We have a couple of more questions from the mailbag this week:
Hello Jacob: I’ve been a mystery shopper for about 12 years and I am always glad to learn new things–and there are always little tidbits!
I read with interest about the ASCAP program. I looked at the ASCAP site you referenced but saw nothing about shopping. If you could find that out for me I would appreciate it.
Can you tell me how I can find out specifics about becoming involved as a mystery shopper? My husband, also a shopper, has the kind of music knowledge you describe. When he goes on restaurant shops he always notices the music being played just as a general thing and often includes that info in his reports.
I really enjoy your magazine and find it useful.
Jacob forwarded your email to me. I spoke with my friend and he doesn’t recall how his daughter got involved with this work. I would start with a general question to ASCAP, outlining your [and your husband’s] qualifications as mystery shoppers, as well as your husband’s musical knowledge. I would then ask, point blank, if they have the need for anyone in your area to check on restaurants, bars, etc. for compliance shops.
Another potential area are establishments that are playing XM/Sirius Satellite Radio without paying the fee. IIRC, both XM and Sirius have “business channels” for bars, restaurants, etc. that run a promo every 10-15 minutes encouraging people to sign up for the services on their own radios. Therefore, if you’re in a location that only mentions Sirius/XM at the top of the hour, it’s possible that they haven’t paid for public usage of the channels.
Our article on vehicle wraps generated several letters with requests for further information:
Do they only want newer cars for these car wrap jobs? Hello James, is there a certain amount of miles you have to drive per week? If so, how many? I need to know how much gas I will be using to see if it is worth my while. Also can they just put the wraps on both sides of the vehicle and not on the rear window as I have an in memory of my son on my back window that I will not remove!! Please advise.
My car is an older vehicle in good condition and has been accepted. When you register with the companies, you do have to include information on your vehicle [make, model, etc.] As far as miles per week, only Adz In Motion had anything regarding mileage, and that was up to a certain number of miles you were paid $X and over that figure, you were paid $Y. From what I’ve read, neither company is expecting you to do any special driving—it’s just your ordinary day to day driving. Adz In Motion only does complete vehicle wraps. Wrap Match will do either the sides, or the rear window, or both, so they sound like the best choice if you don’t want your rear window covered.
There was one other question this week from a shopper wanting to know why we don’t list the states where the MSC’s have shops. There are two reasons. First, both Jacques and I are shoppers. We take time out from shopping to write these articles. Second, each year a certain number of clients will change companies, or even discontinue their shopping programs. By not including the states shopped, the information remains valid for a longer time.
Thanks much for writing, and we do read all the mail received. We will answer questions of general interest in this column as time permits.
James Bond 007.5