Note: This post does NOT contain affiliate links and is not sponsored. I simply wanted to inform The JetSetter’s Guide audience about this money-saving site.
Between flight sales and becoming familiar with airline hacks, it’s easy to save significant money on travel. However, even with this knowledge, there’s a chance you’ll still spend money on your upcoming vacations. That’s where Evaluate It by SQM comes into play.
Evaluate It by SQM is a mystery-shopping website that allows travelers to save up to 50% on their flights, hotel, restaurants, and attractions simply by writing about your experience. It’s like Yelp! but with some massive financial perks.
How it Works
First, you need to sign up to become a mystery shopper with SQM HERE. The process only takes a few minutes. After you’re approved, you’ll be able to request assignments. You’ll be required to do certain tasks which may include talking to guest services, having flight crews print your boarding pass for you (instead of using a kiosk) and asking for recommendations from a hotel concierge. Keep notes about who you spoke with, how pleasant the encounter was, and what time the encounters took place. At the end of your trip, you’ll be required to complete an evaluation. Once complete, you’ll be reimbursed up to 50% of the cost of your trip.
Types of Assignments Offered
Evaluate It by SQM offers assignments at an assortment of hotels, resorts, airlines, travel companies, restaurants, and attractions. Users can’t disclose specific brands per their terms and conditions. However, if you enjoy moderate to luxury travel, you won’t be disappointed by the familiar names offered.
The purpose of mystery shopping with SQM is for corporate companies to better gauge how their businesses are running and interacting with guests. Because of this, they don’t need 10 people to review one flight from LAX to Las Vegas once a month. What they need, is mystery shoppers of different demographics to review flights consistently.
In order to ensure corporations get a variety of honest reviews, they have the following policies and rules in place:
- Only one mystery shopper is allowed per flight. This means your 50% off offer doesn’t extend for friends and family. You’re the one “on the clock” and therefore you’re the one scoring the employee savings.
- Request your flights or hotel nights as early as possible. Since SQM only allows one mystery shopper to work a specific flight or hotel at a time, the earlier you book the earlier you can confirm your travel plans. If you wait, there’s a significant chance someone else accepted the offer, especially during peak seasons.
- You won’t earn frequent flyer miles or hotel points when mystery shopping. The same policies apply when you book through third-party sources like Tripadvisor, Hotels.com, Priceline, and Hotwire. Because you’re booking through a third-party site and saving a significant amount of money, you won’t be able to ‘double dip’ your savings.
- Read the instructions carefully. If you’re asked to interact with a concierge at a hotel or receive your boarding pass from an airline staff, you need to do this. Tasks are set by the airline, hotel chain or amusement corporation to dive deeper into specific areas of interest. If you don’t do this, you’re not doing the job you signed up to complete. You’ll only receive your 50% savings if you complete the task(s) stated.
Who is SQM Good For?
SQM is great for those who are willing to save money with little effort. If you pride yourself on becoming Marriott Gold status or enjoying airport lounges due to having an Ammex, this isn’t for you. Rather, SQM looks to gather data from average travelers who would be enjoying the flight, hotel, restaurant, or amusement services at-cost to better understand their normal guest interactions.
If you can follow instructions, remember details (or write them down) and book early, SQM is for you.
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