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March 30, 2005

How to become a 'secret shopper'

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Barbara Whitaker wrote an interesting article for the March 13 New York Times Business section on this specialized niche of retail.

"Secret shoppers" do just that: they go to businesses and act like ordinary customers, but they're actually gathering data to compile into a detailed report for the company that employs them.

A secret shopper can make $25,000 to $35,000 a year working full-time, based on a reimbursement rate of $7 to $30 a visit, plus a stipend to cover the cost of purchases.

Cathy Stucker, who has written a book on mystery shopping and has a free internet course at IdeaLady.com, said in the Times article, "You don't get rich as a mystery shopper. It's a way to make money doing something we enjoy."

It seems to me that there is a small group of individuals who would be perfect candidates for this job.

They would have the following personality characteristics:

• Independent

• Don't mind crowds

• Patient

• Tending toward obsessiveness: detail-oriented

• Reliable

• Enjoy being secretive and knowing something others don't

• Like being critical

• Possess a goodly amount of self-control

• Persistent

• Prefer not to interact too intensely with others

• Loner

• Would rather make their own schedule; self-directed

• Don't take orders or direction very well

If you have a number of these traits you might want to look into trying this: after all, you don't have to quit your day job or anything to see if it suits.

Here are places to find out more:

MysteryShop.org

Volition.com

Second-to-none.com

ShopNChek.com

March 30, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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