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Become a Mystery Shopper

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 18 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Mystery Shopper Business Shopping Jobs

A job as a mystery shopper can be an excellent option when it comes to bringing in some extra income. There are certain skills that are required for this job and there are also some dubious mystery shopper job offers to be aware of.

The Need For Mystery Shoppers

Mystery shoppers are needed throughout a wide range of business services in order to gain an unbiased view of customer satisfaction. Businesses value customer feedback but in reality most customers will not bother to fill in feedback forms. Only one in ten customers actually complain about bad customer service and would rather simply not use a business again. Mystery shoppers will evaluate and write reports on a number of different customer/business relationship aspects.

Duties Of A Mystery Shopper

Mystery shoppers don’t simply evaluate a shop’s customer service. They work with a huge variety of businesses and the shopping aspect could take the form of emails, telephone calls, surveys and face to face assessments. The major aspect is that a mystery shopper will pose as a real customer in order to evaluate how positively or negatively a customer is treated by a business.

Required Skills Of A Mystery Shopper

You may think a lifetime’s shopping experience is all that is needed to become a mystery shopper but there are certain required skills. Requirements will include excellent observational and memory skills and proficiency in report writing. Mystery shoppers should also be reliable, flexible with regards to time, and have the ability to work to strict deadlines.

Becoming A Mystery Shopper

One of the most common ways to become a mystery shopper is to research companies on the Internet. There are a number of reliable companies that advertise for mystery shoppers and they will not charge any money to those who wish to register. If you are found to be a suitable candidate then they will place you on a database and will provide jobs when they become available. Actual shop visits or business assessments will become available when they are required in your local area.

Perks Of Mystery Shopping

If you do become a regular mystery shopper for a company then there are some good perks. You may be able to keep goods that are bought as part of the shopping assessment. Travelling allowances will usually be paid and of course spending limits will be applied. This is not just about the shop experience; jobs can include taking flights to different countries to asses an airline’s customer service.

Full-Time Mystery Shoppers

In most cases being a mystery shopper is not a full time option. However, if you live in or near major cities in the UK you will usually be able to obtain more jobs. This type of work is mainly a part-time job option to earn some extra income and there is no guarantee of the amount of assignments. But the positive side of mystery shopping is that it can usually be fitted around a normal daily schedule.

Mystery Shopper Scams

The Internet is rife with scams and the online employment sector is no different. Unsolicited emails stating that mystery shoppers are required in your area should sound alarm bells. Reputable mystery shopping businesses do not need to solicit for shoppers; they have more than enough employees on their books. Likewise if any company asks you to pay a registration fee or to send any kind of money whatsoever before they pay you then simply avoid like the plague.

Pay Levels Of Mystery Shopping

Getting rich as a mystery shopper isn’t usually an option. Think of this as simply a way to make a little extra income every month. If you live near major cities then you may achieve a reasonable amount of work and pay each month. Mystery shoppers who are reliable and fulfil assignments efficiently and on time are more likely to be used again. Remember, mystery shoppers are seen as self-employed and as such are responsible for their own taxes and National Insurance.

Mystery shopping can be a lot of fun and can be an excellent source of income for those who can afford the extra time. This is not usually a life long career option, but as a part-time job is does have its perks and it is never usually mundane.

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