Mystery Shopping - Tips and Links
(also known as secret shopping).
Preface: I will be continually revising this
mystery shopping article.
I will say "store" to
encompass all types of companies (banks, gas stations, movie
theaters, etc.). And, I will say "shop" even though in
many cases you really just "visit", rather than
I use the terms mystery
shopping and secret shopping interchangeably. They mean
the same thing.
In a bit, we'll show you how
this ezine will help you become a mystery shopper and maximize
your odds of doing it as often as you wish.
How To Become A Mystery Shopper
I won't make any wild income claims
about how much you can make as a mystery shopper. You're going to be the
Well, in most every issue of
this ezine, we'll list 1-3 mystery shopping company links.
This is addition to paid survey companies. Just click
the links and join the companies. In time, you'll see
what the potential is for you.
There just are too many variables involved to say how much
you can or will make. Factors such as: How many companies
you sign up for, the pay of the secret shop companies you work
for, how active those companies are, where you live, the
type of mystery shops you do, if you complete assignments, etc.
Mystery shoppers are
normally compensated for any products they were told to buy.
are usually paid a shopper fee. So, you now have an
opportunity to eat for free in fine restaurants, get free
haircuts, free car tune-ups, free gas, free donuts, etc.
AND be paid on top.
How much time is involved?
Since both paid surveys and
mystery shopping take such little time to do, you can do both.
What is mystery shopping?
A mystery shopper is a person who is hired to go
into company locations (stores, banks, movie theaters, etc.) and act like a regular customer (without calling
attention to themselves). The purpose of this visit is
to see things through the eyes of a typical customer.
And, then rate the service and product. And, answer questions
about your experience.
The mystery shopper dresses and acts
as they normally do. However, when you mystery shop, you go in even more
observant and aware of your surroundings. And, you try
and remember as much as you can about your experience.
In a few
minutes we'll show you how to become a mystery shopper.
But... what about those
who don't like to shop?
Now, some people who don't
care to shop shy away from mystery shopping. Well, the
term mystery SHOPPING is a tad misleading. It's not like
you spend hours thumbing through clothes. In many cases,
you just VISIT and OBSERVE.
For example, I used to mystery
"shop" a gas station. I just drove up and went over to
the cashier in a booth and paid for the gas. Then I
pumped the gas. I don't really consider this shopping in
the typical sense of the word.
So, if you hate to shop,
think of this job not as mystery shopping, but mystery
VISITING. If you love to shop, you should enjoy this.
Pre-shop. Just before you enter the store.
Prior to your entry into the
store you're to shop, you will have been supplied with a
checklist/questionnaire (typically about 1 page in length).
You'll receive this checklist by email, fax, or "snail mail".
Or, in some cases, especially if it's a last minute
assignment, you may be given oral instructions over the phone.
This can happen if another shopper falls ill, or for other
The questionnaire tells you
what to look for when you're visiting the store. The things
you'll be asked to look for are pretty much common sense things
(employee attitude to you, cleanliness, time spent waiting in
line, etc.). In some instances you'll be asked to ask a
certain question or see if they have a certain item on the
menu or in stock.
In time, it will become
easy to remember what things to watch out for when you shop.
Many things will repeatedly come up in every questionnaire.
Leave everything in the car
(or in your pocket if you didn't bring a car and instead are using "ankle-express"
-- walking). Do not bring this
questionnaire into the store with you.
While in the store...
Try to blend in with everyone else. Don't stick out!
After you leave the store. Post-shop.
Once you have exited the
store, head over to your car or to some place that is out of site
of the store's employees and patrons.
Collect your thoughts and
review what transpired. Then answer the questions
on the questionnaire. Or, as is sometimes the case, simply make notes about your
It's advisable that you fill
in the questionnaire soon after you leave the store... while
everything is fresh on your mind.
What do you do with your comments and/or questionnaire?
You will be told to either fax, send, or email in
their comments (or fill in their comments into a form at the mystery
shopping company's website).
Try to get it submitted the
very day you do the shop. You don't want stuff piling
up. And, you want to make a great impression.
Type of mystery shoppers sought
In some cases, the mystery
shopping company will seek out shoppers who are as similar
to the target audience as possible. This is so the
feedback will be more similar to that of the company's
will you mystery shop?
This is mostly a part time job.
Although, some people do in fact do in full-time. Years
back, one particular company offered me a full-time job as a
Types of mystery shops you'll do
Now, there are different types of shops you can do and I'll
talk a bit about them in the coming issues. I have done
all kinds of mystery shops. Some of I didn't like doing, but you might.
Others I enjoyed, but you might not. You know how that
Dealing with assignments
I'll talk about how you can tell the mystery shop companies
what assignments you prefer to receive. Sure at
first you'll be willing to do anything. But, soon you
might get a bit more selective.
We'll discuss how you can go about refusing assignments
tactfully without being penalized.
How the ezine helps you become
an active mystery shopper.
You'll receive everything you need to
do to maximize your chances of doing this as often as you
You'll receive more than enough mystery
shopping companies. We have over 200 in our database.
You'll receive just a handful of
companies in each ezine (the amount we've discovered is most
optimal). This way you won't feel overwhelmed.
Here's a unique feature (which you
won't find anywhere else). As with the survey
companies, we provide DIRECT LINKS to the sign up
form (whenever possible). So, you click a link and
then you're transported instantly to the registration form.
These direct links will save you a
great amount of time, effort, and aggravation. And,
it will make joining far easier and more pleasant.
As such, you'll stay with it.
And, you'll join far more companies.
So, rather than wasting time trying
to hunt down the links to the sign up forms, you'll bypass this nuisance
and as a result you won't detest the sign up process, and it
won't be tiring and boring. This will make it so you
end up joining far more companies.
All the companies in our ezine are free
A nice benefit of the ezine is
that we'll provided reminders so you keep joining mystery
shopping companies. You'll do it regularly. The
ezine keeps you going... it reminds and encourages you.
Furthermore, since there are just a few links per issue, you
won't become overwhelmed or burn out.
A sizeable barrier to
success is that people "throw in the towel" -- they don't
persist. Fact is, many who are given a list
all at once... abandon the whole thing (they get distracted,
sidetracked, forget about, or get bored out of their mind).
I don't know about you, but if I'm facing a
list of 200 or so companies on one page with the intent of
signing up with them, I'll tend to lose my place,
motivation... be sidetracked.. get bored.. get tired of
doing the same thing over and over again.
With the aid of direct links,
Form Filler Software, and the fact that you'll gradually get familiar with the
questions asked of you, and it will become a
piece of cake. We'll try our best to help you whiz
through the sign ups.
The FREE list of mystery shopping
Some people charge $30 or more for a
list of mystery shopping companies.
One of the problems with this is that people feel ripped off.
People experience buyer's remorse because they never end up
signing up with many secret shopping companies. They
think: " I just shelled out xyz bucks but I only joined
3 companies -- and those 3 come up in the first page of the
search engine list, anyway!". And, they get
sidetracked.. or just forget to do it.
Also, I've heard many people say that those
lists are mega-ancient. Recycled lists from the
Besides, NONE of those lists
provide DIRECT LINKS to the registration form. We do.
Form Filler Software...
more about it.
You just plug in your basic info once (name, address, city,
zip, email, etc.) and it will fill that stuff in for you
whenever you wish.
You can also add a few "custom fields". This will save
you a lot of effort. So with this form filler you won't
have to enter the same information over and over and over
again. This is important since there are a few
things you'll be asked by forms fairly often.
You can change the information you
supplied this form filler software at any point.
question you'll be asked on mystery shopper applications is: "Please list the mystery shopping companies you
have joined". Well, you could use Roboform to fill this in for you
-- sparing you the annoyance of typing it in over and over
You could set up custom fields
(they're fields YOU create). In this example, you
could set up a custom field name called "companies".
It'd represent the mystery shopping companies you have
worked for previously. Then you'd enter the names of
shopping companies you have joined (Field Value). Now, whenever this
form tool sees the word "companies" it will enter in the
list of companies you have previously supplied it with.
Sure you could copy and paste but
there are other questions you'll be asked on forms, like,
"Tell us about a recent shopping experience".
A Field Name, in this instance, is the question you're
asked on a form. For example, your education.
If you wanted to have Roboform fill in that request for you, you'd
just go to Roboform's custom field screen and type in education in
the Field Name blank.
Then you'd type in a Field
Value -- which is your answer/response -- in this case
your education level (high school, AA, Bachelors, etc.).
So whenever Roboform sees the education field on a form (the Field
Name), it will plug in whatever you typed in previously (the
So, the Field Name is the question. And, the Field
Value is your response/answer to that question.
To see how to
set up "custom fields", see our
Roboform Start up guide.
The mystery shopping links in this ezine
have JUST been updated.
Again, all the mystery shopping companies in this
ezine are free to join.
The same goes for the paid survey, focus group, and paid to
drive companies (and other legit online jobs).
Which mystery shopping
companies are best to work for?
Some companies are easier to work for than others.
I'll add my 2 cents. But, primarily, I'll use the
feedback from subscribers.
I plan to provide "Feedback" or "Rank this company"
buttons next to each mystery shopping company listed.
This free ezine is ad supported.
I try to only have messages from reputable companies.
In most cases, I have used their products or they were a
You won't find get rich or other schemes here.
We are starting to collect feedback from subscribers on
each mystery shopping company. Technology willing, each
company listing will come with a feedback/rank this button.
Of course, some of you will recognize some of these secret
shopping companies. However, we have around 200 in
total, so I'm sure there'll eventually be some you haven't
In most issues of the
"Paid Survey - And Other Jobs Ezine", you'll receive 1-2 mystery
shopping company links. The mystery shopping
companies are located just below the survey companies.
Below are 2 mystery shopping companies to
get you started.
How to become a mystery shopper
Rather than work directly
with the company whose stores you "shop", most mystery
shoppers work via a mystery shopping company.
If you're not already subscribed, subscribe
to our ezine. You'll find links to mystery shopping
companies in most issues.
The advantage of the links we provide...
an advantage I haven't seen elsewhere is that these links
are DIRECT LINKS (as are the links to the paid survey
companies). Direct links are simply links to the
company's registration page (the mystery shopper
application/sign up form).
Simply find the heading "Mystery Shopping
Companies". It is near the bottom of every issue, just
under the paid survey companies.
Then click a mystery shopping company
link. You'll be taken to the company's
registration/sign up page.
Once you arrive at the application form,
type in the information they request of you.
Consider downloading the Form Filler Software we provide. It will much of the form filling
for you. This way you won't have to type your name,
address, etc. over and over and over again.
Article provided by
http://completelistofpaidsurveysites.com where you can
discover how to get paid to shop. Get a free list of links to
mystery shopping companies. Then you apply for mystery
shopping jobs for free. You may copy this article and post it
anywhere so long as you do not change anyt text (keeping this
link and information in place).
Okay, here are a couple of mystery shopping companies
to click and join
(in most cases,
these are links to the sign up
page... this will save you a lot of time and effort).
Ardent Mystery Shoppers
When you arrive at the page,
do not fill in the Shopperid field (you will receive
an email with that information after you have registered).
Worldwide. Global residents (people from most countries).
Service Sleuths/Howard Services
Worldwide. Global residents (people from most countries).