Mystery Shopping is one of my favorite things to do. It is a great way to either make some extra money or get free stuff or free meals.
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It’s also popular with a lot of other people who work at home because it can be a fun way to earn income, and it’s usually pretty flexible.
While Mystery Shopping will likely never be a way to replace a full-time income, it is highly rewarding and very fun!
One of my favorite companies to complete Mystery Shops for is Confero, Inc.
Since this is one of the most talked about mystery shopping company around, I thought I’d explain it more in detail for those who are considering this kind of work and want to find the right companies to work with.
As a Noob to mystery shopping, I found Confero made the process of learning very simple and straight forward.
I have tried working for several mystery shopping companies and this by far is the best place to begin!
Ready to see of Confero mystery shopping is right for you?
Let’s get started!
What is Mystery Shopping?
First, let’s go over what mystery shopping is because I’m aware that many have heard of it but don’t really know what the job consists of.
Mystery shopping is a way for businesses to ensure their services and employees are effective and performing as they are expected.
Businesses rely on mystery shopping companies, like Confero, to match them with qualified mystery shoppers who pose as customers to see how well the company is doing with specific things, like handling customer complaints.
A shopper will either call or go to the place of business and remain anonymous, acting as a shopper.
This is the fun part – you get to act just like you would if you were really just visiting the place as a customer!
Once the task is complete, shoppers report their experience and findings via a survey.
So, you can think of it kind of like a cross between a critic and a market research survey taker.
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If you like taking online surveys but would much rather get out into the world, try new things, and learn about the businesses in your neighborhood, then this can be a great way to do it.
Mystery shops are all different, too, which can keep things excited and varied.
There will usually be a requirement to either scan in or take a digital picture and attach a file of any receipts pertaining to the shop.
Shoppers are compensated usually for shopping or eating, but there might be other tasks needed that can get you paid too.
If you want to learn more about mystery shopping, this guide and list of mystery shopping companies explains it all in detail!
What is Confero Inc?
Confero Inc is a customer experience research company that helps businesses improve their customer relations through audits, surveys, mystery shops, and other research activities.
It’s become one of the most well-known mystery shopping companies over the years.
The company has worked with huge brands, like Coca-Cola, AMC, Shell, and the YMCA.
What’s great about Confero is that it also works with brands in a variety of industries, which can keep things fresh and new for its mystery shoppers.
Some of the industries it works with include food and beverage, banking, entertainment, and healthcare.
What is Required to be a Mystery Shopper at Confero?
While Mystery Shopping seems like it would be something anyone can do, it really takes some specific qualities to be successful.
First, you really need strong multi-tasking skills. You may be timing the waitress’s every move, observing how long it takes for a table to be cleaned and noticing the cleanliness of a restaurant all at once.
If you easily get flustered when trying to do several things at one time, then you may find mystery shopping to be more of a pain than it is fun.
It goes without saying that another skill that is important in mystery shopping is a strong attention to detail and a good memory.
Because mystery shoppers must remain anonymous at all times, they cannot walk around with a pen and pad writing down every detail and asking for everyone’s names.
While you’re paying attention to every detail, you’ll need be able to make mental notes of what’s going on so that you can refer to this later when you complete your survey.
You must soak in all that you need to know and remember it until you are alone to write it all down.
Mystery shoppers should also be discreet.
You can’t let staff know that you’re timing them, critiquing their work, etc., or they might start to act differently than they would if they hadn’t known.
The point of mystery shopping is for the staff to think you’re just a regular customer so that you can provide feedback on their regular activities.
In essence, you have to be somewhat of a good actor so you don’t give away your position.
Finally, it’s crucial to be a good communicator, especially with written communication.
Most surveys you’ll take will require you to write, in detail, about your experience.
Although the actual length of your survey will be based on each project, it’s almost always necessary to provide a lot of detail.
Your feedback should be clearly communicated so those reviewing it understand what you’re trying to say and can get a good view of your experience, almost as if they were there themselves.
Without excellent writing chops, you might not get future work handed to you as a mystery shopper.
What Kind of Shops are Available?
This depends on the area you live.
I have seen shops from getting your oil changed, having your taxes done, going through a drive-thru or enjoying a meal at a dine-in restaurant.
Some areas will have only a few shops available from time to time while others will have plenty of work.
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People in large cities with plenty of businesses around tend to have the most opportunities available to them at Confero, but remember that these can go quickly because there are probably more mystery shoppers signed up there, too.
Sometimes, Confero has last-minute shops it needs to recruit for.
In this case, you might get a random phone call asking you to take on a shop with a quick turnaround.
You can turn these down, but it’s helpful to take them when you can because it shows recruiters that you’re reasonably flexible.
Do I Get to Choose My Own Shops or Does Confero Assign Them to Me?
You choose when and what shops you want to complete!
Confero has a job board where you can view the shops in your area.
They will also send you an email whenever a shop opens in your area.
There is no requirement as to how often you must work and you’ll never be required to take on an assignment you don’t want, even if it’s a last-minute recruiting project.
In fact, you can sign up, see what is available and never choose to take an assignment.
You are under no obligation whatsoever.
The downside is that, if you never take assignments from Confero, the company could terminate your account for lack of participation.
It’s a good idea to accept at least a few shops per month to show the company that you’re interested in remaining a mystery shopper for Confero.
Do I Have to Pay For Anything Upfront?
When looking for mystery shopping companies you will find many scams, which I’ll get into more down below.
There are a lot of places that will ask you to PAY to work for them, but Confero isn’t one of them.
This makes no sense and you should never pay to mystery shop.
However, if your task involves any type of shopping or using a service, you will be expected to pay for it and then you will be reimbursed the following month.
Just keep this in mind when choosing your shops, because it will take some money up front to get the shop completed.
Usually, they try to keep the expenses as low as possible and ask you to purchase the cheapest items possible, like an appetizer or affordable meal from a restaurant instead of an expensive plate.
Remember, though, that you’ll always get this money back and you’re never expected to pay for anything outside of the regular shop requirements, nor will you ever have to pay anything just to sign up and start getting jobs with Confero.
I have worked with Confero for over a year and I have ALWAYS been paid and reimbursed fully and on time.
When and How Does Confero Pay?
Payments for shops will vary depending on the project and its length and complexity.
Confero pays its shoppers twice per month, usually around the 10th and 25th.
They pay for all assignments completed in the previous month right into your PayPal account, so it’s necessary to have one set up before you begin working.
When you receive your pay for a shop, you’ll also receive your reimbursement for anything you had to spend on that shop.
How Much Can I Expect to Make as a Mystery Shopper for Confero?
This is entirely project based.
I like doing the restaurant shops, where I am simply reimbursed for up to a certain amount, usually $30. For me, I enjoy a night out with my family, knowing it will be reimbursed.
Another example would be some fast food shops I had completed that reimbursed me for the dollar item I purchased plus a drink.
Additionally, I received something like $6-9 for my time. Usually, I will grab several of the same shops at different fast food restaurants in my general area and ride around to each.
In one afternoon, I can make some decent money.
But Confero is not something I can depend on for a regular income.
Instead, it’s just a fun way to make some extra cash from time to time.
The more you participate in shops, the easier it will be to determine what ones make the most sense for you.
You’ll get to know what businesses are near you that won’t take much time or gas to get to, what shops take less time than others but still pay well, and basically what shops are most efficient time-wise in relation to their pay.
It’s possible to earn $100 or more a week, depending on where you live and the projects you take on, but it’s important to think of this work as side income, not a replacement for a job.
What Do Other Shoppers Think of Confero?
There are a lot of Confero reviews on the web from real people who have used the company for mystery shopping.
I read through several of them to learn about some of the most common pros and cons about working with the company.
Here’s what reviewers had to say:
Fun and Varied Work
One of the most common praises for Confero is that the work varies a lot, and since you can pick the assignments you want to work on, you can always find something that interests you.
Some mystery shopping companies work in just a few industries, so it can be hard to keep things fresh, but since Confero works with clients in almost every industry, there seems to be something for everyone.
Following the Rules is Easy
Shoppers who follow the rules of shops and their feedback surveys tend to have no hiccups with getting their shops approved and paid, unlike with some mystery shopping companies that don’t have the clearest rules or a seamless approval process.
According to many Confero shoppers, it’s crucial to make sure you’re following the steps of the assignment perfectly.
If you do, you should have no issues getting shops approved by the team and highly rated.
Shops Not Available
Several shoppers have said they’ve had issues getting assignments they find in their portal.
The assignments will show up as available to them, but when they go to apply, the shop says it’s not available.
According to the FAQ section of Confero’s website, this might happen because another shopper applied before you did.
In some areas, there are a lot of shoppers, so you’ll have a lot of competition.
I recommend setting email notifications for yourself so you can get alerted when a new Confero shop becomes available right away, giving you a better chance of grabbing it first.
Shops Take a While to Get Approved
Another complaint is that shops sometimes stay on PENDING status for a while before getting approved, which makes shoppers have to wait longer for their pay.
Confero doesn’t seem to have a set time for the approval process listed on its site.
It seems like the company may get backlogged with shops sometimes and not have enough reviewers to sift through the process quickly.
This is a major downfall for shoppers, though, since there isn’t a reliable timeline they can count on.
Important: Watch Out for Scams!
In 2017, Confero posted a blog about a new scam.
The article mentions that someone claiming to be John Paula had been contacting people to recruit them as Confero mystery shoppers, but that this person is a scammer who doesn’t work with the company.
Unfortunately, mystery shopping is easily hit with scams in the work at home world because of how popular it is.
This is just one of many mystery shopping scams to hit the internet, so it’s more important than ever to have a close eye on anything that recruits you for a mystery shopping job.
Although this particular scam has seemed to die down since Confero was notified about it, that doesn’t mean that others won’t pop up over time.
You should never fall for an offer that mentions giving you a check to sign up or needing you to pay money to sign up.
Confero will never ask you for your financial information to sign up with it.
You’ll only need to provide your PayPal email address so that you can get paid for your work.
If you get an email that looks like it’s from Confero but you haven’t yet signed up for anything, re-read it and look at the sender’s email to see if it actually came from a Confero email address.
If you’re still not sure, you can always contact the company with details.
How Do I Learn More and Sign Up for Confero?
I would recommend reading through their FAQ section as it thoroughly explains everything that is expected of Mystery Shoppers for Confero.
Then, when you are ready, you can sign up.
Once you have a Confero Inc login, you’ll be able to see what shops are available in your area and receive emails when new ones drop on the board.
Some shops will require you to take a quick test that makes sure you have the right skills to qualify for the shop.
You can do this by visiting the Shopper Testing Center and starting a test.
It appears from the website that you’ll need a 100% grade on a test to mark it as passed. If not, you’ll need to retake the test.
Confero uses a rating system for shoppers, too, that ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating.
Each shop you complete will have a rating based on your adherence to rules, follow-up survey details, etc.
New members automatically start with a 5, but your rating will change as soon as you file your first report and get it approved.
Higher ratings will qualify you for more shopping opportunities in the future.
Have you worked with Confero? We’d love to hear how it went for you, and if you’re still working with the company as a mystery shopper. Drop us a comment down below!
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