Would you like to learn how to become a mystery shopper? Check out this post to learn more.
Everything you need to know about how to become a mystery shopper will be in the following post. I hope you find them helpful and informative. I have been a mystery shopper for over ten years so trust me when I say; you can have fun and make money as a mystery shopper. As with most things, it’s not for everyone so that you may hate it. There that’s my disclaimer!
After I had my first son and decided I would not be returning to work, I decided to start looking for alternative ways to bring in extra money. Mystery shopping was one of the things I looked into, and after much research found a lot of great companies to work for. Now, with that being said, I do get something out of the way right off the bat. If you are looking to bring a second income into your mystery home shopping is not the way to do that. I have yet to find a company that pays enough to completely replace an income. Under the right circumstances, it would be possible to earn a good chunk of change to buy gifts for others or the way we shop weeks worth of groceries off of just a few “secret shopping trips.”
I greatly enjoy mystery shopping, auditing, theater checks, in-store sampling and merchandising. The important thing to remember is that every company and every shop is different. They each have their guidelines, so read them carefully and be reliable (that’s what they are looking for). If you get a good reputation as a shopper, it can take you places, and a bad one can get around even faster.
Want to become a mystery shopper? Here are a few different types of shops you can expect to see:
~ Pay/Return –For a shop like this you have to go into a store and purchase an item (sometimes a particular item) and pay for it (with your $). Then you have to return the item (sometimes immediately sometimes a few hours to a day later). These shops will pay you a flat rate to do this.
~ Purchase/Keep- For a shop like this you are required to purchase an item (with your $), and you get to keep the item (it will usually specify the amount they will reimburse up to), and the company will reimburse you for your purchase and pay you a flat rate.
~ Fast Food Promotions- You have to make a particular food purchase, and you are looking for the employees to do certain things for the promotion (up-sell, greet you, repeat order back) A shop like this will usually reimburse, has a flat rate pay, and you get a good feeling (if they win) with rewarding them with a prize!
~ Fast Food Check– A shop like this will require a particular purchase (sometimes you can order anything), and you will be reimbursed and paid a small flat rate.
~ Merchandising- These are jobs that require you to refill coupon machines, put together plan-o-gram type displays, take brochures to the electronics department in large stores, and hang movie posters in theaters (along with so many other jobs). You usually get paid per 1/2 hr, and the job will have a cap time. So you could get a job hanging a movie poster (harder than it sounds) and the cap is 1hr. Any time it takes after one hr. will not be paid for.
~ Theater checks and audits- These are my favorite! You have to go to the selected movie and watch for trailers, count the number of people viewing the movie, look for promotional materials, and various other assignments. You do not have to pay to get in (you will have a letter for the manager), and you can stay and watch the movie and get paid!
How To Become A Mystery Shopper:
I would suggest starting your journey HERE with the MSPA or Mystery Shopping Providers Association.
If you are interested in investing a lot of time in applying to companies and shopping, I suggest you get certified. I currently hold a silver certificate, and it was both easy to obtain and inexpensive. The companies you apply for will ask if you are certified and for your certification number. This is helpful in getting shopper jobs because they know that you are dedicated enough to get certified, and they know you have gone through the testing and have agreed to maintain the integrity and abide by their code of ethics.
The Application Process: What You Can Expect:
When you apply to become a Mystery Shopper, you are considered an Independent Contractor, this means you own your own business and are responsible for paying taxes on any of the money you earn. It is rare (I have never seen one) that a company would hire you as an employee.
Now when you get ready to apply for companies, I would suggest you save any essay type answers to a Word document. This will save you so much time! Companies will ask questions like: “Describe a recent shopping trip or restaurant experience you have had in the last week.” They are looking to see if you pay attention to detail.
For a restaurant (fast food) you can include things like:
- The cleanliness of the parking lot
- Whether or not you were greeted upon entering and what was said
- How long you waited in line before your order was taken
- How long it took to get your food after your order was placed
- The appearance of the restaurant, friendliness of the employees
- The bathroom (did it have toilet paper, was it clean, how did it smell)
- How was your food (was it hot, fresh, how did it taste)? You can use many of these examples for a shopping trip as well. Having worked at Burger King, I find it easier to describe a restaurant!Can you see why you wouldn’t want to have to rewrite this 25 times?
Another common question is “why would we want you as a part of our team.” This one is simple enough. They are looking for people who are dependable, who work hard, pay attention to detail, and are available to fill in for other shoppers.
I am going to leave you with two companies to apply for today.
See Level This is the first company I ever worked with! They shop Sunglass Hut, Watch World, Travel Centers, Apparel, and High-End Shops and Vision Centers (eye glasses and contacts).
Market Force This is my all-time favorite company. They have three portals you can apply for. The is for fast food, electronics stores, cell phone providers, convenience stores, grocery stores, and TAX PREPARATION! Sign up now- They currently offer shops where they will reimburse you for having your taxes prepared by a company, and I believe you also get a good flat rate pay as well! The portal is for merchandising and theater checks! And the portal is for banking and financial shops.
NOTE: A reputable company NEVER asks for money EVER! Also, I would recommend staying away from any and all check cashing shops!
Well, that’s all for tonight! Please email or comment with any questions! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask either by email or commenting here!
If you enjoyed this post, please tweet, Facebook, or blog about it.
~ This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products we use.