A recap of my first 10 jobs…

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I made $208.50 in my first week as a Mystery Shopper.


This is a record of my first 10 shops as a Mystery Shopper after a break of about 10 years.

Only one of these, the seminar on Wednesday, required that I be anywhere at a specific time.

All jobs have a deadline by when they must be done and the paperwork submitted,  but most have flexibility in when you do them.

Friday, November 8

Oil Change – ($48) Got my oil changed and reported on my interactions with the workers, the timing, and the cleanliness of the place.  The fee for this was $8 plus reimbursement for the oil change of $40.  Since my car was due for an oil change, I count the $40 reimbursement as income.  (30 minutes) PAID January 30

Valet Parking – ($15) Parked my car and reported on the timing of the valet, what he said and did.  I was reimbursed $2 for the tip I gave but the funny thing is they wanted a picture of the bills, serial number visible, as proof!  (30 minutes) PAID January 30

Saturday, November 9

Grocery Store – ($35) Tried out the electronic coupon system of the grocery store and reported on my experience.  The fee for this was $15 and the reimbursement was $20.  I only purchased items I normally would spend money on…laundry and dish detergent etc.  (20 minutes) PAID December 13

Monday, November 11

Valet Parking – ($15)  Parked my car and reported on the timing of the valet, what he said and did.  (30 minutes)
PAID January 30

Shop for Video Equipment – ($25) The original assignment was to purchase two video cameras and a wall mount, using a corporate account so I wouldn’t have to spend any money but the items were not in stock so my report was about my interactions with the workers, the condition of the store itself and how well the shelves were stocked.  (15 minutes)  PAID December 8

Chain Restaurant – ($8) Have a meal, time how long things took, count how many were in the place and report on my interactions with employees.  I was reimbursed $15 for the food but I don’t count that in my final total because I didn’t have to eat there…I can always eat at home.  (40 minutes – the service was very slow) PAID November 25

Tuesday, November 12

U.S. Postal Service ($12.50) Mailed a package to a designated location and reported on the timing and my experience with the clerk.  Was reimbursed for $36 of shipping costs and $3.20 to buy the box but I don’t count that in my total because they dictated where I shipped the package.  (I don’t recommend these shops)  (10 minutes in the P.O. but at least 30 getting ready) PAID December 20

Wednesday, November 13

Seminar ($20)  Counted attendees and evaluated the speakers of an income opportunity.  (75 minutes) PAID December 13

Thursday, November 14

Insurance Shop (by phone) – ($20)  Had to call two insurance agents and ask for a quote.  (50 minutes) PAID November 25

Sporting Goods Store – ($10) Evaluated salesperson, cashier and condition of store.  Was required to make a small purchase for which I was reimbursed $5.  (22 minutes) PAID January 30

That’s a total of $208.50 in seven days for just about 6 hours of time on the actual shops.

I didn’t track time getting to the shops or the time to do the paperwork but if I estimate 30 minutes per job which is a reasonable average that’s another 5.5 hours….let’s round everything to 12 hours.

That works out to over $17 per hour.  ($208.50/12)

Even if I was slower and it took 18 hours for everything, that’s still over $11 an hour and I wasn’t required to be in one place for those 18 hours!

You DO get faster as you get more experience!

You’ll notice quite a variety of times to get paid on these jobs.  From two weeks to almost three months!  These are a factor of various company policies.

The last time I worked for that company that took three months to pay I told them I’d only do the job if they paid me within two weeks.  They agreed and paid me in three days.

When you prove yourself reliable there are some benefits like faster payments.

One of my readers asked me if she’d need a lot of upfront money to be a mystery shopper.

It varies but to give you an idea, I prepared a list  of how much I had to take out of my pocket for these 10 jobs…

1.  Oil Change $39.95 for the oil change I needed…that is reimbursed
2.  Valet Parking – $2 tip…reimbursed
3.  Grocery Store – $21.70 for groceries I would have purchased anyway…$20 reimbursed
4.  Valet Parking – $3 parking fee + $2 tip, both reimbursed.
5.  Video Equipment Shop – None
6.  Chain Restaurant – $11.21  for dinner…reimbursed
7.  Postal Service – $3.20 for the box and $36.85 for postage.  Both reimbursed.
8.  Seminar – None
9.  Insurance Shop – None
10. Sporting Goods Store – $5 reimbursed