Mystery shoppers are people who are paid by a market research company to report on their experiences doing things like shopping, eating in restaurants and buying gas. For each assignment, the mystery shopping company will give you specific instructions on where to shop and what to look for. You'll report back on how the experience went: the customer service, the attitudes of the employees, the cleanliness of the facilities. After you submit your report, you'll be paid for your time and reimbursed for anything you bought. So on top of pocket money you can get free snacks, gas, meals or movie tickets while you work. The pay ranges from $12 to $25 per assignment [source: Secret Shopper]. The Mystery Shopping Providers Association has a list on its Web site of reputable mystery shopping companies. Most of them let you apply for assignments online. As with any money-making opportunity that seems too good to be true, look out for scams. Reputable mystery shopping companies will never ask you to pay money upfront to be eligible to work for them.
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