What are the Different Mystery Shopper Jobs?

Erin J. Hill

There are various types of mystery shopper jobs available to those who want to earn a little extra money giving consumer feedback to businesses and organizations. Traditionally, these jobs are done by having a mystery shopper enter a store, make a purchase, and fill out a form stating the specifics of their experience. While this type of shopping is still widely used, online retailers also routinely need mystery shoppers.

Secret shoppers may fill out online forms and surveys in relation to a store's service quality.
Secret shoppers may fill out online forms and surveys in relation to a store's service quality.

One of the various mystery shopper jobs is that of the traditional secret shopper. This means that a person is assigned to a specific retailer, and is required to make a purchase from the store. Interaction with store employees is generally also required, and shoppers may be asked to remember specific names of employees. After the purchase has been made, the shopper files a report stating what type of experience he or she had at the establishment.

In most cases, all purchases made as a mystery shopper are reimbursed by the company, and a fee is paid to the shopper for his services. The amount each shop is worth varies based on the company and the time the shop will take to complete. In most cases, secret shopping is good as a supplementary income rather than full-time employment.

Other mystery shopper jobs are done entirely online. These are relatively new operations, but there are already many sites hiring secret shoppers. Shoppers doing these jobs are generally given a spreadsheet with links to several sites posted on it. Each site must be visited, and most of the time a form must be filled out requesting information about a specific product or service.

Once the form is complete, a salesperson or company representative with each company will generally call a number the shopper provides. At this point, the secret shopper is required to talk to the representative as if he or she were interested in the product or service being offered. Most of the time, no actual purchase is necessary, and the shopper simply tells the salesperson that he is going to look into other options.

Online mystery shopper jobs are generally paid by the spreadsheet or by the hour, instead of by the job. Since online mystery shopping is usually much faster and more efficient than actual in-store shopping, several shops can be completed in one day. This helps to increase the shopper's overall income potential, although online mystery shopper jobs are also generally used to supplement an existing income.

To become a secret shopper, one must find a secret shopping website or company. These companies act as a go-between for the businesses they represent and qualified shoppers. Sometimes a shopper can go directly to a company to ask about mystery shopping, but the chances of getting a job are much higher when a specialized middleman is used. Most times, available shops in the area or online are sent to shoppers via email on a first-come-first-served basis.

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