Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: SamiHami on April 06, 2013, 02:07:34 PM

Title: Secret Shopping
Post by: SamiHami on April 06, 2013, 02:07:34 PM
I think I'm posting in the right place; if not, Mods, please forgive me & move!

I'm always looking for ways to make an extra buck here and there, and to that end I've been doing a little secret shopping. Not making any significant money, but I do get a couple of free meals a month out of it plus occasionally a little bonus money as well. I thought it might be cool if we listed mystery shopping/secret shopping companies that we know to be legitimate. For my part, the two companies I currently shop for are:

National Shopping Service
Sinclair Customer Metrics

I've also heard (somewhere else on ehell) about Bestmark, so I've just signed up for them today.

What about you? Know of any that are legit that you'd like to share? Could be fun and give us all (that are interested) a chance to make a few extra bucks.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Syrse on April 06, 2013, 05:29:27 PM
I have absolutely no idea what secret shopping is. Can someone give me the footnotes?
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Luci on April 06, 2013, 05:44:43 PM
I know what secret shopping is, but I would like details!

Do you have a list? Do you pay for stuff and return it, or do the companies give you a credit card and return it for you? What about consumables? Restaurants? How long and detailed are the questionaires you answer? Do you name the service people?

So, you want help, and here we are asking questions of you!
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: JD5351 on April 06, 2013, 06:54:35 PM
I use Shoppers Critique. I've been with them for a long time. I do shops here and there. Not a ton of money, but it's extra spending money.

I do apartment shops sometimes. They'll tell you an apartment complex to go to and pretend to be shopping for an apartment. You'll tour the apartment..Ask questions and then report on the professionalism of the associate you speak with.

I also do phone shops..Where I'll call specific businesses and make sure they're giving the proper information. Example, one shop I called was to price tires for my car. They were required to give me the price, including extra services, tax etc. There were certain questions they were required to ask me, etc.

Sometimes they'll have shops where you have to buy something, and then you get reimbursed up to a certain amount.

I am doing a shop soon where I'll go get my oil changed, and then I'll be reimbursed for that.

It's kind of fun..It can be a lot of work filling out the reports, but the extra money and free goodies is nice.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: WillyNilly on April 06, 2013, 08:58:27 PM
I was the one who mentioned BestMark :)

How it works:
They have a list of "shops" in my area I can peruse online. If I see one I want to do, I click on it. The details are then sent to me.
Often its something like "go to Specific Store. Go to the camera dept and browse the digital SLR cameras. Note how long it takes for an employee to approach you. If no one approaches in 10 minutes, you must seek help. Did the employee seem knowledgable? Did they have a name tag on? Did they offer you any accessories? Did they try to close the sale or offer you a store credit card? " etc.

If a purchase is required its often specified, and is reimbursed. If I buy more, I will only be reimbursed what was offered (so if it says buy a beverage up to $3.00 and I buy a drink and a snack, I will only be reimbursed for the drink). Jobs pay about $15-30 on top of the reimbursement.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Disney on April 07, 2013, 12:02:05 PM
BestMark is good. I also use Corporate Research International (they were my first) and MarketForce. I love MarketForce's mystery shopping but I'm not currently very thrilled with their merchandising side of the company.

I also love phone shops, they are great for when I have the kids home. Just close the door and tell them to be quite.

WillyNilly answered how it works but I just want to point out that all your expenses are your own and you have to wait to be reimbursed. Most questionaries are between 5 and 10 minutes long (maybe 15 minutes when you first start out?) and usually about 5 minutes in my car filling out the survey right after the shop so I don't forget.

Just remember you are an independent contractor so all expenses are your own.

My tip: Only take shops that are either worth the product or the fee. If you don't cook don't take a shop at a kitchen supply store that includes a low fee and high reimbursement. If it's a food shop make sure it's a place you like the food because you do have to eat it. Make sure you add up the reimbursement and shop fee and set a level you feel comfortable at. I won't shop for less X dollars because that will cost more for gas my time. (Think of it as I'm worth X dollars an hour.)

FYI you are an independent contractor so you are supposed to pay taxes on this money. I'm not going to say if you should or not but I do run it like a business and if anyone wants tax/organization tips just PM me.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: twiggy on April 07, 2013, 02:31:28 PM
This is a neat thread. What are phone shops? Are they just jobs available with various companies, or are there specific companies that only do phone stuff? That sounds the best to me since I've got the kids at home, but I'm usually returning calls during naptime anyway
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: JoW on April 07, 2013, 05:45:48 PM
Be very very careful when you look for Secret Shopping jobs.  There are some good ones, but there are also some scammers. 

One scam, they send you a check to deposit in your bank, then test Western Union by wiring most of the money back to them.  The wire clears instantly.  The check bounces and you have to give all the money back to your bank and you have to pay a bad check fee.  The scammer cannot be found.

Another scam, you buy merchandise with their money and ship it far away.  Again their check bounces and they have vanished. 
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: SamiHami on April 07, 2013, 08:06:03 PM
Yeah, that's why I started this thread; I thought if we posted companies that we actually know to be legit we could help each other out & avoid the scammer companies. I know it's nothing to get rich on, but a few extra dollars or some free merchandise is always welcome. I know my DH and I both enjoyed the freebies we already get from the companies I already shop for. I'm hoping to make enough, maybe, to set aside and save up for something special. What that would be I don't know...maybe put it toward Xmas or maybe for some little luxury.

I've signed on for the companies listed here so far...I hope we all are able to do some happy shopping!
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: WillyNilly on April 08, 2013, 10:33:32 AM
From the US Federal Trade Commission:
http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0053-mystery-shopper-scams
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: RebeccainGA on April 08, 2013, 10:39:43 AM
The ones photochick mentioned are the ones I use (BestMark, MarketForce, Corporate Research International), and I also do TrendSource, GapBuster, and Second To None. They all have their pluses and minuses - so totally agree that you have to either get a great shop fee or really like the product - I was doing so many Sonic and McDonalds shops for a while there, I was SO burnt out on the food, and there are a couple of shops I won't do anymore (too many photos that have to be *just so*, even if the condition is impossible to get in a photo, and shops rejected unpaid because of it). I've done just about every kind of shop these companies offer - phone, internet shops, e-mail shops, buy and return, consignment sale, eating, etc.

Other tricks I've learned (we used to do a LOT of shopping - haven't had time to do it much since we moved to Atlanta) - try to group your shops geographically, and ask for distance bonuses if it's a long way away. I used to get a distance bonus for a shop in City A, another bonus from another company for City A, and a third bonus for City B, which was on my way home from A, from a third company. Sometimes it meant I spent all weekend in my car, bouncing from shop to shop, but when the pay came in, I'd have made $200-300 in a month, had lunch on the company twice, bought groceries and reimbursed for them, had a new sweater and some lawn fertilizer, and all of it essentially free to me.

Also - remember that this is a JOB and not just for fun, so take it seriously, or you risk not getting paid. print out your questionnaires, and fill them out in a parking lot nearby after your shop. Get a folder and clip receipts/notes  to the questionnaires. Take twice as many pictures as they as for. Get names, even if you're not sure you'll need them, if you can do it without getting 'caught' as a shopper. Have a convincing back story for your scenario.

I loved shopping professionally. I wish I had time for it again. We had a friend that lost her job, and using some savings for 'seed money' for her first month's shops, and saving part of each month's shop money for seed money for the next month, she was able to make enough to cover her salary. She was working 8+ hours a day, 6+ days a week, though.

Good luck if you get started - and feel free to PM me if you have any questions. 
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Sweet_Thang on April 12, 2013, 01:23:12 PM
I don't do any secret shopping, but I do participate in PineCone Research, which you get paid for doing surveys.  And sometimes you might receive product to test.

I have available invites if anyone wants one.   just message me.   
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: blueyzca01 on April 12, 2013, 01:25:24 PM
I agree with MarketForce.  I've stop doing them because they seem to be stuck on McDonald's shops (at least in my area).  I ate so many Quarter-Pounders w/ cheese that I physically got ill.
But the company was very good to me for a few years.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 12, 2013, 02:03:23 PM
I tried it for a while, but decided it just wasn't worth it.  I worked through two legitimate companies, but one only paid me after seval months of hassle and the other never paid me at all :-/ (Most shops require some proof you actually showed up - a photo of your receipt, a product number from a particular display, a photo of the store in a specific way, etc.  The one I never got paid for was because the clothing store was a huge mess and didn't have the correct items out in their display.  I gave an honest review - including the fact that their display didn't have the product the store said it should - but they refused to pay me because I didn't include the product number from a pair of shorts that *should* have been there but weren't.)

I still get the emails from the one who did pay eventually, but the only secret shop they do near me is an upscale restaurant.  It is good food, but since I can't bring my kids along with me, I'm not going to sign up.  A secret shop is too much work for a fancy night out!

Both companies did go to prepaid debit cards - when you do a shop, they reimburse you electronically onto the card.  If you secret shop a lot, you could just use the card for all your purchases and you wouldn't be out of pocket after the first one.

In my experience, though, very few of the shops actually paid enough to be worth the time.  Papa Johns has secret shops available all the time - but you have to take a zillion pictures, cut the pizza a certain way, let it cool, cut it again, take more pictures, and THEN you can eat it once it's cold.  and IF they decide your pictures are the exact way they want them, you get reimbursed for the pizza (and nothing else).  Each new secret shopping store also requires you to watch a video and take a quiz before you're even allowed to see if there are any available shops in your area or what they pay - meaning you will spend several hours watching videos for shops you only later find out pay peanuts.  The apartment and the restaurant shops were the only ones that really looked worthwhile in a time-for-money way.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on May 07, 2013, 08:51:55 PM
I just signed up for one of these as a result of this thread and looked at one of the available assignments.  It sounded promising (pays $15 on top of reimbursement) until I saw that the secret shop cost could be up to $100 (you have to park in a commercial pay lot and pick up a multi-day voucher in advance from the home office).  You are also not to ask for a receipt (you may accept it if offered one).  I could see why the assignment is still available.  I'm certainly not willing to (nor can afford to) front as much as $100 and not get a receipt, not knowing if I'd get reimbursed for sure.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 07, 2013, 09:08:46 PM
I shopped for Mystery Guest for two years. Ate out many times at various restaurants on their dime, played by the rules. I don't have time to do it anymore.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on May 07, 2013, 10:37:20 PM
I shopped for Mystery Guest for two years. Ate out many times at various restaurants on their dime, played by the rules. I don't have time to do it anymore.

Thanks!  I signed up for that one, too!  :)
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 08, 2013, 07:38:28 AM
POD to PP who mentioned the importance of keeping meticulous records! You will need them.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on May 08, 2013, 07:47:25 AM
May I add (as a newbie) to act on a shop immediately?  I saw a couple of paid ones last night, stepped away from my computer to say good night to DH (and because I was having brain fry from looking at so many shop sites) and fell asleep then got up this morning to find the shops taken (I'm finding the paid ones are rare and these were each $30,  :( ).  I know better for next time (I was surprised to see them last night so I thought I'd be fine not accepting them as soon as I saw them).
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on June 07, 2013, 03:37:33 AM
I want to say thank you for this thread.  I wondered about secret/mystery shopping when I was 18 years old and working in a drug store because we got shopped all the time, and I thought it would be a cool job but didn't know how one got it (pre-internet so I figured you just had to catch ads in the classifieds at the right time or be in the know).

Anyway, I think I am now signed up for FOURTEEN mystery shop companies.  I've already done over 20 shops since mid-May.  I think I'm a little burnt out on doing so many reports now.

I've learned a few things:

* When doing a vehicle shop, make sure to research the vehicle (yeah, should be a no-brainer) so you know how to present yourself.  I shopped a $36,000 car the other day but didn't present myself as someone who was ready to buy a $36,000 car and didn't really have a good cover story ready even for keeping my current car (I could've told the truth -- I love my car and want to keep it, for one, because it was an engagement present from DH, rather than a pricey ring, which would also explain the inexpensive rings on my finger).

* Beware of the shop that seems to good to be true.  I jumped on a shop that pays $65 and thought, "No problem" when it said it was a difficult, detailed shop that would last about 2-3 hours.  By the time I was done with the shop, I was worn out.  By the time I was done writing the report, which took several hours more, I was even more worn out and realized I would've been better off picking up multiple $15 shops that required very little effort.  I will never pick up one of those shops again (it was for Ikea if anyone's wondering).  I figured out, after signing up for fourteen companies, that it really isn't difficult at all to find shops that pay, rather than just reimburse or pay very little (like $5).

* I won't do any more reimbursement-only shops for things like pizza; I prefer cooking most times to spending money to eat out.  That was one of the first ones I did, and it required way too many pictures in my opinion to be worth getting a "free" pizza (which, as another poster pointed out, is cold by the time you get to eat it). 

* I won't do anymore grocery store shops for stores where I don't regularly shop (most of them have had produce priced way too high for my taste). 

* I won't accept any more grocery shops for lower-end stores that require focus on pharmacy when they don't have an actual pharmacy (lower-end stores are those that are set up like small-scale versions of Costco or Sam's Club -- merchandise still in their packing boxes on open warehouse shelves).  No actual pharmacy means haunting the OTC aisles for several minutes in the hopes that an employee comes into the area.  I won't let the scheduler talk me into picking up one of those again either unless they want to pay me a big bonus for doing so (I let one talk me into it but have since learned my lesson).

* I've done cell phone shops for three different mystery shopping companies.  My favorite one has a pay amount in the middle, $15, but requires the least amount of effort and, best of all, no picture of the front of the store.  The other two companies paid less and more ($11 & $17) but required much more, like pushing the salesperson to discuss specific phones if they don't do it voluntarily and detailed scenarios to present to ensure I get shown phones that are supposed to go with those scenarios. 

* Also, beware the Cheesecake Factory and Disney Store shops.  Not only do they not reimburse, but they only pay in gift cards to their stores.  I rarely get anything from either company anymore (it's been years, except for the once I wanted banana cream cheesecake a few months ago) so gift cards from those companies are pretty useless to me.

Of course, these shops don't pay as much as my regular job does when you break it down, but all my OT (overtime) gets banked as CTO (compensatory time off -- extra vacation time essentially) so I'm not getting extra cash for any OT I work.  I could choose to get paid out my OT, but it's an all-or-nothing deal for each fiscal year -- bank all my OT or get paid out all my OT -- until the next fiscal year when I decide again.  I took almost three weeks of CTO on top of three weeks of vacation last year so I obviously could use the CTO.

Anyway, sorry for the long post.  I thought some more feedback would be nice.

I found if you register with jobslinger.com or volition.com, those are mystery shop assignment databases so there are a bunch of companies to sign up with from there.  Jobslinger.com is connected to MSPA, the official mystery shop company association, so I think it's safe.  I can't vouch for Volition so I'll have to see how the next few weeks go as far as getting paid by all these companies.

Oh, and correction -- I've done mystery shops for fourteen companies so far; I'm signed up with more than that.

I think my favorite mystery shop company so far is Monterey Mystery Shopping.  They paid me $50 for my first shop, which was for a high-end motorcycle ($30 plus $20 bonus for it being my first motorcycle shop with them and it was my first mystery shop period, not counting the ones I do as part of a committee at work).  They don't require very much and, so far, seem to always pay $30 for their shops (I have three more scheduled with them on Sunday for car shops).  They quickly paid me my $50.

I also found that a line I firmly draw is for shops that involve letting some unfamiliar company touch my car for any reason.  DH and I have a mechanic he's gone to for years.  I thought about an oil-change shop that only pays $5 but reimburses up to $60 for the oil change and thought maybe we could save the $50 it would cost with our regular mechanic to get the oil changed on DH's truck.  Well, I looked at the Yelp reviews for that location and found it very much not good so DH and I will stick with paying the $50, rather than risk something happening to his truck.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 07, 2013, 10:10:00 AM
Wow, interesting.

My strangest shop was to a seafood buffet restaurant, where I had to check the bathrooms and look at the raw bar. That one took almost an hour to right up, but it paid $100.

I shopped the Cheesecake Factory twice, and we haven't returned since.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 08, 2013, 02:44:24 PM
If anyone is still interested in mystery shopping, you might want to stay away from Cirrus Marketing Intelligence and the Troy Dolan Group.

I've completed $250 worth of shops with each of them and have not been paid (given that most of these shops aren't more than $15-30, that's a lot of shops for $500).  Cirrus takes THREE MONTHS after the shop is completed to pay, and I completed shops for them in May and June.  Nothing (was supposed to be paid by Cirrus at the end of last month).

With Troy Dolan, I've sent inquiries twice now and have received no replies.

I really don't want to engage in a battle to get paid so I haven't gone harder yet in pursuing these (I've been praying for a miracle, like these companies would actually pay me without me having to push them).
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Carotte on October 08, 2013, 04:29:23 PM
Oh, timely post :)
While I'm looking for a job in my field I see someone every couple of weeks that's here to help me/guide me with everything and last time she told me about a company that does secret shopping in my country (I didn't even knew it existed here).
They seem like they are quite a serious company. You get paid at the end of the month for the time you spent, and everything above X that was paid from your pocket is repaid promptly (smaller sums are added to the pay check I think).
I'll see what the internet has to say about them and try my luck, it sounds like it would be something I'd like to do every once in a while.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 12, 2013, 06:40:36 PM
I've located a mystery shop forum, woohoo!  Learned that Cirrus now doesn't pay until FOUR MONTHS after being invoiced (there are several of us on that forum still waiting to get paid).  It's been quite an illuminating forum.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: MrsJWine on October 13, 2013, 12:08:20 AM
I'm really uncomfortable with offering my SSN right off the bat. The only one I've found so far that doesn't require that is BestMark. Are there any others?
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: RebeccainGA on October 15, 2013, 06:55:04 AM
I'm really uncomfortable with offering my SSN right off the bat. The only one I've found so far that doesn't require that is BestMark. Are there any others?
Almost all will - it's a requirement of employment, regardless of if you're online or offline employees of a company. Just make sure it's a 'real' company - not some fly by night scam - and you'll be fine. There are lots of good, legit ones out there.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Venus193 on October 15, 2013, 12:07:10 PM
Posting for updates; I may want to try this.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: MrsJWine on October 15, 2013, 03:42:13 PM
I'm really uncomfortable with offering my SSN right off the bat. The only one I've found so far that doesn't require that is BestMark. Are there any others?
Almost all will - it's a requirement of employment, regardless of if you're online or offline employees of a company. Just make sure it's a 'real' company - not some fly by night scam - and you'll be fine. There are lots of good, legit ones out there.

I'm fine with them asking AFTER they've accepted my application. It just seems shady to do so beforehand.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: jedikaiti on October 15, 2013, 05:54:01 PM
I may have to check some of these out. I did a little secret shopping years ago - don't recall which companies - but found that almost all the shops in my area took far too much time & energy for too little profit. But internet and phone shops I could do, no problem!
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 16, 2013, 03:14:11 AM
Just want to update that I did get paid by Troy Dolan today (although the payment was missing $10 so I need to look into that; however, getting $243 out of $253 in one fell swoop isn't bad).  Still nothing yet by Cirrus.

For those of you thinking about mystery shopping, you might want to check out some mystery shopping resources, like the mystery shop forum I've encountered (just google "mystery shop forum" and I think you should be able to find it).  What I have found especially fascinating is that even some of the employees of the shop companies belong to and/or monitor the posts and try to resolve the issues shoppers experience with those companies (for good reason when you've got shoppers warning each other away from bad companies).  Also, there's a list of, I think, a couple hundred mystery shop companies.  It has really been a useful resource so far (and, frankly, entertaining to read when one shop company owner/employee has been busily shooting himself in the foot by not responding well in the forum to complaints about his company).

A big thank you to the person who started this thread.  I'd been thinking about a part-time job for the last few years but was unsure about how taxing a regular commitment would be on my schedule.  Mystery shopping has worked out perfectly as I get to decide how little/how often I want to complete shops without repercussions like one would have as a regular employee (earning the extra money isn't bad, either, as I can look at most of it as "fun" money, since my wages from my regular job go towards my household expenses with DH).  I like being able to take a break from shopping for a few weeks if I need to work on other things, and there are so many companies with shops in my area that I know I can always pick some up again when I want to earn extra cash again.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 16, 2013, 04:07:35 AM
Okay, I also have to say that, apparently, there are now smartphone (mostly iPhone) apps that are for mystery shopping.  I haven't done more than download the ones that people listed so I don't know how they work, but I'm all for making my phone a profitable device to have.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 27, 2013, 11:39:55 AM
Just for entertainment -- stories of some mystery shopping experiences:

http://www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com/category/adventures-of-a-mystery-shopper/ (http://www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com/category/adventures-of-a-mystery-shopper/)
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: emjo306 on October 27, 2013, 11:59:47 AM
I do shops for MarketForce. I haven't had any problems with them. I find there's not a lot of variety in their shops in my area...tons of Five Guys and McDonald's. I've done a lot of Five Guys shops in the past, but it was getting a little hard on the waistline! Once I did a floral delivery shop where I got a nice bouquet and took pictures of it every other day for a week. The only shop I truly avoid is "hole counting" at the grocery store...you have to count every out of stock item in the store, going through every single area and aisle with a fine tooth comb. Took an hour and I got $10, a couple of free items and a headache for my troubles.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Kat66 on March 15, 2017, 01:26:48 PM
Hi, newbie here. I realize this is an old thread, but I hope someone will be kind enough to answer anyway. Forgive me if this has already been addressed and I missed it, is anyone doing online mystery shopping, (as opposed to brick and mortar), and if so, do you have any advice for getting started? Thanks so much to anyone who can help me.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: lorelai on March 15, 2017, 04:07:41 PM
I think I'd be interested in restaurant mystery shopping. Are there any specific companies any of you would recommend if I wanted to specialize in that? Thanks!
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 15, 2017, 08:15:38 PM
Hi, newbie here. I realize this is an old thread, but I hope someone will be kind enough to answer anyway. Forgive me if this has already been addressed and I missed it, is anyone doing online mystery shopping, (as opposed to brick and mortar), and if so, do you have any advice for getting started? Thanks so much to anyone who can help me.

Hi, Kat66; welcome to the forum!  The mods are really opposed to resurrecting threads with no post more recent than 120 days ago so prepare for the fact they'll likely lock this one.

So, while I can still offer this bit of advice, go to this site, http://www.mysteryshopforum.com/ (http://www.mysteryshopforum.com/).  I've found it very useful to answer your questions regarding mystery shopping.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 15, 2017, 08:20:51 PM
I think I'd be interested in restaurant mystery shopping. Are there any specific companies any of you would recommend if I wanted to specialize in that? Thanks!

No, no recommendations.  It depends upon your area.  What one mystery shopping company has a particular restaurant chain as a client may not be the same for a different area.  Also, if you go to the forum I recommended, I wouldn't ask this question.  Mystery shoppers have a big issue with being asked which mystery shopping companies to recommend.  It is expected you find out by doing your own firsthand research; however, shoppers are pretty open to sharing which companies are pretty bad (such as Cirrus Marketing, I believe, but I could be wrong -- you have to fight them in order to get paid).  I haven't done any mystery shopping in about 1.5 years so I have no recommendations for good companies (what was a good company back then may not necessarily be a good company now). 
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: Kat66 on March 16, 2017, 06:49:39 PM
Thank you so much FauxFoodist! I will check them out.

And thank you for the warning about old threads. My son, who, unlike me, has long experience with internet
forums, warned me that might be a problem, but it felt cheeky as a newbie to start a new thread on an old
topic. I promise not to further try the moderators' patience.
Title: Re: Secret Shopping
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 16, 2017, 08:14:07 PM
Thank you so much FauxFoodist! I will check them out.

And thank you for the warning about old threads. My son, who, unlike me, has long experience with internet
forums, warned me that might be a problem, but it felt cheeky as a newbie to start a new thread on an old
topic. I promise not to further try the moderators' patience.

Not cheeky at all!  The site warns you if you want to post to a thread that hasn't had a new post in over 120 days.  I've only seen two exceptions -- one was the OP who cleared it with the mods first since she was posting an update to the thread she originated; the other was a thread originated by the mod who posted to it after it hadn't been posted to in about a year.  Those are both unique exceptions I've seen.

I found the mystery shopping forum link I included to be really informative.  I don't think I ever found any mystery shopping that was online only, though, but, again, it's been 1.5 years since I've completed any shops so things might've changed.  There have been shops with online components, but there's always something in addition to that (usually in person but, sometimes, over the phone).