3 Tips to Find Shops Near You


Mystery shopping is becoming a popular way to make extra money.  This is due in large part to the fact that it is a flexible and fun option for added income. However, there may be times times you log in to the EPMS website, excited to complete a couple of apartment mystery shops, only to find there are none available near you.  Here are three tips to help you successfully locate shops near the places you live, work or travel.

#1: Expand Your Search

A shop search is typically linked to your zip code. You can find the zip code search box in the top left-hand corner of your profile page after clicking on the link titled “I want to see shop contracts near me.” You can expand this search by entering a zip code for the area you may be traveling to, in or out of state, to see if any shops are listed. For example, if your daytime job is located within another zip code, you could take note of that zip code and enter it into the mystery shop zip code search window. Alternately, when you may be traveling to visit your home town or family, you can use the zip code of the house or hotel you are staying in during that time to find available shops. You can also use the ‘Distance’ bar right about the zip code box to increase the distance that you are willing to travel within that zip code area. Of course, if you see any available shops, you should act fast and request them. This tip works really well if you are traveling to less popular cities or where mystery shopping is not as well known.

 #2: Complete Phone Only Shops

Check the phone shop tab from your main profile page. It is located right next to the ‘In Person Visit Required’ tab. Under the ‘Phone’ tab, you will find phone only shops to complete. The phone shops usually require less of a time commitment and the forms do not take very long to complete. There is a certain number of in-person shops you are required to complete before you can begin to request phone only shops, so get to work!

 # 3: Add Yourself as a Backup Shopper

Do not be afraid to click the backup shopper button when a shop that is really close to you is taken. I have received several shops this way.  It would not hurt to try and if the other person cannot complete the shop, it is yours! Don’t worry;  you will be given the same amount of time to complete the mystery shop if you become the primary shopper, so no rushing is needed.

All of the above tips may not work all of the time, but they will give you more options when staring at a blank page of available shops.


What to Expect on a First Video Shop


Of the three types of shops, video shops can be one of the easier shops to complete for some. However, these are one of the more difficult types of shop to obtain as they go quickly. Once you are assigned a video shop, you will be asked for your mailing address and EPMS will send you the shirt and camera to complete the shop. While you are waiting for the equipment to arrive, you will want to read through the details of the shop as you would any other shop.


You will likely have to complete the recorded phone call portion. You will also have to upload a test video, basically to show that you know how to adjust the shirt and camera to the right angle for the shop.Video shops are fun because they are easy.  The hardest part about shops is remembering the details, but video shops record all of the details needed to complete the report. With that said, it is still important to pay close attention during the shop, as you do not want to rely solely on the camera. The camera could run out of battery, stop recording or malfunction during the middle of the shop. The likelihood of this happening is small, yet you want to make sure you are prepared.

Once you have completed the shop, you will simply mail everything back to EPMS in the pre-paid postage envelope included in the original box; that’s it! Remember, do a great first shop and you will be assigned more video shops as they are available.

Entering the Dead Zone

56 When an employee does not provide the information needed to complete a shop; I call this the dead zone.

As a mystery shopper, you should write down all the requirements needed to complete the telephone shop. When you conduct the conversation, you may notice your frustration building or find yourself tapping your fingers on the desk while you wait for the employee to provide certain information.Instead of receiving the information needed for your telephone shop, you are faced with those three long seconds of silence, which seem more like ten long minutes.

So, what are you going to do when an employee refuses to provide the information needed to complete a shop? There are a couple of tips you can utilize to get the information needed on those dead zone telephone calls.

One tip is asking the target if there is anything else he or she can tell you about that particular apartment, loan, or whatever type of shop you are performing. Asking a general question to explain more about the process or about the apartment helps the targeted employee provide more information without you directly asking for this data.

Another tip is asking if there is any other information a person needs to know before making an appointment to meet with them. If the person still does not provide the information required, be sure you check with the website’s instructions or contact customer service if they did not provide the information you need.

Most shops only require that you record what information you received, but be prepared to come across those occasional dead zone calls.

Buy That Special Treat

1 Being a mystery shopper has helped me earn extra cash, since working a flexible job is a must for this stage of my life. My experience as a mystery shopper work well with my student schedule that has included mandatory hours of homework and study time. It also helps my family with life’s unexpected expenses.

The opportunities mystery shopping has provided me have been helpful in allowing me to earn extra money without having a fixed employment. I can schedule many shops and still allow me the opportunity to work days, nights, or weekends.

Now I can earn extra money to pay for those occasional unexpected incidentals, go on a shopping spree, or even to engage in an occasional treat of my favorite cappuccino drink so I can keep alert while doing my school work.

Finding a job with a day and hour flexibility option is a win-win scenario that works extremely well with my current schedule. If you have to juggle a family which allows little time to find a part-time job, or work a regular job, or are a student like me, then mystery shopping would probably work for you.

The flexibility in job hours and work days in mystery shopping has made this experience a very positive work environment that has allowed me to achieve my objective in life and, at the same time, earn extra cash for those unexpected expenses or special treats.

Choosing An Apartment Shop

Extension Please

There are three main apartment shops existing on the EPMS platform; audio, video, and regular shops. Regular apartment shops are completed without recording or taking video of the actual visit, along with submitting your online report based solely on generous and objective feedback. These shops typically require you to take quick notes once you return to your car to ensure you remember key details or facts. Audio Shops can be recorded with your cell phone, pocket recorder or a recorder mailed to you by EPMS. A bonus is usually added to the base apartment shop pay for using your own device.


Video shops require less of your brain capacity for remembering key details, yet you will need to ensure you have several things in place to complete a successful video shop.You will need a shirt with the camera attached, which is usually supplied by EPMS. The shirt, along with required equipment, is usually mailed to your preferred address. From there, you will complete the shop. The video shops typically have a quick turnaround time for returning the video equipment as others will need to use it.

Now, you can choose the shop that will be best for you to complete within the time frames you have available throughout the week. The easiest shops to secure are the regular shops that do not require audio or video. Overall, whichever shops you choose to complete will give you the opportunity to share objective feedback on how the staff and company can improve and celebrate where they are doing well.

Is Mystery Shopping Ethical?

Is Mystery Shopping EthicalMystery shopping allows for a company to understand how their training and support is benefiting their staff members. The life blood of any company is their customers.  The fact that a company would hire mystery shoppers to determine if the system they set up is working, for the customers and the staff, is a noble effort.

There are just as many companies who do not care about customer service or whether their staff has the proper training to keep the company in good standing with who matters.

Not to mention, I am sure the company has the employee sign legal paperwork that shares that they may be subject to review or a mystery shop.

What you have to remember here is why the company is contracting to have mystery shops completed.

Many companies understand that their customers are the life blood of their business.   They know that in order to stay in business, they must make sure their customers are being taken care of, as they designed and their product is being represented properly.

We all work very hard for our money and I admire companies who understand this and only want the best for us, as consumers.  The mystery shopping companies, the legit ones, will make sure that the mystery shopping is handled in an ethical way.  After all, they are the experts in the field.

As mystery shoppers, it is our job to treat the agents or staff that we are shopping as if we were in their shoes. Allow them to do their best job possible based on how they were trained with minimal interruptions.  Of course, you are open to your opinion about this, yet mystery shopping has been around for a long time and I am sure it will continue to be a valuable component of the customer service model.

Why Mystery Shopping Is Important!

Why  Mystery Shopping is ImportantMystery shopping is not simply a side job or a hobby. It is making an impact within companies around the world.

You, as a valued mystery shopper is providing invaluable feedback, from a customer’s perspective to the head of company departments that can do something about and with your feedback. This is golden. Why?

We have all been customers and purchased products from companies that we wish would create a better customer experience.

Mystery shopping gives you an opportunity give your insights to those very people. Because, face it, sharing your concerns with customer service may only go so far.

From a company’s perspective, your feedback and input is invaluable. It helps them to develop plans to make their product and service better. They could sit in meetings and guess about what you need, what the problems are and how to fix them yet getting information from the ground floor helps to speed this process along.

With this said, as you are completing your mystery shops, you have a grave responsibility to offer the most unbiased feedback based on your experience with the staff. You should always assume the best versus the worst.

Another key is giving the person you are shopping the best opportunity to follow their company’s protocols and how they have been trained to sell or offer the service or product.

Overall, decide to be the observer of a perfectly trained agent or employee at work. Remember to give them room to do what they are trained to do. You just stay calm and natural. You’ve got this!

Mystery Shopping Is Great For The Start Of The Year!

Mystery Shopping is great for the start of the year

Mystery shopping is a great thing to do at the start of the year. Here’s why:

• You are refreshed and excited for the New Year.
• Many companies are looking to improve their customer service, thus there may be more shops available.
• The support staff at the mystery companies are just as excited as you are – to complete shops


Take some time to log onto the online portal and choose your ideal shops. As I mentioned, everyone is excited to get started or continue to mystery shop. You want to make sure you get the best shops. In order to do this, you must check the online site early and often.  Once January passes by, the demand will likely go back to normal for the amount of shops released each month. Wouldn’t that make your life easier?

If you are excited to put some extra cash in your pocket while giving invaluable feedback to companies who are looking to make improvements in their businesses, from the consumer’s perspective, mystery shopping is the way to go.

Remember to choose reputable companies. Ideally, a mystery shopping company would not charge you a fee to join their site. If a company is charging you a fee, you should find another mystery shopping company. There are many companies to choose from and you are more than ready to get started!

Holiday Blues?

Holiday BluesIt is that time of season that Jack Frost winter and rain nips at everyone’s door and the holidays come quickly as we near the end the rest of  the year.

Holidays are suppose to be times of happiness, fellowship, and harmony, but some people might experience some feelings of depression or blues during this time. holiday blues are usually triggered by lack of money to enjoy the holidays, or dealing with family problems, or just dealing with the overall rush and stress to prepare for the day.

Many experts state that if you are feeling down and blue, then performing some positive uplifting things can help to beat the holiday blues.  Two important tips are to make an effort to get involved with other people and to have an attitude of thankfulness.

Performing mystery shopping offers an excellent way to help people interact with others and at the same time make money for the holidays. Getting your mind off yourself and helping others can refocus positive thoughts in your life. When you help others, you create a positive feeling that diminishes the dark energy and mystery shopping also makes you extra money for the holidays which alleviates financial burdens to enjoy the holidays.

Mystery shopping jobs are very flexible and can be done just about any day and are usually available from morning to evening. You can set your own hours very easily with these types of jobs and they allow you to interact with others which are important to refocus your mind on other things.

When you are feeling blue during this holiday season, meeting new people creates a positive atmosphere and as an added bonus, you make money at the same time.There are many mystery shopping jobs during this time of year and all you need to do is sign up for a couple of them and make new friends and enjoy the holidays with that extra money.

Expand Your Mind For Mystery Shops!

Expand Your Mind for Shops!We all sometimes fall in a rut and tend to stay in the same routine, whether it is driving the same route to work or working for the same mystery shopping companies doing the same kind of jobs. Change is always hard for everyone, but with minimal effort, you can earn more money if you spend a little time looking at other mystery shops that are available.

You may already be a shopper and have found a nice niche in an area of mystery shopping where you know the shops requirements and have gotten comfortable performing the same jobs each month.

However, you will eventually encounter limits on the number of mystery shops you can perform. If you do not plan for other shops in advance, you might suddenly scramble to find jobs since many companies have shop limits for shoppers. Nevertheless, if you just spend a few minutes a day or an hour or so each week looking at other shop websites, you will always have a surplus of job opportunities available.

It does take a little effort to look for other types of mystery shopping jobs, applying at different websites, and then waiting for the right shop for your schedule. However, do not let your negative mindset convince you that finding those extra assignments is going to take time away from your present jobs.

Allow your mind to expand and learn new areas of mystery shopping jobs. Once you apply and occasionally check on new types of jobs, you can take your time to learn a new job’s requirements at your own pace, and then you will always be prepared to have a back-up supply of jobs to choose from especially when you meet your shop quota limits. So ensure you check other shopping jobs, such as banking, car negotiations, and other mystery shopping assignments. Do not let fear and lack of learning new concepts prevent you from making more money.