Of the four mystery shopping companies I’ve tried so far (Market Force, BestMark and Intelli-shop are the other three), Sinclair Customer Metrics (SCM) has the fewest shops available and there’s not a lot of variety. However, when I have shopped for them, it’s worth it.
Testing Out the Shops
I have done two shops for the company. In each instance, I was sent a set of credit cards and asked to test them at a series of retail shops. Whatever I bought (within reason), I was allowed to keep.
The shops were easy and required just as much work as shops I have done for other companies. In the end, I received some free stuff (including an awesome turtle nightlight that my daughter still uses) and payment for each shop.
Filling out the reports for these shops was also super easy. There was not much typing, just a lot of checking boxes. I could do it all on my cell phone.
Payment took a while to receive, but I received a check about two months after I shopped.
Communication is Lacking
The one bad thing I found with SCM is it’s not reliable. In two instances I was invited to take part in a group of large shops. I would visit 30 or so shops for a considerable fee. It would have made an actual difference in the monthly finances, which is saying something.
In both instances, I was asked to provide a four-hour window for training. I provided my availability and then NEVER heard anything. While I understand I’m just a contractor, I was keeping those windows open for SCM which means I wasn’t scheduling or committing myself to other work.
Interesting shops that pay well.
Easy to report shops.
Getting paid takes time, but that’s the issue with all mystery shopping companies.
Unreliable scheduling and poor communication.
Limited shopping offers.
Overall, the shops for SCM are somewhat kid-friendly. I found taking a kid on the ones I was doing was a hassle compared to other shops just because of what I was asked to do. But it’s still very doable with a kid or two in tow.