There is nothing I like more than free stuff. Whether it is free food, mints from restaurants, furniture, I take it all! These days travel hacking is my favorite version of free stuff but I’ve recently learned there is something that comes pretty close.
Have you ever wanted a free date night? A massage? A free night in a hotel room?
Theses are all things you can get for free or even get paid to experience. Here’s how!
I’ve sure you have heard of a mystery shopper, I know I had, but I never knew how to become one or if it was a real thing. Listening to a podcast I found out it's real and super easy to do!
The company I use is called a-closer-look and the sign up process is simple. They ask you to write a sample of a review from a recent restaurant visit and then some basic intelligence questions. Seriously. Like if this train left the station at this time and this train at this time when would they be X amount of miles apart. After you’ve done that you are able to log in and choose which places you’d like to sign up for.
They will list the days they’d like you to shop and how much you’ll be reimbursed and whether you’d get an additional payment on top of that. The payment may only be like $10 but your reimbursement may be $70 with an 18% tip.
Once you’ve been assigned you’ll see what your tasks are for your experience. For example, I went to a restaurant and I was required to go to the bar and get a drink (not bad right?) or they want you to order at least one or two certain things to eat. They’ll have you do things like sneakily take pictures of certain things, taking note of services times, or whether the music was too loud. I thought it’d be harder to remember or take notes but it's pretty easy.
If you are waiting for the catch, well here it is, the report they want is looonnnggg. Granted, as I’m doing them I’m usually watching T.V. or distracted in some way but I average 2-3 hours to complete them. I focused once and it was more like and hour to and hour and a half.
Yes this is excessive, and yes it is annoying. I would understand if that is not worth it to you but for me it is. I like going out to eat but not always spending the money. The way it works out in my head is if I go to a restaurant and I get $70 reimbursed plus the 18% tip ($12.60) and a payment of $10 that is a grand total of $92.60. If it takes me about 3 hours to complete the report then I am still essentially earning $30 an hour and I am okay with that.
Here is an example of a date night out that I got paid $10 for!
If you are okay spending 2 - 3 hours writing a review and answering questions about your visit to a restaurant, massage place, or hotel in order to get free stuff, or paid, this is a great option!
HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
Read my story in the about me section.
All photos on the blog are from my travels
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