Auto Maintenance tends to sneak up on me.
Sometimes, we need one every month, sometimes every other month, and sometimes we don’t need one for 3 months. I try so hard to figure out our mileage, and if we have an oil change coming up, so I can factor it into our budget, but it never works.
Yep, we do have money in savings that we can pull out to cover oil changes, and it wouldn’t be a big deal. But you all know me by know, and you know I think that:
Free is always best!
What if I told you that there was a way to never pay for oil changes if you own a Chevy, GMC or Buick vehicle?
Well, there is!
I haven’t paid for oil changes in our vehicles for nearly two years.
What’s more, I’ve been paid to get oil changes!
It’s all through this little thing called secret shopping!
What is Secret Shopping?
Secret shopping is exactly how it sounds – shopping secretly. Businesses need feedback about their service, their facilities, and their product, but they need feedback that is unbiased. Therefore, they employ secret shoppers to experience their business as a normal (non-secret shopper) customer would, rather than the experience a customer gets when they know an evaluation is coming.
Who Can Be A Secret Shopper?
Seriously, as long as you can read, write, take a basic skills test, and have transportation, you can be a secret shopper! My favorite company is one called Bestmark. They have an impeccable reputation, the best pay of any secret shopping company that I’ve used so far, and a wide variety of secret shopping opportunities!
Do you Have to Own the Vehicle You Take To Your Secret Shop?
This part, to me, just sweetens the deals! My husband’s family drives Chevy or GM vehicles almost exclusively (my grandfather-in-law retired from GM) so not only do we take out vehicles in for secret shop oil changes, we take my in-laws’ as well. They get free oil changes, and we get paid – how cool is that?
As long as the vehicle meets the specifications that the secret shop assignment is looking for, you can use anyone’s!
How Much Does Secret Shopping Pay?
There are two type of pay involved in secret shopping: reimbursement & pay for the actual job. While pay can vary by region, but in my area oil change or tire rotation secret shops reimburse up to $45 and pay between $25 – $35. This means that you will have to pay out of pocket for the oil change at the location you’re assigned, but Bestmark will send you a check for the cost of the oil change, up to $45, as long as you complete the shop correctly.
Pay for the actual job is usually $25, but sometimes there are bonuses of $10 or even $20! So, upon completion of the secret shop, not only are you going to get your oil change completely reimbursed, payment of $25 to $45, and give a business valuable feedback that they can then use to improve their service, facility, or product!
Are There Other Opportunities Besides Oil Changes?
While I’ve found that the most lucrative opportunities are in oil changes, Bestmark offers other opportunities such as drugstore shops, restaurant shops, as well as many other opportunities. Pay & opportunities, again, vary by region, for more information about shops available in your area, check out Bestmark, and apply today!
Have you ever paid for meals, hotel stays, or anything else with a secret shop? Is this something you would consider doing?
*This post may contain affiliate links
Petrish Dyer says
I always see jobs for secret shoppers, but I always thought these job postings where a joke. I have to admit this is a genius way of getting basic repairs done for free. I guess I need to rethink my thought process when it comes to secret shopping jobs. You go girl!
Definitely! Some of them are not worth your time, but others, like oil changes, can be quite lucrative!
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
What a clever thing! I’ve never done secret shopping before, but it sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to look into it. Thanks for sharing!
It’s definitely made our lives easier!
Mrs. Bug says
Sounds like a great way to get items for free. I have never participated in secret shopping, but I will definitely look into it.
Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom says
I’ve never been a secret shopper, but I hate to pay for oil changes. What a great tip, thanks!
Cool strategy for getting free oil changes. However I’ve found that certain oil change places are kind of shady, so you have to watch out.
Oh yeah, I know that feeling. With bestmark, at least in St. Louis, the only shops available are at dealerships, so we haven’t had a problem :-)
Nichole @Budget Loving Military Wife says
I too hate paying for car maintenance! What a great way to save and make a few hundred dollars in a year’s time! Thanks for the tip!
Newlyweds on a Budget says
I used to be a secret shopper all the time! I stopped doing it though once I found side hustles that was more of a money to time ratio that I preferred so I stopped doing secret shops. It was definitely a great way to get free meals, groceries, coffee, etc..
You’re right, side hustles are better money for your time, which is why I don’t do a ton of them. We literally only use them for oil changes :-)
Charlee @ Humble in a Heartbeat says
My husband does all our oil changes, but it takes so much time! It would be pretty great to never have to pay for oil again and get my man back on Saturday mornings!
For sure! I’ve never done an oil change myself, but I think they’re really messy!
This is such a great idea! I have a Chevy too so I must look into this. Thank you for the info.
Kate @ The Beautiful Useful Project says
This is so awesome! I just signed up for Bestmark and put in your blog email address as the referral. Thanks for the great tip!
Fantastic! Hopefully some awesome opportunities comes your way!
Jayleen @ How Do The Jones Do It says
Yay! I just received my check. It worked! I was pretty anxious about it at first, reading everything with a fine toothed comb, but it went smoothly and I was reimbursed the full amount. Thank you for the suggestion!