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The pros and cons of being a mystery shopper

Mystery Shopping Companies


The world of retail shopping appears to be this calm industry where there is simply buying and selling that is done on a daily basis, and all is well. At the inner working of the retail industry is an elaborate underground of marketing, selling, production, and customer service that has its own checks and balances. At the heart of the marketing strategy are those persons who work tirelessly known as mystery shoppers. They are an integral and important aspect of the marketing and advertising in retail, and most people do not even notice. The mystery shopper goes unnoticed. As a mystery shopper myself, that is the appeal of this job.

Mystery shoppers are found in every facet of retail. There are those who are movie-goers, restaurant critics, as well as those who park valet, and go into small convenience shops and boutiques. They are reimbursed for performing needful "customer service appraisal". They find out what is good about a store or retail entity, and they discover the problems in the best manner anyone could: as a customer. The mystery shopper does not pose as a customer; they are actually a customer and do as any other customer would. At times a purchase has to be made, and some service performed for the mystery shopper. A report is made concerning the incident, and the reporting company will then remit the information to the retail agency itself.

I am inclined to believe that companies who strive to do good customer service use this means to make sure that customers are made to feel important, and that the company is represented in a good light to the public. Mystery shoppers make good customer service possible. They find and report the flaws of retail establishments to the company so to insure that all customers are treated as they should be. Mystery shopping helps company hire good employees, and have a good sense of responsibility for their products and services.

At times there are some drawbacks to being a mystery shopper. Depending on for whom you work, payment is slow. Some may take up to sixty days for reimbursement and shop payment, so successful mystery shoppers have to stay busy in order for this to be a viable job opportunity. At certain times of the year, mystery shopping work opportunities slow to a lull, such as a few weeks after Christmas, and when school has ended for holiday. Worse still, the offerings for mystery shopping opportunities may be farther than expected and not pay commensurate with the petrol used for the trip. At times the expenses may exceed the payment. Also reporting itself may be tedious, submitting supporting receipts, and log forms that may take a long time.

Overall, the underground world of mystery shopping is a great way to discover what is good and what isn't when it comes to getting good products and service.

Here is a small selection of genuine companies who carry out mystery shopping assignments. All are free to join, and just like making money with only survey sites, you will be able to choose more assignments if you sign up with several agencies.


1) Consumer Intelligence


2) Retail Eyes


3) Gap Buster


4) GFK Mystery Shopping





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