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Date nights are something my wife and I always look forward to! One thing we’re often at odds about is how much money to spend on our meal out. We have a dining out budget category and I like to stretch it as long as possible over the month. Now, I’m sure your wondering, how do they get free date nights? It’s thanks to Mystery shopping!
I am generally a saver and am happy with a good burger. My wife, on the other hand, enjoys higher class meals with top-notch food and service. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying good food, but it limits how often we can indulge based on our budget.
Often, my wife and I are both looking for ways to save money. Whether you spend $10 or $200, mystery shopping can help eliminate the need to spend money on date nights!
How does it work?
An average mystery shop date night for us is a quick local dinner. The spending limit might be around $50-75 and the report will take about 30 minutes to complete once we return back home. My wife and I often switch off who completes the report after each shop.
Sign up for a company
The first step in beginning to mystery shop is by signing up for a mystery shopping company. Most restaurants have a contract with a shopping company that hires contractors (you) to complete the shops and the company then reviews your reports before submitting the reports to the restaurant. You do not deal directly with the restaurants you would be mystery shopping.
Select a shop
After signing up, you then have access to a list of companies that are available to shop. There are often time and date restrictions for each shop, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Most companies release new shops monthly at the beginning of the month. You’ll want to take a look at these early on so that you can plan your days appropriately and avoid scheduling conflicts.
It’s important to read all of the requirements inside of your assigned shop. Some require photos, others require you to time specific events, and some might be as simple as reporting if they check for an ID when purchasing alcohol. After reading the requirements, sometimes the shops can be sell-assigned, and at other times you’ll need to apply to be chosen.
Complete your shop
When you’re assigned to complete a shop, you’ll then need to go and do it! Be sure to complete all of the requirements and pay attention to details! Sometimes the company may deny your reimbursement if you happen to miss a step in the shop. There is usually a report to complete on the web site after you finish the shop. Be sure to take a look at this prior to your shop and it will help you track the details required.
How do I get paid?
The majority of the companies I shop send their payments on PayPal. Some also send a check in the mail. These payments are clearly defined by the shopping company and usually, are sent 30-60 days after your shop has been accepted.
Where do I start?
A company the I recommend starting with for free date nights is A Closer Look. Some of the current shops I see active within 25 miles of home are dinner shops, lunch shops, bar shops, hotel shops, salon shops, and a bowling shop.
Should you be interested in signing up for A Closer Look, please fill this form out below. I’ll send you an invite to join and you’ll be entered to win $50!
We’re huge fans of Mystery shopping! Be sure to check out our Resources page to see what other tools we use to save money!