The Field Agent Experiment: My First Week Using the Mobile App That Pays You
One day I stumbled upon an app called “Field Agent” that pays you for doing odd jobs at different stores in your area. I’ve heard of the “secret shopper” jobs that some have taken part in, but they require you to buy items and then get reimbursed later. I wasn’t interested in spending money on things I certainly didn’t need or want, and then waiting on a payment sometime in the future to compensate for the purchase. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that this “Field Agent” application was not entirely like that.
The app is set up to clients who need small chores in checking on prices for random items in stores, different product stands, and even getting details on hiring positions at different locations. The client sets up a job and each assignment is open to “agents” who sign up on the app. As an agent, you get to pick and choose what job you want to accept or not. Keeping in mind, each task is set up for anyone on a first come, first serve basis in your area, so if you really want to complete a job, you’ll need to reserve it. Most jobs may only take 5-10 minutes while others may take longer, but it could also be a drive to get to some of the stores listed. A nice feature is once you reserve a job, a countdown timer begins usually around 2 hours for you to complete it, allowing you to keep track of how much time you have to finish a job. Each errand gives a description of what is involved, what is needed to be brought along and where you’ll need to go. On top of that, it displays how much the job pays, so you can weigh your options and see if it would be worth the time and effort. That’s just a few of the cool features of the app.
Upon further investigation I found it to be a rather reliable source that is used by such companies as Coca-Cola, Johnson and Johnson, Walgreens and many more. Many users commented on how easy it is to use, pending you have a smartphone and access to data. So peaking my curiosity and willing to try something new, I downloaded the app and signed up. My first week showed some interesting things.
Looking over the list of jobs on the app can be an overwhelming task in itself depending on where you live. When I first looked over the available jobs, I wasn’t too sure where to begin. After scanning through them for a few minutes and seeing a couple easy tasks however, I found one I could do at a Wal-Mart close to where I live. I decided to give it a try. The task was simple:
Look around in the Men’s clothing section for a specific sock display.
After a few minutes I was unsure if I found the correct item the app was asking for. I decided to be extra sure and talked to the manager of the section. She turned out to be super helpful. She located the display I was thinking was correct and confirmed it for me. I followed the instructions for the job step by step. All I had to do was take a picture and upload it with a couple questions I had to answer concerning the setup.
Just like that, I had completed the job. Overall it probably only took about 5 minutes to find it, go through the steps, and then complete it. A confirmation screen popped up after I was finished, showing I was done. It felt like I had completed an achievement in a game, only in real life. Strange as it might sound, it was pretty fun. This job though, seemed easy enough so I decided to take it to the next level.
I searched under the “priority jobs” category and found a CVS nearby that required a competitive hiring job. It seemed simple enough and paid more than the last assignment so I immediately reserved it. When I arrived at the CVS I looked at the steps involved. I was to go in and ask the hiring manager or store manager a series of questions regarding the hiring process. Although there were over ten questions, they weren’t difficult to ask. Some such as “Do you offer bonuses to employees?” and “Do all qualify for health insurance?” Standard questions to ask really.
I brought a pad and pen like the instructions said to do and flagged down who I was looking for. The manager was very kind and willing to answer the questions I had for him. I was very surprised at really how easy the task was. The last step was to go out to my car and fill out the questions on the app before I left. Thankfully I had a good data connection so I was able to upload everything once I was finished (this was one of my concerns before I arrived, but it didn’t turn out to ruin my experience).
Finally, I finished up at a Sears doing the same steps involved as the CVS job. Again, the manager was very accommodating in getting the answers I was looking for, and even offering his business card at the end of the visit upon my request (a bonus if you can get one for the job). These jobs are the ones you probably want the most information on since you are entered to possibly win $50 if you’re selected among the three best entries.
With my first day done, I was feeling good. I was doing fairly well considering it was the first day trying something out of the ordinary. I knew the more I got under my belt, the more experience and tricks I would learn.
As far as the simple display and hiring tasks, I couldn’t find any close that would justify my time for the day. It probably varies from person to person, but I knew if a job required a long drive out to the middle of nowhere, it probably wouldn’t be worth it unless it paid much more than the usual gig. So one category, “Scavenger Hunt”, caught my eye since it didn’t ask for a specific location to go to. The only information you will get however, is a shortened description of a product that sometimes can’t even be understood and a UPC number. Still, in what I could make out in the posting was a few products that should be located in Kroger stores.
Now to explain, these “Scavenger Hunts” do not mean you’re always going to find them at every store you go to. Hence why the name is appropriate, it really feels like you’re searching for a certain item you may or may not find. I needed to make a trip to Kroger for a few items anyway so I thought I’d give it a try.
At first I was very frustrated. Again, the description was not helpful at all. It was the store version of finding a needle in a haystack. The only thing I could go off of was something that appeared to be “S’mores Cookies”, but nothing confirmed. It was very sloppy and uneven with the clues given. I figure that if they were easy to read though, most would have been completed already. Still I can’t lie it was discouraging as I paced the aisles to not find the item.
Before I could give up however, I was given a ray of hope. There was a random discount cookie display set up between the bakery and dairy sections. Low and behold, the S’more cookies exist! The UPC number even matched! I felt like the kid that finally wins at hide and go seek after being abandoned for what seems like eons by his friends.
After a few pictures uploaded, I completed one of the most difficult tasks the app offers. It was satisfying too since I was able to find it before other “Agents” could locate it. Even with the hard difficulty, I noticed that these tasks would not be listed for very long. Most of all in more common stores such as Kroger. Although it can be very bothersome and disappointing due to no guarantees of you finding the items listed, the payoff of finding one is quite exciting.
It was a good learning experience, even being the second day for me using the app. I decided that unless I was already at the store listed I would not attempt these jobs randomly. Since the likelihood of you locating these products were not high, it didn’t make much sense for me to go out of my way to complete them first thing. Still I figured I could keep an eye on them for future reference.
The rest of the week I decided to try the job hiring assignments and keep a lookout for any other random undertakings that would pop up. To my surprise, the competition started to heat up. Although the first few days were rather open to many commissions, the rest of the week posed to be more daunting.
At one point over forty audit jobs opened up. They looked rather simple, just going in and checking on a few items to see if they were in the right location and required a picture to be taken. Within five minutes however, every last one was gone before I could reserve any of them. Along with being easier than other jobs, I concluded these were probably the most popular by users since they were also located all over the area for easy access.
Still I knew that I would just need to check the app more often and when I saw my chance, take it. I was able to finish the week rather well, getting more of the job hiring process listings accomplished. Each of the hiring managers I met with were nice enough to take time out of their schedule to answer the questions I had. I never ran into any issues through the week in this regard, and found this to be my personal favorite since it paid more than other jobs on the app.
Another category I looked for through the week was the “Screener” slot. This was one of the quickest ways to up your score on the app. These are simple surveys that ask you questions that may qualify you for future assignments that others are unable to partake in. In order for more jobs to be open to you, your score needs to be kept reasonably high. Whenever you accept a task, but cancel after more than 5 minutes or you cannot complete it, your agent score goes down. I knew this was beneficial in order to be consistent in finding good listings each day.
There are pros and cons to using Field Agent, but depending on your circumstance, it may be well worth the time of day. If you’re expecting it to be your day job, you’ll be disappointed due to the jobs being scooped up by others. Also to note, some have commented that use the app, that at times there are few jobs posted for you to do. Still, if you need extra money I highly recommend it.
As long as you have more than $2 earned, you can cash out at any time. All you need is a PayPal or Dwolla account that your funds can be transferred to. This will usually post no later than 24-48 hours, and is very quick and easy. Like most things, you can earn a good amount depending on the time you invest in it. Some people that I’ve seen share their experiences online have said to have made around $100 a month, but they watch the app closely and use it often. Others have made less but do it more as a hobby. It’s really up to you, and also the area you live that can offer you more or less jobs for you to complete.
If you’d like more information on using the app, check out the how-to video below. It will help you on your path to using the app effectively, even when you’re first starting out.