I had to make a career change due to an injury and started out doing Demos. Back then, being under-employed, NCIM gave me my first chance at Demos. I excelled and ending up joining a few other Demo Companies. I did quite well and grabbed every opportunity. While I was searching for Demo Companies, I came across Mystery Shopping. Not knowing that much about it, I kept searching and came upon this Mystery Shopping Forum.
Initially I saw the V-God forum (otherwise known as Volition) and tried to become a member. It took 4 months for the V-God to approve me. I wrote him once and asked why I could not post or be an official member and he said due to scammers, I had to wait until he approved me. I found the V-God forum stiff, not that friendly and to my horror, the forum could quite easily figure out who you were. I saw shoppers posting details about their shop and then, in their next post, they cried out that there were deactivated for posting in a public forum!
I saw the Mystery Shopping Forum and read to get GREAT tips and advice. One day I decided to join. I really liked how everyone came together and there was laughter, comedy and great warm shoppers in the forum, who really wanted to help. I decided to take the plunge and joined over 250 mystery shopping companies. I did about 3 signups per day.
Eventually I began posting. I found great value in the forum and read it multiple times during the day (depending on my schedule)
In 2011, I did my first mystery shopping assignment. It was a computer/printer shop. I had to talk to the associate about a computer and then a printer. I realized that I liked what I was doing. And I was going to get paid for doing it. My second shop was a furniture store and it was pretty detailed but I liked the idea of pretending that I wanted to buy something. And my third shop was a grocery store reveal audit where you first shopped (undercover) and then went through the checkout and revealed to the store manager. The manager and I would walk the store and I would take photos of certain things required. I loved the photo aspect of the shop! And I was shocked to see I was paid within 10 days. I could not believe I was being paid already for the grocery/audit. (after hearing some shops take 60-90 days to get paid!)
After that, things really took off. I found Market Force was my favorite: Easy shops. Low narrative. The pay was not that high but they did bonus through phone calls, Samantha letters and the additional $3 on the email shops. My other favorite was Ath Power where I did over 100 banks. Easy Peasy! But I felt eventually I needed to slow down on those because I was running out of scenarios! My third favorite was Sinclair and I did about 80 shops, mostly banks and some “salsa type shops” I would say one of my best companies is White Clay, formerly known as Marketing Endeavors. They pay well and value/appreciate their shoppers! I also loved Quest for Best. They gave me plenty of work but at this time one of their clients is not doing a certain fast food shop I loved. I just have to be patient and they will come around again.
My least favorite was Intellishop. I could do 100’s and 100’s of shops and never hear a peep. But Intellishop seemed to have inquiries. I addressed them immediately but they would sometimes drop your score from 10 to 7 or even lower. So, because of the strictness and the low pay, I declined doing many shops but will still do a few of my favorites.
I have always enjoyed mystery shopping. I know some don’t actually “enjoy” it. I look forward to providing a valuable service to the client, by objectively reporting my observations. My only regret is that I can’t be 21 again because they have been paying $30 for the tobacco shops!