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Retired People and Mystery Shopping

Retired people have a lot of income opportunities in the mystery shopping business.  There are assignments of all kinds to keep someone busy.   

Some common assignments include new home builders, apartments, auto dealerships, office supply stores, and clothing stores to name a few. You can get reimbursed for assignments like restaurants, grocery and convenience stores. Or, you can stay home for telephone and internet assignments and not venture outside.   

 Retired people have more time availability to do mystery shopping assignments than someone who works 40 hours per week.  Most new home builder assignments can only be scheduled Monday through Friday during business hours.  That would be difficult for someone, like a teacher, who works during those hours.   

 Many retired people have to be concerned about the amount of income they make to avoid a penalty from Social Security.  The earning limit varies from year to year, but it’s generally less than $20,000 annually.  Most mystery shoppers work part-time and won’t come near that figure.   

That’s the nice advantage about the mystery shopping business.  You can work as often or as little as you want. 

Learn about the legality of mystery shopping.

Retired People

However, there are plenty of people (young and old) who work this business full time and make far more than $20,000 annually. These people are hustlers and do many assignments per week.  

You’re an independent contractor with every mystery shopping company in the United States (except the state of Nevada) that you sign up with. You won’t have income tax taken out when you get paid. If you make more than $600 with any mystery shopping company, you’ll receive a form 1099 from each company in January of the following year.   

More information about tax advantages in the mystery shopping business.  

Video Mystery Shopping

I’ve met quite a few retired people who do video mystery shopping.  They wear a hidden camera and a small microphone to record an assignment. It helps with training salespeople of all kinds. Plus, there are some assignments of loss prevention to make sure cash is going into a cash register and not someone’s pocket.  

 For retired people, the advantage of doing this as opposed to the written assignments is that you don’t have to write as much narrative for the report you submit for most assignments.  If you forget a person’s name, you have a better chance of remembering it (or hearing it) on video as opposed to racking your brain to remember.   

There may be other details that you may have forgotten that video is helpful to jog your memory.  There may be a question in the final report that asks how you were greeted when you entered a place of business. If you don’t remember the exact wording, you can review your video to transcribe it.  

Prerequisites for Retired People

I’ve been to conventions where I’ve met a lot of retired people who were mystery shoppers. The prerequisites for retired people to do mystery shopping are the same as anybody else. You must be able to follow directions and remember certain details, including names.  Again, a video mystery shopper has an advantage to review the video to remember details.  

The instructions for each assignment will let you know what to look out for. You must read them carefully, so you don’t miss something. Some assignments have been rejected because a specific question was not asked.  

Unless you want to do internet and telephone assignments, you must be able to drive. If you don’t have a car, you should make arrangements to be able to borrow one. There are tax advantages for driving to and from mystery shopping assignments.  

Retired People

The mystery shopping business is always looking for new faces to visit different places.  Learn how you can start your own mystery shopping business from my book, “Take That Job And Mystery Shop It!”  I also list close to 200 mystery shopping companies that you can click on their website and fill out an application.  There’s information about each company and I indicate which ones I’ve had success with.      

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