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I have performed shops in 3 different parts of the US. It has been a great way to learn a new metropolitan area. I have not made a huge profit… but I have helped some deserving people get recognized for performing terrific customer service and had some great meals along the way!

Here are some tips and tricks that helped me get started:

1. Don’t pay for access to information about shops

That’s right… you can get all of the same information for free.

Two great sites are:

MSPA (Mystery Shopping Provider Association)- http://www.mysteryshop.org/

This is the organization that runs the certification programs (more on that in a second). The job posting section gives a great first look at all of the different opportunities… not heavy on detail on purpose… companies are very secretive on the actual chains / indy stores names… you will see ‘bank’ or ‘dinner’ or ‘oil change’ at the public level.

Job Slinger – http://www.jobslinger.com

This site is about a year old and has a wider range of offerings from MSPA and non-MSPA companies.

2. Companies don’t share

There are 2 major software companies that support mystery shopping companies, Sassie and Prophet and they do not share information between clients. Prophet does provide a single log on… so once you
fill out a profile with one you don’t need to fill in the basic demographic information again. There have been some mergers over the last 6 months that have combined some companies and they are really good about pointing out what sister sites you can fill out a profile with to get more offers.

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