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How Do I Choose the Best Secret Shopper Employment?

Secret shoppers may fill out online forms and surveys in relation to a store's service quality.
Secret shopper opportunities may be found in a newspaper's classified section.
Secret shoppers may focus on how specific products are displayed.
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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2014
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Secret shoppers, also known as mystery shoppers, are undercover contract workers who visit stores, restaurants, and other service-oriented industries. They pose as customers to measure the quality of service they receive from companies. Different kinds of service-oriented industries hire market research companies to determine how well their staff assists customers and clients. The market-research company, in turn, hires secret shoppers, to perform this type of work. When seeking secret shopper employment, it's important to choose a mystery shopping company that offers legitimate work opportunities.

The Internet abounds with companies that claim to offer people jobs as secret shoppers, but not all companies are to be trusted. Many of those ads seeking secret shoppers are merely scams, desiring to rob aspiring secret shoppers of their hard-earned money. Smart job seekers will carefully evaluate a mystery shopping company before applying for a contract position. Although unscrupulous companies vie for the money of aspiring mystery shoppers, it's possible to find legitimate places that are hiring.

Dishonest mystery shopping companies often require people seeking secret shopper employment to pay a membership fee to gain access to secret shopper jobs on a website. In reality, it is not necessary to pay a fee to work as a secret shopper. Searching the Internet for free listings of companies that seek mystery shoppers is the best way to find a job as a secret shopper.

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For example, visiting the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) at www.mysteryshop.org is one online source that provides a list of companies that hire secret shoppers. Purchasing books about mystery shopping or checking out mystery shopping books from the library may also offer information about legitimate companies that hire secret shoppers. Most honest mystery shopping companies accept applications online free of charge. It just takes a few moments to fill out the web-based application and send it off.

When hunting for secret shopper employment, avoid companies that send emails soliciting mystery shoppers or place ads in the classified section of the newspaper. Legitimate secret shopper companies do not send unsolicited emails to people's inboxes or place ads in the local paper. Since so many applicants apply to their companies, they do not need to actively recruit more workers.

Fraudulent mystery shopper companies may offer paying members certification as secret shoppers or guaranteed work in the field. They may promise to connect the applicant with companies who are currently seeking new mystery shoppers. These methods are all red flags to the savvy consumer who is seeking secret shopper employment.

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anon342943
Post 6

I am a former bar manager and I have done mystery shopping focusing on liquor loss prevention for a company called Bar Ops Chicago. They pay on time ($25/hour), are very easy to work with and I can sign up online for the slots that I am available for! I recommend them if you live in Chicago and want to make extra money spotting bars, restaurants and clubs!

They are currently hiring and considered the best mystery shopper service for liquor loss prevention.

icecream17
Post 4

SauteePan-Many people want to become a mystery shopper and earn lots of money off the bat. It is like any other profession, you really have to prove yourself and take the assignments that are not so glamorous in order to develop a reputation in the business.

Once you have developed a good reputation the high end assignments start coming in, but this is only after a lot of hard work.

Many people see that when they start they usually begin with fast food evaluations which are the lowest paying assignments that can range from $7.50 to $10.00.

People underestimate the potential because they do not see the immediate payoff but if you stick with it and offer quality work, you will be rewarded.

I was offered about $150 to do a financial evaluation for a company that needed someone reliable because they had missed their previous deadline.

This was critical because if they did not come through they would have lost this client. In order to become a secret shopper you also have to keep the details regarding the client that you are shopping confidential.

I also suggest getting a gold certification from MSPA. This also lets mystery shopping companies that you are serious and you will be eligible for more work.

SauteePan
Post 3

BrickBack- Everyone wants to get paid to shop. As much as I enjoy the mystery shopping industry it is not for everyone.

Many upscale and luxury shops require strong writing skills and an objective viewpoint. You have to report the facts not your interpretation of the facts.

This is why many mystery shopping companies are moving to undercover video shopping engagements. These shops are the most lucrative in the industry and pay from $30 to $300 per shop. Many of these shops do not require a written component, but they do require excellent video and an adherence to the original scenario because you will also be featured in the video as well and if you don’t follow directions properly, you will not get paid.

You also have to make sure that you capture the video and not forget to turn on the camera. This is a really detailed mystery shopper job which is why the fee is so high.

BrickBack
Post 2

Moldova-I love Volition. I have to say that if you want to learn how to become a secret shopper and seek mystery shopper employment you really have to develop a keen attention to detail and a high regard for deadlines.

Many of these mystery shopping companies say that about 80% of their shops have to be rescheduled because the shopper did not complete the shop on time.

This is a huge problem in the mystery shopping industry and it is why you really have to prove your reliability before a company will give you more assignments.

Many people go in to this field thinking that they will get easy money, but the money is far from easy. Each assignment describes the scenario and what is expected from the shopper.

Most companies give you between 12 and 24 hours to report your results. Completing your assignments on time and accurately will get you more assignments and after a while companies will call you will various opportunities.

Moldova
Post 1

The mystery shopper job is really a fun a flexible way to make a handsome part time income. In order to become a mystery shopper you have to sign up with a variety of companies.

There are about 500 secret shopping companies out there that offer mystery shopping assignments and many people actually make a full time living working in the mystery shopping field.

The best thing to do is to go to a site called Volition. Volition not only offers a comprehensive list of mystery shopping companies to sign up for, but it also provides a forum in which you talk to other mystery shoppers and get feedback on various mystery shopping companies.

You should never pay a fee to sign up for a company because this forum offers a list for free of all of the participating mystery shopping companies. It also offers a section that lists jobs for mystery shoppers.

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