I am sure you have heard of begin a secret shopper, I have heard claims of people making some extra cash through secret shopping, but not enough to replace their real job. So do not go quitting your job thinking that secret shopping will get you anything more than free meals at places like McDonald’s, fill your gas tank, and things like that. There are a lot of ‘companies’ that supposedly get you these secret shopping jobs it can be hard to even get started. In addition, it can take weeks for you to be reimbursed for purchase you make while doing an assignment and an internet connection is required for most, at least access to the internet.
We have all heard the experts say that we should never pay to work, whether it be secret shopping, data entry, etc. any of those work at home gigs. However, if you have done any searching almost all of them want a “membership fee”.
Which brings me to ShadowShopper.com, Their front page is covered with the word “Free”. Giving you that warm feeling you get when you see the word free, but it is smoke screen. To get any good secret shopping jobs through them you will have to get a Gold or Silver membership. The “free “membership is Bronze. All you get with the Bronze membership is teased, they send you emails notifying you about ‘jobs’ in your area that you can only apply for if you upgrade your membership to a Silver or Gold. I did get one job offer since I’ve signed up for the free membership but it was in the next town and I wasn’t about to drive 70 miles just to check the bathrooms in a sporting goods store.
You must be 18 or over to be secret shopper, and be able to write reports on your shopping experience. Most of the time there a minimum amount of pages is must be. In most secret shopping cases, you are not ‘hired’ directly by a business you are shopping for; you will be an independent contractor for the Mystery Shopping Company that contracts Shadow Shopper to connect them with people to do the mystery shopping. So Shadow Shopper in the middleman.
Right now, you can get trial memberships for one month at a discount price; you can pay with a credit or debt card, and paypal. Prices for silver and gold memberships range from 90 days starting at 19.99 to two years at 399.99.
To increase you chances of getting a mystery-shopping job over someone else, you can get their CertiShop Shopper Certification. It is free to take the test. They also have a free Merchandising Certification test. You can find these tests in their Shopper University, along with much more information about secret shopping.
If you are not very interested in mystery shopping, you can just sign up for their affiliate program. Only if you have a website or blog, if not just use their refer a friends program. You will get five dollars for every sliver and gold members that joined through your affiliate banner.
They boost about their awards from the National Center for Professional Mystery Shopping and Merchandising, but I cannot find a website for it. That makes me think it is just something they say so you will feel confident in them and the fact that they will not rip you off. I have not decided if I will upgrade to a sliver or gold membership yet, I am leaning towards “no” unless I hear from some sliver or gold members saying it is worth it.