Forum Alias: Jaymo
How long have you been mystery shopping? I completed my first shop about nine months ago. I was hooked right away, and wish I would have started years ago.
Where are you shopping? Southern Ontario, Canada.
What got you started? I stumbled across Mystery Shopping a few years ago. I signed up for one company, saw nothing available, then lost interest and completely forgot about them. Their sporadic emails were ignored or deleted. One day last year I finally opened one of their emails and saw a request for a phone shop in my area. I assigned myself the shop and gave it a try. I knew it might not be legit, but I had nothing to lose.
What was your first assignment and how did it go? I had to make a phone call to a pharmacy and ask a couple of questions. I was very nervous, and must have stared at the phone for about 20 minutes, trying to psyche myself up for the call. The phone conversation lasted about three minutes, and the report took me 10 minutes to complete. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! I was able to take two more shops with this company, then stumbled across the Mystery Shop Forum where I was introduced to dozens of more MSCs.
What is your favorite type of assignment? My top choice is for a large chain of convenience stores where I have to buy a lottery ticket. I’ve received a few unexpected “bonuses” from small lottery wins. I also love shops where I get a free oil change, haircut, or fuel purchase.
What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? I still haven’t tried any fine dining, apartment, or hotel shops. I haven’t seen many of these opportunities in my area yet, and am still refining my narrative skills before I tackle some of those longer reports.
What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? If you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to take the low paying shops. You might lose money at first, but you’re gaining valuable experience and proving yourself to the MSCs. If you do a good job on the $5 shops, you’re more likely to be offered the higher paying jobs down the road. I’m still fairly new and am paying my dues, but I am now beginning to see more (and higher paying) offers coming my way.
What is your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? Seeing every single location of a store or restaurant on the job boards except the ones that exist in my city.
What’s your favorite MSC? So far, I have only had good experiences with each company I’ve worked with. There are four or five MSC’s in particular that I look forward to working with every month. If I had to choose one favorite, it would be In-Touch Insights. I’ve been impressed with the ease of their assignments, the simple and short reports, bi-weekly payments, and good communication from schedulers.