What is Mystery Shopping?

I have done mystery shopping for quite a few years on everything from retail businesses to restaurants. It’s a great way where you can get free food, free products, and also get paid for making a business better.

Mystery shopping is basically when you pose as a customer and you evaluate a business on whatever criteria that business wants to be evaluated on. While performing the “shop” you will be on the lookout for things such as customer service response time, warmth of food, litter in the parking lot, etc. The mystery shopping company that you are performing the shop through will let you know what you are supposed to be looking for.

If you are interested in becoming a mystery shopper, I have compiled a huge list of mystery shopping companies that you can sign up with to begin the process. Most of them ask you to fill out profiles and even do a practice write-up before they offer you your first shop.

Before you accept a shop, make sure that you are able to complete the shop on the dates or by the deadline specified by the mystery shopping company. If you fail to complete an accepted shop, the mystery shopping company will more than likely not offer you another shop because they don’t believe you are dependable enough.

During your shop, be sure that you remain anonymous. If you need to write something down, wait until you get to your car or visit a restroom to take your notes privately. The whole point of mystery shopping is that you are posing as a customer of the establishment.

After you are finished with your shop you will most likely need to fill out an evaluation form for the mystery shopping company. These are the responses that will be forwarded to the business you evaluated so they know exactly what they need to do to improve their business. If you purchased a product during your shop you will need to be reimbursed by either faxing or scanning your receipts – make sure that you follow the correct procedure so you will get reimbursed.

There are plenty of reputable mystery shopping companies out there but be sure to beware of mystery shopping scams – you want to make money from this, not lose it!


4 Responses to “What is Mystery Shopping?”

  1. Mystery Shopping Scams - How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams on February 13th, 2009 12:35 pm

    [...] Mystery shopping is a very fun way to earn some free stuff, eat some free meals, and make some great money while helping to improve a business. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mystery shopping scams out there. Follow these tips to avoid those scams: [...]

  2. Mystery Shopping - A Huge List of Mystery Shopping Companies on February 13th, 2009 12:36 pm

    [...] you want to become a mystery shopper? Due to popular request here is a huge list of mystery shopping companies! I’m doing my best to [...]

  3. Merchandising - What is Merchandising? on February 13th, 2009 12:36 pm

    [...] is a small job that many mystery shoppers participate in addition to mystery shopping. A manufacturer hires a person to go out to a store and [...]

  4. Kristin on March 31st, 2009 11:24 pm

    I LOVE mystery shopping because of the flexibility. DH and I rarely go out to eat without getting paid for it. :) I live in a small town so when schedulers are in dire need of me, they’re more willing to pay bonuses. I also might add… even though I started in MS, I’ve been doing more and more merchandising and auditing jobs because they pay a lot more. A lot of MS schedulers are adding merch and audit jobs, which is how I got into it. Also check out NARMS and the MSPA. This is a good article for those wanting to get started in MS.

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