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I first signed up with a mystery shopping company when I was at university as a way to earn a bit of extra cash. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how broke a student can be and so I was grateful for any spare change that I could get my hands on. Recently though, I found the companies I was with then have had little to no assignments for me and so have been looking for more companies for me to work for; Retail eyes was one of the companies I chose.
What Is Mystery Shopping? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mystery shopping basically entails going to a shop, pub, restaurant or just about anywhere as if you were a usual customer. You are usually required to purchase something and depending on the company you either keep the item and they reimburse you for it or you return the item to the company for reimbursement.
After the shop you might be asked for photos of the shop/receipt or other details to ensure you completed it and you are also required to fill in a questionnaire about your experience; in particular questions relating to any areas you were asked to focus on.
Sign Up ~~~~~
Signing up with Retail eyes is relatively simple. It involves entering some basic details such as name, address, bank details (so they can pay you), and letting them know what you like doing – for example how many pets do you have, do you go abroad often etc. Answering these questions allows them to tailor the shops they offer you to those you're most likely to be interested in. There is also a short test to check your spelling and grammar, you do need to pass this test to be accepted but it isn't too taxing!
They do also state that all shoppers need to be over 18, presumably this is due to the shops they offer such as those involving alcohol purchase and gambling.
How Many Shops Do They Offer You ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unfortunately how many shops you'll be offered depends a lot on how much you're on the computer. Unlike some other companies the shops they offer are first come first serve and so you're more likely to be able to get them if you're online and check the site regularly. However they do post several assignments a month and I've found they include fast food outlets, general high street stores,bookmakers, night clubs and pubs so there is likely to be something to interest you. Each shop has to be completed within certain dates and times but you are told of these dates before you accept the shop.
I'm online a lot and I've found I'm easily picking up three to four shops a month and even turning some down and so there are plenty available if you want them.
Having said that you are only allowed to register for one shop the first time you do one – after this has been successfully completed you can register to complete more then one at a time.
How Much Do They Pay ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, how much they pay really depends on which shops you choose. I would say that on average, you get paid around £5 per shop plus remission for anything you have spent. However there are shops that pay nothing; usually these are pubs where they pay for your meal and drinks, and I have seen one shop that paid £15 plus remission so pay does vary quite widely.
They have two pay days per month – the 15th and the last day of the month. They pay directly into your bank account and I have received pay from them twice now, both times it went through without a problem.
Other Information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are specific details and things you need to remember in order to complete a shop successfully, sometimes these can be quite complex but all the details are available on a PDF and so you are able to read this several times before you actually complete the shop. However, if you don't stick to the notes provided they can (and probably will) refuse to pay you for the shop. I haven't had a problem with this but it is something to bear in mind.
You also need a good quality digital camera or scanner as all assignments need you to upload a copy of a receipt and many assignments require a photo of the shop you visited.
Mystery shopping isn't and could never be a way to get rich, or even a full time job, since the pay just isn't high enough. It is however a very good way to get some pocket money and occasionally even some free items. I have bought several items that I was going to buy anyway and so purchasing them this way allowed me to effectively get them for free.
I would recommend mystery shopping through retail eyes but only as a way to earn a bit of extra money. I have had a lot more work through this company then the others I have joined but even with this it's not anything even close enough to enough for me to live off.
I haven't worked for this particular company, but i have done MS before, and found it lots of fun, a bit like being a spy! In my case, the work led on to further research job opportunities, so I did well out of it! Great review. x
angel530 04.03.2011 14:32
No they don't pay mileage. I guess that's the advantage of living by a town!