Have you ever asked, “Is mystery shopping legitimate or is it a scam?” With some research, it won’t take long to discover that there are many companies which really do pay people to visit businesses and report back on their experiences. These companies are hired by businesses which need to know how customers perceive their businesses and their employees. Why? Because they need to evaluate their own staff to see if they are satisfactorily meeting the needs of their customers.
Mystery shoppers are sort of like spies who evaluate customer service and how the business is maintained and report back to the business owner.
Mystery shoppers are not employees. Companies who hire you as a secret shopper treat you as an independent contractor, agreeing to pay a fee and/or reimburse you for purchases. Legitimate mystery shopping companies do NOT require you to pay a fee to work for them. You apply to do shopping assignments for them. If they accept your application, you may pick and choose from available mystery shops. But you have to be fast. Other secret shoppers in your area may sign up for the available shopping jobs ahead of you.
Some legitimate mystery shopping providers require you to take one or more tests before giving you assignments. They provide you with online reading material and then test you on what you read. They do this to make sure that you understand the requirements, can do simple mathmatics, and can write in a fashion that is concise, clear, and grammatically correct.
There is a Mystery Shopping Providers Association with over two hundred member companies. This association sets standards for the industry and only allows legitimate mystery shopping companies as members. For a fee, you may take a certification course and test from them. Once you have this certification, some legitimate mystery shopping providers will favor you for some of their better assignments. However, when it comes to gaining favor, nothing beats building a record of prompt service and giving thorough reports, no matter how large or small the assignment you fulfill.
Why do businesses hire mystery shoppers? Watch this video to find out: