Mystery shopping jobs do exist.
Stores hire mystery shoppers, usually via an intermediary, to evaluate shopping in their retail outlets.
Like many other work from home ideas, sometimes there may be intermediaries who are less that perfect.
Tips on Finding Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs
As a mystery shopping, you are asked to visit a store, make a purchase, and then report back about your experience. If the company contracting you is legit, you should be compensated for your purchase.
If you are not reimbursed or, worse, asked to pay in order to become a mystery shopper, you should be on the alert. You should also be weary of a company that asks you to wire money.
The FTC also has these Tips for Finding Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs
Becoming a mystery shopper for a legitimate company doesn’t cost anything. Here’s how you can do it:
- Research mystery shopping. Check libraries, bookstores, or online sites for tips on how to find legitimate companies hiring mystery shoppers, as well as how to do the job effectively.
- Search the internet for reviews and comments about mystery shopping companies that are accepting applications online. Dig deeper. Shills may be paid to post positive reviews.
- Remember that legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them – they pay people to work for them.
- Never wire money as part of a mystery shopping assignment.
You can visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at mysteryshop.org to search a database of mystery shopper assignments and learn how to apply for them. The MSPA offers certification programs for a fee, but you don’t need “certification” to look – or apply – for assignments in its database.
In the meantime, don’t do business with mystery shopping promoters who:
- Advertise for mystery shoppers in a newspaper’s ‘help wanted’ section or by email.
- Require that you pay for “certification.”
- Guarantee a job as a mystery shopper.
- Charge a fee for access to mystery shopping opportunities.
- Sell directories of companies that hire mystery shoppers.
- Ask you to deposit a check and wire some or all of the money to someone.
If you think you’ve seen a mystery shopping scam, file a complaint with:
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