Is Mystery Shopping A Scam? Can You Actually Make Money Secretly Shopping?

Mystery-ShoppingSome people like shopping. Going to the stores, and browsing through all the different products. Trying on clothes, checking out appliances, or searching through the different flavors of a certain product, shopping can be a pretty enjoyable thing to do.

And if that’s you, you may just enjoy a job as a mystery shopper. Is mystery shopping a scam? Absolutely not! There are some things that you’ll want to be careful of before you become a mystery shopper, but it can be just as enjoyable as regular shopping with the benefit of being paid!

What Is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is where you pretend to be a shopper, so that you can give the store feedback on how your experience was.
For example, as you shop, you’ll look at how the store is managed, how clean it is, see if things are stocked, how theshopping at a store employees interact with you, and how your overall shopping trip was.
So, in essence, your basically a secret shopper, pretending to be a shopper so that you can give the store and/or manager feedback on the experience that you had.

Why would companies do this?

Companies want the shoppers to have the best experience possible. They want their stores to be clean, their shelves to be stocked, and their employees to be polite and presentable. And if one of these isn’t up to the level they would like it, then the company would like to know.

And that’s essentially how mystery shopping came about.

How much can you make with mystery shopping?

People usually make around 10-25 dollars per thing they do, but how much you make usually depends on what you are doing exactly.

And the jobs don’t actually have to revolve around being a ‘shopper’. You could be hired out to go to a restaurant and check out their service. Or you could have the potential to go to a car dealership and ‘try to’ buy a car.

The easier the task, the less you’ll get paid. The hard the task, the more you’ll get.

What To Watch Out For With Mystery Shopping

Because Mystery Shopping is a legit program, it’s something that some scammers like to take advantage of, and post their fake mystery shopping programs.

So its vital that you make sure you find the right websites that are actually legit in providing you places to mystery shop at.

Most scammers will follow the same methods at scamming you, and if you know them, they should be able to see a mystery shopper scam site a mile away.

Scam mystery shopper sites

The first scam sites that you will most likely encounter are sites that say they are mystery shopper sites, but they require a scammy looking placefee for using their services.

If you find a site like this, the best course of action is to run a way from it, and report it. if you really want to be a mystery shopper, you won’t have to pay a dime to become one.

Every mystery shopping job is free for the taking (provided you’re part of that specific program).

Another thing that scammers will try to do is make you pay to get a ‘certification’. Once again, this is completely a bogus thing – all you get really is just a piece of paper with fancy writing on it (if even that), while the scammer gets your money.

Mystery shopping scam jobs

One way scammers get mystery shoppers to fall for them is by having them ‘shop’ a banking institution. What they say is that they’ll send you a check, you cash it, and wire it to a certain account, and viola, your work is done.

What you won’t realize until too late is that the check they send is actually fake. According to the law, banks need to make the money wired available within a few days, but making sure that a check isn’t fake can often times take weeks. So the scammers get your money, and you get left having to pay for it – literally.

Shady shopping buildings

Another thing you want to be careful is where you’re going exactly when you are mystery shopping. Some places, while legit and are in need of mystery shoppers, are in bad sections of town, or are a little shady.
Like one guy who reviewed mystery shopping – he was a six-foot male who knew how to take care of himself, so if there was trouble, he could deal with it. But some places he wasn’t sure if he would send his wife, because of where it was, or how the environment around the place didn’t see safe.

Not every place will be like this, but it is wise to take precaution when doing mystery shopping.

There are several things you should do before going to a specific building, especially if you’ve never been there before:

  • Tell someone where you’re going. Telling someone where you will be isn’t only for mystery shoppers, but should be recommended for going most anywhere. If you tell someone where you will be, people will have a better chance of finding you if something does go wrong.
  • Tell someone when you’re expected to get back. This is especially good if you’re living with someone. This helps the other person to know when they should start to worry if they don’t see you arrive on time.
  • Tell someone what you’re wearing/how your getting there. Granted, this last step may be a little overkill, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you make sure the person your telling this to knows what your wearing and/or the color of the car you’re taking, and if something does happen to you, responders will have an easier way of identifying you when they find you or your car.

Now don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say. It’s not like mystery shopping is a job where your going to get put into dangerous situations every other day. In reality, it’s not like that.

The steps mentioned above are just to keep you safe in the case that you are put in those uncomfortable situations. I honestly don’t expect that the person you tell will ever have to worry about you, but, like I’ve said, it’s always better to be on the safe side.

Is Mystery Shopping A Scam? mystery tags for shopping

Mystery shopping is a job that I would wholeheartedly recommend for you to check out and see if it would be good for you. It’s definitely not a scam, and as long as you find the right sites to use, you might just find mystery shopping to your liking.

A good place to start looking for legit sites can be found here. It’s recommended by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and looks like it will provide a good starting point.

Whether you use the site above or find another, mystery shopping is a great alternative work idea for anyone looking for a part-time job. It can be highly flexible and highly rewarding.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and search for those mystery shopping jobs today!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on our research and analysis. However, we are not liable for any inaccuracies or errors, and readers are encouraged to conduct their own investigations. If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a website, feel free to reach out to us via our contact form to initiate a discussion.

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