How Mystery Shopping Works ?
Mystery Shopping

How Mystery Shopping Works ?

EPF November 20, 2014


How many people can say that they get paid to shop?  For so many people, shopping is their ultimate past-time, but few people can say that they earn money from it.

Well that’s exactly what you could do if you become a mystery shopper… Imagine going to your favourite restaurant and getting paid to eat there?  Bonus!

For many years mystery shoppers have been used by retailers and restaurants to go undercover and find out how businesses really operate

They are ordinary members of the public like you or me, who visit stores to report on the cleanliness, the level of customer service and other matters.  This information is then reported back to the company to allow them to make changes and where needed, improvements to their business.

Companies rely on mystery shoppers to find out what staff and their stores are like on an ordinary day, when they don’t know they are being inspected.   The results can save them thousands of dollars so they seriously understand the value that mystery shopping can bring to their business.


What companies can I be a mystery shopper for?

The most common mystery shoppers are for high-street retailers and big name restaurants.  Usually mystery shoppers will be hired through a mystery shopper agency on behalf of the organization.

Sometimes you might become a mystery shopper for one particular store and be asked to visit each individual store within your local area, other times you might visit several different businesses.  It really comes down to which mystery shopping agency you join and how many agencies you choose to join.


How can I get paid to be a mystery shopper?

There are plenty of companies around who are always on the lookout for new mystery shoppers.

You don’t particularly need any special skills however people with an analytical approach and who are good at writing short reports may be favoured.  If the mystery shopping involves regularly visiting restaurants then it may be in your favour if you actively visit them yourself, that way you can be a good judge of what is good and what isn’t.

Commonly people may find that mystery shopper agencies are looking for people from specific areas to fill their quotas.   Of course you aren’t going to be asked to travel to a store miles away, it wouldn’t be worth your time!

More recently we have seen a huge number of mystery shopping apps appearing on the app stores, allowing people to easily pick up “missions” from their phone and then visit  fast-food outlets or other retail stores to earn quick money.


How much can a mystery shopper expect to earn?

This can vary depending on the company that you choose to join.  It can range from $20 all the way up to $100 for each job, in many cases this will be paid on a job-by-job basis.  There’s no guarantee that you will receive a certain number of new jobs so you should be prepared that you might not earn any money one week.

Sometimes you may be expected to make a purchase, this might come out of your earnings, or you may be paid for the item too (which you can often keep for yourself).

Note that you may be expected to pay for such items upfront and be prepared to wait a few days for your reimbursement.

Also be wary of any mystery shopping organizations who ask you to pay money upfront.  No reputable company will ask you to do this, as you are earning them money!

For most people mystery shopping is by no means a replacement for a full-time job, although there are full-time mystery shopping jobs around.  Instead it is something that can be a very good (and fun), supplement to existing work, if you particularly like eating out for example, then this job could be perfect for you!


Should you give mystery shopping a try?

Absolutely! Mystery shopping isn’t for everyone, but you’ll never know unless you try.

It is something that allows you to work flexibly and independently, which to some is highly desirable.

There is also some good money to be earned for mystery shopping so why not give it a try?

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