Copyright 2009 Elaine Currie
The art of shopping is something of a mystery to most men. Perhaps, therefore, it is not so surprising that few men realise there is an opportunity for them to earn money working from home doing mystery shopping. There are probably not many men who have even thought about the existence of mystery shoppers. In fact, it would be unusual for a man to spend any time at all thinking about shopping in a positive way.
Mystery shopping (sometimes called secret shopping) is an easy way to earn money: it is very simple to do, you need no previous experience, no special knowledge and no expensive equipment. Mystery shopping jobs can be done as part-time employment in hours you choose to fit in with your current schedule. Mystery shopping companies employ men and women of all ages and backgrounds as mystery shoppers. In fact, just about adult who can manage to go shopping could become a mystery shopper, but most mystery shoppers are women.
Men are not genetically designed to be great recreational shoppers: they find it impossible to grasp the concept of shopping as a form of entertainment and tend only to go shopping when they have a particular purchase in mind. For example, when I tell my husband that I have arranged to go on a shopping trip with my daughter, he will ask me what we want to buy. What sort of a question is that? We can’t possibly know what we want to buy until we see what the shops have to offer. Research shows that this is a typical male reaction to shopping. Men have this odd way of deciding they want something and then going to the shops to make the purchase. Strangely, they never come back with anything over and above the item they went out to buy and, if the item is not available, a man will even return from a shopping trip empty handed.
Whether they enjoy it or not men do go shopping. If you look around you will notice plenty of men in supermarkets. Some will just be dutiful husbands reluctantly accompanying their wives but there will be numerous other men who are solitary shoppers actually shopping in their own right. Even if their shopping basket reaches the checkout containing nothing but a six pack of beer and a cd, it’s still shopping.
Look around the mall and you’ll see plenty of men. Some of these will be driven by the need to buy a gift for a wife or girlfriend but there will be plenty of men out shopping for things they actually want for themselves. Men might rely on female relatives to keep them supplied with socks and underwear but it’s a different story when new footwear or outerwear or sports equipment are needed.
Most men exist in a state of denial when it comes to the significance of shopping. If a man and a woman each go shopping on a particular day and they are later asked what they did that day, the woman will reply “shopping” and the man will say “nothing”. However, it is this male reluctance to throw body and soul into shopping that will be a great advantage if a man decides to try a career in mystery shopping. A man sent to purchase one specific item at a particular place will be able to do exactly that. A man will not be in any danger of becoming sidetracked so that the mystery shopping assignment takes over the whole day or ends up costing him money because of an attack of impulse purchasing.
The reason mystery shopping companies exist is that companies such as retail chains, restaurants, travel companies, hotels etc need to be able to obtain impartial feedback on their employees and services. Mystery shoppers are employed to provide feedback on such things as the behaviour of members of staff, the quality of customer service and the cleanliness standards of the premises. There is no reason whatsoever for mystery shopping to be restricted to women only and some assignments are only suitable for male secret shoppers.
Apart from general retail mystery shopping assignments that are suitable for either gender, there are also male only areas that require inspection. Companies will employ mystery shoppers to report on such things as toilet facilities, men’s fitting rooms in shops, men’s changing rooms at gyms etc. Needless to say, a woman secret shopper would not be much of a secret in these surroundings.
When the subject of mystery shopping is considered, people normally thing of women buying dresses or shopping for food in supermarkets but there is a lot more to mystery shopping than this. Mystery shopping companies will also pay you to do things such as eat at a restaurant, have a drink at a bar, visit a cinema or spend a night in a hotel. If you are really lucky, you might be sent on an expenses paid vacation as a mystery shopping assignment.
The companies employing the services of the mystery shopping company need to hear the opinions of both men and women. If you forget actual shops for a moment and consider the people who use restaurants, bars, cinemas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, hotels, theatres, taxi companies, gyms etc, it will be obvious that a large percentage of customers are men. The owners of these establishments need to discover whether men are satisfied with their staff and services, they can’t afford to ignore the needs of half their customers.
An assignment to visit a bar, sample a beer, purchase a snack and check out the men’s cloakroom is not most women’s idea of a great shopping trip but getting paid to carry out such an assignment will sound like a good deal to many men. Perhaps it’s just the name mystery “shopping” that puts men off and the companies need to find a suitable alternative title to attract more men into this work.
About the author:
Elaine Currie has a Work At Home Directory at her Plug-In Profit Site to help everyone who wants to work at home: http://www.huntingvenus.com She also has reviews of Online Paid Survey Programmes, Mystery Shopping Companies and Paid Autosurf Sites
Written by: Elaine Currie