Looking for a flexible part-time job with decent pay? You could become a "mystery shopper" -- a free-lancer who makes undercover visits to retailers and restaurants to evaluate customer service.
Restaurants, department stores, movie theaters, gas stations and hotels all want mystery shoppers to provide feedback on areas of their businesses that need improvement. Did the sales clerk smile? Were you greeted at the door? Was the floor clean?
Demand has become so great for mystery shoppers that more than 100 U.S. mystery-shop firms now recruit shoppers to fill local assignments for clients. These firms select shoppers, assign jobs and pay their workers. Mystery shoppers work as "independent contractors," and can accept or reject assignments on a case-by-case basis. So if you're extra-busy one week or month, you can turn down offers for assignments.