? I don’t like cell phone, bank, and any revealed assignments.

What is your favorite type of assignment? I like retail, grocery, high end hotel, and restaurants.

What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? I haven’t done video yet but not sure I want to either.

What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? My number one tip to new shoppers is not to stress about the email!! It takes a millisecond to delete an email and you never know when a great opportunity is going to turn up. When I started people didn’t have alternate emails so all (yes all) of my email goes to one account. Honestly though that makes it easier for me as I check one source at home and on my phone and I know if there is anything I need to apply for. Allow everyone to email you!

What’s your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? My biggest pet peeve is companies that want exact detail (down to what you were chatting about that had nothing to do with the shop) and then that outs you as the shopper.

What’s your favorite MSC? I don’t have a number one favorite company. I like this one for quick pay, that one for short forms, another one for easy shops, another for hotels, etc.

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