Friday, July 3, 2009

Mystery Shopping

We have been in our own home for almost one year now. The end of August will be a year. Right before we bought this house I had started doing some mystery shopping. That led to finding out about merchandising (which is an extension of a lot of mystery shopping companies) and something I have started doing more here recently.

When you sign up for a mystery shopping company...and I NEVER PAID TO SIGN UP AND YOU SHOULDN'T EITHER!! have choices of:
  • mystery shopping
  • auditing
  • merchandising
  • demos
  • surveying people
  • theater checks
I personally didn't want to survey people or be a demo person (give away food in grocery stores, etc) so I always chose mystery shopping, auditing and merchandising. Auditing is simply going into a business and checking to make sure they have everything in order according to the "plan" that I print off from the internet. With all these companies a printer is definitely required! I have to print so many reports!

Most Mystery Shopping requires you spend some money up front and then you'll be reimbursed. Some pay additional money besides your reimbursement; some don't. I never accept any jobs where I had to put out a lot of money upfront except one time at Christmas. It was for a trendy store in the mall where I could spend up to $50.00 and they would reimburse the whole amount...I knew I could find a Christmas present in that store for one of my kids so I accepted that job and I was reimbursed for that purchase.

These are examples of mystery shopping jobs I accept on a regular basis:
  • spend $1.00 for a parking garage assignment and then get paid $10.00 plus reimbursement
  • spend up to $2.00 at convenience store and get paid $7.00 plus reimbursement
  • did this one time - acted like I needed a storage place from storage rental - spent no money out of pocket but got paid $15.00
  • I do restaurants I like to eat at (not allowed to name them) but they have been some of my favorites and my total meal for my family has been reimbursed - no extra pay, just reimbursement.
Merchandising is the job I have enjoyed the most. There have been a wide range of jobs I've completed that fall under this category. I'm currently working for 5 different merchandising companies. Two of them I am an Independent Contractor and the other three I'm actually on the payroll as a W2 employee. But all of the companies have a job board or some way of notifying me of what jobs are available and I accept or deny them...I don't have to work any job that doesn't fit into my schedule or I'm not qualified for.

RelianceMart5Image via Wikipedia

Some of the merchandising jobs I've done lately are:
  • Publix - and open up boxed candy bars and put them out for sale as single bars.
  • Publix - keep up with a coffee display for the month of June (keep it clean and order the coffee that's needed)
  • Sam's Club - count the Gatorade, Tropicana and Frito Lay pallets on display
  • Publix - reset the entire chip row (worked with a team)
  • Dollar General - reset the men's/boy's Fruit of the Loom displays
  • Family Dollar - hung up new signs around the store; took down the old signs
  • Shell gas station/Kangaroo Express - this is what I did this last week...Kangaroo Express bought out a bunch of Shell gas stations and for the last 5 days a team of us cleaned out all the old stuff in the store and brought in all new counters and merchandise and set it up in one day - 5 stores in 5 days.
This is just an example of the different types of Merchandising jobs available. There have been many more but you get the drift. It's a fun job because I interact with lots of different people and I have a flexible schedule and the pay is great!

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Rebekah said...

Alright, just a question about Publix. Isn't that the stock persons job? Are you paid by Publix or an independent company?
I used to work at Publix is why I ask- just curious

Mary said...


Mystery shopping is now being in various other sectors such as the hospitality sector, banks, etc. As more and more entrepreneurs are gradually recognizing the importance of attracting more and more customers, mystery shopping is becoming and more relevant in today’s competitive market. In this context it should be mentioned that the main goal of a company is not only to attract new customers but to also ensure that they keep coming back. There is fierce competition in today’s market and even the slightest mistake on your part will only pave way for your rival to walk in.