Mystery Shopping with Kids: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Experience

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If you’re looking for a unique side hustle that you can do with your kids, mystery shopping might be just the thing for you. Mystery shopping, also known as secret shopping, involves going undercover to evaluate customer service and report on your experience. As a mystery shopper, you can blend in with other customers and get paid for your feedback.

While mystery shopping can be a fun and rewarding experience, it’s important to note that not every job is kid-friendly. Depending on your child’s age and behavior, it can be challenging to maintain the necessary focus and blending in required for a successful mystery shop. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about mystery shopping with children, including the pros and cons, types of kid-friendly jobs, and tips for success.

Key Takeaways

  • Mystery shopping is a unique side hustle that allows you to evaluate customer service and get paid for your feedback.
  • While mystery shopping with kids is possible, not every job is kid-friendly and it’s important to consider your child’s age and behavior before bringing them along.
  • By following our tips for success and choosing the right kid-friendly jobs, you can enjoy mystery shopping with your children and earn extra income at the same time.

How to Become a Mystery Shopper

If you’re interested in becoming a mystery shopper, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to get started. In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of becoming a secret shopper.

How to become a secret shopper:

  • Find Mystery Shopping Companies: The first step to becoming a mystery shopper is to identify a few mystery shopping companies with whom you’d like to work. You can find a list of companies to get you started on The Mystery Shopper Forum.

  • Apply to Become a Secret Shopper: Each mystery shopping company has its own application process. Make sure you spend time on your application since writing and attention to detail are important skills for secret shoppers.

  • Find Open Secret Shopper Jobs: Once a mystery shopping company has accepted you to be a shopper, you’ll have access to their online job board. On the job board, you’ll find available secret shop jobs that you can pick up.

  • Study Up on Secret Shop Job Requirements: Before your first shop, it is important to study the rules and requirements of your first shop. You have to follow the rules exactly to get paid.

  • Complete Your First Secret Shop: It’s time to do your first mystery shop! You’ll go to the store, perform the shop, and then come home and submit a report on the experience.

To become a mystery shopper, you’ll need to apply to a mystery shopping company and complete their application process. Once you’re accepted, you’ll have access to their online job board, where you can find available secret shop jobs that you can pick up. Before your first shop, it is important to study the rules and requirements of your first shop. You have to follow the rules exactly to get paid.

As a mystery shopper, you’ll be an independent contractor who evaluates restaurants, stores, and companies. You’ll pretend to be a normal customer as you secretly evaluate the location. You’ll be paid a flat rate for your time and work, and you may get your expenses reimbursed. Mystery shopping companies manage all aspects of the mystery shopper program.

Some popular mystery shopping companies include:

When applying to become a secret shopper, make sure you spend time on your application since writing and attention to detail are important skills for secret shoppers. Before your first shop, it is important to study the rules and requirements of your first shop. You have to follow the rules exactly to get paid. Mystery shopping can be a fun and flexible way to earn extra money, but be sure to research the company you’re working for and make sure they have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

How to Secret Shop with Kids

If you are a parent who wants to earn some extra cash while spending time with your kids, then mystery shopping can be a great option for you. However, secret shopping with kids can be a bit challenging. Here is how you can make it work:

How to mystery shop with kids:

  • Identify kid-friendly mystery shopper companies: When selecting a mystery shopping company, look for one that has secret shop jobs for places that are kid-friendly, such as amusement parks and zoos. You can research different mystery shopping companies on the Mystery Shopper Forum.

  • Review secret shop job guidelines: Each secret shop job has its own set of rules and expectations, including whether children are allowed while shopping. Reviewing these guidelines will help you identify the best secret shops for shoppers with children.

  • Communicate with your scheduler: Your scheduler is your go-to person for all your questions about a job. Ask them if children are allowed on your secret shop jobs and if there are any special guidelines if shopping with kids.

  • Do solo shops before bringing kids: If you are new to secret shopping, it is a good idea to get some shops under your belt before bringing your kids along. You need to be comfortable with secret shopping before introducing the extra challenge of having kids with you.

  • Be realistic about your kids’ ages and attention span: Consider your child’s temperament and attention span when deciding whether to bring them along. Will your child distract you or blow your cover? Or, will your child be a great secret shopper accomplice?

  • Pick kid-friendly secret shop jobs: Opt for secret shop jobs that are kid-friendly, such as movie theater shops. It is easier to blend in with kids in an environment where kids are expected. Do not bring kids along on shops that prohibit kid guests or you could lose your pay or secret shopper position.

By following these tips, you can successfully mystery shop with your kids. Just remember to be objective and act like an undercover spy while shopping.

Types of Kid-Friendly Mystery Shopper Jobs

If you’re looking for mystery shopper jobs that you can do with your kids, there are three types of mystery shops that you can consider. The first type requires a child to be present, while the second type benefits from a child, but a child is not required. The third type allows you to bring a child guest, but the child does not aid the shop.

Having a child with you can be an asset for certain mystery shop jobs. For example, age compliance checks at movie theaters require an underaged guest to evaluate if age checks are being properly done. Similarly, a child can be helpful on secret shop jobs done at child-friendly locations like the zoo, where a single adult may stand out more than an adult with their child.

Here are some examples of kid-friendly mystery shopper jobs:

  • Amusement parks
  • Movie theaters
  • Video game stores (often for age compliance shops)
  • Zoos, museums, and aquariums
  • Putt putt golf
  • Bowling
  • Kid-themed stores (e.g. Disney store, kids clothing stores, Build-A-Bear)
  • Activity centers (e.g. trampoline parks, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Chuck E. Cheese)
  • Grocery stores
  • Restaurants

It’s important to note that not all mystery shopping companies allow children to accompany you on shops. Therefore, before accepting any assignments, be sure to check with the company on their policy regarding children. Additionally, some shops may require your child to be a certain age, so it’s important to read the shop requirements carefully.

Overall, mystery shopping can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your child. By choosing kid-friendly mystery shopper jobs, you can spend quality time with your child while earning some extra cash.

Advantages of Mystery Shopping with Kids

Secret shopping with your kids is a great way to make extra money while keeping your children entertained. It also provides an opportunity for parents to teach their kids financial lessons and skills. Here are some additional advantages of mystery shopping with children:

  • Get reimbursed for kid-friendly activities: Mystery shopping can reimburse your expenses for kid-friendly activities such as movies or bowling, saving you money.

  • No need for childcare: Mystery shopping is a side hustle that you can do without the need for childcare, making it a convenient option for parents.

  • Teach your kids while secret shopping: Secret shopping provides teachable moments for your kids. You can teach them about attention to detail, memorization skills, etiquette, customer service, and various industries.

  • Prepare older kids for their own side hustles: Secret shopping can be a great summer activity for teenagers. It can also instill the value of hard work and hustle in kids.

  • Blend in on shops: Having your child with you on a mystery shop can help you blend in or qualify you for shops that require a minor.

Overall, secret shopping with your kids is a fun and educational way to earn extra money and teach your children valuable skills. The average pay for mystery shopping varies, but it typically ranges from $5 to $25 per shop. Some shops may also include surprises or high-quality free stuff. However, it is important to note that mystery shopping should not be relied upon as a primary source of income.

Disadvantages of Secret Shopping with Kids

While mystery shopping with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience, it is important to note that there are some drawbacks to this approach. Here are some of the disadvantages of secret shopping with kids:

  • Your success secret shopping with a kid depends a lot on your kid: Are your kids able to entertain themselves or be calm while you are doing a shop? Some ages or kids may make secret shopping difficult, if not impossible. It is important to assess your child’s temperament and ability to handle the task before bringing them along on a secret shop.

  • You won’t be able to do every shop: Some shops don’t allow you to bring kids along, period. This can limit the number of shops you can participate in if you have children.

  • Your kid could blow your cover: Secret shops will sometimes require you to lie, and your child correcting you during a shop could reveal you as a mystery shopper. This can compromise your ability to complete the shop and could even result in disqualification from future shops.

  • Kids can make you more memorable: The goal of a secret shopper is to blend in and not be memorable. Unfortunately, kids can make you stand out more than you would shopping alone. This can make it difficult to complete the shop successfully.

  • Kids can change the customer service experience: You may receive different treatment going to a shop with your kids than you would as a solo adult. This can affect the accuracy of your report and may lead to inconsistencies in your findings.

  • Mystery shopping with kids isn’t easy: Juggling work and taking care of kids at the same time is hard, and doing a mystery shop job with kids is no exception. It can be difficult to focus on the task at hand while also caring for your child’s needs.

In summary, while secret shopping with kids can be a fun and unique experience, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks before bringing your children along. It is important to assess your child’s temperament and ability to handle the task, as well as to carefully consider the requirements of each shop before deciding whether or not to bring your child along.

Tips for Secret Shopping with Kids

If you are a parent and want to make extra money, mystery shopping is a fun and viable side hustle. But how can you do it with kids? Here are some tips to help you secret shop with kids:

Practice your shop before bringing along a kid

Before bringing your kids along, do a practice run on a shop without them. Secret shop jobs usually repeat monthly, so you can do a trial run to familiarize yourself with the shop. This way, you will know the shop like the back of your hand, making it much easier to mystery shop with a kid.

Use tools or apps to keep track of shop details

If you are minding your kids, it can be harder to keep track of all the details you need for your mystery shop job. Timing or sound recording apps can lessen the mental load and help you discreetly and easily keep track of the details.

Enlist older kids to help on the mystery shop

Older kids can be great accomplices on your shop job. Tasking them with helping you on the shop can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

Bring along the other parent

Having a second parent along can make secret shopping with kids much easier. The second parent can focus on childcare while you handle the secret shop details.

Double check reimbursement amount

Before bringing your kids on a secret shop, double check that the reimbursement amount will cover all your costs. If you have to buy extra tickets or meals on your own dime, it may end up costing you more money than you’re making.

Never sneak children along on your mystery shop job

If a secret shop does not allow children, leave them at home. Mystery shoppers get audited regularly, and violating shop guidelines can cost you. If your shop is rejected, you will not get paid for your time or reimbursed for your costs. You may also lose your ability to mystery shop for that company in the future.

To conclude, these are some tips to help you secret shop with kids. By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience for both you and your kids.

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