Volition.com Forums

Username:
Password:
Save PasswordRegister
Forgot Password / Username?
Home | Search | Chat | FAQ | Posting Rules

 All Forums
 Mystery Shopping, Merchandising & Demo
 Mystery Shopping
 How to find Mystery Shops in MY AREA?
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly

Previous Page | Next Page

Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 7

EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2005 :  11:45:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote

I have been doing this for all of 31 days, and have probably completed as many shops in various areas; dining, fast food, retail, optical, digital photo, telphone, bank, etc.

Here is my opinion (and it is just that, my personal opinion): If you are doing this "on the side", I don't think it is worthwhile to accept a shop that you have to go out of your way for, i.e., even at the local mall--if you are not already going there for something else!

I have found many answers on this site. All of the shops that I have found in my area have come from the sites listed here on Volition...and I think I have applied to every single one of them.

My favorite shop so far is a (casual) restaurant.
Here are a couple that have restaurant shops in MA, I live on the Northshore of Boston.
A-Closer-Look
Service Sleuths
Sights on Service (secret shopper)

Thanks to all the posts, they really are helpful!

Elise

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
Go to Top of Page

AKBob
Apprentice

Anchorage, AK
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2005 :  1:02:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Best thing that I have found to help jump start my application process was to do a search of companines at http://www.mysteryshop.org/searchmspa/. I came up with 38 companies that service Alaska. Some of them I had already applied to, but at least it helped target my apllications. Thank you Ray for pointing me in the right direction, and all the contributors here. I'll try and do my part as a community member to give back when and what I can.
Go to Top of Page

Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2005 :  9:30:00 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Another of my favorites has been
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XX-MysteryShops

Change the XX to the two state abbreviation for your state.

examples:
my state is Nebraska:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NE-MysteryShops

California:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CA-MysteryShops

Pennsylvania:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PA-MysteryShops

I subscribe to the ones in neighboring states and the states that I travel.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
Go to Top of Page

LizNorth
Member

Nicholasville, KY
USA
32 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2005 :  04:46:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the posts to this topic!

They have been really helpful. It gave me another way to search for shops in my area. I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now and have been having fun doing it. I haven't done any Shop'n Chek jobs yet but have 6 scheduled for May!!

When I first jumped in I took two shops in another town nearby but I won't do that again - I have a jeep and it only gets 15 miles per gallon. I spent $9 in gas for the round trip! One was an oil change so reimbursed for $30. So .. . worth it. BUT . . . the same oil change place is 5 miles away and someone snatched it before I got a jump on it.

Thing is, other oil changes show up sooner or later . . . without having to drive far away. Better to stay at home searching job boards periodically than driving 1.5 hrs out of your way.

I think I'm going to take jobs nearby and with my time at home . . . get paid for surveys!!!

Just my two anyway!

Liz North . . . shopping Nicholasville and Lexington KY. . . silver certified 8sxjre
Go to Top of Page

Chelo
Contributor

Springfield, IL
USA
53 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2005 :  10:12:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can see why a newbie might find this topic a little daunting. It /does/ start off basically saying "Figure it out yourself, newbie!" (And, for the record, I'm not remotely a newbie. I've been shopping for almost six years and have been on this board for more than two-- but with three kids at home, I don't spend a lot of time on the computer. Sorry, just thought I'd better clarify. )

Here's my advice to a newbie:

1. READ FIRST. Find out what you're getting yourself into. This is NOT for everyone, even on a casual basis. Mystery shopping is /work/. Not everyone is cut out to be a lifeguard; not everyone is cut out to mystery shop.
2. Do your research. There have been plenty of ways to find jobs listed on here. Now, take your time. First, figure out information is repeatedly asked for on applications. Make a spreadsheet in Excel (or even just a Word file) and put ALL of your answers in there. Write your essay answers just once. Look up the zip codes, area codes, or cities you'll shop on mapping sites like mapquest.com or the Post Office site at www.usps.com .
3. Start keeping records from the beginning. Make another spreadsheet. Enter each company you apply for, their website, your user name and password, and any information you want to remember.
4. Make a list. Yet another spreadsheet. List what you apply for, with whom, when it's due, what it pays, requirements, etc. How you set it up (how much detail) is up to you, but make sure you list everything. This will also give you a way to keep track of when you are paid for your work.
5. Be patient. It takes a while to get going, but eventually you'll get to the point where you can say, "I feel like shopping this week. Let's go look." Then you go to all the sites in your list and flip through to see what's available. If you've been patient and thorough, you can usually find SOMETHING.
6. Finally, much as I hate to say it, DON'T be picky to start. You can't afford to be. Take the jobs no one else wants. Be willing to do a last-minute shop, even without a bonus. Travel a bit. Travel a lot more if you can group several together. Schedulers WILL remember you.

Of course, this is just my . I'm sure there are other ways to do it. But this is how I did, more or less. Best wishes to all you newbies.

Chelo

Silver certified (6nrx2v)but taking a break from shopping in central IL (baby girl born 9/25)
Go to Top of Page

LLHaley27
Apprentice

East Bend, NC
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  3:36:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Like everyone else has said you must apply to the different companies. Sign up with a few at a time, because it can be overwhelming. But take it from some one who shops in NC. Shops can be hard to come by. Especially the really good ones. Getting your foot in the door with a company is the start in the right direction. My first shop wasn't so great but it got me going. Now sunday I have 5 to do.

Good Luck

Lauri
Go to Top of Page

.Janet Sue
Contributor

Bayside, NY
USA
99 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2005 :  3:37:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
For Sassie sites, I check the entire state rather than just a distance from my zip code. I find that a lot of the distance
programs are wrong. By checking the state quickly, I can also eliminate the surrounding state if I am not interested in working there.
If have found jobs in my area that did not appear in the zip code search.

Janet Sue
Silver Certified.
Shopping-Queens and New York City
Go to Top of Page

LaurieBird
Contributor

Albany, NY
USA
65 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2005 :  11:58:32 PM  Send LaurieBird an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I find that searching by state on the MSPA site isn't very helpful for me. There are a lot of companies that are shopped in the NYC metro area that don't even exist upstate. So while a company may shop "New York," signing up for them when I live in Albany is a waste of time.

Oh, well, that's just how it is sometimes--I have more work than I can handle right now as it is with a part-time job and a full-time courseload.

MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping Albany, NY and the greater Capital District.
Go to Top of Page

UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2005 :  07:32:44 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Laurie,

I have the same problem. I don't even bother to search the mspa website anymore. There can be 500 jobs listed for New York and 2 are in my area.

I also hate the e-mails that say that there is a shop available in "your area". I open them and they are for the NYC area which is 325 miles from me.

Even worse is that I often get shop e-mails for New Jersey and Connecticut too since they are close to NYC.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
Go to Top of Page

LaurieBird
Contributor

Albany, NY
USA
65 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2005 :  9:53:34 PM  Send LaurieBird an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Exactly, Kat....I get e-mails for jobs way downstate and on Long Island all the time. One Long Island shop in particular gets e-mailed a half dozen times before somebody fills it...I'm considering filtering that message directly to the trash whenever it arrives.

Plus, the 518 area code covers the territory all the way up to the Canadian border, so in Sassie where it automatically sends me jobs in my area code, I get jobs that are 6-7 hours away from me! That makes even less sense than sending me NY metro jobs. I have a lot of friends in Boston, and I'm more likely to pick up jobs in MA along the I-90 corridor than I am to drive downstate.

It's nice to get notification and pick up a job when I'm traveling, but all these e-mails and companies that shop "New York"? Ugh, I've had it.

MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping Albany, NY and the greater Capital District.
Go to Top of Page

BekkiCat
Star Contributor

Charlotte, NC
USA
296 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  9:34:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This is what I've learned after two years: First, after applying to as many companies (Volition has the best start-up and overall listings!), I received a fair amount of acceptances (Oh, and getting your MSPA silver certification is a must!)--probably because I was filling a void in some of the three-month loops that mystery shops require in hiring the same shoppers for the same jobs. Then, I dealt with having to scrutinize my reports during that first wave, figuring out what I didn't observe and report (this is important because I don't think you can ever write too much as long as you don't repeat yourself.) Then, I went through a period where I didn't receive many acceptances, so I took a few lower paying jobs that were close to home and relevant to my needs (grocery, gas, fast food shops) in order to bone up on my report writing. Now, I have reached a fairly complacent medium in which I have a good handful of companies with whom I have built a good rapport. In my book, if you want to mystery shop, you really have to respect the companies you represent and realize WHY you are needed for that job. It takes time, patience, and, yes, mistakes, to earn trust within the different companies for whom you shop. Now, will someone please tell me how I can ever get this one company that I started out with on the wrong foot to take me off of "Back-up" status? :)

Bekki
Gold-certified
Undercover Essentials video-certified
Go to Top of Page

Salena
Contributor

Cleveland, OH
USA
95 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  1:49:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been doing this on the "side" for 3 months. I started with sites to check daily on this forum and moved forward from there. I took (and still do to an extent) everything that came my way in hopes that sschedulers would recognize potential (if I had any) and start giving me better assignments. It is working for me. I don't know about other MS, but I have more work than I know what to do with. I do at least ten assignments a weekend and at LEAST one a night after my full time job. (of course, I am a workaholic). I am also willing to travel... a lot and far. The more I accept, the more schedulers recognize potential ( I have messed up occasionally, I AM new at this), and the more I am offered. What I did get, I completed my online reports within 24 hours and most within hours of completing jobs. Good luck from one newbie to another.
Go to Top of Page

MSuggitt
Member

Sault Ste Marie, MI
USA
12 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  10:58:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I really don't have time spend all day signing up with hundreds of companies who may not even service my area. I did some research and signed up with 2 paid referral companies. One was a dud and the other puts local offers in my email regularly. It was more expensive, but has been a life saver.

With this industry changing every day, I get offers from companies that I had never heard from. And I have saved myself hours of dead end leads with other companies. And the quality of the leads through shadowshopper has been very well the money spent for me. Once you shop for a company and do a good job, you will be in thier data base. Some contact you, others you have to check. But you will then build a database of companies who have work in your area.

If you are a Merchandiser, narms has gotten me a lot of local work and it's service is free. If you are looking for more digital photo work (like insurance jobs) you may have to pay for an entirely different service to keep to updated on jobs in your area.

If you are in it for the long haul I suggest paying for the service of finding jobs in your area, even if you have to sign up and pay for several. If you are in it for fun or just dabbling, I would then suggest the free route. Good Luck to finding work.

Maureen Suggitt, Northern MI
Shopper*Merchandiser* Photographer*Data Collector*Web Research
Go to Top of Page

JanetOKC
Contributor

Oklahoma City, OK
USA
57 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2006 :  11:25:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Shadow Shopper is a good way to get some preliminary information on companies. But BE CAREFUL! They will automatically bill your credit card for an expensive annual fee unless you request otherwise. Do a "search" on this site for "Shadow Shopper" and you'll get a lot of helpful information. Yes, lots of people on this site really dislike Shadow Shopper, because they charge fees. I feel a bit like you do -- it was a timesaver for me. But I only got a short-term membership and used it to make initial contact and gather information. Then I dropped it.

Janet
MSPA Gold Certified
Go to Top of Page

BekkiCat
Star Contributor

Charlotte, NC
USA
296 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2006 :  12:05:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would suggest going through the Volition list of shops and filling out as many applications for companies that offer jobs in the Charlotte area. Also, I found when I began shopping, the best ones were for grocery stores (Harris Teeter and Lowes are regularly shopped) and pizza deliveries (Papa John's, for one.) These are fairly easy forms to get used to filling out and I dodn't think you'll have a problem finding one of these shops convenient to where you live in Charlotte.

Bekki
Gold-certified
Undercover Essentials video-certified
Go to Top of Page

Michelle Lee
Contributor

Central Texas
USA
65 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2006 :  06:34:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to say that the way of hard work has paid off for me. I waited until I had some extra spare time and began systematically filling out every form on the Volition page that I could. I kept a list of companies that I had already signed up for and this helped with the confusion. Also, I found this forum very helpful in deciding which companies to sign up for and which ones to skip. Because I was lucky enough to have extra time, I got through the list within about two weeks or so. I have a friend that also used the Volition list to sign up with companies. Because she had less time, it has taken her a couple of months to apply to all the companies. However, she started signing up months before I did, and therefore already has more shops than I do. I think more companies will pick up on me once I have been at this a bit longer. Its best to take matters into your own hands and not depend on some fee-based service to do it for you. Even if that means you only sign up for one company a day, I think you'll find the results to be worthwhile.

Michelle Lee
MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

DGenoway
Contributor

Lindale, TX
USA
58 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2006 :  10:46:23 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did use the advice of entering info on spreadsheets, which has turned out to be a lifesaver for me. I purchased Sherry Fox's Mystery Shopping Bible. Her spreadsheet has been the best investment I have ever made. It keeps assignments, payments, mileage, amount spent, and includes wonderful reports for the end of the year.

It is a must to have all of your info stored in one place, like a spreadsheet. Just open it up and you even have the links to the MS companies.

Debbie
Go to Top of Page

Carosell
Star Contributor

Virginia
USA
286 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2006 :  6:29:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ray,
Wonderful comments!! I hope the new people tked this information and use it to their advantage.
I have not been here for months I've been really busy. I was delighted to see so many familiar names.

Cholle
MSPA Gold certified
Go to Top of Page

Bri-in-CA
Valued Contributor

Ukiah, CA
USA
224 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2006 :  7:16:44 PM  Visit Bri-in-CA's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Both my husband & I are shoppers. We're signed up with most of the companies listed here at Volition(except ones which are not in CA). Plus, other companies I've found on my own. Most of them do not have assignments available around here.

We live about 90 miles north of San Francisco. At first I figured the problem was there weren't enough shops, so, that we'd need to go to SF & other towns outside our county(not worth it most of the time because of gas prices & such). Then, I started thinking, we have plenty of FFs & other chains, we just don't happen to be signed up with the companies that serve this area.

I can understand you're not being allowed to say which companies have which clients, but, does anyone have any suggestions of how I can do a search? Any particular keywords to use that would bring up some good results? I appreciate the help. Thanks.

Silver certified & shopping Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino & Lake counties
Go to Top of Page

SheilaW
Star Contributor

Fairfield, CA
USA
881 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2006 :  10:09:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A couple of times when I REALLY wanted to know if a company was shopped I emailed their Corporate Office and asked.
They were happy to say "yes" or "no" and give me the name of the company they use.
Good Luck

Sheila, NoCal
Proudly shopping Solano County including Travis AFB.
Gold Certified.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 7 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Volition Copyright All rights reserved. Volition is a registered trademark of Volition.com LLC. Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.34 seconds. Software © Snitz Forums