Basics:

ServiceEvaluationConcepts enlists freelance mystery shoppers to check out everything from convenience stores to health plans.

Expected pay: $15 – $100 per assignment

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: 18 or older; valid ID; Social Security number; pass a screening test

What is Service Evaluation Concepts?

Service Evaluation Concepts is a mystery shopping firm that enlists individuals to check out everything from convenience stores to health plans.

How it works

If you want to sign up, you’ll need to fill out a profile and provide your Social Security number. This number is necessary for tax reporting, if you earn more than $600 in the year. And even though it’s disconcerting that you need to provide this so early in the process, the company is legitimate, as is the request.

After that, you’ll need to complete “training,” which ultimately involves understanding how Service Evaluation Concepts works. The short version: You’re an independent contractor, not an employee. You’re paid by the job, not the hour. Jobs are all different, but you get the details before you decide to take one.

Assuming you pass the test, you’ll get access to available jobs in your market area.

ServiceEvaluationConcepts review:

Signing up with most mystery shopping companies is a walk in the park. It’s harder to sign up here. But it may be worth it.

That’s because Service Evaluation Concepts often pays decent money for simple mystery shopping gigs — like getting paid $100 to evaluate a testing center by taking a single-hour test at the facility. Or getting paid $20 per stop on a four-or five-stop stroll to see whether nearby retail locations have a medical provider on site, as promised.

Service Evaluation Concept’s director of operations, Cheryl Campbell, says the company doesn’t estimate hourly pay for mystery shoppers because pay is done by the job, not the hour.

Notably, you will need to read through training materials for each new client and pass a quiz, showing that you understand the client’s requirements. This training is not paid.

Campbell says the pay for assignments reflects the amount of work required, including the time you spend training. But, the training itself is not compensated.

The work

Jobs typically pay between $15 and $100. Some also provide reimbursements for product purchases.

“A mystery shop of a convenience store might require that you buy alcohol or tobacco products,” Campbell says. “We will reimburse you for that. But we don’t like to say you get free products. We say you get reimbursement.”

Either way, if the product you need to buy is something you’d buy anyway, “reimbursement” is a nice bonus.

Most jobs involve a relatively modest amount of time in a retail environment, Campbell adds. The bulk of the reporting work is done online.

Deadlines

The site does not dictate your hours. But each assignment has a set deadline and is expected to be completed within that time period — usually 24 hours from accepting the assignment. The company won’t pay you for late, inaccurate or incomplete assignments.

Pay and reimbursement

Payments are processed on or about the 20th of each month for assignments completed in the previous month. So, a shop completed anytime in March will be paid for around April 20th. That includes reimbursements for anything you’ve been asked to buy.

Self-assignment

Like many of the better mystery shopping firms, shoppers can request specific gigs once they pass the site’s certification process.

Essentially, once you’re fully accepted into the system, you’ll have access to a dashboard that shows all the open assignments in your area that day. If you see one that you want, you request it.

The site may require you to refresh your knowledge of that client’s requirements and pass a quiz, showing that you know that brand’s aims. After that, the site will approve you, or put you on the notification list when they have similar assignments in your neighborhood for that particular brand.

Each assignment provides details of what they want you to do, when and where. Assignments generally must be completed within 24 hours of acceptance.

Recommendations

This is one of the better mystery shopping firms. You can sign up with Service Evaluation Concepts here. 

If you like mystery shopping, also check out EyeSpy, which seeks people interested in free restaurant meals, and BestMark, a diverse national player.

What their users say

There are precious few worker reviews for Service Evaluation Concepts. However, we also could find no complaints at all. For mystery shopping firms, an absence of complaints from shoppers is fairly remarkable. And we consider it a positive sign.

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