Love to shop? Tight on cash? Mystery shopping may be the answer. As crazy as it sounds, you can actually be paid to shop stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc. I have been doing it for over 14 years and highly recommend it! It not only helps me to stay within my budget but also allows me to dine at restaurants I would never consider otherwise.
How does it work? First you need to sign up with some reputable mystery shopping companies online. You have to be careful that you don't sign up for a scam. Below is a list of the companies I shop for that are safe:
When you sign up, they may ask you for your social security number. If you're not comfortable giving that out right away, you can enter all 9's.
When shops become available in your area they will send you an email with the details. If you're interested you let them know and then they assign you the shop. There are always explicit instructions to follow such as the date and time you should go, what you should buy, what questions you should ask staff, what photos you need to take, etc. When you get home from your shop you always have to fill out a report and submit it online. You are usually paid one to two months after a shop either by a check in the mail or through Paypal.
This is not a way to get rich or buy tons of items, but it is a way to earn some extra cash and have fun in the process. Below is a list of the typical types of companies that use mystery shopping to assess their employees and customer service:
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