Mystery shopping: how to earn a lot of Money in China
It was more like what I had to win, not only small benefits like free jeans, but also enough money to buy a car in cash.
How Mystery Shopping Works in China
Mystery shopping is quite simple: companies hire people like me to visit their shops, pretending to be an average customer and report on the service and overall experience. For each store you visit , companies pay an allotted amount of money (usually $ 5 to $ 20), and since they often want you to make a purchase for the total customer experience , they also offer to pay for some portion of the article. It seemed feasible , so I signed with 20 companies to start.
Let the Shopping in China( and win ) begins !
My first "boutique" was in an electronics store . ( I can not say it because discretion is a big part of the code of mystery ) The Company has provided a scenario : I want to talk to sales associates in two different departments, ask about a plasma TV or a GPS and see if they are engaged in a conversation, were useful questions answered or just a superficial way .
It seemed strange to argue in Chinese, in fact , it's always a little weird sometimes . You need a name used , so that if the customer service person is not wearing a badge, you need to ask yourself , which can be annoying. Then you generate reports online, which are structured as multiple choice answers or two sentences fill-in- the-blank .
At my peak , I dedicate four to six hours on a Saturday to go to different places in the same coffee and then spent two hours on the reports because you must file within 24 hours. With Chinese it is even more hard you know, they really do not care!
Yes, mystery shopping is a time commitment.
And just like that, I was hooked : I started to work during my lunch hour . I could even do it on my way home from work , since I 'd walked past outlets anyway. Slowly but surely, the money started to roll
After taxes , health insurance and other deductions , my daily net salary at the time was about $ 100. Most stores have paid me $ 7 to $ 15, if a tax Store $ 7 ( plus reimbursement for meals) amounted to about 10 % of what I was doing in my "real" job . This is 10% more than a day was a big problem for me, even if all he gave me was the opportunity to buy lunch a few times a week.
From time to time , I have a big score . When shopping for more expensive items such as electronics , the company requires you to make the purchase and then ship the product back to them . But during the days of hunting in early 2008 , a sports business asked me to buy a $ 250 watch for refund, and I could keep it. (In fact , I returned to the store, doing twice the amount back . )
It was amazing how quickly that money grew : Thanks to my mystery shopping, I was able to set up automatic monthly withdrawals from my checking to an emergency fund account and an account of savings home. At the height of my purchases , I'm probably 75 companies registered with . I was shopping , six days a week , even on Sundays for brunch, of course!
But it was worth it : I made about $ 14,000 this year as a mystery shopper , and that's not counting the repayments -Just pure profit . ( For the record , I was given a 1099 by a company that paid me $ 599 and taxed on that income. )
In September 2012, I paid for a Honda Fit in cash! There is no way that I could not have done otherwise. I love this car so far.
Why I returned my Mystery Shopping in China
When the recession hit , many companies that had prevously on shoppers for customer feedback switched on different methods, such as customer surveys in exchange for small gifts - so there are fewer opportunities now in Chinese market.
I also changed law firms , and I make about $ 20,000 per year , so I do not need to spend as much free time Mystery Shopping . But even if companies are not as liberal with their advantages due to post- recession fiscal tightening , they pay similar rates and I can still earn extra money decent .
In an average month these days, I'm probably 10 to 15 stores . Even if it's a matter of convenience now if I know I'll be headed to a restaurant or store , I'll squeeze in a store. I see no reason to stop