Lourdes Garcia

My $500 Mystery Shopping Adventure

  • 7 Grocery stores $298
  • Bank account opening $80
  • Car dealership $50
  • Motorcycle dealership $75
  • Total $503

Getting ready for the holidays and all the extra spending involved, makes the avid mystery shopper want to do a little bit of extra work if they can.  I want to tell you about a stellar shopping day I had 2 weeks before Christmas. I completed 10 shops and made $500, all in 1 day.

In addition to mystery shopping assignments, there are companies that will pay you to complete a task as an auditor or store reviewer. These assignments are very similar to mystery shop assignments and are often advertised in the same places as mystery shops. I have done many of these assignments for various companies. The tasks are often like missions where you are asked to take photos at a specific location, verify a stores compliance with product recalls, and restocking marketing items for products or campaigns just to name a few examples of tasks that I have completed before.  This particular day, I would visit a local grocery store chain and verify that the store was aware of recent product recalls and that the items were no longer available for purchase. When I signed up with this company, I was asked how far I was willing to travel, and I agreed to travel within 50 miles. I live close to the border of a neighboring state, so I don’t mind traveling across the border for assignments. I was sent a list for 7 locations that needed to be visited and I chose all 7 of them. Many of the stores were about 20 minutes from each other so I did not mind. After I accepted the assignment, I received another email for a different project at the same locations. Visiting each location pays $17. The task itself might only take 10 to 15 minutes for each task or 30 minutes per store. So, I was paid $17 X 2 = $34 for each store that I visited and was paid $34 X 7= $238 for visiting 7 locations plus mileage of .30 per mile which was another $60 totaling $298. This company uses an app that makes the task very quick and easy to complete.

This day I visited a bank for an account opening shop. There are tons of banks even in remote areas, so these shops are always available. This assignment took about 30 minutes to complete and paid $80. It was located directly across the street from one of the grocery store locations I visited. I could actually see the store through the window near the desk of the CSR as we spoke about the financial services that were available and we opened my new account.

After I left the bank, I drove about 15 miles to my next stop at a local car dealership. This assignment paid $50 because it included a bonus. These assignments are easy because it is fun to check out what’s new and window shopping is awesome so I do them whenever I can. I spent 30 minutes with the salesman that included a test drive and I learned that new cars no longer play CD’s. Mystery shopping is also educational.

After I left the dealership, I drove about an hour to my next and final stop at the motorcycle dealership where I would pretend to be interested in making a purchase and gathered information about the models that were available. This shop paid $75. I was able to ask for an additional bonus because it was a bit far and out of the way for me. I performed these assignments mid-month in December when all of the schedulers want to get the shops done before the holidays when many shoppers may not be interested in working or may flake on an assignment. This is the best time to ask for a bonus. 

I started my day leaving my home at 9 AM. I drove about 40 minutes to my first stop. I was home by 8:30 PM. My day included leisurely stops for meals, gas and the occasional phone call. I did not need to rush, I only encountered traffic at the end of the day on my way to the motorcycle location. I don’t typically do this many assignments in 1 day, but if the opportunity presents itself I will. I could have spaced out these assignments across the week, but I was able to plan it so that I could do them all at once. I did assignments for 4 different companies this day. I only had to complete reports for 3 of the locations- the bank, the car dealership and the motorcycle dealership because the grocery store data was entered into the company app. This made my day even better. If I had to complete 10 separate reports, I may have planned it differently. Making time for completing the reports on time is important. All in all, it was a very good day. $500 pay for almost 12 hours of work where I spent most of it in my car going from location to location is not bad.

— Lourdes Garcia

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