web shopping?

Hello all! I'm strongly considering becoming a mystery shopper but I'm more or less homebound due to health issues. Are there any good online mystery shopping options? I've tried searching on my own but I'm scared of falling into a scam. Any help and or advice would be greatly appreciated!

P.S technically, I can do a shop in person but I would need a lot of prep time and the payout would have to be SUBSTANTIAL.

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Take a look at the Official List of Mystery Shopping Companies at the bottom of the page. All of them are legitimate, and many of them have online or phone call options.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
You will find lots of helpful MSers here. Welcome and ENJOY!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.

It is my experience that Mintel pays the most for online assignments. As to your need for substantial pay for location shops, I do not believe that would be forthcoming in the beginning. Of course, your definition of substantial could well be different than mine.
I find web shops to be more lucrative than phone shops, for the most part. Second to None had some phone and web shops recently that weren't much work but paid well. If you want to do investment and home-lending shops by phone and credit-card opening shops online, those pay pretty well.

My personal experience has been that online shops have become more available over the last two years (understandably), and many pay better than in-person shops. But some are a lot of work for the amount they pay. Others give a high return on your time investment.

Good luck, and I hope you give it a try.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Web shopping has pros & cons. The pro is that it is relatively easy and the pay pretty good for what you have to do.
The cons: Any hiccup and you end up spending hours trying to get it resolved with the vendor, you are pretty much on your own to get it resolved (you take on the risk not the MSC). I got to the point twice where I was ready to call my credit card company (against the request of the MSC because they couldn't use my shop if I did) because I was left holding "the bag" (charge on my card for a returned item & bill coming due); luckily the vendor finally came through.

The other con is you have to look closely at who pays the return shipping. This caught me by surprise, I thought every seller on the platform was the same (they pay); needless to say you have to front the shipping costs (which aren't cheap) to return items and WAIT & WAIT for reimbursement.

Other note on returns - ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS use the label provided by the shopping platform's return process, not a label provided by the vendor in the package. By using a return label outside the platform, you're pretty much on your own if the package gets lost or severely delayed (learned that one the hard way). Burden of proof is on you. Another ALWAYS - get a receipt when dropping off the package, especially USPS who is notorious for losing packages.
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