Things Every Mystery Shopper Should Know
Whether you are looking at making a career of mystery shopping, taking it up as a hobby, or looking to make a little money on the side, there are a few things you should do before you begin:
Do Your Research
Before you work with a mystery shopping company, verify that they are legitimate. Check in with the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers Association), IMSC (Independent Mystery Shoppers Coalition), or Better Business Bureau.
Don't Pay to be a Mystery Shopper
No legitimate mystery shopping company will ask you to pay to register with them.
Don't Accept "Wire Transfer" Projects
There is a very convincing scam going around that involves criminals posing as legitimate mystery shopping companies. They will most often give you a fake cashier's check, and ask you to do a wire transfer as part of the shop. Stay away!.
There are some terrific Mystery Shopping Boards and Forums. (See our Shopper Resources Page). Sign up for them and get involved. It really is a vibrant community, and you can get some great tips and suggestions!
Tips and Suggestions for Being a Great Mystery Shopper
- Always read and follow the instructions carefully
- Always read the report form carefully before you go to the store
- Call / email your scheduler and ask questions if you are not sure about anything before you begin your shop
- Keep in touch with the schedulers and let them know as soon as possible if you can’t make the date or if you are going to be late submitting your report.
- Begin each shop with an open mind; try not to bring any preconceptions or expectations.
- Unless it is specifically requested, don’t compare visits with previous visits you have done. Each Mystery Shop should reflect a ‘stand-alone’ experience.
- Use your mobile phone to record voice notes straight after your visit. It’s a great memory aid for when you are writing your report later
- Answer each question clearly. User paragraphs to break up long narratives; it makes it easier to read.
- Stick to the facts when writing your reports (unless you are specifically asked your opinion.)
- Make it clear who you are talking about in your reports. (Use Associate 1 or ‘John” rather than, “the young lady’ or ‘the associate’
- Financial / Bank
- Telephone / Call Center
- Shopping Center
- Gas & Convenience
The Belding Group's CEO,
Shaun Belding, speaks to CBC Marketplace about Mystery Shopping