Do I need a separate email address for Mystery Shopping?

Dear WAHFAQ, I just started Mystery Shopping…got your training program…love it! And I was wondering if I really need a separate email address to do mystery shopping with.  I already have so many, it just seems like a hassle! Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you liked the Mystery Shopper Training Program 🙂 Y’know, it’s totally up to you if you want to use another email address specifically for mystery shopping.  I guess it depends on what you use the others for. For me, personally, I like to keep it separate from even my business account simply because I Read More…

What are Reward and Revealing Shops?

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been mystery shopping for a little over a month now and yesterday I got an offer for a “reward” shop.  What is this? Reward shops can also be called Revealing shops.  They are when you are required to give up your identity as a Mystery Shopper and reward an employee on the spot for doing something fabulous. For example, you could go into a movie theater and purchase something at the concession stand to see if the employee up-sells you to a larger drink or popcorn size.  If they do, you say, ‘Congratulations!  I’m a mystery shopper Read More…

What is a Financial Mystery Shop?

Dear WAHFAQ, I know you said that Mystery Shopping companies don’t deal with certified checks, but I had an assignment recently where I had to cash a check at a payday loan place.  So, I’m confused.  What are good and bad shops that deal with money? To clarify: Mystery Shopping companies do not PAY by certified check.  That’s actually a really big scam! Financial institutions have a variety of shops available.  Here are the main ones you’ll see out there: 1)   Pay-day check cashing: The mystery shopping company will give you a check to cash. It is usually pretty small, Read More…

Who Mystery Shops Walt Disney World Cruise Lines?

Dear WAHFAQ, Can you tell me who shops Walt Disney Cruise Lines?  I’m also interested in doing Panera, or Shell Gas Stations…I can’t seem to find out who shops these companies, and I don’t want to waste any more time! I would tell you if I could…but this is the cardinal sin of Mystery Shopping: revealing “who shops who.”  We can’t do it. Please don’t ask me to violate my confidentially agreements…It just won’t happen! We can’t reveal these things because Mystery Shopping companies don’t want to lose their clients.  If they didn’t have the confidentially rule, we’d be able Read More…

What is an Apartment Shop?

Dear WAHFAQ, I heard that apartment buildings get shopped.  Is that true?  Would I actually have to rent an apartment?  That just seems weird, plus I don’t have the best credit, so I would probably be denied anyway.  I don’t really understand how they would work.   Apartment shops are actually my favorite shops to do!  You do NOT need to rent an apartment, fill out an application, or leave a deposit to do an apartment shop.  It’s pretty simple: You call up the apartment building and talk to a leasing agent over the phone, setting an appointment to view Read More…

Should you give out your social security number?

Dear WAHFAQ, It seems like every Mystery Shopping company that I sign up for wants my social security number. I don’t feel comfortable giving it out. What should I do? I know that Mystery Shopping does sound a little too good to be true, and it can feel like a scam when you’re first getting started, but, believe it or not, this is a job! Your employer, the mystery shopping company, needs to know that you’re legally authorized to work in the US, (or Canada, or wherever you’re shopping) and because of that, they need your social security number. Even Read More…

Can I bring my kids on a Mystery Shop?

  Dear WAHFAQ, I was recently assigned a movie theater shop, and 2 restaurants. I’m so excited to get started!  The only thing is that my baby sitter cancelled on me, and I have to get these shops done TODAY!  What should I do?  Can I bring the kids with me? Ok, first of all, RELAX. Then, call your scheduler!  They are your life-line to help you when situations like these arise.  I cannot specifically speak for your scheduler or company, but most restaurant shops allow you to take a few people with you.  In fact, Mystery Shopping companies LIKE Read More…

Mystery Shopping bait and switch

  Dear WAHFAQ, What does “bait and switch” mean in mystery shopping?  I can’t quite figure it out.   “Bait and Switch” is a practice with some not-so-nice Mystery Shopping companies.  It’s a rare occurrence, thankfully…but it can happen. When a Mystery Shopping company posts an assignment, they’re supposed to give you all the details, so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.  Sometimes, they don’t do that, and bait you into taking an assignment that looks easy to do.  Once you accept it, they throw a whole bunch of details, stipulations, and extra work that you weren’t counting Read More…

What is a Retail Mystery Shop?

Dear WAHFAQ, What is a retail shop?  Do you have to buy something?  Do you have to spend your money, or will they give you some?  Are you supposed to keep the merchandise or send it to the company? Retail shops vary by company and assignment.  Here are the main points you need to know: 1)   You generally will NOT receive money from the mystery shopping company to buy anything.  You’ll have to use your own if a purchase is required. 2)   If a purchase is required, they may have something specific for you to buy. 3)   If a purchase Read More…

Mystery Shopping FAQ

Interested in Mystery Shopping? Great! Here’s a list of common FAQ’s compiled to save my poor hands from carpal tunnel in answering questions one at a time: (If you’re looking for other random jobs, check out the Work at Home FAQ) What is Mystery Shopping? 
Mystery Shopping is an aspect of Market Research. Mystery Shoppers are needed to go into establishments to give honest and objective evaluations on products and services they receive. The businesses then use this information to improve productivity, gauge competition, provide training, and reward employees. Who hires Mystery Shoppers? 
Mystery Shopping Companies hire shoppers. Don’t bother Read More…