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Answers to Your Questions

It seems our mailbag is either feast or famine. This week’s mailbag runneth over and has a couple of questions that will require the skill of Carnac the Magnificent to get the answers, a well as a couple of questions that your editor should be able to answer with no real difficulty.

We were asked about how to sign up for Casino assignments. At the end of the article, there are three hyperlinks to MSC’s that have casino shops. In general, at the end of each “assignment” article, we link to companies that are known to have the assignments being reviewed.

Our next question:

Can you please suggest, how to find a list of mystery shopping companies including their functions, field, geographic areas etc.?
Thanks,
ssa

SSA, the best way to find MSC’s is to look for the link on the bottom of each page of www.mysteryshopforum.com where you will find a link to the “Official List of Mystery Shopping Companies.” Follow that link and you will find a list of roughly 200 companies to sign up with.

It is somewhat foolish to only sign up with MSC’s in your area. Just because they may be located in your state doesn’t mean they have shops there. Additionally, each year MSC’s gain and loose clients as contracts are lost and gained. One of my favorite restaurants vanished from the MSC that had it. I signed up with some new MSC’s and I was able to find the restaurant again. On the other hand, if you are intent on putting forth a minimum of effort, I would look on Jobslinger.com and you will find the MSC’s using the Sassie platform that have shops in your area.

As far as finding the “function and field” of a MSC, I would suggest perusing the back issues of Mystery Shopper Magazine where you can find MSC reviews. We intentionally keep the reviews on the “light” side so they have as long a life as possible.

Lastly, Joy J writes:

Good Afternoon;
And thank you for the May 5, 2014 email.
I am greatly enjoying the Casino Shops article, likewise all of the other
Mystery Shop articles. Therefore, may I ask where I can locate higher end
Mystery Shop companies, those that offer higher paying assignments – not below ($100) per shop..?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kindest Regards

Joy

Those higher reimbursement shops generally go to shoppers who are more experienced, or who have proven themselves to the MSC. Also, some are gender specific, especially the ultra-luxury and “Supercar” shops, e.g. Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari…the shopper must be a male, in addition to showing up at the shop location driving a vehicle worth at least $45,000.

While it is not unheard of for a relatively new shopper to get assigned a high priced shop, you’re going to find them once you’ve earned the right to do them. It’s similar to the way a person progresses at any job. I started at a bookstore chain as a clerk. After about five years, I became a keyholder, three years later I was made a co-manager, then five years later I became an assistant manager. The point is, I wasn’t immediately hired as an assistant manager, it required investing the time to get there. The same is true of the high paying mystery shops.

Another aspect is that many of the higher paying shops are video shops. They do require specialized, relatively expensive, equipment; i.e. the PV-500 with a button camera and extended life battery is going to run anywhere from $600 to $800. This means that shoppers wanting to get into video have to have a serious commitment in order to realize the Return On Investment (ROI) required to make purchasing the equipment profitable.

In the meantime, expand the companies you shop for because the wider the net you cast, the more opportunities you will receive. Clients occasionally move from one MSC to another. To try and list the MSCs that have $100 plus shops would be an exercise in futility because a list that is good this year will likely be obsolete in a couple of years.

Until next time,

James

Questions about this article? Email the editor: james@mysteryshoppermagazine.com

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