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National Shopping Service

by Nicole on October 27, 2009

I signed up for National Shopping Service a while ago but just recently completed (and was paid for!) my first shop. I found the directions to be clear and straightforward and the shop form was fairly easy to enter. In my area they have quick casual restaurants and retail establishments primarily. The site is easy to navigate. I’ll definitely sign up for some more shops with National Shopping Service!

As always, it’s completely FREE to sign up. You won’t really receive emails when shops are open so you should plan to check the site a few times a week.

To learn more about mystery shopping, please read my Mystery Shopping 101 post. For a list of other mystery shopping companies I have discussed click here.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 8:18 am

Just read through all your mystery shopping posts and the comments. If you were to recommend just 3 or 4 to get started with, which would they be? I want to do shops that are mainstream (that I would go to anyway), and that I could easily do with 2 small kids in tow. And if there are any that exceed YOUR expections I would love to know that! I am looking to supplement my income or maybe just get a free meal every now and then. Thanks!

2 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 8:27 am

Oh and I would love it if you'd do a post on how you handle the IRS… what records do you keep for tax purposes? Do you keep track of mileage? Do you have to exceed 600 with ONE company before it is reported to IRS or do these companies report ANY income to the IRS? I realize you are not a lawyer, accountant or tax advisor… but general "what you do" record keeping information would be helpful to us newbies. Thanks

3 Nicole @ Nicole's Nickels November 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Hi Amy: I actually am a lawyer and since many of my readers know that I can't give any advice on taxes except to say that any money you make is taxable regardless of the amount. The companies may only report if you make over $600 but they can always be audited and your name and records are on file as an independent contractor. I can't really recommend companies in particular since it depends on your area and the stores you want to do shops at. I post only about companies I have personally worked with. I suggest signing up with many companies at one time, it's the only way to figure out which companies shop which stores. Please note that many companies specifically prohibit bringing children on shops due to the distraction. It will say in your shop instructions. Hope that helps.

4 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm

My apologies, I would not have guessed you are a lawyer. This website is so well put together I just figured it was your job :)

5 Nicole @ Nicole's Nickels November 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm

No problem, Amy! The blog is my second job, for sure!

6 Kathie Rost December 15, 2009 at 3:08 am

Hi, Nicole. I am a mystery shopper but I dislike this company so much, as you cannot see what the assignment pays until you accept it! How unreasonable.

7 need2 leave ca August 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

National Shopping Service is a legitimate company. I have been doing shops for them for over 4 years. They have been very good to me. The schedulers are accessible, professional, and want to make sure you are able to complete the shop and get paid for your efforts. They have a well organized office in California and do business worldwide. Hope this helps. Any legitimate (and there are many) mystery shop company does not charge to register, provides clear instructions (including shop fee) and works with the shopper to make sure everything dones is to the satisfaction of the shopper, mystery shop company and the ultimate end user client (the company being shopped, usually a retail establishment).

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