Is it a legit job offer, or a publicity stunt? Maybe a little bit of both.

RetailMeNot made quite the splash this week, after posting a help wanted ad for a “shopping specialist” who will ostensibly test out the coupon code aggregator’s app and website and “note the effectiveness” of its offers, in exchange for free merch.

“Get paid to shop & dine out, literally,” RetailMeNot posted on its website.

If you’re the winner successful job applicant, you’ll be given $5,000 in gift cards “from a range of major retailers and restaurants” to use over the course of a week. Each day, RetailMeNot will select at least five online and in-store retailers from which you will be instructed to purchase at least one item. You’ll even get a free lunch each day, “to test our casual dining offers” and because shopping is hard work.

In the end, you’ll be asked to “document and share your shopping experiences and findings with the RetailMeNot team” and – this is key – you’ll be able to “keep everything you buy. Seriously.” So the $5,000 worth of stuff that you buy will be your compensation for this “dream job”.


Aside from posting the offer on its website, RetailMeNot didn’t advertise or promote it in a news release or a marketing campaign. But it didn’t have to. Despite scant details and some questions about how all of this will work exactly, the media quickly picked up on the offer. And the “dream job” that will allow you to “get paid to shop” went viral.

“Best job ever!” one online commenter wrote. “I’m so applying for this! They’d be crazy not to pick me!” another chimed in.

From a practical standpoint, if you plan to apply for the job, you’ll have to consider whether you’ll be able to pull it off. RetailMeNot will select the retailers where you’re instructed to shop, so if you don’t live in an area with a well-stocked shopping mall or a good selection of stores, you may find yourself driving all over the region (and paying for your own gas in the process). The items you buy, which you’ll be able to keep, may not be items you would have selected yourself from stores you’d normally shop. And hopefully you don’t have a day job, or kids, or other commitments, that will interfere with your ability to shop til you drop every day for a week (and whether it’s a week of your own choosing, or a week that RetailMeNot selects, isn’t clear).

The job appears to be for one week only, but RetailMeNot says it has “no specified end date”, so it may be extended. Or multiple applicants may be selected to shop over multiple weeks. Either way, the selected shopping specialist(s) will be asked to “execute an independent contractor agreement that includes a publicity release”, so this is no secret shopper position – you may find yourself trailed by cameras as you shop, so you can appear in RetailMeNot ads and followup news coverage about the job.

If you’re interested, you can click here to apply. Applicants will need to provide a “100-word description of why you’d be the best candidate” and a one-minute video in which you discuss “your shopping habits, how you sleuth the internet for deals and why you’d be the best candidate for this position.” You have to be at least 18, must be “knowledgeable in money-saving tactics like using coupons, cash back offers, and promo codes” and must “have a minimum of 2 years shopping experience both in-store and online” (duh).

Since it’s technically a job application and not a contest, there are no rules and regulations posted. So if you’re unclear about any of the details on how this will work, you’ll have to apply first and ask questions later. Applications will be accepted until August 9th.

Given the perks of the job, the successful applicant might rightfully be described as the “winner”. But when it comes to free publicity – the real winner may be RetailMeNot itself.

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  1. Pingback: Be a secret shopper for RetailMeNot - deranged.mederanged.me

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