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Are You Thinking About Becoming a Mystery Shopper? September 16, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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We’ve seen an increase in the number of inquiries we receive from people who are thinking about becoming a mystery shopper. If you’re one of those people, WELCOME! Mystery shopping is an interesting and valuable industry, and it helps companies monitor and measure their customers’ experiences.

If you are considering becoming a shopper, here are some things you have to consider:

1. Time: this is work you can perform around your schedule. The flexibility is great! Think about how much time you can devote each week to mystery shopping – keep in mind that the time you spend will not only be completing the shop, but includes time spent reviewing the instructions and training, completing the shop, and the completing the report.

2. Is this to supplement your income, or to replace it? Many people will ask if mystery shopping can become a part-time job. The answer varies and depends on many factors, including where you live, how many companies you are registered with, and so forth. Most will do this to supplement income, and when you’re starting out, that’s about all you can expect in the short term. It takes time to build a base of companies to work with and to build your reputation, both of which can provide you with more opportunities.

3. Payment: are you cash strapped and in need of an income now? If so, don’t expect mystery shopping to fill that immediate need. Most companies pay 30-60 days after completing a shop, though there are some that pay sooner.  You will need to check each company’s website for payment details.

If you can watch for shops that don’t require a purchase, you can build income without many out of pocket expenses. It may take some time to find these, but they are out there. When you’re starting out, it’s wise to take shops that do not require a purchase to get your feet wet. Once you’re starting to get paid for shops, you can move on to shops that do require a purchase. This helps your cash flow and keeps out of pocket spending to a minimum.

4. Writing and observational skills: these are both critical to a successful mystery shopper. Do you like to write narratives? Can you write clearly and objectively? A good idea is to practice a shop on your own – pick a store you will visit anyway and pay attention to the details. When you get home, write a narrative about your experience. Did you get the employee’s name and physical description? Did you experience a wait for assistance? Can you detail the conversation you had with an associate? It’s not always as easy as it looks – take a test drive and see if it’s something you’ll like doing. After all, having a job that you enjoy makes it all the better!

These are just some things to consider if you are thinking of becoming a mystery shopper. If you have questions about getting started, please comment and we can help you! We always welcome new shoppers, and look forward to helping you get started!

Until next time…happy shopping!



1. Liz Maler - October 5, 2009

I am living in Denver Co. at this time. How do I find out about what stores or restaraunts that I can mystery shop at? I am very into crafts
of all types. Scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, if theres a craft
I’ve probably done it. I would also like to mention that I love food and like eating out. I’ve always felt that I was a good judge of people when it comes to being open minded. I am really interested in being a mystery shopper because I LOVE to shop. I go shopping almost every day. I’m always looking for those good deals.

mysteryshoppinglearningcenter - October 6, 2009

Hi Liz!

Thanks for your comments!

It is fairly easy to find out what shops are in your area. I would first suggest registering with Jobslinger (www.jobslinger.com). It is free and is a good source of job postings. Once registered, you can search for shops by zip code and distance….this will give you a good idea of which companies shop which businesses. It will also give you a link to register with that company.

Another great source of information is Volition (www.volition.com). They have a forum for mystery shoppers that is very useful. Shoppers share ideas, tips, and other information on this site.

Be sure to read past posts about tips for getting started and what makes a great mystery shopper.

Thanks again for your comments! Good luck!

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