Mystery Shopping: Learn How It Can Work For You

Mystery shopping is a prospering business and more and more companies are relying on the shoppers’ anonymous feedback to determine how they can improve customer service.

In an article titled “Spies like us; Mystery shoppers keep eye on customer service” (The Washington Times, July 2004) we can learn that mystery shopping has become a “critical marketing tool” used by companies to develop customer loyalty:

“Consumers have more choices than ever before. The smart companies realize they can compete by creating an optimized customer experience.

More companies are relying on the shoppers’ anonymous feedback to determine how they can improve customer service, which plays an important role in business transactions.

‘If the customer has had a bad experience, they’re going to go somewhere else,’ said Jeff Marr, vice president of Walker Information, which provides research on customer loyalty.
‘When it comes to retailing, you’re only as good as your last interaction.’

The mystery shopping industry has grown over the past decade as more companies – from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies – have tried to focus more heavily on customer service, officials say. Companies such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Home Depot, Kinko’s and Giant Food are just a handful of the companies that use mystery shoppers.

The industry has expanded from typical service-oriented clients – such as restaurants, retailers and hotels – to industries like banks, insurance companies, car dealerships, funeral homes and apartment buildings.

“This is a critical marketing tool,” said Jeff Hall, who is chief executive of a mystery shopping company in Michigan. “Companies need to connect with their customers – not just with a fake smile.”

“Mystery shopping is nothing more than receiving feedback from anonymous customers,” said Paige Hall, president and chief executive officer of a mystery shopping company in Atlanta.

It is estimated that between 600,000 to 700,000 active mystery shoppers – also known as secret shoppers – are in the United States.

In this same article we read the story of Max Jakeman, a secret shopper working at it in his spare time. His story can be yours:

“Max Jakeman is an undercover agent – for a pizza chain. He also has spied on fast-food chains, upscale restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys and golf courses.

The Alexandria resident is one of the thousands of mystery shoppers who get paid to give feedback on their overall customer experience…

Mr. Jakeman, who is in the Army, mystery shops between three and four times a week, usually on weekends and evenings. He calls his answering machine at home and leaves notes about his experience so he doesn’t forget details before he has to write the report.

Mr. Jakeman thinks his job helps make a difference.

“I’m a consumer and I’ve been places where I’ve been treated badly,” Mr. Jakeman said. “With mystery shopping you feel like you’re making an impact.”

The shoppers get paid different amounts for their work, depending on the industry and degree of difficulty. For instance, grocery stores pay $10 to $25, movie theaters pay $10 to $50 and florists pay $45 to $100 per assignment.

Mr. Jakeman brings home $300 to $400 a month in cash, in addition to about $1,000 in perks including free movies, free oil changes, free pizza and free rounds of golf.”

Industry experts say “a full-time mystery shopper who works 40 hours a week can make about $40,000 a year.”

The Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal (see the former issue of the Get Paid Coach) and other newspapers publish articles on mystery shopping because it’s a growing business and hundred of thousands of people make top dollars to shop and have fun.

Would you like to bring home $300 to $400 a month in cash, in addition to about $1,000 in perks just for shopping between three to four times a week like Max Jakeman?

Would you prefer to work at it full time and make $40,000 a year?

Mystery shoppers are needed all the time and there are jobs all over the US and Canada but also in Australia and UK.

The best way to go is to subscribe to a professional resource for secret shopper jobs. You will get a step-by-step guide on how to get started successfully (a must for new shoppers) AND you’ll have access to an extensive database of shopping jobs in your country and in your state.

Presidential Sites – Visiting the Home of America’s Forgotten President

He served as president of the United States from 1921 to 1923, until his premature death cut short his term in office. In a small central Ohio town, the home where he conducted a front porch campaign for president is sometimes open for tours which chronicle the life of America’s forgotten president…

About 40 miles north of Columbus, Ohio in the central part of the state sits the town of Marion. It is the home and final resting place for the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding.

A Quick Overview Of Our 29th President

Warren G. Harding was elected in 1920, succeeding the popular Woodrow Wilson, who has served two terms in office. Harding served only two and a half years in office before suddenly passing away in August, 1923.

His administration was initially known for the scandals perpetrated by members of his cabinet, which surfaced mainly after his death. History in general has not been kind to Harding, with many scholars ranking his presidency as one of the worst. However, new information and biographies have recently been published, painting a more positive reflection. Few recall, for instance, that Harding was one of the earliest champions of the civil rights movement.

Visiting Marion And The Harding Sites

Although it looks like a typical middle America town, Marion has certainly carved a place for itself in history. In 1920, native son Warren Harding conducted his campaign for president here, largely from the front porch of his home. It is now a museum, open for visitors Thursdays through Sundays in summers and weekends in winter.

Located not far from the historic downtown area, the Harding home is a handsome Victorian built in 1891 by the future president. Inside are original furnishings from Harding’s time, along with a beautiful restoration of the many rooms. Of particular note is the wrap around porch and spacious grounds surrounding the home. This is where Harding conducted a front porch campaign for president, delivering speeches to thousands of onlookers camped literally on his front lawn.

Next door to the home is a smaller structure that was built in early 1920. It was specifically constructed for the press covering Harding’s ascent to the presidency. Now it’s a museum, with memorabilia and personal items from Harding’s life and career. As you visit the quiet and peaceful site, imagine the crowds of thousands on the grounds as they listened to Harding deliver campaign speeches.

Within walking distance is downtown Marion, with its many local shops and restaurants. It’s ideal for a stroll, particularly to the Wyandot popcorn museum, where popcorn is served amidst popcorn machines from the past. Local art walks are conducted on select Fridays and the downtown area is alive with activity.

While in town, attend a performance at the historic Palace Theater, built in 1928 and restored in the 1970’s. And if you like a taste of the vine, visit Shamrock Vineyards, a local winery producing all manners of wine styles from grapes grown here in their vineyard.

Summary

America’s forgotten president, Warren G. Harding, is commemorated in Marion, Ohio with a museum and beautifully restored Victorian home. Marion is a pleasant small community with several unique attractions, and is just a short drive from Ohio’s capital city, Columbus. It is a perfect destination for a day trip from Columbus or for history lovers traveling through Ohio.

My Shopping Genie Review – Is It A Dream Come True?

It will soon be obvious that My Shopping Genie is no genie in a bottle or a pipe dream. It is a subsidiary of parent company My Net Universe Inc which is situated in Creve Coeur, Missouri, and that’s where this wizard’s story begins.

My Shopping Genie – Leadership

My Shopping Genie is directed by President David Freed who has a far-reaching history in direct sales and network marketing. In researching his history I found that he was formerly the National Marketing Director for a company called GMT (Get Moving Today). When I tried to access the company’s website it was no longer there. There is a lot of not so pleasant info on the internet concerning GMT.

Now just because GMT had its problems does not mean that My Shopping Genie is a scam or is involved with anything else that’s not above-board. Do not forget though what I’ve said in many previous reviews. That is when fact-finding in an MLM company you look at the age of it and the newer it is the harder you look at the leadership. Bruce Bise, who was listed as the President and CEO of GMTis now recorded as being the co-founder and master distributor of My Shopping Genie.

My Shopping Genie – The Products

The My Shopping Genie product is an application (genie) which you can download for free and install on your computer, then have access to just about any other product with an affiliate program. The idea or goal is that when you are shopping for something online the genie searches the internet for the best deal. Now it is free as long as you are just a user. If you want to benefit monetarily well, that’s another story.

My Shopping Genie – Getting Started and Comp Plan

Supposing you should decide you want to get involved with My Shopping Genie as a distributor it will cost you $199. Having become an IGD (Independent Genie Distributor) you’ll receive a distribution license with which you can give away free genies that will have your brand id encoded into them. When a shopper purchases something you get a piece of the action. That is as long as it’s a participating affiliated merchant and you’re registered with them.

With My Shopping Genie you also receive a tutorial program to help you get started. You get a customizable branding tool, an advertising system, a coupon creator, a business profile builder, a communication tool and a communication system. There is a $29 a month maintenance fee for your website etc.

There are 9 ways to earn income with My Shopping Genie:

Affiliate Commissions
Affiliate Override Bonuses
Genie System Sales ($100 Fast Start Bonuses)
12 N 12 Bonus Pool (Time Sensitive)
Dual Team Pay Commissions
Global Power Check Match
Diamond Check Match
Diamond Affiliate Income Pool
Diamond Power Leadership Pool

My Shopping Genie – The Bottom Line

At the outset I think this is really a pretty cool idea. I mean it’s an affiliate program for a lot (I would hope) of different merchants and products. I don’t have the time here to burrow down and see who they have on board and exactly what the commissions are. People have been making money with affiliate programs for a long time so that part of it is very appropriate.

For me you’re either going to be an affiliate or you’re going to get involved with network marketing. Not get involved with network marketing in order to become an affiliate. It doesn’t feel right to me for other reasons too but I’m about out of space here.

If you decide to get immersed in My Shopping Genie you have to come up with a way to find people to get on board with you after you run out of family and friends. You WILL need a mentor and a system

The bottom line is your success will depend on whether or not you can sponsor new people. The main thing you have to do is learn from someone how to market your business and generate leads.