Presto Insta-Shops

Overview: Presto Insta-Shops was created by the makers of SASSIE with the goal of providing shops, which were faster, easier and simpler for everyone involved. Just as the name implies, it allows for instant program creation, instant shopper sign-up, instant self-assign, instant surveys, instant review and almost instant payment (within days).

John Hsu, Co-Founder of SurfMerchants, explains:

Sometimes the client doesn’t need a few long, detailed shops – they’d rather instantaneously get dozens of short, focused shops. Presto Insta-Shops gave us the opportunity to create a really different shopper experience with mobile technology.

Our vision with Presto: Anyone can pull out their phone whenever (and wherever) they feel like doing shops, create a Presto account in less than 30 seconds, instantly claim nearby shops from a map, knock out a few quick surveys right on the spot and get paid incredibly fast.

The program was introduced as a beta test, in September 2014, with the “1000 Cups of Coffee” project. The company had anticipated a two-week timeframe, however the shops were so enthusiastically received by shoppers, the project was concluded in just a mere two and a half days.

Presto Map: PrestoMap utilizes the shopper’s mobile device’s location to display available SASSIE shops, within a predetermined radius. A blue pin designates the Presto Insta-Shops; an orange pin shows the standard SASSIE MSC shops.

Note: Although Presto Map is mobile-optimized, it works on desktop browsers as well.


Typing in a specific address or a location can change the display; a zoom in and zoom out option is also available. The shopper can elect to view all of the SASSIE shops or only Presto Insta-Shops. If the shopper prefers to view the available shops in list form, a “List” link is located at the top, on the right. On the left panel, in-progress shops and other status information are shown.


By clicking on the orange pins, the shop due date, the type of shop, the fee and the MSC is displayed. If the shopper is interested, they simply click on the MSC link and are taken directly to the MSC’s website. If the shopper clicks on a blue Presto Insta-Shop pin, the fee and a short project description is shown. If interested, the shopper instantly claims (self-assigns) the shop.

Equipment Requirements: If an Android or iOS smart phone is not used, the shopper may be able to do some Presto Insta-Shops, depending on the shop requirements and the device’s capabilities. The website lists some limitations you should be aware of:


  • Some shops can only be claimed if you are near the shop location, based on your device’s location services. Getting an accurate location fix with a non-mobile device is sometimes difficult. If your device cannot obtain an accurate location that is at or near the shop location, you will be unable to claim the shop.
  • Some shops require you to upload a photo of your receipt. You can use another device or camera to take the photo, but you must be able to upload it with the device that you used to take the survey.
  • Some older web browsers (Internet Explorer 7 and earlier, for example) and devices (iPad 1) do not have the capabilities to store survey information, and so cannot be used for Presto Insta-Shops.

Payment Options: Shoppers are given three payment options from which to select: PayPal, an Amazon gift card or a TangoCard.


What Shoppers Have to Say: Shoppers on Mystery Shop Forum report liking the self-assign feature, the easy, no-narrative reports, the fact it’s up-to-date and the quick pay. They also state they find the Presto Map a useful tool for route planning. In addition, one shopper, who suffers from a chronic illness with unpredictable and debilitating flare-ups, disclosed how the “grab it, do it and done” feature of the Presto Insta-Shops has enabled her to continue shopping.


The complaints have primarily centered on the occasional glitches, which are common with any new application and several members have recently lamented the scarcity of the coveted shops.

In April, JackatSASSIE responded to the latter concern, “The good news is that in May we’re beginning a nationwide promotion that should put a wide variety (and a high volume) of Insta-Shops onto!”


Recommendation: If you are not signed up already, we recommend you head straight for and invest 30 seconds in creating an account.



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