Posts in Uncategorized

Planning Route Shops

September 11th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Sometimes shoppers who are planning a road trip like to plan a string of “route shops”. This involves picking up shops along the route you plan to travel to complete while you are in those areas. To make route shops work, you’ll need to plan ahead and try to coordinate shop appointments to make sure the day runs smoothly. Below are a few steps you can take to help ensure your route is efficient and successful.

First of all, check to make sure all the shops you requested are actually assigned to you as the primary shopper. Sometimes shops show on your list, but you are listed as the backup shopper. Be careful when you apply as you may have applied to be a backup shopper. Since route shops are time sensitive, you’ll want to avoid being listed as the backup on shops outside your normal shopping area.

Next, plan your route to see which shops are nearer to each other and try to coordinate appointments that will make sense for the planned route. You would not want to travel back and forth from one area to another if you have shops to do in different areas of town. Put the addresses in your GPS and try the most efficient route to save time and gas.

Of course, you may have to juggle times with the agent’s schedule, but try to make it fit your schedule as much as possible. Some locations have limited office hours, so if you miss your appointment, you may lose your shop. Some companies will not give you the extra week to complete a shop.

After you have done all your planning, you are ready for your day of shopping. Pack a snack, water and a note pad and you can be off on a rewarding day of mystery shopping. Take lots of notes and keep track of your time. That way, you will have fun and you will make money in the meantime.

Creative Ways to Reach a Target

April 19th, 2017 Posted by Tips for Mystery Shopping, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Do Not Cancel a Shop Because of TargetThere are times when you must reach a designated person on an apartment shop. This can be because the person has been singled out for a raise or even for a promotion or it is just time for their annual review. In any case, you need some creative ways to get your target on the telephone.

First of all, you could try to have yourself and another person call the office and see if the target answers the call. If your helper is the one who reaches the target, simply switch telephones and carry on with the shop. Make sure you take notes and you should be on your way to completing the shop.


Secondly, if you only have yourself to complete the call, you could use the hold or add a call feature on your cellular phone. Make the call as normal and then add the call the number again with the add the call feature. Again if you reach your target, all is fine. If not, hang up and see if the target is on the other line.

Thirdly, when you do calls as such as these, make up a reason for saying you called the wrong number. You could say you thought it was another apartment community and choose a name from another town.

Lastly, try not to call over and over again in an hour. Remember, the agent could be with a customer or showing an apartment so space your calls and see if you can reach you target without too much hassle.

Set the Agent Up for Success

February 3rd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Earn-Cash-and-Help-The-Elderly1When you complete a mystery shop, try to give the leasing agent the best opportunity to be successful.  Here are a couple of ways you can establish a good platform for success.

Tip # 1 Listen More Than You Talk

Let the leasing agent ask most of the questions and do most of the talking. Their job is to learn your needs; give them the time and space to do this. Allow the leasing agent to lead the conversation. There may be times when the leasing agent seems uninterested, but then warms up as you respond rather than overpower the conversation.

Our job as mystery shoppers is to give the leasing agent and community staff the best opportunity to show off their training and customer service skills.

Tip #2 Give the Proper Information

You do not have to answer the phone or respond to emails, yet make sure to give the correct contact information so that you will receive their follow-up. There is a section in every report that scores the agent for making attempts to follow-up and we want them to have the chance to earn all their points.

If you start to complete many shops, create an email address just for mystery shop follow up so that you do not have to flood your real inbox. Just remember to check it so you can be sure to award the points that are deserved!

Overall, our job as a shopper is not to catch the leasing agent doing or saying anything wrong. However, if a leasing agent is just not doing their job and you gave them ample opportunity, your hands are tied; you tried, so no hard feelings. Our job is to give the opportunity to do everything right and then we brag on them in the mystery shopping report to management!

3 Tips for Target Shops

August 16th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

13A target shop is when a specific person is designated for you to shop to assess his or her apartment needs investigation and demonstration skills over the phone and onsite. These shops can be fun!

Tip One – Start Calling As Soon As Possible

The first step is getting your target agent on the phone. This can take a little time as you are usually not aware of their working schedule ahead of time.

Tip Two – Think of 3-4 Excuses to End a Phone Call Ahead of Time

You will likely reach your target agent after having made several calls to the apartment community. You will need to make excuses to end phone calls where you do not reach the target as you should only complete the full phone assessment with your target agent. Some suggested excuses:

* Act as if a current resident, asking for office hours.

* Think of a name of another apartment complex and apologize, stating you meant to call the other complex.

Tip Three – Reach out to EPMS for Help

If you have tried to reach your target agent for 2-3 days, including 3-5 calls per day with no success, send EPMS a message through the ‘update’ link located within the assigned apartment shop information area online. They will be able to direct you on next steps so that you can complete the shop on time. Overall, target agent shops can take a little more effort so focus on making it a game. There is rarely a time where you will not reach your target agent, so just keep calling until you do!

What to Expect on a First Video Shop

July 19th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


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.

I lied for Money

July 15th, 2015 Posted by About Mystery Shopping, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Am I a Professional Liar?Several years ago I started mystery shopping just as a side gig with a few jobs a month primarily paying for some fast food during the workweek. As time progressed I learned about more and more shops.

I began shopping for new cars, apartments, and even houses. I did banking shops, pretending to have large sums of money available for investment. Friends have asked me about shopping and what it involves. All of a sudden, someone just asked me, “So you lie to people for money?”

It was an interesting thought, but the bottom line is, yes, I do lie to people for money. I lied to the banker; I lied to the leasing associate at the apartment complex; and I lied to the car salesman, all the while I had no guilt about it. You see, I don’t consider it to be lying. Yes, I am presenting myself as something I am not – a really interested buyer or investor, but it is my job. I pretend to be on board with policies and procedures at my full-time job that I disagree with too, but it is my job. And, honestly, mystery shopping is a lot more fun, as I’m usually doing something I enjoy.

I may not buy a car today, I may not rent that apartment today, I may not make any big investments today however, I do look at each shop as something I might do in the future. Conducting mystery shops helps me shop products in advance. So, is mystery shopping lying? No, it is research for me. Is it the right fit for everyone? Of course not, but neither is the full-time job I have! If you are uncomfortable with presenting yourself as something you are not, you should stick with fast food shops and some other simple shops that do not require you to make-up or use a back story. If you see it for what it can be, you may want to give it a try.

Free Meals by Mystery Shopping

July 9th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

chicken-burger-111794_1280It is always nice to go out to a very fancy restaurant, but it can get expensive. There are some mystery shopping companies that allow a shopper to visit a nice restaurant to evaluate their services for free.

Most companies require you pay for the meal upfront, but the company will reimburse you for all the costs associated with the mealtime and you only have to answer a brief questionnaire and rate how well the service and food was at a particular restaurant.

You can always save even more money by looking for ads for that particular restaurant that your scheduler has assigned you, which often gives you a discount off your meal or sometimes you can find a two for one meal deal price.  This helps to further reduce your upfront costs to the meal and then allows you invite someone to dinner for free.  It only takes a few minutes to look through the paper or search the computer for restaurant discounts and that would help supplement your budget until the company reimburses you for the entire cost.

There are also a few mystery shopping companies that provide a credit type of card for you to use at these restaurant shops so you just charge the meal on their card.  Other mystery companies pay you a mystery shopping fee for completing the shop on top of reimbursing you for the entire meal.

Earning a cash fee plus obtaining a company credit card for the meal is the best shop that I have uncovered, but generally most companies reimburse you for the meal.   In either case, feel free to visit that fancy expensive restaurant for a nice day or evening meal since this freebie is on the company and they might also pay you a fee to shop that restaurant.

Earn Extra Cash Shopping

July 8th, 2015 Posted by About Mystery Shopping, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Earn Extra Cash ShoppingSummer is a great time to earn extra cash since many students are out of school and family budgets may increase because the children are home for this season.  Mystery shopping offers accommodating schedules and various job opportunities to earn extra cash each month, and each shop generally only takes a couple of hours to perform.Most jobs can be performed during regular working hours during the week while other shops offer evening and weekend work.

There is no long term commitment when you sign up and perform mystery shopping jobs other than committing to do one job in its entirety.  In a couple of hours, you can earn from $40 to $300, and most mystery shopping jobs easily accommodate your schedule.

Mystery shopping jobs generally involve a shopper to evaluate an employee’s performance at a company.  You may need to ask certain questions and interact with an employee.  After your evaluation of the employee, most jobs require you to fill out an easy on-line questionnaire form for their company.

Generally, most mystery shopping companies pay within 30 to 45 days or some pay at the time you perform a mystery shopping job.  The Internet is filled with ads for mystery shoppers which include evaluating apartments, shopping for a particular item in the store, or having potential customers taste or try new company products.

There are many types of mystery shopping jobs available and the sign-up is easy and free.  Summer shopping is easy and many of you have free time to work a couple of hours to make some extra cash.  So get moving and enjoy your summer along with a few hundred dollars in your pocketbook.

Keeping Records of Your Pay

June 10th, 2015 Posted by About Mystery Shopping, Tips for Mystery Shopping, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Keeping Record of Shop Pay-1When you start to work for mystery shopping companies, you should keep records of which company you work for and the pay rate. This way you have an idea of how much you are due and when you will be paid.

It is important that you know the date you will be paid as you can follow up if you are not paid on time. Also when you file your taxes, accurate files are necessary.

First of all, create a document where you enter in the name of the company and the date you shopped. Keep a record of the websites where you entered the data. Next, keep records on when you get paid and how you will get paid. For instance, some companies use PayPal while others mail a check. Still other mystery hopping companies prefer to do direct deposit in to a bank account. Accurate record keeping will help you to ensure you are paid on time and when and where

Secondly, keep a copy of your records and the receipts to give to your tax preparer. Almost all the things you use to mystery shop can be written off on your taxes. A good tax program will show you which items you can claim. If you can possibly hire an accountant for a few hours, it could be beneficial. After all, you can learn what the tax breaks are for working at home. Record keeping is essential for a good shopper.



Prep for Mystery Shopping Jobs

June 8th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Prepare for Mystery ShopsYou heard about mystery shopping jobs and wonder what you need to start.  Mystery shopping jobs are generally listed online. A computer or a technology type I-pad, laptop, or any other computer type system to have regular access to the Internet is absolutely a necessity to find and apply for jobs. You normally need to log on and set up an account with each mystery shopping company.

The mystery shopping companies usually send emails on a regular basis to notify shoppers of potential jobs, cancellations, or other company updates, so having access to a computer is a necessity. Mystery shopping generally comprises of part-time work and once you find certain types of work that you enjoy and are comfortable over their pay amount, pay, you can focus on selecting several companies for jobs each month.

You should ensure that you set-up a banking type payment system to receive payments.  Many companies now offer electronic payments which require a checking or savings account.  Others, still process company checks and they are mailed to your home or office, so you should be open to both of these options.  Having a printer is helpful since you can easily print out information on your various assigned shops or you could use a notepad and pen to write down the information on each shop.

Further, most shops require a vehicle to drive to a particular store in order to perform their shop.  Or some companies have telephone shops where you can shop out of your home.  With a couple of basic needs, you can start earning hundreds of dollars in a couple of hours and mystery shopping jobs are very flexible around your schedule.