Mystery Shopping for Fun and Profit | Jeff Feldman | Skillshare

Mystery Shopping for Fun and Profit

Jeff Feldman

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11 Lessons (1h 31m)
    • 1. Introduction

      8:37
    • 2. Getting Started

      16:12
    • 3. Types of Mystery Shops

      9:35
    • 4. Tools you need

      3:22
    • 5. Finding the gigs

      12:59
    • 6. Class Project

      6:35
    • 7. Working with Schedulers

      5:59
    • 8. Conducting the shop

      11:16
    • 9. Completing Reports

      11:33
    • 10. Getting Paid

      4:34
    • 11. Conclusion

      0:31

About This Class

Earn extra money on a spare time basis doing what you probably are doing anyway - shopping.  This is a way to make a little extra cash without being employed and doing it on your terms and time-frames.

In this course, you will learn how to 

* make extra money shopping (probably what you are already doing) 

* experience new establishments and experiences find real mystery shopping gigs

* how and where to 

* avoid scams 

* get compensated for your hard work

* develop a routine

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, Jeff Ellman here. Welcome to this course on mystery shopping. Glad to have you. Thank you very much for taking this course so companies will pay you to actually go and shop at their stores and their retail establishments and apartment complexes and many other other places where business is conducted to evaluate their service that they provide to their customers. Essentially, you are the eyes and ears and seeing what management can't see when nobody else is looking . So mystery shopping can be a great opportunity for you because it will give you extra money on allow you to have the flexibility to do this whenever you want to, whenever there's opportunities to do so. And there's a lot of opportunities to do so and unfortunately is also a lot of scams. So we're going to try to do is we're going to try to show you how to maximize those opportunities in your local area, how to avoid this scams and how to complete the reports effectively so that you get even better jobs in the future because good work is rewarded with more work and more profitable work down. The few get down the line so We're also going to show you how to fill out all the paperwork and how to leverage your experiences and and then also manage your expenses so that this is a profitable experience for you. When I was between assignments, after I had retired from the military and before I had gotten employed full time, I had a period of unemployment where I didn't have a full time income coming in, and we were very strapped for cash, to say the least. And I had discovered mystery shopping as a way to help bridge those gaps, and that really helped me out. It's not a thing that's going to make you rich, and it's not get rich quick, and it's not something that's passive income at all. But it will give you a few extra dollars here and there, and it's a fun way to make extra money. And it's a way to make extra money on your terms and your timeframes, which I think is important, and it gives you the opportunity to become an even better shopper because you're going to discover and shop it, places that you would never normally not go to or be exposed to But because you are a mystery shopper, you're going to have a reason to go into these places, and you're gonna know what to look for and how to evaluate different establishments so that when you're shopping on your own, you can actually get better service and basically be able t o use these skills to, actually, if you need to or want to later on obtained full time employment. Whether staying in this industry, which is after mystery shopping, you could become a scheduler for a mystery shopping company or an editor, or you could become an auditor or merchandiser. Or you can basically leverage these skills, get experience in other different fields and leverage and get references that you ain't they need later on. So it's a great way to make some extra money. It's a great way for single moms. It's a great way for for teenage kids. It's a great way for retirees, and it's a great way for people behind you know, um, between employment situations, help them to maintain their quality of life, helped put some extra food on the table and put some extra dollars in the bank it in the bank and basically give you the opportunity to see and experience things in your community that you didn't know already existed. So without further ado, we welcome you to this course, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please participate. Please send please comment and review the course when you're done with it, and we really appreciate your feedback and really appreciate your questions, because this won't be the first version of this course. You'll have a little bit more courses coming later, and we hope that to improve the course and clarify anything that used to be clarified so again, thank you very much and look forward to seeing you in the future lessons of this course. 2. Getting Started: okay, So before we get started, I wanted to go over a few really important disclaimers. So first of all, there should never be a B to join a mystery shopping company or an assignment. There is no charge to become a mystery shopping customer or project person. There's an exception because there's a professional association called the Mystery Shopping Professional Association. So they're an exception. It might be worth to pay their small fee of nominal fee of like between 15 and $45 depending upon how much shopping you plan on doing, because they can actually give you like a certification as a mystery shopper. But besides them, there's never a need to purchase or join anything. The reason why so many people are put off about becoming mystery shoppers is the fact that there are so many different scams that, unfortunately attached themselves to the concept of mystery shopping. And it is rather unfortunate because there's a lot of opportunity and a lot of a lot of opportunity to make legitimate extra money. Being a mystery shopper, you don't have to pay a fee, and you don't have to join anything now. You may have to like you. For example, if you are doing a shop and you are purchasing an item, you're actually going into a a retail establishment, and you're either purchasing an item and then you're gonna return that item for reimbursement or you're going into a restaurant and you're getting a meal that your later going to be reimbursed for in those situations. That's not that's not the same. Is paying a beef to join a company. You're actually getting a valuable product or service in exchange for your money that you later and should be reimbursed according to the guidelines of the shop, so don't know necessarily worry about that, but it should never cost you a fee to join a mystery shop. Mystery Shopping Assignments company. Another big scam out there, Major skim. Having is having to do with Western Union. Although I have seen I have actually seen legitimate shops for Western Union, I would not advise a beginner to shop mystery shop and take or taken assignment with, um, money transfer service is just too risky. Um, there's no need to do that. There are so many other different places where you can find legitimate mystery shops that you don't need to, um, do a money transfer one. There are places where you can open up a bank account. Um, at a local bank, like you know, your big, big banks out there. I won't name them because some of them actually might be clients. But your major banks not fly by night places. You're opening up your own account in your own name. Ah, and they do sometimes pay you quite a bit to do that. So keep that in mind. Don't ever pay a fee to join a mystery shopping company or service. The only exception to that is the Mystery Shopping Professional Association That is worthwhile to join. But it's not requirement and certainly not mandatory. I don't think I I was not a member of the Mystery Shopping Professional Association when I first started, and there was plenty of work without having to join this association. So it just adds a little extra If you're trying to compete for choice assignments. It's nice to say that you are certified as a mystery shopping professional association member, but that's keep that in mind. That's something that you need to always keep in the back. Your mind, it never costs a fee to join a mystery shopping company. The next thing, what you don't keep in mind is to always do a cost benefit analysis before accepting any assignment and just like a job like a regular job. If you are seeking employment in some place, there are places that will pay you minimum wage, and there are places that will pay you six figures and the places that pay minimum wage there in abundance. There's too many of them and places that pay six figures Well, they're extremely hard, and there's thousands of people standing in line for those those kinds of positions. It's exactly the same way with mystery shopping, there are really good assignments, and then there are assignments that you definitely don't want to accept. And it it always is kind of interesting, because a mystery shopping company is like a regular business in that they are trying to get the best service possible for the least amount of money, and you can't blame them for that. So if they can find a mystery shopper that's willing to fill out a five page report that takes you an hour to do and by the way, you have to spend gas, money and time to go all the way across town for $5. It's not worth it, but if you happen to have, like, a cluster of these different assignments that pay like 15 $20 apiece and during between five and 10 miles in between each other, and you could knock out five or six of these in the day and it's only a one page or half page form than those air kind of assignments that you really want. So you have to do a cost benefit analysis, and you have to do that before and I should say, before accepting any of any assignment. It's considered very bad form and very unprofessional cause once you once you've accepted the mission, then you you basically have a contract. Now you can always you know, Blake on them, but then you're ratings as a mystery shopper with that particular company will go down and you may not be offered further assignments or future assignments with that company. But you can negotiate. Sometimes you are in a position where you can negotiate the terms of the mystery shop beforehand, so you want to do a cost benefit analysis. Is it really worth what I'm being asked to do? I mean, if it's a simple form, a lot of the people when they need help, they say it's a very simple form. It's a one page form. It's a one picture. Where you taking a picture on your cell phone of the exterior of the establishment or some other proof of proof of visit or something that they're asking you to do? Um, the more the more that you're asked to do in the further away it is from where you are, the more money you want to ask. Um, as mystery shopping companies, they have deadlines that often times they come out with. Ridiculous. When they first post a job for the first posted assignment, they usually sometimes will give a ridiculous, lowball offer of, like do this 60 page report. I'm definitely exaggerating, but a 60 page report for $5. It's clearly not worth your time, but the mystery shopping companies have deadlines that because they're the companies that hire these mystery shopping companies have toe have so many turn ins. Otherwise they don't have a complete contract. So as their their deadlines approach. They start getting more and more desperate. And then that's when the deals start coming and they start saying, Hey, I really need this. They start offering bigger and on bmore money and then you can Actually negotiating said, Hey, really, I wasn't planning on doing this today. I had other plans, but could you Could you go ahead and maybe give us? Give me a little extra and I'll try to fit that into my schedule? I will not try to fit it in your schedule. You will find a way to fit it into your schedule. You are committing to it. But you know, it's never a bad thing to ask beforehand for more money. I do it all the time, and sometimes they say yes. And sometimes they say no. And when they say yes. And I'm glad that I had asked because, you know, um, I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't asked. Another thing that you want to keep in mind is sometimes there's expenses that you know, if they don't promise in the beginning to pay for it, you can forget about it. It's not going to happen. So if parking is an issue. Like, you know, like if you're downtown in a major city where you have to pay for parking and sometimes parking is a lot of money, you probably want to negotiate parking. You probably want to negotiate gas or if it's a long way away, Um, you know you want to negotiate that one time I was I was in Tennessee. I was in, Um, I was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on the Tennessee border, and I was offered Ah, mystery shop. It was a really rural area in Tennessee. There was no interstate going out there. There was just like back roads and all that, but it was for a bank, and it's very small, little rural community. And they really needed this mystery shop done, and it was really out of the way. But they say, Hey, you know, we'll give you $100 if you go do this mystery shop. This is a long, long time ago, and it was actually very worth my while, is very relaxing to go and go to a place I've never had been and had no reason to go to, Um, but I'm glad I did it and and that made it worth it more than covered the gas. And it was a very interesting experience, and I got, you know, good. I got in very good with the company that offered this assignment cause they were really needed to have the job done. So the point is to do a cost benefit analysis before accepting any type of assignment. Another thing that you want to keep in mind, as some assignments are strictly reimbursements and they're not. They're not gonna be paid anything. So a lot of times there's a company. There's one mystery shopping company out there that they best basically all they do, they have their very name brand restaurants, but they never pay you anything. They may offer you a $5 or $10 bonus occasionally when they need something done. But basically they allow you and a partner a spouse or friend to go and have dinner, and they just reimburse you for the cost of the meal. And to get that reimbursement, you have to fill out all the forms and everything, and it's a lot of work. But I guess if you're going, if you're going out and you wanna have, Ah, a nice meal with your spouse and you don't mind spending a little time doing the paperwork . Um, you know that that would be a good thing, but just step to understand it is not always always for compensation. And I did that a few times, and I don't like those very often because you know what I do Take my spouse out, Teoh to dinner. I don't like to be burden because those shops you have to be really on the ball. You know, they want you to order a certain thing in a certain way, and you have to be observant. Everything that's going on, and you know you don't want to forget to do anything. And you know, you have to really make sure that you're doing the shop appropriately. So you know, if it's just strictly reimbursement situation and you're not getting any compensation, that's up to you to decide whether it's worth your time. And then you want to do that. Some of the restaurants are really good. Some of them are really high, you know, high end restaurants, eso me and my significant other my spouse have gone and done these restaurants, but it's something to think about that you may not get compensation. It may just be in the form of reimbursement, and the next thing is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So unless you are a very well known person and you've worked in the mystery shopping arena for several years, you're probably not going to get a cruise mystery shop to begin with or a vacation mystery shop. It's just not going to happen. Um, you kind of have to pay your dues. You have to become a person who's known to do these things, and as you as you complete assignments and you meet requirements and you're there, you begin to get a good reputation. Thes things make become available to you, and they're never as good as what they think, because they mean it's a lot of work if you're if you're on a mystery shop for a cruise. From my understanding, I had not been on a cruise mystery shop, but it is a lot of work. It's definitely not a vacation, and you're definitely not going to get paid anything. It's probably the cruise itself is the UM is the reimbursement, but you know, it's a lot of attention to detail. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of report writing, and you know, you have to really be precise and in your reporting. So if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Nobody's gonna pay you $1000 to do a mystery shop. It's just not going to happen. The good news is that these are good, legitimate things, especially if you can do a cluster of smaller assignments, which you know some of these assignments. If you get it down. You know, if you can learn with the requirements of one mystery shop is and there's a cluster of them , you can go and knock four or five of these things out, and then you know you can complete that on on in an afternoon, and you could make a very decent, decent amount of money in a fairly relatively very short period of time, and that's really good, like if you're not interested in finding full time employment or you just want to make some extra money here and there, that really hits the spot. So that's what mystery shopping really is about. It's about giving you the opportunity to earn some extra money to experience some things you wouldn't have necessarily had the opportunity to experience. Maybe get some reimbursements for some of the things that she'd like to do, like going to your restaurant or maybe a theme park, even. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And finally, always be sure to keep receipts and follow the shop instructions precisely. I remember once where I had a mystery shop for a fast food restaurant and I didn't want pickle on my burger. So I asked them to take, you know, no pickle, but the shop instructions had, you know, make don't make any kind of, um, you know, changes to your order. And what happened was when I went to submit the assignment, it was denied, and I thought that was a very trivial thing. But what they wanted to see what the company wanted to see was the order, the time it took for the kitchen to prepare a normal burger without any kind of modification. And because I made a modification, it wasn't a good you know. It wasn't a good survey. So what? Not only did I, um, not get paid for that assignment. Um, because this was supposed to be a reimbursement and paid payment. I didn't get paid for it, and I didn't get reimbursed for it, and I literally had to eat the assignment. So lesson learned, make sure you follow all of the shop instructions. Precisely. Make sure you read the instructions before you go out and before you do your first mystery shop and keep all receipts on what I recommend that you do is a recommended to take pictures of your receipts. Take pictures of the receipts and set your camera to have a date and time on it. Because these kind of details will be forgotten very quickly after you do a mystery shop. And especially if you do a number of shops where you can get all of your fax. Um, you know, jumbled up. So it's very good idea to keep your receipts, take a picture of your receipts. I use a software program called Evernote Evernote dot com, e v E R and o t e dot com, and I save my receipts to Evernote so that I have them and that I can access them very relatively easy. So when I turned in my report, I am able to return in reports that are concise and that are well detailed that have the receipts, and I could make sure that I follow the instructions precisely because I review the instructions just before going in and conducting the shop. So if you follow these rules and you follow these guidelines, you should have no issues with doing your first mystery shop and your subsequent mystery shops. 3. Types of Mystery Shops: in this lesson. We're going to talk about the different types of mystery shops, and you're gonna find that most mystery shops are unlike one another. So there's a very big a range of different shops, opportunities that you can you can encounter. The most common mystery shop that you will basically undertake is called the Retail Visit. Basically, you're just visiting a retail establishment, maybe a clothing store or a department store, or you're gonna visit kiosk in a mall. Basically, these are retail visits, which basically just require you to visit interact with the staff and then variation of that is a retail visit with purchase now indicated earlier. That doesn't cost anything to be a mystery shopper. However, If you are buying something and getting a A product or service that has value to it, then that's OK because actually getting something from a merchant that's of value so retail visit with purchase to be something you'd probably make a small purchase, a few dollars, which would likely be reimbursed to you, and then that way you can get that money back or what you purchased, and then another variation of that. It's called the Retail Visit with purchase, then return. So if you're going and buying a larger items, maybe a suit or something, then you go and you go to the store, go through the sales process, purchased the item and then a short time later, returning at him for a refund. So the actual company that's employing it could be the mystery shopper is actually looking to see all of the different aspects, from how you got there, to the sales person's interactions to the purchase and then how they handled the return. They want to know if there's any issues with the return process, because that's also part of the sales experiences processing your return, seeing if they if they if they encountered any problems with the return. So don't ever worry you're gonna get be able to return anything that you purchased the next time. Mrs. Up is a restaurant murder mystery shop. We're going into a restaurant and you're evaluating quality and timeliness when you receive your food and whether it's cooked appropriately and whether the server checks on you and so on and so forth. And there's very specific and detailed instructions on what to look for in these particular types of mystery shops. Then there's the service mystery shop, where they lot of times they're getting different kinds of people, said, Hey, we need people who got Honda Hyundai Vehicle 100 vehicle, or Honda or Chrysler or something, a specific kind of vehicle that needs servicing. And then they pay for the servicing of your vehicle in exchange for you filling out the survey and see how that service experience WAAS and maybe hopefully pay you on top of that , but not always. And then there's people who come out to your home to do carpet cleaning or pest control or what not. And then there's just speaking just different kinds of service related Mr Shops that you could take advantage up. And then there's phone shops Such a very interesting. Because phone shops you're not limited to any geographical region you can actually do. In most cases, you could do a phone shop anywhere in the country, and these don't pay but more than a couple of dollars. But they don't take a whole lot of time, and you can do them literally, anywhere. You could be overseas doing these. That's why they get used to get these particular shops go pretty fast, but I do see a number of them come up. So if you have like a dedicated email address where you're getting your announcements, you're getting your you know your job offers. You can scoop up a number of phone shops. So if you didn't run into a period of unemployment or you know or what not who he didn't want to go and get a regular job. This could be the perfect way to supplement that just by doing a whole bunch of these little tiny tasks and getting the stays down with, you know, with mystery shops, especially the phone shop, because it is so easy to do the neuron a couple of dollars. It's just up to you to make sure that you keep all the information together and don't get things confused. But phone shops are excellent way where you can be in a remote part of the country or even overseas, and do these phone shops. And then there's my favorite Mr Shop, which is called the Reveal Shop. So most of the time you're never going to tell another person that you have done a mystery , even when the shop was over with. You'll never go back. Never talk to the people will never know that you are. You are a mystery shopper evaluating their service, but the exception to that this reveal shop. So I've done a couple of these where, basically, the company is rewarding their associates for for doing a certain thing like to go into a fast food restaurant, some of them where they offered to up size you or they offer specific menu item. Then you had gift parts for everybody when once it if they completed to shop correctly. There are other times when you know you get a manager to sign up on something because there was some kind of special reward or something, and you will reveal yourself and that's you know, that's part of the thing. And then there's sometimes you go in and you get this letter of authorization. They give you a letter of authorization to go in there, go and check out the place and do a complete audit and those kind of fun. I really enjoy those those revealed shops because most of the time reveal stops. We're rewarding the associates for doing what they're supposed to be doing and keeping a good good store. And, you know, they send you the rewards, so you have them ready, and all they have to do is just perform the casts correctly and they get some kind of reward. And then there's a photo of shop, which basically your photo shopping here going in and use your smartphone to take pictures that people want to see the landscape that want. Sometimes they want pictures of the restrooms to see that the clean you are the eyes, years of owners and management because people, when they know the owners around the management's around, they usually have everything you know, really sticking stand. But when people aren't watching, that's when people's gardens they let their guards down. You know, they let quality suffer. So had in the photo shop. It's very clandestinely take pictures off different things, and you send that to the mystery shopping companies. Cochran safety for it. And oftentimes you know, shop is required to have a photo, so we have to have a photo ahead of time. And then there's the call ahead, which basically you're calling before you go out to the shop. They want you to call and get directions to the place called Get the Hours they want. Evaluate how that person associate is on the phone. How many raises take, You know, who answered the phone where they polite with a friendly. They suggest anything. And then there's the ones where you have actually go through a sales presentation, and they want to see if the sales presentations authentic, whether it's good weather, not too pushy, would you buy from them? You know they want facts. They don't want you. They want know what your feelings or opinions that they want to hear actual facts. Did they say this, or did they communicate that? So remembering those attention to seek help points are very important. And then there's the apartment ones, which are really good department ones where there's some mystery shopping companies, that's all they do is apartments, because apartments they want to make sure that you know the apartments are good. That the sign it just go to that toward that, the set leasing representative gives is good. All the amenities look good and desirable on pleasing, and the model unit looks good. So there's different. Make it protects of mystery shops and the really fulfilling. And you can learn a lot being a shopper going through some of these mystery shops, and I've discovered by going to these different mystery shops places I never would have known about, and I've become a actual riel shopper because I've been exposed to going as a mystery shopper. And there was like one Mongolian restaurant. I never been to a Mongolian restaurant. I would never would never occurred to me to go to a Mongolian restaurant. But there was a mystery shop for Mongolian restaurant, and I said, Wow, this is really good food. This is just outstanding and I became a big time lover of Mongolian food as a result of my experience of going to a mystery shop. So that's just one example. But there's just different types of mystery shops. You get to learn about good customer service and what to look for, and you experience and breadth of knowledge of different things will go up, and this will help you in many different areas, not just their mystery shopping, but just like in general, by going in and going through these these different processes and you earn a little extra money on the side. So we're gonna continue with our class. And I hope you enjoy this class. And the next one we're gonna show you how to find these different mystery shops. Thank you. 4. Tools you need: so mystery shopping these days is pretty easy. You don't need to have a whole lot of specialized equipment, but one thing you do really need is a smartphone. It doesn't have to be a high end smartphone. It just has to be a good smartphone capable of taking pictures. That's really essential in many mystery shopping assignments that you'll have and also have the ability to run certain applications on a smartphone. So that little device is very powerful and helping you with your mystery shopping, extracurricular income activity and the next thing you want to get is a separate Gmail account. A separate email account will keep everything separate so you don't have your personal emails, and your business emails co mingled. You can keep these things separate. You're gonna wanna have where you're gonna wanna have it so that you're getting alerts of new assignments coming in so that you can accept those assignments as they come in and then also be able to follow up answering questions about a schedulers. Schedule a person who schedule or schedules the assignments in the scheduler, being able to answer their questions so that you get paid because there's often times just follow up questions or problems where you need to perfect your previous assignment. So being ableto respond to this correspondence is extremely important. And having this separate Gmail or other email separated email account is important. The next thing I want to suggest to you is to get a Miles tracking software for your smartphone like my like, you know my like. You will keep track of your business miles. That's the miles you're driving from your location or from your start location to the shop and then back. So a lot of that is really important, especially if you're doing multiple shops. You want to be able to write that that those those miles off of your taxes and you know this is not You should talk to an accountant before doing this, but this is an option. And I think if you run your business, if you run mystery shopping like a business, or at least is an income producing activity, then you should be able to write your miles off. And finally, one thing that I found very helpful is to get a voice recorder app for your smartphone, because oftentimes there's a lot of details, and there's a lot of information, and what I would do is that would sometimes go into a restroom, and I would talk into my my phone and memorialized key important events that took place during the shop. That way I wouldn't get confused because mystery shopping is very much attention to detail , and you've got to be able to have all of your different. All of the different requirements are met and be able to answer all the questions. And if you're doing four or five different mystery shops, you can easily get confused. And finally, another tool that you might want to consider getting is a tool called Evernote. Ever. Note is a very good organizational tool that can keep track of all of your notes and receipts and documents. And this is especially important with mystery shop. When you're getting these receipts that your entire reimbursement and pay could could hinge on a receipt. So it's best to take a picture of the receipt right away so you don't get so you don't lose it and be able to scan it into Evernote and everyone will keep it. Keep everything organized and keep all of your assignments and everything on track. So those are the tools. I think that you need to be an efficient mystery shopper. 5. Finding the gigs: Okay, so now we're gonna get into the really heart and meat and potatoes of this course, and that is how to find the mystery shopping assignments. So there is one website that I just absolutely recommend. It's a gem of a website, its no frills. It's just it's been around forever, and it's called volition dot com volition. Okay, in case volition, volition is the faculty or power of using ones will. Now I'm I have two men. I'm sort of a dummy when it comes to a lot of words, and I kept thinking it was violation. You know, I would type in violation mystery shopping. So if you got it wrong and you couldn't remember volition, which is your word for today, which is the power of faculty or power of using ones will. I don't know how that translated into a mystery shopping website. I don't know, but I digress. If you typed in violation mystery shopping, it would correct it into volition, because volition mystery shopping has been around for since the nineties, I believe, and the website looks like way. So let's look at their website. This is their website like it's like a right out of a page from the 19 nineties. There's really no need to, um, go ahead and spruce it up or anything. It works just fine. You know, the other sites that mystery shopping sites that are skims. They have the bells and the whistles and the flashing lights and everything. You know that this is legit site because it's so no frills. It's like, Okay, here it ISS It's just raw information and, you know, it's actually very well maintained. And it's been that way since the 19 nineties. I believe so. It's been that way since I got started in this many years ago. So in case I didn't go over this earlier, I got started with this right after I retired from the military, but before my mother my next career. So that was almost 10 years ago, and this site looks exactly the same as it did 10 years ago, and I'm sure looked the same 10 years before that. So it's been it's been there. It's been looking like this forever. So I would like to show you around this this site and show you about this site. So the 1st 1 I want to show you. Is it the job board? So if you want immediate gratification, you want to know what assignments are available right now, right in your immediate area that you could qualify for. You can go to the no frills volition dot com job search type in your zip code. Let's choose 9021 Let's that popular Beverly Beverly Hills Zip code 30 miles from that, you do have to put the capture in that a CBE 71 or whatever it is on and then hit search, and then it will give you all of the jobs. This is just in the Beverly Hills, California area, 30 miles from that zip code and you, As you can see, there are a whole bunch of different jobs. And if you hover your mouse over the job, you have to click on the assignment. You can see what it's about, just just just by hovering over it and seeing what it is in a talk. It tells you about how much it pays and you know the distance and all that. And look at it. There's like, four pages, and you know this. This is updated in real time. You know, things come on off this job board, you know, as they happen. But this is just a tip of the iceberg and what I have found, because I have found that most mystery shopping companies will start posting on volition dot com, I guess when they're desperate, not all the time. But I think that when they haven't gotten any takers on their first round because every every mystery mystery shopping scheduler has a list of a database full of names that they first blast out, there are some secondary. Hey, we have this open or this shop open. And when they get no takers and they start putting the jobs on volition and you know, you could if you were traveling with you, don't have to be like located in these areas. If you were just traveling, you know, if you were visiting Orlando or something, you know if you're visiting or Florida, this is near Orlando. If you're just visiting, you know, Orlando, you could just come back and you wanted to go out. You having Disney World or something, and you wanted to go and do shoppers Bank bank inquiry. There's a store evaluator um, new car testing rent to own, Um, this one only has 45 results, so this one is not as much, but it's only 30 30 miles. But there's all kinds of different ones. Store evaluator, um, veterans, somebody going to looking at V A facilities, summer cash in store display setups. That's kind of not really a mystery shopping, but it's a nice gig, you know, Gig thing. Where you gonna If you wanted to make some extra, pick up some extra cash, you can go do that. So there's just all kinds of different opportunities. Here's some phone shops I mentioned earlier in one of my previous lesson about phone shops . You know you can you don't even I don't even think you have to be in the local area. So you click on that and you get the whole different thing. Shops in your area, $4 Obsessed with shop. A pal. Um, I don't even think you have to be present. You don't have to go anywhere. It's $4. You do the shop, you know you can do it in your pajamas and make your $4 sugar shouldn't take you that long . but it's not a lot of money. You're not gonna get rich doing this kind of work. But you know, when you need money and you're looking for something that you could do, you know, just whenever you have the opportunity, it's like when I feel like it money, when I want to do it, it's available to me. Then you can do this kind of thing. So volition also has volition also has a cool forms. They have a membership forms where you can find out about different kinds of things that the mystery shopping form and then they have independent contractor networking like If you wanted to go do like displays and product demonstrations and what not merchandising and demo. But these things are pretty, you know are even to this day 2019. The other dural um, they're all up to date on everything. So a lot of good information in these forms and then probably the most important thing that you should really do is go down where it says mystery shopping companies and says U. S. A. G H two p. Q. Dizzy. You know, if you spend a weekend or so whenever you have some free time setting all of this up using different mystery shopping companies that you know that are posted here. You sign up for all these different companies. It's free to sign up. These are legit companies. You sign up for the company, um, and you sign up for them. And then when there's assignments, they send you emails saying, Hey, there's an assignment. You know where you are. You interested in this assignment? And then, you know, you get the choice assignments that way, and then as you develop, uh, feedback as you get feedback on your your shops that you're doing, you're doing good work. They generally leave them or important and higher paying and more. You know more and demanded Simon's to pick mystery shoppers who have done a good job for them in the past. And then a lot of these companies that they have designated schedulers and the schedules will often jump from a company to a company, and they take their databases with them, and then your company's fold, the new companies emerging, and these schedules they have the list of names. So, you know, once you set all this up like I have I have a email database full of of different shops coming my way where I don't need to go ahead and sign up for these things anymore. I have everybody coming to me. They're emailing me saying, Hey, are you interested in this shop for that shop? I have this open, but you can go through here, sign, sign up for each one D's, get on their mailing lists and then that way, when assignments come up, you can take them. And in the interim, while you're waiting for all that, you have a job board where you can go and you can see what's available and start doing this right away. And then, as I mentioned before, there are merchandising and demo companies out there that you know you can do merchandising and demo. If you want to do something different and make some money, extra money that way, that's something available to you as well. And the other thing I wanted to tell you about his Craigslist, Craigslist has a, um, gig thing where it says gigs. And then down here there's like event gigs, and then you know, so you can you can. There are projects down here for events. So, you know, go go through these different events writing, talent, labor event. These things will change every single day. And then you can create a gig and then, you know, basically get find out about jobs that way and then also want to tell you about something called Search Tempest. So, Search Tempest, we'll let you search multiple different Craigslist nationwide. But what you can do is you can just put like gigs, put your zip code and narrow. Used to one up, I know to 10 just like that television series That's the Beverly Hills. It's a real Beverly Hills, Um, zip coaster, 25 miles. Let's do, um, gigs and then hit Search. And then it will come up with this. And then as it comes up with this, you can get the alerts and then have the alerts sent to you. But getting the alerts You could be updated when there's changes or new additions added to your local Craigslist, which will put you on top of things, and then you could be usually the first person to sign up for something that's a very lucrative, very lucrative offering. So those are the different types of ways that you can find mystery shopping jobs is there's a whole lot of them out there, and you just got to find them and remembered to only accept the ones that make sense to you in your situation. Because there are some mystery shopping jobs that make no sense at all. You just have to evaluate each one of them. Sometimes you can find them in clusters, and other times you can find single ones that a very lucrative where they're willing to pay you a bonus. You can negotiate ahead of time with the company's, but once you agree to accept an assignment, then you're pretty much locked in and they're not going to want to negotiate with you further. And you you're almost kind of obligated when you can flake out on them. But you are kind of obligated to fulfill that. If you don't fulfill a mystery shop that you agree to that can lower your rating with that particular mystery shopping company, and they may choose not to do business with you in the future. So you want to avoid doing that. Just remember, all the negotiation takes place before you accept the job. If there's anything that you see on the screen, Word says pays $10. There's nothing saying you can't write to them and say, Hey, would you consider, you know, paying me 15 and I'll go ahead and do that for that. You know, that's completely acceptable and the norm. So just remember that. But this purpose of this lesson was to show you the different ways of finding mystery shops . You want to get on all of the different companies lists. You want to be exposed to as many different schedulers as you can. And you know you want to check the job where every so often, when you're first getting started. And that way you know, this job board is updated in real time on a regular basis on a daily basis, if not even more regularly. So, yeah, this is a great site. Doesn't cost any money. It's totally free. Remember, it should never cost you a single dime to be get started with mystery shopping. So hopefully found this this lecture helpful 6. Class Project: okay, It's now time to do the project the class project And I really encourage you to do this project because first of all, this will give you some practice on actually typing up a mystery shopping assignment in second. A lot of times when you're applying to some of these different these different companies, they want a sample of your writing experience. So just coming up with a notional, you know, notion on mystery shopping of about a particular experience to recently had would be very helpful because you could have that saved on your hard drive and then copy that information over to a nap lic ation, and then turn that in and most of time. People aren't really going to worry because a lot of times mystery shopping companies they need everybody that they could get signed up. But they do. A lot of them want a sample of your writing. So, you know, just just a very small sample of your writing is all today require. And that's all that I want you to do for this project because this will help you get prepared for your next mystery shopping assignments. So let me tell you about a recent, um, experience that I had gone to a place called Kiki's Breakfast. So Kiki's breakfast was the name of the establishment, and I went there yesterday, which was the fifth of May 2019 and I went there at approximately. You wouldn't want to know this. You wouldn't want to record these details, you know, right when you have it. That's why it's very hard, very important to have its smartphone and be able to talk into it with the sound reporter to record your information. We went there probably 11 05 and we got done out of there. Probably about 12. 45. The exterior was well cleaned. Um, what Clean maintained there was nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary wrong with it. If there was trash out there, I would say something. Interior looks fine. Um, presentable. So they're looking for very specific things. They don't want to hear about your feelings, Really. They want to know about specifics. They want to know about things that are wrong and are things that are right. Bathrooms. I don't to the bathrooms. There's some bathrooms. Could have used better, more a little dirty, um, some trash but not too bad Time spent waiting spent. I spent about three minutes waiting as there were many customers. The food was really good. I had a bacon cheeseburger. Um, price on a Diet Coke. The food was presented very well. It was played it very well. Fresh the quality cooked to perfection servers. Name was Don, I think, and he was very tentative. Check amount was for $74 total. All of us final comments in the last part of the mystery shopping the places where you can put your feelings or your sick your personal suggestions is, you know, in the final comments that really should I m up to take reservations or not? This is just a sample, but there you go. Kiki's breakfast. They have a couple of different chains in the Orlando area. Now, if you can, in your example, go ahead and take you. Go on Google and find an image of what similar to what you had for your dining experience doesn't have to be exact. It's just this is just a demonstration. But I appreciate if you load a photo, I'm going to see exactly what you had or something similar to what you had to get a visual of it in a regular mystery shop. You would take your own pictures in many cases, and you would have that uploaded. And also I wanted just to tell you that there's a type speech to text in Google. Um, you can go to that one. That's his speech notes. There's a couple of them here, but speech notes is one where you can go to speech notes and it's free. You could just hit the microphone and then just start talking. I had a tremendous experience, a tremendous a dining experience at the Roosevelt Inn and Dining facility. It was a tremendous way of getting complete fulfillment and satisfaction. And my server Marquis was really great. And there you go. You could just copy this, and you know, this will save you a whole lot of time, you know, just just talking into it. And you could fill out these forms and be done in a snap. That's a pro tip for you, And that should really help you get started. So these project is really good. Please don't bypass the project. Actually do the project. You'll be better off for it and you be prepared for one. You were filling out the applications to become a mystery shopper for these different various companies. 7. Working with Schedulers : Okay, so welcome back. So this one, this next lesson is going to talk about the relationship between schedulers and how scheduling basically works. So you're going when you interface with a mystery shopping company? Usually the person that gives you your assignment is this scheduler. Now that's your person who's usually your first point of contact with the mystery shopping company. So the scheduler is the person who is going to basically, you're going to be able to negotiate with before you accept the assignment. And it's basically going to check in with you and is going to basically put you down and determine what days you're going to be working and so on and so forth. So it's important to, you know, be honest. Many schedulers, email database lists, and you do that by going to the volition website and registering for as many different companies says you can. And then, as you complete different assignments, these schedules move from company to company, and they usually take their databases with them. So the schedule is kind of is like most of schedulers come from the ranks of mystery shopper. So, you know, almost all schedulers have mystery shopping experience. And if you stay in this long enough, you may also be invited to become a scheduler. Because the schedule has amore, um, is still kind of a quasi employees of the mystery shopping company. They usually work on evermore steady rate of pay. They usually have a more regular working basis. They could still be on a commission basis, but generally I think they're mostly on a salary basis or work from home type of deal. That's how they generally have that working out for schedulers. Now schedulers take all of the inputs that you you provide for on your assignments, and they send that to an editor. And the editor is the person that the mystery shopping company that's responsible for approving your work assignment. And then if there's any problems and the editor will come back, you editor will come back directly to you or directly to the scheduler. So it's important to work with the skids or because you may be missing certain things on your report. And if you make a mistake or you, you know, maybe you were supposed to take some photos and you didn't take a photo. Maybe the center will have some suggestions on how to cure a bad assignment like he made some mistakes. You know how to cure that, how to fix it. Sometimes it's not flexible, often times it is. But basically the most important thing is to communicate with the scheduler and let that person know if you're having any difficulty. And then the schedule will also help you resolve any kind of scheduling conflicts, because mystery shopping assignments often have very specific, Um, timelines like you have to complete the assignment during these hours on these on this particular day of the week, and it can't be before so many hours before closing time. We're after opening time or you have to shop a particular employee. So there's a lot of different moving parts, and it's very easy to make a mistake. And if you're having trouble or having trouble, you want to contact the scheduler to get clarification and be able to rectify the situation . And then the scheduler interfaces with the editor and then oftentimes you know, a mystery shop. That assignment that you took so much time you went there, you spent gasoline. He took the time to write a good report you want to get paid for that. But if you did follow the instructions completely incorrectly, oftentimes sketch shops can be forfeited because you didn't follow instructions. And it's a heartbreaker because you put so much work into it and is often times there's some. There's some bitterness involved, but you can clear a lot of that up by working with and communicating on a consistent basis with the schedule. And that's the point of this lecture. And this lesson is to, you know, communicate with you and say, Hey, stay in touch with the scheduler and you know, when you have problems or have issues to bring it up. And if there is a problem to talk to the schedule to see if you can cure an assignment, Um, because oftentimes that's the case. Now what you're looking in front of you is the Mystery Shopping Professional Association page that I mentioned early in earlier lessons, and this is the professional Association. This is the only one that may require a small fee to join. Anything else is basically, you can consider it a scam, but this isn't actually a legit mystery shopper professional association. I do recommend joining that if you have, you know if you're going to do this long term, it's a good. It's nice to have those credentials and they have a lot of resource is in training and not all of it costs money. And there's a lot of good information here, so it's good to it's going to have these different resource is, and you can see that mystery shopping is a legitimate, um, way of earning extra money. There are legit companies out there that provide this. There's a lot of scams out there, but, you know, if you follow the guidelines of the M S P A and you deal with companies that are on volition dot com that antiquated but still relevant website, then I think you'll be just fine. So work with your schedule. ER's work closely with them, develop a relationship with your schedulers. They can help you. They could help get you good assignments, and they could help negotiate, you know, special deals and all that if they especially when it's coming toward the end of the month , or when the contract is running out on the need assignments completed on an urgent basis. Um, that's when they will pay the most in my experience. So you work with your schedulers and I hope you enjoy this lesson and there's more to come . So stay tuned. Bye for now. 8. Conducting the shop: Okay, so now you're ready to go to the shop. So before you go to visit to the before you go to conduct a shop, make sure you re read the shop. Guidelines go through all of the materials on the mystery shopping site of the company mystery shopping company that you're performing the shop for, and re read all of the guidelines. Make sure that you have all the appropriate training that you're supposed to have. And did you go through all of the materials? You don't want to miss something a critical aspect of the shop and not get paid, So it's very important to go through very thoroughly and read through the instructions and then also read through the question year. Actually, I found that very helpful to read the information allowed. I'm actually re allowed the questions before going to the shop. And then just before when I'm in my car outside of the establishment, I actually verbatim read the actual shop questions. So that did Don't miss any key, any key requirements, because if you miss something, you may not have the opportunity to go back, and the shop may be invalidated and you may not get paid, and then you've essentially wasted your time. So you don't want to do that. What you want to do is you want to make sure that you've read all of the guidelines and that you have the questionnaire. You have a basic understanding. Now, a lot of times as you do this as you become more familiar with mystery shopping and as you do this on a more regular basis, you become pretty good at it. And then you become more intuitive and then are able to often times, you know, improvise on some of these things. But sometimes even people who are experts at this are not so lucky. So make sure that you print out the shop question here, or at least have a laptop with you. I usually carry a laptop, a small laptop in my car, and I look over the shop questionnaire just before going in to take take care of the shop, and the next thing that I do is I want to verify the time and date when to do the shop, and I've done this a few times where I have conducted the shop outside of my allocated time it doesn't make any sense the way they have this. They say they need a mystery shopper and you're thinking, OK, well, I'm going to do this And they said, We need this to be done on Tuesday and you go on a Tuesday. But it's the Tuesday of the next week, not this week, and they don't pay you because that's not when they needed the shop done. So you have two very make. Just verify before you go through all the trouble, because you could damage it so much where you know you can't go back to the same place without, you know, exposing yourself as a mystery shopper. So if you don't do it on the right time and date, not only did you waste your time doing it, but you may not have the opportunity to go back to that same establishment and redo the shop. So always just one more time. Just one more time. Verify the time and date of when the shop is to take place. Don't do it prematurely. Don't do it on a day you're not supposed to do and just do it, um, you want to keep a good calendar so Google calendars is a great program because it is pretty much interface with many mystery shopping applications. But you can go ahead and just save stuff on your Google calendar, and I've used learn to use Google Calendar for all of my appointments so that nothing conflicts. And then I know you know when I have, when I'm going to go and plan on doing a shop. Okay, so now you've gotten to the location. Now you're at theatrical mystery shop location, and no matter what type of shop it is, one of the things that I like to do is when I'm at the entrance. I'd like to take a picture just somewhere of the entrance, even if it's not required. I like to have that picture because it's on my phone. It's on my smartphone, and it has the dot, the time and the date because most question years, almost all of them that I can think of. We're gonna ask you when the mystery shops started and when the mystery shop ended. So I take a picture when I go in, and when I take a picture with my phone when I go out and it's very easy to very clandestinely take a photo without making drawing too much attention to yourself because people used to smoke smartphones all the time, and people are snapping on everything on instagram and everything. So that's kind of routine. It's not out of the ordinary and take pictures anymore. So you want to take a picture when you first start out, and when you take take a picture when you when you leave the establishment and then those air your times that you put on your shop form when you complete when you started and completed the shop and then you want to look, you're going to go and do the interaction, and you're gonna follow the guidelines that you had for the shop, and you try to look at this from the owner's perspective. So you're going in your hypervigilant and you're trying to get a sense of everything. You're you're keeping a track mentally track on how long it takes before your you know, your you are recognized by an employee and who helps you And do they have a name tag on and you're gonna follow the shop instructions precisely because every shop is completely different so some things are not as important as other things. So one thing is very important to those. If you have to record and the name, make sure that if the person is not wearing a name badge that you repeat their name, you know, don't always count on the fact that the receipt has the name that another person maybe log into the cash register. You just don't know. So make sure you repeat the names or ask the person for their name if they're not wearing a name badge, um, get receipts. Make sure that whenever there's a receipt that you hang on to that receipt, I recommend that when you go to your car, you take a picture of that receipt in case you lose it. Because I've done that a few times where I've lost receipts and had my shops and validated . So you know, you want to make sure that you least take a picture of it and safeguard that receipt and don't go overboard. You know a lot of people some people want to go, you know, really like they want to, like impress the mystery shopping company. And when they asked you a shop. They take a video. If if the shop doesn't call for a video that don't give them a video, and because you actually could do more harm than good, they you know that's not what they paid for. Um, you know, with the mystery shopping companies that because the mystery shopping company has clients, the company's the stores and establishments that you're shopping pay a mystery shopping company. And if you don't do follow the instructions exactly, you actually give them something they can ask for. You could actually do more harm than good, and it's not appreciate it is not appreciated, like you would think so on Lee, Give them what they specifically asked for. You know, if you wanted. If you want to do something right by the mystery shopping company and for the client, then do the very best job. You can give us much insight as much information as you possibly can do your very best to, you know, to provide a very thorough shop, and you want to highlight any problems, you know, be aware of anything that would stand out like any potential problems. Almost always is on a question here. That's not really a part of the shop. But did you notice any problems? Like I went into a bathroom and there was a leaking toilet? You know that toilet, if it's not repaired, could no be, you know, 100 gallons a day of wasted water, you know, just needlessly running all the time and you're bringing that on to the attention of management so they can fix it. I put it on the mystery shopping sheet. I don't necessarily bring that to the attention. I don't tell the management there. I'm there to do a mystery shop. I'm not there to do it for any other purpose. Which also brings me to a point is you? Never. Unless you're doing a reveal shop, you never highlights yourself as a mystery shopper. You always try to blend in with other shoppers. You know, you let the rial customers go first. You know, you just kind of browse around when there are real customers. Real shoppers. You don't want to take away the business from from the from the sales associates, let them finish the real real customers before interacting with you. And then finally afterwards, as I said before, You want to snap a photo when you leave so that you have a record of the time that when you started in the time that you finished and then you want to complete the questionnaire, preferably right in the car. I like to do it right on my laptop. Right. Witness there, right was fresh in my mind because trust me as you do this so often you're there's so many little things that they ask for is very easy to forget. I forget a lot of the stuff you in 10 or 15 minutes after I complete the shop. So when you as soon as you leave the establishment drive around the corner don't do it right on the premises. But drive away from the location, maybe around the corner and park in a place in an inconspicuous place and then finish out the application. And at that point, you know you want it like memorialize everything that you did. You know, you can use the question here. I also like the sound recorder cause I'd like to just talk into the sound recorder and, you know, talk. You know what my experience were, because also, when you're doing a lot of these different shops. It's easy to get these things jumbled up, because when it's time to actually submit the shop to the mystery shopping company, and these thes reports are very detailed and their long sit in some cases having a lot of information and having all the information they asked for, you know, you know all you know, not worse, conflicting and not where you're getting things confused with other shops. It's very handy to do this question here and talking to the into your phone as soon as possible. In fact, sometimes, like when I'm in a dressing room or something, I may very you know, I may go into a bathroom or dressing room, and I may just kind of very, you know, make a phone call to my phone voicemail and say Hi, honey, you know? Yeah, I'm in the shop. It's very nice. Yeah, um, and then might try to, like, leave myself little clues when I you know, I want to try to remember every little thing that I can think of so that I can put into my report. And then finally, you want to save the mileage, you know, use one of those mileage APS for your smartphone so that you're getting reimbursed for miles because, you know, some of these locations are kind of far away. You're gonna burn gas and put mileage on your car, and you can, you know, you can write some of that off in most cases, you know, texting. You know, check with your tax professional first, but you can. In many cases, you may be able to write some of that off, so keep that in mind and you take all your your notes and then you be prepared to send in the shop when it's do. Because a lot of times, sometimes the shop is do like 12 hours after you do it. So you know you want to be prepared. You might not finish the shop of my late at night and you're tired and you drove away out there, and now you're driving away back home, and then you gotta fill out this long, long report it. Sometimes it's a TV ist thing, but if you follow my guidelines and you do all the guidelines here that we've talked about , it will be much easier, and you'll be much more organized, and I'll be much faster than you know, having to scramble on tryto, you know, figure out things and contacted, you know, the schedule and whatnot. So the next lesson will go over how to actually complete the forms and how toe fill out a good shop for you and working with the scheduler and the editor on your completed shop. Thank you. 9. Completing Reports: Okay, so in this in this lesson, we're covering actually going and filling out the question here. So I advise you to do this as quickly as possible. Um, I like to you and do it like in my car. I bring my laptop with me, and I feel out the sheet right when I'm in the car. But sometimes not everybody can do that. So at least you want to take a a a copy of the question with you so that you can take some notes and then maybe even use your sound reporter in your smartphone and then basically have all this information so that when you fill out the on line report that you will be able to leave a complete report. So this is an example. This is a sample Miss Mystery shopping evaluation sheet that I found on Google. I can't show you an actual one because that would break the terms of the mystery shopping. They basically I would be violating the mystery shoppers could, which is to always remain anonymous. Except when you doing reveal shop, of course. But basically this is basically the kind of things that a lot of questions that you're being asked on your garden variety mystery shop, and everyone is different. And some things that focus is completely different on different things. But this is kind of basically in a nutshell, where it is And, you know, you kind of want to remember these details about you know, your impressions when you were going in and the Sign Ege. And were they wearing uniforms and name badges and what were their appearance like? And sometimes they want you to describe the person if they weren't wearing the name badge. And you know how many people assisted you and helped you and what were their names and what time of day was it? And what was their attitude? They want state. If they really want fax, it really don't want so much opinions. But they want they want to note fax. So, for example, it would not be correct to say that the burger tasted good or I like the way the burger tasted. That's not helpful to the mystery shopping company, but you could say that the burger was prepared very well. It was hot. It was tasty thing. Ingredients were good. The bet the vegetables were fresh. Or they could say that the burger kind of was was somewhat cold and not well cooked. Or it didn't come with enough French fries or something like that. Those are very specific issues with the mystery shop and those that that's the kind of specificity Specious came to speak right now. Specificity that the mystery shopping company is looking for. So you want to provide that, and you want to be able to have all this information now. As I said, the best way to do this is right when it's fresh in your mind to go ahead and do it a suit as you complete the assignment. But then again, don't be in such a Harry to submit it. Unless there's a there's a deadline, like it's right away that you know that you have to submit. Like, right now, it's often best to fill that. The evaluation she out a soon as you're done with the shop, but then put it to the side and let's and let yourself get into a new mind and a new perspective, and then later go back to it and then you can add to it or take away from it. And basically, with a fresh perspective, you know, just proof your own work and make sure you're turning in a good product and then elaborate further And sometimes the mystery, the mystery shop evaluation sheets they want. You know, so many characters and words. So you know you could kind of abbreviate things, and then you can expand on it, and I really recommend a text to speech program. There's couple free ones that you could Google that will basically take your rip your your your voices and turn it into speech so you can kind. You can sort up expand your thoughts just by talking into your microphone on your computer , and then that will be dictated onto your sheet. And then that should fill up your sheet so that you provide a complete report. So that's basically it. And then, you know you want to do that, and you want to make sure you turn in a timely report that you that you answer all of the questions. And then, if you're not sure about anything that you contact the scheduler or sometimes you'll have access to the editor now, what happens normally when you turn in an assignment. It goes to an editor and an editor is going too often. Times come back and have additional questions. They may want a different additional clarification, or they might want more information. And you do your best to assist the editor and giving them what they need. Sometimes it's not possible. So if there's something missing, it's like maybe you should taking a picture and you forgot to take a picture, Call your scheduler and tell the schedule what the difficulty was or what what you're missing or the problems of. Maybe there's an opportunity to cure it. Maybe you did the assignment at the wrong time. You know, we just had a lesson in the previous life lessons. We talked about the importance to make sure that your you're doing, you know, check the time when you're well prepared. But even the most experienced mystery shoppers we mess up because that other things going on in our lives, you know, we've got so many different things going on s o many other shops going on, that it's very easy to overlook some a particular requirement. So, you know, oftentimes a scheduler, if you communicate and you come hat in hand to the scheduler. He said, looking, I really messed this up. Can you help me fix this? Oftentimes they will, or they will come out. And sometimes they come out and say, Well, you know, you may not get paid for this assignment and the way to handle that appropriately Say it is called the hat in hand. Which means, you know, you don't ever go on demands if you're wrong and you didn't complete the assignment, you know correctly, you have no right to be paid. You forfeited that right? And I know it's very hard to swallow because you did a lot of work, but you didn't follow the instructions. So you're not entitled to be paid whether you get paid or not. This now completely discretionary discretion Torrey toward the mystery shopping company. So what you do is what you it's called Hatton hand. You go to the scheduler or maybe even the editor and just say, Look, I'm I'm really sorry. I did put a lot of work in this. I think you got a lot of value. I took him, took a lot of pictures. I think that my work was really good. I just I missed this one thing I'm supposed to get. Um I know I'm not entitled to be paid, but I really appreciate it because, you know, I got a I got a family, and, you know, I want to keep on doing good work for you all. And, you know, I think there's maybe wanted only one or two occasions where I didn't get paid, but I've messed up quite a bit, and I forfeited my right to get paid on many different occasions. But as I said, I went hat in hand and, you know, very humbly and very, you know, I confessed that I I know I was very forthcoming with that. I made a mistake, and I asked if I could concur Cure this. And there were a couple times while that what? Wasn't sure I was gonna get paid or not. Because a lot of times, sometimes its three editor will say, Well, it really depends on the client. The client has a right to not pay you because you didn't. You you didn't do what the client asked. So they actually have to go to the client, maybe weeks, you know, But Even then, you know the clients generally will want to pay. You know, they do want to pay you because they're not paying you that much. And they want you to continue to do these mystery shops. They're not giving you that much money for them. Admittedly, you know you're not getting. You can make the money to being a mystery shopper, but not rolling in the dough. It's work, it's work for sure. And they need people like yourself who are very diligent people who turn in timely reports and detail reports. And even the best people are going to make mistakes so they know that. And you know it is always you are. As long as you are forthcoming and honest about it, then they will. They will help you help you with that situation. So just try to, you know, be as as comprehensive as possible. Try to answer all the questions. If the questions are in a narrative for make sure you answer and a narrative form. Don't just put one word answers. When asked you for experience, you give them what they asked for, give them what they're paying for and do the best you can. And then don't be in such a Harry. Fill out the report as soon as you're done with the shop or soon afterwards, and then try to put it to the side and then come back to you at a later time when you have a fresh perspective and then can complete the report and then make sure you turn the report on time and then make sure that you are following up and getting, you know, make sure that they received your report and that they have graded the report because what will happen as soon as you turn it in, you can expect to be graded and most places that I do these things nowadays. You know, this is where in the in the day and age where every kid gets a trophy and everybody's getting a good grade because they want to keep you happy. But most of the time, in the old school mystery shopping companies, you actually got a numeric grade between one and 10. So now, generally, if you do a satisfactory job, you're going to get a 10. But if you made a few mistakes, you know you kind of cut corners or whatever. You could get a seven or an eight. It's no, it's not really a big deal, But you should try to shoot for a good grade, because when there's really good shops out there that are competitive, like you know, the especially shops like they are the crews and all that, you know, they're gonna look for the shoppers who have the highest ratings. And then if they ever needed to have a scheduler and you are ever in the market or ever we're interested in the opportunity to become elevated to getting a steady paycheck, which would be a scheduler position. You could most certainly qualify as a scheduler because of the work that you did. And finally, on that note, I wanted this to remind you that you know it. Maybe if you're between jobs right now, or maybe you're a stay at home mom who's got a little extra time. You go shopping every now and then or stay at home. Dad has. That's a mixture times you a shopping every now and then, you use your mystery shopping experience as a part of your professional portfolio. A lot of times, if you develop a relationship with a schedule, or they could give you a good reference. It's the she, especially if you've done a lot of work for them, so they could give you a good reference that you know that you were a very comprehensive person and vouch for your your work is this is it's not. It's not just one of those little fun things to do. It really is a professional, um, thing. It's a very pretty professional endeavor, and that's why you know that that's what we have, a professional association. And that's why you know, we take it seriously and you get certified. But go ahead and do those kind of things, you know, network with people. And don't be afraid to use this experience, you know, for your other career ambitions later on. I hope this helps look forward to the next lesson season. 10. Getting Paid: Okay, so this is the best part of the whole process, and that's getting paid. But you're gonna have to stay on top of things because oftentimes what happens is after you submit the the question here and the report to the mystery shopping company. It may be a few days before they pay. Now, some mystery shopping companies pay via PayPal. Other ones pay with the actual paper check some of them give you different options on how you're going to receive your money. But one thing is for sure. You do have to follow up with the companies to make sure that they paid because they often do make mistakes. They often sometimes forget to pay the correct amount. If you had previously negotiated a higher rate and they agreed to that, oftentimes there is mistakes. And then oftentimes there are follow up issues reports because sometimes they need to have follow up information because if they don't have a complete report, they will go back to you and they will ask you for additional information. And you're working with the Scheduler and working with the editor are extremely important to perfect your your your shop, your actual submission so that you can get paid. So you want to make sure that you've also calculated all of your expenses, anything that you know of any costs that you incurred as a result of doing the mystery shop . You want to make sure that you write that off. I'm not a tax professional. You should consult with a tax professional or an attorney. But what you should do is you should record and memorialize all of your different expenses so that you are not, you know, completely out of pocket, and you can deduct thes expenses from your profits, at least if not running as a actual business. You're doing this on on a regular basis. It's very conceivable that you can set up your mystery shopping as an actual business and then take deductions. Take depreciation from your car using three the the mileage depreciation amount, using the money that you paid any kind of fees that you had to pay as a result of getting ready and getting started and then deduct, you know, be able to write those off so that you're not being totally taxed on all of your profits. And yes, you do have to pay taxes if you especially if you live in the United States. For sure, you have to pay taxes on this money that you make. But good news is that a lot of the expenses that you probably already have. You could probably use a lot of those things as a deductible business expense. Again, you're gonna want to check with a tax attorney or T a certified public accountant or a tax professional or an attorney to find out what you can and cannot legitimately use as a deduct deduction from your taxes. But a lot of the things that you use and for your business the years you're, for example, your smartphone Internet laptop set, etcetera. You can write off your business portion the things that you specifically percentage of the things that you use specifically for the business you can right those often in many instances and you can you go. I want to check with that professional to make sure that you get all of the details spelled out before you submit a actual tax return. At the end of the year, most of the companies will send you a 10 99 form if you earned over a certain amount of income. And for those smaller companies where you maybe it's a one and done type of deal, you're going to want to record those, um, those expenses so that you could do your taxes at the end of the year or the beginning of the following year for the previous tax year. So I hope this helps. Remember, you're gonna want to record all of your mystery shops and then reconcile making sure that you've gotten paid for every single shop and that you got reimbursed for any expenses that you had that the company Mr Shopping Company had agreed to reimburse you for, So I hope this helps. The next lesson will be about wrapping this whole thing up, and we're glad that you're stuck this far in the courts. It shows that you have a lot of dedication and a lot of wherewithal, and that's exactly what you need. In order to become an effective mystery shopper, 11. Conclusion : Well, congratulations. You have completed this course on mystery shopping. How to find conduct and get paid to shop. I hope you found this course to be very valuable and helpful. And I wish you the very best in your shopping experiences. If you have any questions or concerns or have any suggestion improvements, please let me know in the comments. We welcome your feedback and we hope that you'll also leave a review. Thank you.