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What’s the fuss about mystery shopping?

One of the most exciting side hustles that many of us do is mystery shopping. Mystery shopping jobs typically involve visiting or calling an establishment and reviewing your experience or purchasing an item, detailing your experience and being reimbursed. Bloggers and side hustlers alike all speaking highly of the various mystery-shopping tasks. The Internet is full of bloggers highlighting all the times they’ve dined out for free. No wonder mystery shopping manages to lure so many of us in.

For those of us with food allergies dining out is restricted, potentially leaving many feeling as though mystery shopping is pointless if the majority of tasks are food based. I had my first anaphylaxis episode 8 years ago (wow time flies) and whilst I have learned over the years to manage my condition and limit the impact that it has on my day-to-day life, this is isn’t without making daily decisions to stay safe such as sticking to the few restaurants that I’ve learned over the years are safe for me.

I’m a big foodie; I love watching food YouTube channels. I’ve cooked for events and learned to make foods form across the globe from an early age. Having allergies doesn’t take away the desire to try lovely new dishes, especially when you are out and watching everyone around you tucking into a big bento box. We just have to be more careful and often have to make it ourselves. At first glance I felt disheartened by mystery shopping as whilst there were quite a few tasks available, these all involved dining at a restaurant or pub and therefore whilst there were tasks available they weren’t an option for me.

So what changed?

The mystery shopping site Tern changed everything. Unlike the previous sites, Tern had a wide variety of mystery shopping tasks including many that didn’t involve food at all! I have managed to earn good money and regularly receive job opportunities through Tern.

Tasks available include store card tasks; you don’t actually apply for these. My favourite task is being paid to have my eyes tested by student opticians for their exam. For this you must be a contact lenses or glasses wearer; it’s very quick and no different from your standard eye test. The examiner is always in the room so it’s very safe and lasts roughly 20 minutes.

Such tasks tend to have higher than the average mystery shopping task pay rate. Travel expenses may also be reimbursed if the journey is far. This is actually the side hustle that I would use to pay for my phone bill and other hustles for other bills, keeping my standard pay for fun stuff. These tasks are quieter outside of exam periods. Months such as June however, are always packed with these opportunities.

Thanks to Tern, I’m able to enjoy mystery shopping with everyone else without risking my health. Making money from my poor eyesight, which goes to show you can literally turn anything into a money earner.