Friday, April 20, 2007

Secret Mystery Shopping (Shhhhhhh)

After working for six years at The Disney Store, and being thus subjected to 72 monthly reports from the "Guest Shopper," I have always desired to be on the other side of that fence (where I have no doubt the grass is greener).

Called a variety of names -- Guest Shoppers, Secret Shoppers, Mystery Shoppers, etc. -- these are the people who literally shop for a living. They get paid to visit retail locations and write about their customer experience. Seems like a good fit for the Nitpicky Consumer, eh?

The catch is that there are a lot of scam operations claiming to be mystery shopping companies. In these instances, they just want to gather your personal info so that they can spam you with "exciting offers" ... or worse.

I hadn't spent the time to research the topic yet, but had mentioned it in passing, and my friend Janna pointed me to the Get Rich Slowly post on Money-Making Hobbies: Mystery Shopping and Belly Dancing. In addition to letting us know that the average belly-dancing outfit costs $300, the blog more importantly gives some great links to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and to the Volition Mystery Shopping site.

I plan on checking out these resources in the next few weeks, and I'll report back on what I find. If anyone has any experience with mystery shopping or with these resources, feel free to comment and share!

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