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If you’re already on this page, you’re probably wondering how to become a mystery shopper? But what are you supposed to do? Is there something that will make buying things, or trying services a bit less financially stripping than before?
Because YES, there is something just similar to these lines. And it is Mystery Shopping!
So, what exactly is Mystery Shopping?
The deal with mystery shopping is that you buy or try services, meals, groceries, etc. and review all that went with it. You record your experience, make a report, and submit it to your employer. The assignment, along with your report, is what gets you paid.
The actual scenario that goes behind mystery shopping is that brands and companies hire Mystery Shopping sites to employ people who will test out the services and rate it. The grading, reports, and feedbacks help the brands to assess their services from the viewpoint of the clientele. Hence, the mystery shopper is paid to do the job and also gets the service or goods for free.
As the phrase mystery shopping suggests, the mystery shoppers are simply like other shoppers but only with the difference that they are not actually there to shop. Who truly among all the costumers is a mystery shopper is a mystery. So brands or stores do not know when and who will be grading them.
But, bear in mind that mystery shopping is just a gig and not an actual job. The money you get is NOT for shopping but for valuing or evaluating your experience and all the other things your employer has asked you to do.
You may be required to fill forums, surveys, write feedbacks, etc. But the catch is that you will be able to do all the things or shop all the products that you had to either way. But, now, with a bit of extra effort, you can do it for free!
How to become a Mystery Shopper?
Evaluating yourself:- A mystery shopper is a person who is attentive, vigilant, and careful at all times. If this is you, then you already are a good mystery shopping candidate.
Skills required:- A good mystery shopper or anyone who works from a remote location may only be successful if he/she has all the necessary skills needed to be one. Being vigilant is one of them, but not the only one.
You need to be blendable with all the rest of the customers. If you know how to make yourself a part of the place you are at, you are halfway there. Because the identity of the mystery shopper needs to be a mystery, you need not demand extra attention while evaluating the place or completing your said tasks. This, in the first place, is why the stores hire you.
Good communication skills are a must. Because you may have to verbally communicate with other costumers and also the employees of the store, you must have verbal skills that will not place you at odds. Hence, you can finish filling your forums or whatever the job requires with ease.
Then, you need to have good writing skills, so that you can put all the points of your visit into a written report. Extra observations and their skillful mention in your written feedback will help you get extra credentials so that you can make a bit more than many in the field of mystery shopping.
But, these all are useful only when you have motivation enough to keep on doing the gigs. A steady speed will allow you to finish more tasks in a day and will hence build up your experience and also credibility. Both of which are required while performing such gigs.
Searching gigs:- As already said, mystery shopping is not a full time paying job as per now, but a way to make a bit extra income. So you have to search for gigs that will take considerably less amount of time, are within your reachable area limits, well paying and comfortable to carry. All this does not come easily to a mystery shopper that has just started.
With time you build up your knowledge and expertise. But when you begin, you have to strive harder and step out of your comfort zone a few times. You need to understand that even if you initially think that all this effort is not worth it, with the time, you will begin appreciating all the free deals you get. And till where the task of writing the feedback is concerned, you usually do that when you familiarize your acquaintances with the products you use. So why not do it professionally.
Finding Jobs to become a Mystery Shopper:-
Getting legit mystery shopper jobs is a bit laborious in the first few tries. But you can do it with patience and keenness.
Jobs for mystery shoppers include trying retail stores, eating at restaurants, buying and trying services from salons and spas, playing in casinos, staying at hotels, buying grocery products, calling people and asking for their knowledge of a particular brand, etc.
The best and the safest options you have are the companies that are approved by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA).
You can try:
- Independent Mystery Shoppers’ Coalition (IMSC)
- International Association of Service Evaluators (IASE)
- National Association for Retail Marketing Services (NARMS) to begin your legitimate mystery shopping jobs search.
Making Money as a Mystery Shopper
How do you make real money with Mystery shopping, and what are the expectations of the employers?
Firstly, you need to make sure that you apply to as many agencies as you possibly can. Coming around, good tasks are not that easy, and when you have to wait for a good task, it becomes all the more boring. So, have all the possible tasks- providing companies in touch. Therefore you will never have to sit idle.
Secondly, follow the instructions of the agency to the dot. You don’t want to have a bad impression. Provide details that are asked, take time to fill surveys, and add details that seem to be fitting the context.
Do not deprive your report of content, and do not overstuff it! The employers expect to increase their sales, and only your thoughtful and sincere reviews will help them do that.
When you have done these, you take pictures of the receipts of the place you were told to visit by your secret shopping agency and send it to the latter along with your report. You will be paid what you had spent there and also what the job initially promised you!
The payments may be anywhere from a few dollars to full-fledged meals, and hotel stays for free! You only need to keep on searching, working consistently and gradually edging your way up to become a successful mystery shopper.
How is a secret shopper paid?
You can receive payments punctually via cheque, PayPal, direct deposit, free services or gift cards, etc. When you choose an agency, make sure that they do have your preferred option of payment.
Money deposits and payments usually take about 2 to 4 weeks after you have completed a task. If there seems to be a delay, contact your agency.
Cautions and tips on how to become a mystery shopper:-
- Never work with an agency that requires you to fill a startup fee of any kind. No legitimate site will ask you to do that.
- Search for gigs within your home-work area, so that you can drop by, and may also need not spend extra money on transporting between faraway sites.
- When taking gigs, make sure of all that is expected evidently of you. Understand even the minor details, and contact your manager when not sure.
- Turn off gigs only when you can do it in no way possible. A mystery shopper who has only begin needs experience and credits. That is only possible when you undertake as many possible jobs that you can.
- Never disclose your status of being a mystery shopper at a store you are visiting to evaluate. Doing this is a serious breach of secrecy and may leave you in legal trouble.
- Do not shy away from extra expenditures. They are your building blocks.
- At all times, record your receipts and payments. Errors may occur, and you may need to show proof.
- Take part in online mystery shopping forums. Learn from others, and also lend your knowledge.
- Do your very best on each assignment.
Mystery shopping is not a fast-paced escalator to success. Only the very best mystery shoppers can make a full-time shopping job and living. But the job is easy when you pay attention to the details.
This article completely summarizes how to become a mystery shopper. So, begin your mystery shopping now. You can make a few extra bucks and treat yourself and your loved ones.