As you may be aware if you’ve read any of my recent posts (please tell me you read my posts), I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes and all things detective. I just had to have the newest Graphic 45 paper called Master Detective:
I’ve also been looking for a way to make some extra money because business is slow lately and I came across a description for the smartphone app Mobee, “Make Money Mystery Shopping.” Years ago (like 35 years!) I was a mystery shopper at Mervyn’s Department store. It was a lot of fun. I was given some money up front and I had to go in the store and buy certain things in certain departments at different times of the day. I had to return some things too and then I had to write a report about it. I remember that when it was over, I bought a trenchcoat with the money I made!
With Mobee, you are given a mission inside a store and you use your cell phone to take pictures and answer questions. You are instructed not to take photos of any employees and NOT to mention Mobee! (Mission Impossible?? “As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape/disc will self-destruct in five/ten seconds. Good luck”)!
Sounded like fun to me (and I’m pretty sure they can’t self-destruct my phone) so I downloaded the app. There were a couple of “missions” at Target and Best Buy close to my house so I decided to take a stab at it and see how hard/easy it was going to be.
|Not exactly a deerstalker but close enough 🙂|
The first one I tried was at a Target Store. I opened the mission and was instructed to find the “GoPro” display in the store. Once there, I was asked a series of questions about the display, what was on the display, if there was a light on inside the display and then I had to take some pictures of the display. All of this is done right in the app so it gets sent in automatically. One of the questions was about a BLUE tag somewhere on the display. I did not see a BLUE tag but there was a YELLOW one there so I took a picture of that, thinking perhaps Target put the wrong color tag on it. Maybe I’d get extra points for finding a mistake! There were about 30 questions in total and I had to take about 5 or 6 pictures, all the while watching to make sure there wasn’t anybody “following” me or getting in the way of my picture taking (which was tricky since Target can get crowded and it was next to the toy aisle!) While in that department I found a small tripod that I had been looking for to use on my table so that I can start attempting some videos. (Maybe that’s the deal the stores have with Mobee, to get you to buy stuff – because I’m pretty sure I spent more than the 150 points I was getting for doing the mission – LOL). I answered all the questions, took the pictures and submitted the results. It wasn’t too bad and I kind of had fun sleuthing.
Feeling confident, I went to the app and saw that there was a similar mission at the Best Buy down the road so I decided to give it another go.
Again I was to find the GoPro display and take pictures and answer questions about how the display was set up. This time there was a BLUE tag on the display and so I took a picture of that. The whole thing went a lot faster this time since I knew what the questions were going to be and there were a lot fewer people around so I was able to complete the whole thing in under 10 minutes – and I didn’t buy anything – so there!
When I got back to the car I already had an email about the first mission I had done, saying there was a problem. Apparently it was rejected because I did not take a picture of the BLUE tag, but took a YELLOW one instead. I sent them an email back explaining that there was no blue tag and I thought Target had made a substitution. Since it was the weekend, they said they would take it into consideration and get back to me. Subsequently, I got notified that they were still refusing it, so lesson learned. Don’t submit anything that is not called for!
Of course there are not always missions around your area, but I have noticed there are generally a new batch every Sunday. I just wish they would give you a little more information about the job before you start it. There was one called a “Just Let It Bee” mission at a Home Depot. The app doesn’t tell you anything until you are at the location so I went there to see what it was about. In this case I was to find a store employee and ask him about some kind of air conditioning unit or something. I was to say I was doing some home remodeling and was interested in a particular brand and hear what they had to say about it. I decided not to try that one because I’m a bit introverted and asking questions about air conditioning units is not in my comfort zone. Perhaps if it had been about scrapbooking, I might have tried it! Also, there were no extra points for talking to employees and that seemed like a harder job than just taking pictures and answering questions about store displays. Fortunately the Home Depot was not too far away so I didn’t waste too much time on it.
As of right now I have 475 points with 175 points pending for the job I did today. You get extra points for going to places for the first time and for other achievements, like 750 points for completing 15 missions at Best Buy or 20 missions at Target. You redeem your points for gift cards or, if you are so inclined, you can use the points to donate to different charities.
While I’m pretty sure I won’t make a million dollars doing this, it is fun and gift cards to Barnes & Nobel or Amazon, etc. are nice rewards. I also noticed there are a couple of other similar phone apps so I’m going to do some more investigating and check them out. I’ll let you know if I come across anything interesting.
How about you? Ever been a mystery shopper? Like detective work? Need to make some extra cash? If you decide you want to try Mobee yourself, use the referral code HSPW and we’ll both get some extra points!