Paul Lamb

Monterey Mystery Shopping

Monterey Mystery Shopping is located in Pacific Grove, California and has been in operation since 2003. Their website states that they “provide mystery shopping services for all major brands within the automotive, motorcycle, recreational vehicle and marine industries, as well as related industries.” It also makes the claim of “being the premier mystery shopping provider for the motor vehicle industry.”

From my experience and that of most members of MysteryShopForum.com, that may be a valid claim. With a few minor exceptions, all of the comments on the forum were positive. As for the negative comments, I tend to discount those with serious spelling and grammar errors since that is a major part of being able to fill out reports. It seems to be a consensus that the schedulers are great and they pay on time.

I have completed five shops for them this year and have been pleased with the contact from schedulers and editors. I have called a couple of times to request bonuses on some distant shops in a rural area and was able to speak to someone immediately. I was contacted within the hour that the bonus had been approved. The shops in my area have been high end car dealerships as well as an apparel shop for a well known motorcycle company. The shops paid from $30-40, not including bonuses, which is better than other companies for these type of shops. There are some restrictions on the motorcycle shops. For shops that require a test drive, women must have a motorcycle license.

The reports are very straight forward, but do require some narrative. Some of the questions seem a little repetitive but, overall, the reports are easier than most dealership assignments and do not require waiting for follow-up. I have only been contacted by editors on one occasion because I had overlooked a question.

Paypal is the only payment option with Monterey, but they do make timely payments, usually well within 30 days of the shop completion. One of the things I really like is that they send out an email about a week in advance to let the shopper know when payment will be received. I have always received payment as promised but it is usually late in the afternoon since their offices are on the west coast, which is a few time zones behind my location.

Signing up with Monterey starts on this website: https://montereymysteryshopping.archondev.com/montereymysteryshopping/shoppers.nsf/InternalNavFrameset?OpenFrameSet&Frame=WorkspaceFrame&Src=%2Fmontereymysteryshopping%2Fshoppers.nsf%2Fshopperapp%3FOpenForm%26AutoFramed

The registration is a little lengthier than with most companies and does require drivers license and car insurance information. This link is the login for the Prophet system website. Shoppers are also required to register at www.contactmms.com.

Jobs are request by clicking on the “Show Me Visits I Can Accept” button on the Prophet website. You can also search for jobs outside your area. Visits can be self-assigned, except for the first shop you perform for them. As I mentioned earlier, shoppers can actually call and speak with a real life person to ask questions about assignments or bonuses. All of the employees that I have spoken with have been genuinely friendly and helpful.

Although I just started shopping with this company this year, I hope they will increase their assignments in my area. The assignment guidelines are easy to follow and the pay is above average on most types of shops. I would recommend Monterey Mystery Shopping to any serious shopper that wants to increase his or her profit margin.

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