Have you ever wondered what precisely a “mystery shopper” or “secret shopper” does or how to become one? By definition, a corporation hires this sort of employee to act as a client in order to assess a company’s customer service. Here’s everything you need to know about mystery shoppers, including salary, benefits, expectations, and what to avoid.
It’s Simple Cash.
It’s as easy as it sounds to be a secret shopper: you get paid to shop. There are no qualifications required. The remuneration for this sort of job is either an hourly wage or based on the number of stores visited, according to job applications. You will be asked to spend your own money on shop purchases, although you will normally be paid for a certain amount.
You may find yourself in a situation where you are paid to eat, as secret shopping gigs can range from retail establishments to eateries. According to undercover. ae, the money may be used to refund you for the cost of a dinner for two at select restaurants. Before you agree to complete the store, the payment is mentioned in each circumstance.
As stated by Matt Wozniak, President & CEO of National Shopping Service, “paycheck amounts vary from $ 5.00 to $25.00 for an engagement ranging from 15 to 60 minutes in length.” The majority of mystery shoppers work on a part-time basis, although Wozniak notes that “we have had a handful make over $40,000 per year.” You can pick up a free pizza on your way to pick up the kids from soccer or fill up on free fuel while you’re at it.”
Something to keep in mind while working as a mystery shopper is that you will be classified as an independent contractor, which means you will be responsible for reporting your earnings when tax season rolls around. One advantage is that you may consider mystery shopping to be self-employment, which allows you to deduct expenditures; however, you must maintain meticulous records of your spending.
It’s a Long-Term Investment of Time.
As simple and fast as it seems, working as a secret shopper is, in fact, a time-consuming profession that requires dedication and perseverance. You may spend anything from a few minutes to many hours or even days to have the whole experience you need to report on for your report. Furthermore, after each encounter, you are obliged to complete a survey in order to assess whether or not you had a positive experience with the organization. As opposed to filling out a multiple-choice survey, some businesses request lengthy answers as well as employee identification numbers in order to reference comments.
Nobody Knows Who You Are or Where You Are.
In college, I used to work a desk job checking people in and out of one of the dormitories, and the resident life program invited a few students to pretend as secret shoppers and report back on how we performed during our shifts. I was one of the students who agreed to participate. However, even though we were aware that this was taking place, we had no way of knowing who was being paid to review our performance, which drove us to be on top of things at all times. For example, at retail businesses or restaurants, the sales workers have no way of knowing whether a specific client is legitimate or not, so you are really a mystery.
When you sign up to be a secret shopper, you always maintain your anonymity—you never reveal your identity to the employee at the conclusion of the process. Employees at a corporation are being evaluated to examine how they interact with one another on a regular basis and how they respond to various scenarios. Depending on the circumstance, you may be requested to act in a specific manner or purchase an object, after which you will be asked to report back on how the problem was handled.
The Necessities Differ From one Situation to the Next.
Mystery shoppers may be utilized in every business, which means that the criteria differ from one application to the next. The majority of occupations need applicants to be at least 18 years old. The purchase of age-sensitive items such as alcohol or cigarettes is required by certain mystery shops, and the mystery shopper must be at least 21 years old in order to participate in the mystery shop. The majority of mystery shopper jobs also ask you to supply your own transportation to and from the location.
Consider Your Surroundings Before Making a Decision.
While this seems to be a job that is too good to be true in some ways, it may really be true in certain situations. The fact that there are a lot of scam sites out there professing to employ for this position makes it even more necessary to deal with an established, respectable organization before signing up for an opportunity such as this.
There is one red flag to be aware of: never pay money to be a secret shopper since this is considered unethical. A respectable organization will not ask you a fee to join up or fill out an application, and neither should you.
An international organization committed to monitoring and controlling consumer experience in the marketplace, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) was founded in 1995. This is perhaps the greatest site available for locating real employment as a mystery shopper in the current market. You may discover more about secret shoppers on their website, as well as check for fake websites and look for shopping assignments from member organizations.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, prospective mystery shoppers should be aware of frauds that deceive them into providing bank account information or submitting a check as part of the registration process. The Federal Trade Commission also advises candidates not to reply to firms that attempt to recruit mystery shoppers through email or classified advertisements, and never to transfer money as part of a mystery shopping assignment, according to the FTC.