5. How can I tell if it’s a legitimate mystery shopper opportunity?

  • Helping companies evaluate their customer service, store cleanliness, or other aspects of their businesses is a good way to earn extra cash, but claims that you can make lots of money as a mystery shopper aren’t true. 
  • If mystery shoppers are asked to make purchases, it’s usually for very small amounts for which they will be reimbursed.
  • Mystery shoppers are paid after completing their assignments and returning the questionnaires to the companies that hired them. They don’t receive checks or money orders in advance nor are they ever asked to pay any fees.
  • Payment may be reimbursement only – for instance, for a purchase at a fast food restaurant – or it may be a modest amount per assignment, generally $5 to $25.
  • Businesses often arrange for mystery shoppers through independent companies, many of which are members of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA). For more information go to www.mysteryshop.org.
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