Edited By Ceridwyn

Featured Shopper: GraceR

Forum Alias: GraceR

How long have you been mystery shopping? I started shopping two years ago but didn’t get really serious about it until a year ago.

Where are you shopping? I shop all over Northern California.

What got you started? I had always seen those mystery shopping ads that were obviously scams. I always thought it would be fun to actually get paid to shop. And then two years ago I read a blog post about mystery shopping. I was able to sign up for companies and when I actually realized there were legit shops in my area I was pretty excited!

What was your first assignment and how did it go? My very first assignment was a pizza delivery shop. I was so excited to be getting free pizza. I had called ahead of time to make sure they would deliver to my house since I lived about 4 miles from the restaurant. They told me they would. The night of the assignment I had my survey all printed out. I turned on my voice recorder on my computer to record the phone call in case I missed anything. When I called to place my order the employee told me they were too busy to deliver to my house because it was too far away. I was pretty disappointed. I went ahead and filled out the report and explained what happened. They accepted the report and about a month later I got a check in the mail for 35 bucks! I had made that much money without leaving my house. I was hooked!

What is your favorite type of assignment? I really like mystery shopping at places that I also enjoy visiting when I’m not on assignment. I like trendy clothing stores because it’s a fun way to get free clothes. I also like nice restaurants because I normally can’t afford to eat at nice places. It makes for fun date nights with my husband.

What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? I haven’t tried car dealerships. I don’t think I ever will unless I were actually shopping for a car. The whole idea of it makes me nervous for some reason.

What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? Start a spreadsheet and enter every shop you do into it. Include the company, client, fee, reimbursement, and your mileage. When you get paid, mark on your spreadsheet that you’ve been paid for that shop.

What’s your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? My biggest pet peeve is when other shoppers accept shops that are paying pennies. That person getting paid $3 an hour is keeping me from making $30 an hour a week later when the shops get bonused. That might sound mean, but it can be so frustrating!

What’s your favorite MSC? I haven’t found the perfect company. I like some for the pay, some for the schedulers, some for the reports, and others for the types of shops.

MSPA certification: I am not certified. I have not found it necessary.

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