Many people question the authenticity of mystery shopping. They wonder if mystery shopping is indeed legitimate work, or just a scam. This is definitely a valid question, and if you weren't cautious, I would have concern for you. Mystery shopping, aka secret shopping, is definitely legitimate employment you can do from home. So then what is with all those scams you read about?
Scammers are there to get your money. They are in business for themselves. This is true in mystery shopping, as it is in financial, insurance, and health services..and so forth. There are definitely Mystery Shoppers, aka Secret Shoppers, scams to avoid. 'Buyer beware' should always be at the forefront of your mind, before dishing out your money, and you should be conscientious as to what it is you are actually doing.
However, if you think that all mystery shopping opportunities are fake, then you are doing yourself a real disservice. The fact is there are legitimate mystery shopping agencies, that require Mystery Shoppers to perform the market research of mystery shopping. The work of a Mystery Shopper provides employers with valuable information they can use to improve the success of their business. As a Mystery Shopper, you get paid to help businesses, and you can do this from the comfort of your own home (except when you're out doing the shop evaluations, naturally). By believing that the field of mystery shopping is nothing but a scam, you are missing out on a job for yourself!
Another common falsity is that people warn you not to pay a company to become a Mystery Shopper. I want to clarify this statement. While it is illegal to pay someone to GIVE you a JOB. It is NOT illegal to pay a company for their RESEARCH. If a company is providing you with valuable advice and links on HOW and WHERE to go to get the mystery shopping jobs, then they are providing you with a beneficial SERVICE. This is not the same as paying a company for a job.
You do not pay a company to get hired on, but you can pay a company for their expertise. Some of the stuff you can find on the Internet, it's up to you. If you don't mind spending a little money to save your time and frustration, then go with a mystery shopping service. If you enjoy searching around on the Internet, until you gather all the tidbits of free information you need, then hop to it.
Another thing to keep in mind, and what I have touted before, is that mystery shopping will nowhere get you rich. If anything, it will provide you with part-time work. This is important to keep in mind when analyzing an opportunity for its legitimacy. If you see any offering of the opportunity to get rich off of mystery shopping, run in the opposite direction, or in your case, hit the 'back' button.
There are scams going around that take on the name of an actual legit mystery shopping company to promote their scams. If you receive anything unsolicited by email, just know that it is a scam. Usually you are the one seeking out mystery shopping work. It doesn't just fall into your lap. Also, anything to do with check cashing, money orders, or wire transfers is something to be avoided at all costs.
You will not be cashing in checks as a Mystery Shopper. The US Federal Trade Commission has info. on their site pertaining to counterfeit check scams. Other countries should have something similar. Like other real employment, you will do your shop assignment, and then you will get paid. You will not get paid ahead of time, nor will you be asked to cash in any checks for an assignment.
When deciding if a mystery shopping service is legit, think about the REPUTABLE nature of such business. Is there anything negative about them in Google search? Also, who is promoting it? Do they have credibility themselves? Can they be trusted? For instance, Clickbank is a popular third party service that promotes a variety of businesses, including mystery shopping, on its site, however it has strict guidelines, including a mandatory 60-day money back guarantee given to all buyers. This is what you want to look for.
It's always good to get a REFERRAL to a good mystery shopping company or agency. This is done through word of mouth. If I am helping you to avoid scams to do with mystery shopping, which I am, and I provide a lot of valuable information on my site here, which I hope I have been, then you would be more inclined to believe that I will guide you in the right direction, which I will and do.
Mystery shopping is indeed legitimate work, and not simply classified as a scam. There are great reasons to be a Mystery Shopper, so don't avoid mystery shopping all together. I hope this post clarified some of the things you need to be mindful of.
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All the best!
start secret shopping blog
Welcome to my blog on the information and advice you need to know to get started as a Secret Shopper! I love this work and would like to share my experience with you. :)