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App of the Day: Gigwalk

(WHAT THE TECH) - Is there a better job than being a mystery shopper? Gigwalk is an app that pays you to shop.

Ah, the elusive Mystery Shopper career. You hear of folks who have this job who get paid to shop at retailers then report back about their experience. Some of those jobs sound very glamorous and can pay exceptionally well with the perks of keeping what they purchase at the expense of the retailer.

Those jobs are hard to find though, but a popular smartphone app gives users the experience and the opportunity to earn a few dollars doing what they love to do.

Gigwalk, an app for iPhones and Android devices lets users browse through mystery shopper jobs posted by retailers and manufacturers. The app uses the phone's location to find nearby stores with available "gigs". One gig I saw was at a specific Best Buy store where you were required to go inside and wait for a salesperson to approach you. If that didn't happen the 'gig' required you to make a note of how long you waited before asking for help. It then asked me to ask the salesperson for help finding a device that will allow me to watch content on my current television. I was then instructed to take notes of what the salesperson suggested, even asking whether they would recommend a certain brand and if not, why.

Most gigs, including this one, required me taking photos of the store with my smartphone and uploading it to my Gigwalk account. The job was to pay $5 upon completion and approval from the company posting the gig. I was not given information about whether it was Best Buy or another retailer posting the gig.

Another gig I found required me going to a certain supermarket and checking out the bread aisle, making note of how a specific brand was being displayed. Other gigs require you to take 360-degree photos inside the store which I imagine would draw attention. Each gig instructs the user to be respectful of the store and associates and if questioned, the gig includes a note you are to show management if they question you acting suspicious and taking photos.

Reviews of Gigwalk are largely positive with some negative feedback from users who say they were never paid (we don't know if they performed the task up to what was required).

All in all, Gigwalk will likely not earn you any serious cash that is deposited into your Paypal account once complete but if you're going to be shopping at the store anyway it would make sense to try it. It'll pay for lunch.

One note: you must apply for gigs before arriving at the store. The app told me it would take less than an hour to approve my request but I didn't receive the okay in time to do the task when I arrived at the store. When you apply for a gig you are asked how soon you will be able to complete it. The person who can complete the task soonest usually gets the job.


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