Posted By Jacob Jans, Editor

Shopper Bio: CureMS

Forum Alias: CureMS

How long have you been mystery shopping? I have been mystery shopping for 1 year.

Where are you shopping? I currently shop in the Dallas Texas Metropolitan area.

What got you started? I got started because a friend told me that she had shopped when she first moved to Houston as a way to learn her way around the city. She sent me the website for one MSC and I’ve been hooked since then.

What was your first assignment and how did it go? My first assignment was for Papa Johns. We usually order Papa Johns for delivery during football season, so I thought it would be great to try it out for free. I read notes on the forum about how many shops had been rejected because of the pictures. In the guidelines they were pretty specific about how the pictures were to be taken; enough to scare anyone off. I thought what the heck. We’d order pizza anyway and so I added one to our normal order. At the least I figured that we would get more pizza points toward a free pizza. The pictures were easy to me and the report was simple. It was accepted without any questions and I was off!

What is your favorite type of assignment?  My husband and I enjoy eating out, as do my mom, my sister, and my Godmother. My husband has this thing that he wants me to mystery shop a nice restaurant for dinner on Saturday evenings and breakfast on Sunday mornings. My mother and Godmother like to go to nice restaurants for lunch at least once a week. While I could easily accommodate all these people in the Dallas area, my waistline rules and it says no to all that good food. However, I do manage to spread it around so that I eat out at least once or twice a week with one of them.

What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? I haven’t tried a cruise shopping trip yet or an airline shop. I’ve applied for airline shops, but I’m sure that there are many more experienced shoppers who are favorites ahead of me. I’m afraid to try a cruise shop because I’ve been on several cruises and I love to just lay back and have a relaxing time. I’m not sure that I would want to “work” during the cruise and then have all those notes and reports afterwards. I thing that cruise shopping is one shop for those who prefer it.

What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? My #1 to shoppers would be to read the guidelines thoroughly. Read them up and down and then read them again. Make sure that you have in your mind all the points that you must hit on during your shop. Also make sure that you are at ease with every point. Typically guidelines will give you suggestions as to how to approach an issue, such as using a variation of your first name instead of your real name for apartment shops. All that reading could be the difference between whether or not you get paid.

What is your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? My biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping is the 12-hour or by midnight turnaround time for reports. Sometimes we’re out for a late dinner that requires drinks and then a report by midnight. Can’t do it so stopped shopping those dinners. For others, I’m limited by my health. After a day of only two or three shops, I am sometimes so fatigued both mentally and physically that the MSC would really not want my garbled report anyway. If I am allowed 24 hours, I will always leave a free day in between shops where I can spend a day doing reports.

What’s your favorite MSC? I have several MSC’s and I am not even at the half way mark for the 200 recommended MSC’s! There are so many dependencies that drive my favorite. As I said my family likes dining out, so there are MSC’s that will “accommodate” us. I like makeovers, so there is another MSC that I go to. Chocolate is a weakness I have and the report is easy. I can say that my favorite MSC’s are those who work with me and will also give me opportunities just as I will complete rush shops for them.

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