Mystery Shopping Company Review – Maritz CX (formerly Maritz Mystery Shopping)

Maritz Mystery Shopping has a new name – Maritz CX. While much has remained the same with Maritz, their growth has been quite phenomenal since I first started working for them nearly five years ago.

Maritz CX is arguably the industry leader in the world of secret shopping. They have steadily increased their client base in recent years and as a result, have quickly become my primary source of mystery shopping income. This company boasts so many jobs that it is rare on any given day that they do not have shops available in my area.

Shop types include gas stations, banks, and retailers. Mystery shops can be self-assigned on their website, but Maritz also employs numerous schedulers to make regular phone calls to shoppers looking to fill assignments, especially difficult-to-assign work. It’s unusual for multiple days to pass that I don’t receive a phone call from Maritz. I generally pick up many last minute and bonused shops through negotiations via phone calls.

In recent months, Maritz has begun sending out automated emails more often, which offer automated incentives on some shops. Occasionally, they also offer routes of shops to reliable shoppers.

New mystery shoppers should expect to be paid the base rate for shops until they have proven themselves. Once seen as a reliable shopper, the opportunity to receive bonuses rises. While the initial pay is average, the real money is made by being willing to go above-and beyond, to take last-minute shops, and to drive to rural places and small towns.

Be prepared to let the schedulers know how much it will take for you to go out of your way and perform last-minute shops. The schedulers will often ask you what it will take to get the job done. I make most of my money through negotiation. Don’t sell yourself short, and be willing to have fun in the process.

Like all companies, Maritz CX does things in a unique way, but it’s hard to argue with their success, client base, and longevity. Any serious mystery shopper must sign up for Maritz CX and take advantage of opportunities galore.

Stericycle Expert Solutions Review (formerly Corporate Research International)

Photo Courtesy: hoyasmeg on Flickr

I previously wrote a post wholeheartedly endorsing working with the mystery shopping company that is now Stericycle Expert Solutions (formerly Corporate Research International). I’m going to amend that original endorsement because of some changes that have occurred over the past couple of years.

The longer you work in the mystery shopping industry, the more changes you will encounter – from clients jumping from one company to another to entire organizations shutting their doors.

A couple of years ago, Corporate Research was purchased by Stericycle. Since then, many changes have taken place. As a result, I have not shopped with them in nearly a year.

Stericycle is a solid company in which to break into mystery shopping. This company offers a number of jobs in most regions of the country, and most of the work is pretty straightforward. In addition, they have shops with several different clients.

In addition, the sign-up process is quick, and you can be out shopping as soon as today. Consider that you will have to go through a bit of training for each particular client. While these can seem cumbersome at times, push through and complete the training so you have access to the jobs and their current pay rates.

However, Stericycle’s website can be slow and only works with Internet Explorer.

They aren’t the best at returning emails and can be tough to get a hold of. Rarely have I received a quick response from the chat feature, even though they post hours of “availability.”

When the transition took place from CORI to Stericycle, the shop pay took an extreme nosedive. Most jobs now start out below minimum wage, and the company is not that interested in paying hefty bonuses like CORI previously paid. Yet to my amazement, shoppers continue to gobble up $4.00 shops.

However, my time is much more valuable, which is why I have turned my focus toward other mystery shopping companies.

This company also lost a number of major clients to other secret shopper companies.

The Bottom Line

Stericycle provides an opportunity for any shopper to quickly get their feet wet and learn the ropes of secret shopping. If you need work today, then this is a decent place to start. However, you will definitely find higher paying work elsewhere.

Mystery Shop Coach Relaunch & 5 Things Mystery Shopping Is NOT

welcome

Welcome back fellow mystery shoppers! It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the chance to post here at Mystery Shop Coach. What can I say? Life happened since the birth of my son. So it’s long past time to get back to assisting you in beginning and growing your mystery shopping business!

If you are receiving this post via email and not sure why, it’s because at some point you expressed interest in learning more about mystery shopping and signed up to receive email updates at MysteryShopCoach.com. Thank you, and I hope you will join us for the ride.

That being said, it’s time to relaunch here in 2015 and help you take the mystery out of mystery shopping. Today, I want to discuss what mystery shopping is not.

Mystery shopping is Not…

1. A get rich quick scheme. If someone attempts to sell you on quick riches, then they are likely peddling a scam. There is no shortcut other than through consistent work and in developing solid relationships with mystery shopping companies.

2. Easy. Actually, to make a decent amount of money, it will require a lot of time, work, and focus. Few people want to tell you this fact, but it’s true.

3. An ideal way to make a full-time living. Some people can and do make it work, but it is far more valuable as part-time work and as a source of supplemental income. I’ve used it as a consistent source of supplemental income over the past five years while working a full-time job. In addition, secret shopping can be very beneficial for someone who is out of a job and needs income coming in ASAP.

4. For Everyone. Mystery shopping is ideal for those who are detail-oriented and self-motivated and who thrive on working alone. It’s probably not a good idea to work in the industry if you thrive on being around people all the time, aren’t halfway computer savvy, or have a hard time reading a map/GPS. While the idea of becoming a mystery shopper may sound exciting with lots of potential freebies, the fact is that it is a real job that requires dedication and strong attention to detail.

5. A Scam. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of scams out there, and you must be careful not to become the next victim. Make sure to stay away from check cashing schemes and look for reputable companies through the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association. Also, read company reviews on Mystery Shopping Forum. This place offers an absolute wealth of knowledge from fellow shoppers and is a great spot to discuss issues and concerns.

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Photo Courtesy: WaywardShinobi (Creative Commons)

I Want to Hear From You!

Today’s post is going to be a little bit different than usual. Instead of offering up mystery shopping tips (those will return next week), I want to hear from you. I greatly appreciate you taking time out of your busy life to read and subscribe to Mystery Shop Coach. Now, this is your chance to jump into the conversation.

If you have a moment, please answer the following questions in the comment section below or by sending me a message via the contact form:

1. What’s your experience level with mystery shopping?

2. How do you view mystery shopping – something you do for pleasure, part-time work, full-time work, or a scam?

3. What types of content are beneficial to you – company reviews, tips on how to be a successful mystery shopper, information on how to get started as a secret shopper, or something else?

Thank you for being an integral part of the Mystery Shop Coach community. I can’t wait to read your responses, get to know you better, and continue to offer the content that will provide solutions for your mystery shopping endeavors!

 

How Much Do Mystery Shoppers Get Paid?

Photo Courtesy: TaxCredits.net

Photo Courtesy: TaxCredits.net

One of the first questions people have when inquiring about mystery shopping is “How much do mystery shoppers get paid?”

The answer: It depends.

1. It depends how much time you are willing to invest.

2. It depends how far you are willing to travel.

3. It depends whether or not you are disciplined.

4. It depends upon your negotiation skills.

5. It depends on how fast you can successfully complete assignments.

Numerous factors will determine how much you make since mystery shoppers are paid by the job, not by the hour. You receive an agreed-upon commission for a successfully completed shop.

How much can you expect to make per shop? In my time as a mystery shopper, I have completed jobs anywhere from reimbursement only (no commission) jobs to $60 offers and everything in-between.

For most secret shops, you can expect to find a normal range of $7-20/shop, especially when you first start out. I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely accept jobs for less than $15 apiece, and I typically try to push that amount into the $20-25 range or more through negotiation. Anything less than $15 is generally not worth my time.

In addition, many secret shops offer reimbursements of some kind, whether it be in gas, merchandise, food, etc. Consider the value of picking up a few extra dollars in free gas on top of the commission or grabbing a free meal at a casual restaurant. The value of each of these incentives will likely be different for each person.

And you can’t discount the freedom of setting your own schedule. If you are seeking secondary income, mystery shopping provides an excellent alternative to being stuck in a part-time job.

The bottom line is that you have to decide how much your time is worth. Set goals, get out there, and offer value to mystery shopping companies. Making an extra $5,000-10,000/year is very much within your reach if you devote yourself to the process.