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Man of Mystery – part 2 of 3: Does Mystery Shopping Pay? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shiftless   
Monday, 05 March 2007

In my experience, a lot of shopping assignments are small value – perhaps $5 to $10 in pay plus perhaps a reimbursement of something that you bought. The total value in your pocket might thus end up as $10 to $15.


But to earn that $10 to $15 you probably spent 20 minutes reviewing your prep package or training ( or 30 to 45 minutes for the first-time read-through), 5 minutes printing out the questionnaire (which they often insist you carry in your car even though you have to enter the data online), 20 minutes driving back and forth from the shopping location and perhaps 15 minutes in the store making your observations. On top of that, entering your data into the online forms wil likely take another 15 minutes or more.


So you have spent a minimum of an hour and a quarter to get that $10 to 15. But if you bought something that you did not really want to get anyway, the reimbursement portion is less valuable to you.


Net: small ticket shopping assignments pay you, per hour, roughly what you earn as a baristo anyway. It might be easier to just work a few more hours at the shop when you feel like it.


Some small ticket items are things that “everybody” needs, though, and you may as well do them if you have to buy the item sooner or later anyway. You could end up with items like fast food meals, or batteries, or reimbursed movie rentals, or a tank of gas. Do a half dozen different things like this once a month each and your annual earned pocket money (or reimbursement for something you would buy anyway) could approach a thousand bucks.


I don’t see how someone could come anywhere near making a living at this while doing it on the side.


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