Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A very good mystery

Some of you may remember that I started doing mystery shops a few months ago. I'm still with only a very few agencies so I'm not at all an expert. But today was SO successful that I have to tell you all about it.

As you may recall, for the most part Mystery Shopping is not a way to get rich quick. Most of the shops I've done require you to buy something. You're reimbursed, but in reality that free item is a significant part of your pay. If you went to a fast food place and got a burger and fries, you wouldn't really be making much money. Maybe $5 for your gas, time online entering the report, and time in the restaurant. So the free burger and fries is just as big an incentive as the cash. The problems come when you realize that you need to order exactly what the company wants (so you can't get onion rings instead of fries, or a chicken sandwich instead of a burger), or when you end up inviting your husband (and you spend all your profits on his food), or when you schedule a shop at what you thing will be a very convienient time only to find out that you need to be halfway across town for a recital or a ballgame.

But TODAY... today was perfect. I had 3 shops planned but got a call moments before I walked out the door to see if I could add a fourth that another shopper had failed to do. All my shops were in the same area, which just happened to be close to a store I'd been meaning to stop at for a month. And the kicker was that 2 of the shops were for paint. Yes, paint. For one I had to make a $5 purchase. That was easy enough. I bought the paintbrushes I needed for finishing the bunk beds. For the other shop, I was to buy a gallon of paint. Any color or variety I wanted. I would be reimbursed up to $60. Yes, $60. I was so excited. I've been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets for the longest time. I wanted to do them in oil paint and that stuff is really expensive, but it lasts forever. So today I bought about half the paint I need. It would be all the paint I need but I want to do them in two colors. I'm hoping that by the time I get around to finishing the bunk beds I'll have another mystery shop and get the other color for free, too.

For my four shops today I'll get $37 in payment and $70 in reimbursement. And even better, Scott watched Quinn for me so I got to spend the whole day alone.


LuckyOnce said...

That sounds awesome. I do the survey websites, so I know how slowly that kind of thing can add up (and the time commitment that it requires) but I think it's a great fit for the right person. Good luck with the paint!

Azaera said...

Cool that sounds awesome! Glad it all worked out so well for you!

Tara said...

That is awesome Karen. I am envious. I have only done a couple shops... they ALL seem to be banking (I am not opening a new account every week) or sunglasses in my area. I am not driving 45 minutes to buy a $200 pair of glasses I have to return tomorrow for $15. I did get a new pair of real glasses out of the deal but that was over a year ago and not a single good one since.

Karen said...

I've never done either one of those, Tara. I seem to usually get fast food places or the occasional movie.