How to Find the Right Mystery Shops For You

How To Find the Right Mystery Shop For YouBe sure you broaden your mystery shopping jobs and not just sign up for apartment evaluations. If you like to be outside and talk to people, then performing apartment, car, and restaurant mystery shops might be just the right area for you.  In addition to home inspections, there are clothing, and grocery mystery shops too.  There are other mystery shops that offer services for money, like free massages and dental visits. If you want a free massage or dental visit, there are some shops that allow you to obtain a free massage or dentist visit in exchange for doing an evaluation. The downsides of these shops are that most companies require you to pay the upfront costs and then reimburse you at a later time.

However, do not limit yourself in mystery shopping. There are also demonstration jobs, telephone shops, cash for filling out surveys, and modeling type jobs.  Demonstration jobs usually require a four to six hour day and normally one has to stand the entire time when serving samples to the public. If you like to interact with people, a demonstrator job offers the latest products as samples to the public and the plus side is that they usually pay cash on the spot or soon thereafter.   If you would rather sit at your computer, then you can earn money by filling out surveys online.  This can be a little time-consuming, but you do not have to leave your home, so this might work for stay at home family members.Telephone shops also can be done at home and only requires a phone and computer.

There are still other mystery shops that look for people to represent them for a product and look for a certain type of person.  You usually need to send in a head shot with measurements and the company will contact you if you fit the product they want to endorse. These companies usually pay at the end of the job so you get paid cash immediately. Therefore, before you sign up, think about which job might fit your lifestyle and pocketbook the best and make that extra cash.

Elisa E.



Be Careful Who You Take With You

mystery shopper and guestWhen taking a guest with you on a shop, be careful who you take. Taking the wrong guest can blow your cover, distract you, or not allow you to take control of your own shop. A first time guest should always be warned of how mystery shopping works.

I tell my guest to just follow my lead by allowing me to ask all the questions that are needed and to let me order a meal first, especially if it is a food shop. I then give them a nod when it is time for them to order or ask whatever questions they may have.

Once they understand what is going on then they become what I consider “Professional Guests”. They know what to do and they understand my lead. I always have 2 to 3 people that I call on when I need a guest. I have someone my age, someone older, and someone significantly younger for those 21 to 28 year old shops. And let me not forget my 13 year old who is good for those underage video shops.

My Professional Guests are now just as good as I am as far as what to look out for, they just don’t have to do the reports. Train your guest well and they can be a great help in times when you have to..well..take a potty break!! Happy Shopping.

Pets Have An Eye For Detail

perfect-arrangementI’ve been apartment mystery shopping for five years and Maxwell the Power Cat has definitely shown an interest in all the detail of the shops and reporting. He has a keen eye for details and enjoys editing my work before I submit it.

Max has been thinking about apartment shopping for humans and his wild imagination has taken on the challenge of how felines feel in regard to furnishing “their” apartments. He’s somewhat concerned about how soft the sofas, chairs and beds are for his soft, clean white paws; this power cat has now given consideration to his own furnishings and the comfort and convenience they provide.

Why just the other day he told me that his “condo” not only has to be luxurious but it has to be placed in an exact spot for maximum and desired use. The “condo” as it is called is a two-story feline residence with the first floor having an inside area for napping and hiding; the second floor is a perch for spotting prey or anything else moving.

His next concern is the placement of his “cheesy play pen”, that appears to be a one of a kind I found in a pet store. It consists of a carpeted inner and outer covering in the shape of a piece of cheese with holes and everything; he can hide inside or sit on top to observe whatever. Yes, it even has hanging toys with bells inside to amuse him, if he chooses to be amused. The size of the area is crucial and after careful measurement, he has given his approval of the location adjacent to a sofa.

At times, he paw-ses and reflects on life, death, infinity and when his next meal will be served. I received his request for special attention to the location of his litter box; it must be in an area with little or no foot traffic for the utmost privacy when he visits to do his business. Not only is the area important, but the appointments are crucial; this includes the type of litter furnished for his use as well as the selection of a scooper and air freshener. I have presented him with various choices and he is giving this issue some thought.

There is so much more to tell you, but once again its nap time for “sweetie boy” my tuxedo cat that keeps things running smoothly. There’s a meow for everything and everything that happens is the result of a meow.

We’ve Got a New Look! Changes to the Ellis Mystery Shopper Interface

If you haven’t seen it yet, you will the next time you log in to your Ellis mystery shopper account. We’ve made a few changes to the design of the shopper site. And we’ve fully implemented our formerly BETA option for locating available shop contracts near you.

To highlight some of the changes (and offer a little navigation advice to the user who’s accustomed to our old shopper interface)…

First, there’s no longer a laundry list of notes and memos at the top of your page. There are just simple icons and a list of things you can do from your mystery shopper page. The notes have all been incorporated into a new slide-in Tip box at the top of the page.

New Shopper Homepage

We’ve also fully released our Map-based application for Finding Shops Near You.

You can see all types of available shop contracts at once. The buttons on the page allow our msytery shoppers to hide/show the different kinds of shops at their choosing.

Plus the map layout can help you make decisions about doing multiple shop contracts based on the location of the properties.

Find Shops Near Me

So where are the phone shops? Well, click on the “Location Independent Tab” of the “I Want to See Shops Near Me” page.

How do I see shops in a different area? Enter whatever zip code you desire in the “Zip:” field of that same page.


Want to see available shop contracts closer to you? Slide the box on the grey bar right above to the “Zip:” to the LEFT. As you slide it, you will see the distance change.

(Of course if you want to see shops farther away, you can slide it to the RIGHT!)


You can click on the different types of shops (Backup, Video, etc.) to remove them from the map.

All of the types listed show up on the default view. To add them back, just click on the type again.

Backup shops are labeled with a “B” in the list AND on the map for easy reference.



What if you don’t like the map on the new Find a Shop page? Just click on the vertical divider line and drag it all the way to the RIGHT of the page. Voila!!



We’ve still got a few things up our sleeve to make the new site even easier for our mystery shoppers to navigate and use, and we really would love to hear what you think.

Visit our Mystery Shopper Facebook page and post your questions and comments!



Is Your Perception the Only Reality?

While the mainstay of any mystery shop is the factual, objective feedback provided by Yes/No questions on a report, sometimes mystery shoppers are asked about their customer experience. If that is the case, then they should lend their opinion and perspective to the mystery shop.

Reality vs. PerceptionThis graphic pretty much sums up what the mystery shopper’s perspective might be in contrast to that of the person being mystery shopped. Always remember, each of us has our own point of view. That’s why it’s important on any mystery shop contract you conduct to only give your opinion when you are asked for it. Otherwise, your job is to be objective in your report and only give the facts.


Social Media Is On the Rise and I “Like” It!


Lately I have been keeping an eye on the different ways in which property management companies are using social media.

When first introduced, there was some obvious confusion as companies struggled to use  Facebook and Twitter for marketing purposes in hopes of attracting new prospective renters.

Continue reading “Social Media Is On the Rise and I “Like” It!”