Mobee: Get Paid for Reviews of Boston Businesses

January 9, 2013

9:00 am

According to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, mystery shopping is estimated to be a $1.5 billion industry. Businesses are so hungry for feedback, information, and data from their customers that they’re willing to offer tons of freebies, discounts, and deals.

Tapping into that same hunger, Boston startup Mobee rewards users for reviewing businesses in Boston, including staples like Starbucks and McDonald’s. You just download the app on iPhone, complete a mission – maybe rate how knowledgeable the staff was, or how busy the store – then start shopping. Rewards include gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, and Target, or even cash through PayPal.

Getting paid for reviews is nothing new; you can already do that on sites like DooYoo, Ciao, and Epinions. But putting it all into an app means you can review immediately after the experience, or even while waiting in line. So Mobee is more similar to apps like Gigwalk, Go Spot Check, and Field Agent. Those apps pay people to do small tasks for businesses, like check merchandise or take photos inside a store.

According to community manager Erika Gordon, Mobee hopes to stand out partly by rallying a community around charitable causes. For Thanksgiving, Mobee donated 200 pounds of food to the Greater Boston Food Bank – one can for every user who signed up during a specific timeframe. And for Christmas, 180 users chose to donate a toy to the Floating Hospital for Children instead of redeeming a reward for themselves.

“We love giving back to Boston, and we also love including our users in the process,” says Gordon.

Mobee was a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail Boston mixer.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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