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Mystery Shopping Mysteries Solved - What a Mystery Shopper Does

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 11:06 PM

It likely that you've heard of mystery shopping before. Because the job, while it implies an air of mystique, is actually quite popular. Mystery Shopping is a market research tool used by companies all over the world to assess the quality of a business, business service or product. Those engaged in this activity come in all shapes and sizes and while most of them don't wear a trench coat or detective's hat, the work they do can be very, well, sneaky. In this article, we discuss the myths and facts behind what is involved in mystery shopping and to debunk the mysteries surrounding the job.


Mystery #1 - Getting a gig is hard

There is no mystery behind getting a job as a mystery shopper. The job allows people from all over the world to work in businesses and shops in their neighborhood and most mystery shoppers are never required to report to an office. This means being a mystery shopper is flexible and thus, anyone who wants to dedicate time to the practice can find employment that works for them. Market Research companies and businesses who need mystery shopping type assessments are used in innumerable ways across several industries, so the demand for shoppers is almost always high. As such, finding a job isn't typically difficult and anyone dedicated to being a mystery shopper can have great success. Searching online for employers is an excellent first step. This will lead you in the right direction in finding a forum where lots of shoppers are needed, found and trained. Being hired through a provider is one of the most common ways of getting hired and for first-timers this is your best bet. These businesses will typically send you training materials, conduct interviews, connect you to work and facilitate the working process during your duration as a shopper.


Mystery #2 - I need lots of experience to get these jobs

This mystery is as big of a dud as they get. To be a mystery shopper you don't need experience, but to be a good mystery shopper you do need some special skills. Many mystery shoppers start out as first-timers and gain the skills and knowledge to become professionals in the industry. Many mystery shopping providers are more than willing to take on people new to the job as long as they are willing to learn. If you love shopping and are interested in market research and consumer habits, you're well on your way. Most mystery shoppers are detailed oriented people who are highly organized. Mystery shoppers are often asked to keep track of several details all at once, which means both of these skill sets are critical to good shoppers. Being able to be objective is another important skill for mystery shoppers and every good shopper is able to distinguish between work and personal opinion. For example, this means that if you greatly dislike a certain restaurant but are asked to evaluate it, you are obligated to give that facility an unbiased review.


Mystery #3 - I need to love shopping

This mystery shopping question has in essence, very little mystery behind it. The answer is almost always a resounding, yes! Most choose this job because they love shopping and since a large portion of the job means posing as a shopper, enjoying the process means you are likely to enjoy your job that much more.


Mystery #4 - I will get to evaluate all my favorite shops

While you may get the chance to evaluate a favorite shop or restaurant, in many instances you will be asked to review places you have never been, and in some cases would never otherwise go. This means women may be asked to 'shop' a repair store or shop for tools in a hardware store. Being a mystery shopper doesn't always mean attending to your favorite things or favorite shops, but every once and a while you get a chance to attend to places you know and enjoy often. Regardless of how you feel remember, all good mystery shoppers need to remain objective.


While there are infinitely more questions surrounding mystery shopping hopefully this will give you a taste of some of the realities of the job.


We don't read a lot about mystery shopping in the newspapers, and there are few stories on the news. So where does one get information about these jobs, which can provide a great supplemental income? Lisa Jenkins is a jobs and careers writer for the free JobMonkey website, and she explains what a mystery shopper does and where to find these jobs. From market research jobs to evaluating customer service in restaurants and retail stores, there are a broad range of opportunities. Find out whether this industry is right for you.



Article written by Lisa Jenkins,


Companies that offer mystery shopping opportunities

Categories: Mystery Shopping

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