I've spoken about mystery shopping jobs here in the past, but one of the major draw backs for my lazy “bum” was the fact that I actually had to leave my house to participate. I know this sounds ridiculous when the reality is most people leave their homes everyday to earn a living. I know I was one of those people for many years.
But as many of you know I worked myself out of that rat race to be at home full time as a successful Internet marketer/blogger. So now opportunities that requires any type of commute gives me the “heebie jeebies”. lol This is why I've personally avoided mystery shopping jobs. But I have always been happy to recommend them to others. I know they are a legitimate way to make money if leaving your house isn't an issue for you. lol
Well today I think I've found a way to get in on this legit opportunity that satisfies my need for all my income to be made at home. This unique mystery shopping opportunity that I will review today allows you to do all your shopping assignments from the phone, at home. For those of you who get a thrill out of shopping (i.e. Ladies) then this is probably for you. And for my fellow men who'd rather get kicked in the “nads” then shop with your wife/girlfriend, you may actually feel differently about shopping after reading this article.
Okay so the company we're discussing today is Intelichek. Please note the spelling because if you're off you'll have a hard time finding any information about this site. A lesson we learned the hard way.
What is Intelichek?
It is basically a market research company that hires independent contractors like you and I to “mystery shop” by phone. Well it's not really shopping per se. Intelichek Mystery shoppers are responsible for gathering information over the phone. Most of this data will be prices of certain items, warranty information, store hours of operation, when a sale starts and if something is in stock, etc. So you're basically being hired to collect data about different businesses and industries not really shopping. The information provided by a mystery shopper is later analyzed by the market research company and they present their findings to the customers that hired them. So it works a bit differently than conventional mystery shopping assignments where you visit a store and may be required to purchase something, take a test drive, etc.
In any event, Intelicheck has been around since 1997 and according to their website has endorsements from well know organizations which you can find out about here.
What are the Intelichek requirements?
You need to have a computer with high speed Internet, an unlimited phone calling plan and be fluent in English. You must be 18+ years old, have a US mailing address, be authorized to work in the United States and have a bank account in your name for your payment.
One interesting thing about this opportunity that differs from other phone based work we've discussed is you do not need a quiet environment! The normal background noises make it sound realistic, like you are really calling from home, which you are. So TV in the background, kids, doorbells and microwave beeping are all good. I know this is a God send for parents that have the little ones running around the house screaming at the top of their lungs like my daughter does when I'm trying to right this article! Sorry, I just had a moment. lol
How do you apply?
Click here to apply.
Once they get your application in, they will email you and let you know if you are a fit. If they are not currently hiring, you probably won't hear from them. If they are hiring and you seem a good fit there will be a phone interview. You will be asked to do a quick test shopping task. As long as your communication skills impress the interviewer, you follow directions and get the job done in a timely fashion, you will probably be hired. They have extensive training for phone shopping in general and sometimes training for a specific task. You work under a producer who keeps track of what you are doing and is available to answer questions or help you out. By the way you can work your way up to a producer and earn more money! But that's only after you've put in your time as a mystery shopper.
As with any employer, they have the right to pick who they want to be a part of their workforce. Depending on your application, telephone interview, and the shopping “test”, they will decide whether you are a good fit for this opportunity. Same goes for keeping you on their list, they can drop you at will.
How do you get jobs?
You sign up with them on their calendar, and let them know which days and which hours you are available. From what I've gathered they prefer if you can work at least 20 hours a week, which you can set it up to any way it suits you. I think there are those that can pull of 10 hours a week, but they need to be productive! Once you are hired you log on and look for available jobs. Each job has a deadline, which is why you use the calendar, so they know how many people are available. You make you calls, get the information, log on and submit your answers via a standard form. Once you successfully complete a job, you will be allowed to begin another one. Each call should only take 3-4 minutes, so you need to be quick, get the information they want submitted, and go to the next one in order to make any money at this.
How much money can you make?
Intelichek mystery shoppers are paid on a per task basis and by the prices they gather. These tasks range from $.30 to $1.90 and are based on how many hoops they want you to jump through in your phone call. Depending on how much time you are willing to put in and how efficient your are, you could possibly earn between $50 and $100 a day. (I'm inclined to think it is closer to the $50 or less) According to their FAQ, the better shoppers make more money.
How do you get paid?
Honestly, I'm not too sure. I've read that they pay every other week by check until you reach a certain level of expertise, then by direct deposit. But don't quote me on that. Maybe someone that works for the company can clarify this.
Fortunately you can contact them about their work at home options here.
OK, so far so good, but there are some minor caution bells that got my attention as I read about this, so lets get to the slight downside of this thing.
Can't Depend On This
The work isn't consistent. Even if you hired it doesn't guarantee that you'll have available phone jobs. So keep that in mind. You can't depend on this for a steady pay check. It's a nice way to make some additional money like many of our other favorite non-traditional work at home opportunities. But if you need a steady check you should try to land a work at home job like the ones we list every day here. Then use something like this as another source of side income.
Not A Real Job
This isn't a traditional job where you're paid a set salary and they have an hr department that takes taxes out of your paycheck. Like most work at home opportunities you're considered an independent contractor and that means you're responsible for your own taxes which turns a lot of people off because of the details I've discussed in my work at home taxes article. But it can also be a benefit depending on how you view it and have the right tax professional helping you with your taxes at the end of the year.
You May Get Caught!
To get some consistent data, Intelicheck will have multiple mystery shoppers calling a given company. Store owners and customer service folks may catch on when your are the fifth or sixth caller that day asking about the exact same thing. If you have kids you know how annoying it is to have your kids ask you the same question over and over again. I don't care how patient you are, eventually you get snippy with the kid or drop kick them like I do. (Just kidding.) Well the folks picking up the phone may become testy for the same reason which is a no no. But they may also react this way because they fear you are working for the competition. In which case they may ask you if you are a mystery shopper. You contract with Intelichek strictly prohibits you from stating you are a mystery shopper. So you will need to be okay with telling a little white lie and not get frazzled. That might make some of you feel uncomfortable so it's worth noting.
All and all, there aren't a lot of negative things I could dig up about this company. But I'm sure if i missed anything you'll be happy to fill in the gaps and share your experience.
So Is Intelichek legitimate?
From everything I can tell I'll give this opportunity a green light as long as you remember my yellow light cautions listed above which were minimal. It is a company that has been around awhile and there weren't many or any complaints about not getting paid. You can make your own hours, and normal household noise is allowed which is very unique for a phone opportunity. So given these unique qualities it's really an ideal opportunity for a stay at home parent.
In any event, I look forward to hearing from those of you who have worked with this company or plan to after reading this. By the way if this doesn't float your boat we list traditional work at home jobs here every day. Good luck to you either way.