Mobee: Boston shoppers, eaters raking in extra cash with free mystery shopper app

Mobee app pays users to review stores and restaurants. Photo via Mobee
Mobee app pays users to review stores and restaurants. Photo via Mobee

A new mystery-shopper app pays opinionated consumers to do what they do best – offer their opinions.

Mobee, a mobile crowdsourcing iPhone app, lets shoppers review hundreds of stores and eateries in the Boston area. In exchange, users earn points that can be redeemed for cash and prizes. Each 100 point “mission” translates to $1, and there is no limit to the amount of missions users can claim.

The app was launched in October, and has since racked up about 10,000 users in the Boston-area, which makes sense to its 28-year-old CEO and former mystery shopper Prahar Shah.

“These are places people are already going. They don’t have to go far out of their normal routine. Most people are on their smartphones anyway, texting or emailing, so this gives them a way to make money while they wait in line,” said Shah, a 2012 MIT graduate.

Shah said it was often a tedious process waiting for forms and payment when he was a mystery shopper, so he and his partners thought it would be a great idea to simplify the job for consumers.

“My friends would tell me, ‘Hey, I want to become a mystery shopper too,’ and I’d say, ‘It’s easy to become one, but not easy to stay one,’” Shah said.

The app’s “missions” ask consumers to answer surveys on their iPhones – most of them between five and 10 questions – about the customer experience.  About 1,000 companies in Boston, Wellesly, Newton, Hingham and Stoughton are on board, Shah said.

There’s no limit to the amount of missions people can do, but once a user claims a certain mission, no one else can grab it. Mobee keeps users honest by tracking them with GPS; reviewers can’t claim a mission unless the app knows they are in the store/restaurant.

The app uses an algorithm to “normalize” the scores of constantly dissatisfied customers. Basically, if a user is known for constantly giving bad reviews across the board, the app puts that data into perspective.

But for the most part, Shah said, the survey is pretty straightforward.

“They’re simple questions, like how many people were in line before you, or how long did it take you to get your coffee. You get all the normal data, not just the extremes,” he said.

The app’s team is celebrating the October launch with a party at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at their office at Old City Hall on School Street.  It’s open to the public – you can RSVP here.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…