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MOE Issue 17: eBiz Tips and Mystery Shopping Secrets =========================================
My Own Ezine                       April 5, 2005, Issue 17

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==> Welcome back to My Own Ezine
I hope you will find the information in these issues helpful
in your business and useful at home. If you have any
requests or recommendations, please email me at:
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==> Feature Article
If you're curious about the mystery shopping industry, this
article is for you. Get a basic understanding with answers
to questions like:
Can you really get paid to shop?
What is a mystery shopper?
Why is mystery shopping a big industry?
Jennifer's how-to manual will show you exactly what you
need to know to become a successful mystery shopper.
Get started on the right foot by visiting her site at

==> Recommended Resource
Check out this section for details on the software that I use
(and highly recommend) to e-mail "MOE".

==> F*reebies
Here, you will learn where to download a very handy tool to
create .html files for your web site; where to get a newsletter
and f*ree report that will help you with your taxes: and where 
to find a wide selection of f*ree tutorials.

==> e-Business Resources
Check out these referrals if you're ready for some real
marketing coaching, or want to know where to advertise in
any of 400 e-zines, or want to make new money from those
old e-books with resale rights.

==> Tips & Tricks
And, don't forget to review the Tips & Tricks section. You will
find some very useful advice on such topics as: writing copy,
marketing, computers, e-commerce, taxes, and your health.

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==> Feature Article:

Jennifer Callahan is a successful mystery shopper with over
three years experience in the industry. She also has a knack
for  helping new mystery shoppers get off on the right foot
so they can also become successful in the industry.

Can You Really Get Paid To Shop?

If you have ever thought about being a mystery shopper
(or secret shopper, as they are often called), now is the time
to give shopping a serious look. The industry is hot and
continues to grow, providing shoppers with more and more
shopping opportunities. There are many individuals who are
currently making money in their spare time and even some
who are making a full time income. Secret shopping is a fun
and exciting way to make money. Besides the sheer thrill,
shopping also offers people great flexibility - you can work
from home on your own schedule. With this in mind, it isn't
surprising that mystery shopping is very popular with
stay-at-home parents.

What Is A Mystery Shopper?

Mystery shoppers are freelance professionals who are
contracted to pose as real shoppers in order to evaluate
several aspects of commercial retail establishments. Among
other aspects, secret shoppers can evaluate customer
service, product availability, product pricing, product quality,
store cleanliness, website operations and telephone
customer service. After shoppers evaluate a business, they
are then required to report their findings to the companies
that contracted them.

Because the general shopping population is comprised of all
kinds of different people, virtually anyone can be a secret
shopper. Shopping can be especially appealing for individuals
who desire to shape customer service and product quality,
as their findings are taken seriously. Of course, the idea of
getting paid to shop while getting free meals and merchandise
is also very appealing.

However, mystery shopping is a business and needs
to be taken seriously. You do need to posses a few
characteristics like being dependable, professional and
observant, and you need to be able to act as a real shopper.
Of course, you need to have reliable transportation to
conduct your shops and writing well and being able to
separate your findings from your opinion are also important.

Why Is Secret Shopping Such A Big Industry?

The business world is very competitive and companies are
constantly searching for ways to improve their customer
service and the quality of their products. Companies that
care want to know what their customers think; they want to
be informed of things that need improving. Armed with the
right information, businesses can make necessary
improvements. Shopper findings are used in future employee
training materials, to improve business operations, to
improve product quality and to compare one location to

Mystery shopper reports are also used to point out positive
things. Shopper findings are used to help identify store
locations and employees due rewards for outstanding customer
service or cleanliness. Secret shoppers are sometimes even
allowed to reward employees on the spot for meeting certain
criteria. It can be fulfilling for a shopper to hand an employee
a certificate for a paid day off for doing a great job!

Get Started As A Secret Shopper Now!

If you are interested in being your own boss, working from
home, getting paid to shop and helping to improve commerce
in your area, then mystery shopping just might be for you.
One thing you need to remember is that this is not a get
rich quick scheme. Mystery shopping is a legitimate
industry and mystery shoppers are professionals who work
for the money they make. You can earn a good part time
and even a full time income as a shopper if you want.
Now is the time to take the first step and become a secret
shopper today.

Copyright Jennifer Callahan, Mystery Shopping Secrets.

Jennifer is the author of "Mystery Shopping Secrets,"
which is a beginner's guide to mystery shopping designed
for beginning shoppers and people interested in starting
in the industry. "Mystery Shopping Secrets" is available at

==> Recommended Resource

Last February, I told you about a marketing course from
Cory Rudl that has been my "bible" since 2001.

Well, I have to admit that the IMC course was not the only
item I bought. I also bought his software that is today my
mailing tool for this e-zine. That software is MailLoop. I
really like the fact that the software makes my computer
act like a server and by-passes my local ISP's server. That
makes my ISP happy. When they're happy, I'm happy.
But, MailLoop does much more. Read about it at:

==> F*reebies

For a basic tool that quickly and simply creates .htm or
html files and works like a word processor, download this
f*ree version of FrontPage Express from:
Your tax filing may be over on April 15th, but your tax issues
don't end then. You can stay focused on your taxes with
help from a this f*ree newsletter and f*ree report, "Instant
Raise -- The top tax deductions you can start taking today
to put more money into your pocket."
For a wide selection of f*ree tutorials, go to LearnThat.com.
The link below will take you to 4 major subcategories: Career
and Jobs, Management, Marketing and Small Business. But,
there's a lot information there so surf around.

==> e-Business Resources

On his web site, Dominic Mogavero makes this statement:
"trace any objection back to its root and you will find,
in virtually every instance, it stems from a prospect's fear
of making a buying mistake." What a profound observation!
And, it applies to anyone selling anything! For professional
coaching and creative marketing thinking, check out:
Advertising is the engine that drives commerce both online
and offline. You can advertise in "MOE"  - details at:
or you can place an a*d in any of 400 e-zines listed in the
Directory of Ezines. Find the right e-zine and niche for your
product and let e-zine advertising work for you.   FMI:
If you're a buyer of resale rights products, then you should
see what this product could do for your bottom line by
branding those e-books and software with your own
marketing message, product offer and affiliate links.

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Finding love on-line is without doubt the best and most
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For more information, send a blank email to:

==> Tips & Tricks

When writing or re-writing copy for your web page, e-zine,
sales letter or advertisement, at some point you are going to
develop "writer's block". You can't get a creative idea and
the words just don't sound right. This is when you walk away
from the work. Don't try to force creativity. Expand your
research; study your notes; review the things, places, and
images that led you to the writing in the first place. Think
about the overall project in general terms while engaged in
other activities. But, don't focus on the solution to your problem.
When you do these things, you relax your mind and escape
the stress of "writer's block". Before you know it, out pops an
idea from your creative subconscious and you're back to work!
If you're thinking of renting an e-mail list for your marketing
campaign, look for an opt-in list. Although it's not as good as
an in-house list, it's usually more responsive than non-opt-in
lists. Also, be sure to to ask how the e-mail addresses were
gathered. The subscribers should have deliberately opted-in.
And, find out what they received when they opted-in. You do
not want a list of people interested in buying cows if you're
selling boats!
One way to keep your customers happy, provide excellent
customer service and increase traffic to your web site is to
use an autoresponder to deliver a list of Frequently Asked
Questions. You provide answers to their questions and
create an opportunity to market your product or web site.
Hoaxes are a pain and more so when the hoax is in an
e-mail. On its web site, Symantec details over 150 e-mail
hoaxes. If you think you have received a hoax e-mail, look
for it on Symantec's site at:
Declaring a home office deduction has always been a red
flag to the IRS. However, if you can do it right, you should
not hesitate to take your legitimate deductions. It will help
to have a separate business checking account, a second
telephone, a floor plan of your home, photos of your office
space and a record of your business activity. For a brief but
very good article on taking the home office deduction, go to:
Ever wonder about the care you might receive in your local
hospital? Well, the federal government has rated 4200
hospitals based on their treatments for heart attacks, heart
disease and pneumonia. For more info, check out these sites:

==> Subscription Management & Contact Info

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Thank you.

Stan Smith
Publisher, My Own Ezine
6 Winsome Lea
Falmouth, Maine   04105

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