In the gig economy, everyone’s looking for different income streams. So when a gas station shopper offers a glimpse into her efficient work-to-pay ratio, the accompanying TikTok will draw interest.
The video features TikTok user Chelsea Graves (@thatssochels_0) as she stands in a gas station wearing an orange vest.
“So, I’m at a gas station right now and doing this photo audit,” she says. “I just look to see if the bathroom is clean, if the floors are clean, if there’s any residue anywhere, or how stocked everything is.”
Then, she evaluates the gas station. The floors are clean, the refrigerator is a little dirty, and all the items appear to be well stocked. With a total of 15 minutes of work, she claims to have made $30. According to the comments, Graves says this job is called “mystery shopper.”
Viewers wanted in.
The Daily Dot reached out to Graves via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment for more information. The video garnered over 348,000 views as of Saturday, where fellow “mystery shoppers” shared their experiences.
“Just did two yesterday, they were easy as well. That gas station looks immaculate from the ones I’ve done lol,” one viewer shared.
“I do these audits also, but I don’t get the same stipend that you do! Good for you!!” a second commented.
So what exactly is a “mystery shopper?” According to ClickWorker:
“Mystery shopping is a method of testing the quality of services. It can be used to test the quality of products, customer service, or employee performance. The company or management selects test customers to evaluate their own service quality. The mystery shopper must not be recognized as a shopper and must act like a regular customer in order to get an accurate reading of the situation. The secret shopping is done to check if the company’s quality standards are met and whether employees are following procedure.”
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Graves, who says she has a 3-month-old and a separate full-time job, says she does this work in the evenings. She says she made more than $500 on the side in the month of May.
“You just fit it in,” she added in another clip.
But if there’s a drawback, it’s the variable of potentially mystery shopping at an unkempt business.
“yeah, I did one 4 krispy kreme, all I’ll say iz NEVER again…I haven’t eaten there again,” another viewer added.
Update 12:01pm CT, June 4, 2023: During an interview with the Daily Dot, Graves revealed how she began working as a Mystery Shopper on January 1, 2022. She said she discovered this while watching a video of the founder of iShop about mystery shopping. After having her baby and working full time, she said she worked five to 10 hours a week.
“In college, I was a mystery shopper where the report was just on paper for a chain sandwich shop and my first mystery shop in 2022 was actually at that same chain sandwich restaurant,” she said.”
In addition, she said she was able to pay for her three rounds of IUI (Intrauterine insemination) while mystery shopping.
“When I started mystery shopping I was trying to get pregnant and we ended up having to do three rounds of IUI. I worked really hard those months before and during that time and was able to pay for all three rounds just from mystery shopping and didn’t have to take any money out of my savings,” she said.