Mystery Shopping

Mystery Shoppers are consumers who pose as customers and evaluate how local restaurants, stores, and other businesses perform.  After a visit, the mystery shopper completes a survey about their shopping experience. Businesses nationwide use Mystery Shoppers as a way to monitor service, quality, and customer satisfaction.

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Becoming a Mystery Shopper just might be right for you if you are a person who pays attention to details, can communicate clearly, enjoys paperwork, can use a computer to file reports, and completes assignments on time. Although you probably will not get rich mystery shopping, it is a fun way to supplement your income and a good opportunity to receive free meals, products, and services.

As a Mystery Shopper, it is imperative that you be impartial in your reporting and that you accurately report what you observed.  You must also be sure to remain anonymous during your shopping experience.  You should never divulge your identity as a Mystery Shopper nor should you let others see you taking notes.  If you need to write down important details, be as discrete as possible perhaps writing notes in the puzzle section of a newspaper or on a blank sheet of paper tucked inside your check book. You could also easily enter critical information into your cell phone’s notepad or into a handheld PDA device.

Compensation for the work you do as Mystery Shopper will depend on the assignment, but the rate generally will fall between the amounts of $5.00 to $50.00 per job. You will be told the rate of pay associated with each assignment before you make the commitment to accept so you can decide if the job is worth it for you. Keep in mind that your first shops will probably not be the best paying assignments.  However, over time as you gain experience and longevity with a company, the higher paying jobs should be made available. You will increase your chances for more paid shopping opportunities by applying with many different Mystery Shopping networks. Most companies pay monthly towards the middle or end of the month for the previous month’s work. So if you mystery shop during the month of November, your pay will come around the end of December.

Carefully research any Mystery Shopping business before joining them. Although there are many legitimate mystery shopper businesses, there are also plenty of scams.

Seek For Reputable Mystery Shopping Companies That:

  • Train their mystery shoppers to perform specific evaluations
  • Enjoy a good reputation with their clients and shoppers
  • Do not charge you a fee to complete an application.  Legitimate mystery shopping services will not charge you money for materials, recruiting, or training. Never pay money up-front to join a mystery shopping organization.
  • Are associated with the Better Business Bureau or some agency that can verify legitimacy.  Always check out a business with your local consumer protection agency, your state attorney, or the Better Business Bureau before joining.

Avoid Mystery Shopper Offers That:

  • Claim you will make large profits easily or get rich quick
  • Claim to guarantee you a mystery shopping position without training
  • Come in the form of unsolicited emails offering you work from home
  • Charge fees, promise you reduced registration fees for a limited time only, or offer extra services or prizes if you sign up immediately.

To join legitimate Mystery Shopping groups you may be asked to complete general questions regarding your location, your contact information, where you would be available to shop, and what types of shopping assignments you are interested in.  Some will ask you to complete a short writing assessment. You will also be required to submit an email address since most reports are completed through online questionnaires.

So if you are looking for a way to bring in extra income while having fun and working mainly from home, we invite you to explore some of the Mystery Shopping links and opportunities available here.



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