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
National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.