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The Top 10 Assignments that Mystery Shoppers Love

What makes a great shopping assignment? What excites most shoppers when they see a plum assignment on the boards? Airport Shops? Casino Shops? What gets the shoppers blood pumping? Here are a list of the Top 10 mystery shopping assignments that shoppers love.

  1. Cruise Shops: A dream come true for most shoppers! They are hard to find but they do exist out there, as shoppers have reported going on these wonderful excursions. Some as long as 7 days. But there is hard work involved too. It comes with heavy narratives and intense, observant reporting. Shoppers report a most wonderful experience with the cruise shops. After all the hard work is done, the cruise line generally pays in full for a 2 passenger cruise, expenses and a generous shopping fee! Coyle Hospitality is known to have these assignments.

  2. Airport Shops: Many shoppers love the airport shops! This is a more specialized-type shop, because you have to either be a ticketed passenger or have some sort of security clearance, to make it past the security checkpoints. Once you do make it into the concessions areas, restaurants and gift shops, there is a good fee/reimbursement/often good bonuses for the hard to fill assignments/ for visiting these establishments. Many times traveling shoppers do these assignments while on vacation, but there is often a 12-24 hour reporting time in most cases, unless something longer is worked out with the scheduler. Companies with these assignments: Customer Service Experts, Verify International, KSS.
  3. Hotel Shops: This is usually considered the cream of the crop shop, especially if you do the high end hotels. Shoppers report staying in exclusive hotels from $200-$400 a night. (something many shoppers might not normally spend on hotel) Meals, expenses, bell hop tips, valet parking all are usually reimbursed. They are usually evaluations by each of those departments and the client wants to know how you were treated, from the time you stepped in the door until check out. There is also a generous fee for reporting. Hotel shops can be labor-intensive from the many internal observations and photos of issues are required. Getting to explore the nearby cities located near the hotel is an added-benefit for most shoppers. Learn more about hotel shops at this link.
  4. Casino Shops For the brave-hearted, because you usually incorporate some type of gambling into your shops, from gaming tables (poker, 21-BlackJack) slots and other gaming choices. The hotel will reimburse for a set amount of gambling expenses (if gambling is required) but shoppers worry about running out of money before that time expires and reaching into their own pockets. Your food and drinks are often included in the reimbursement. But winning is fun! However, be aware that if you hit a Progressive Jackpot (over $10,000, as example) the casino may not let you keep such high winnings. Each shop is different and it’s a good idea to check your guidelines to find out if you can keep high jackpots. The casino may require you stay a certain amount of time in the casino and that is where it can get sticky with using up your allotted gambling amount. There are likely other observations, such as cocktail servers, bartenders, porters (cleaning staff) and etc. Learn more about Casino Assignments.

  5. Resort Shops: A dream come true shop! This type of resort shop has usually more expensive (rooms, meals, entertainment) and the fees and reimbursement will usually be much higher, than a regular or upper-end priced hotel. Shoppers report some fees being over $100+ for the report. All food and expenses are covered, as well as your expensive nights stay! Shoppers report generous entertainment fees reimbursed. But beware, most of the resort shops require a good deal of reporting, narrative and observations and you have do some odd things; such as asking the lobby for a new light bulb (because you unscrewed the one in your room) or some other pesky thing that you need to do to get someone to come to your room. But this is not too bad and when you get done with your observations, you have the rest of your time to enjoy a great resort! If this sounds good to you, you’ve got to read this ebook.
  6. Mall Shops: There are different types of mall assignments but for sure, shoppers love going the mall! There are gift card shops where you visit the kiosk or mall office. You purchase a gift card and note if the associate asks you certain questions and you also look for signage related to the gift cards. There are prize revealed-mall shops where the associate does and says everything on your checklist, after he/she sells you a gift card and afterwards, you reward him/her a prize. There are mall evaluations shops where you inspect the entire mall and take pictures of all infractions, damage and safety issues. There are the multi-store mall shops that take two weekends to complete and you are to evaluate up to 100 stores/shops/restaurants/food courts. The fee is usually over $100 and often bonused, as well as your reimbursements, for any food you buy. If any purchases are required inside the stores, that is also reimbursed back to you. Oftentimes, you’ll have a fee to pay for the gift card, such as $2.95 and that is also reimbursed. Plus, you now have a gift card to spend, spend in the mall! There are dozens of companies with assignments in the mall. Odds are, if you’ve signed up with several companies, you already have opportunities waiting for you.

  7. Video Shops: This is for  experienced shoppers and is often their favorite type of shop. It involves high quality video/sound equipment (you buy it or the company lends it to you) and usually requires training and classes for some to achieve the best results. These can also pay the highest fees. The camera and equipment is carried/worn by the shopper and they videotape (with sound in most cases) the entire shop. Often, there is little narrative involved. The most critical aspect is to learn how to use your equipment before you go on your assignment. Practice using it and learning how to troubleshoot. There is nothing worse than videotaping an entire shop, where something goes wrong and you as a shopper do not even know there is a problem. In all fairness, in my opinion, it is wise and fair for the MSC to let you re-attempt another video shop (if feasible), should your equipment fail/malfunction on you. Learn more about video assignments.
  8. High End Car Shops: Shoppers love those expensive cars! They may never be able to afford one of them but convincing a sales associate that you can afford the car is the best thing since sliced bread. These cars can range from $50-$75,000, on up to $100,000. It is sometimes a requirement/recommended that you come in the dealership with a more expensive car, so that you blend in and are more believeable as a higher-end client. Oftentimes, if you don’t have an expensive car to drive up in, they ask you to park further away, so the salesperson cannot analyze you car. Of course, if you don’t want your older car to be appraised for a trade-in, you must decline that part of the offer. Learn more about dealership assignments here.
  9. Steak Shops: There is nothing more wonderful than sinking your teeth in a thick, juicy steak! This by far, seems to be shopper’s most favorite dinner shop. One of the more famous one has the cinnamon-butter for the rolls and the glass observation windows, where you can see different cuts of steak. Usually this shop involves sitting at the bar (but not always) but if you get the belly-up bar shop, you need to observe the bartender for jiggers, shots, cold glasses, beer-foam heads, ID checks and general cleanliness of the bar area. The pay is fair for the assignment and your entire dinner is reimbursed.  Learn more here.
  10. Candy Shops: When you are a new shopper, it feels like forever until you get accepted for a candy shop! This shop is usually in the mall and I find, most times, it’s (busiest times) are centered around the holidays, such as Valentines Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. It’s usually at a kiosk and the candy can be quite expensive. They usually allow an $8 reimbursement but this can be eaten up quicky (pardon the pun). This is a shop that every new shopper should experience. It is fun and it sure tastes good! Learn more here.

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