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Making Money on Vacation July 27, 2011

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Everyone needs a vacation to get away from the daily humdrum….however, being a mystery shopper has its advantages in this regard. Many shoppers will try to make some money during their vacation to offset the cost of their trip.

Below are some tips to try to make this happen:

1. Check company job boards: If you rely solely on email notifications from mystery shopping providers to apply for shops, you may want to spend some time logging in to your accounts with the MSP’s you’re registered with to check the job boards. Often times you are able to search for shops outside of your immediate area. Take a look and see what shops are available at your destination or on your way there and apply for them if they can fit into your schedule.

2. Airport shops: Are you flying? Now’s the time to find out which companies have airport shops. Shoppers can pick up one or multiple shops at airports they are flying through to make some extra money. These shops are usually quick or simpler in nature, allowing you to make a couple of stops while waiting for your flight.

3. Find shops with companies you don’t normally shop with: You may only be registered with companies who have shops in your area, and may not be aware of companies who may have shops along your travels. Now is the time to check out Facebook for mystery shopping opportunities, and register for a free account with Jobslinger. This will allow you to see what’s out there. With Jobslinger, you can search by state or zip code and register with companies directly through their site.

From a scheduler’s perspective, I’d like to share a few tips to help you if you are applying for shops that are outside of your typical area:

1. Contact the scheduler or quantify your application when applying: If you are applying for shops that are in another state or quite a distance from your home, you will want to let the scheduler know this when you apply or shortly thereafter. Many companies have a section for additional comments when you apply. This is a great place to add that “I will be traveling to X during this time and can conduct the shop.” If this is not available, I suggest contacting the scheduler via email to let them know that you are traveling. Many times we can see how far you are from a particular shop, and if we see you’re 100 miles away or in another state and there is no explanation, your chances of getting the shop assigned to you are pretty slim.

2. Airport shopping – be realistic: Airport shops can be tempting to complete while you’re waiting for a flight or have a layover. When deciding to take a shop, and how many you can/should pick up, be aware of the timings of your flights and allow for delays in your schedule. Don’t overbook yourself and cause stress when you’re supposed to be relaxing!

If any readers have tips or advice on picking up shops while on vacation, we’d love to hear them! Vacations are great, and can be even better when you’re making money!

Until next time…happy shopping!

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End of Life – Would you Do Shops in the Deathcare Industry? July 22, 2011

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Years ago, mystery shopping was traditionally tied to retail and restaurants, but has expanded to almost every industry imaginable, and the deathcare¬†industry is no different. We’ve seen shops ranging from calling the Social Security Administration to inquire about benefits for a parent or family member that is dying, to funeral home shops. I recently came across this article that describes a mystery shopping project geared toward evaluating will-writing services. This article discusses the findings of the project, namely that they uncovered one of every five wills written by unregulated will-writing companies was not prepared correctly.

As important as this industry is to evaluate to ensure appropriate procedures are in place, especially in such an emotionally driven situation, it leads me to wonder how willing shoppers are to conduct shops in this industry. It’s a morbid topic for sure, and discussing the imminent demise of a loved one is not someone’s first choice. I’d be curious to see which of our readers have conducted similar shops, and what people think in general terms about shopping the deathcare industry.

Until next time…happy shopping!

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