To succeed in the secret shopping business you must know the mystery shopper terms and conditions for each company you work for. These will vary from company to company.
For instance, several companies will require you to take an online test as well as fill out an application. Remember, for a legitimate mystery shopping providercompany, you do NOT have to pay a fee to apply. Some companies require reading and taking a test for each specific business you will shop. For instance, one company requires you to read an online Radio Shack manual for assignments to Radio Shack and a McDonalds manual for assignments to McDonalds. After reading the manuals, you take a test to prove that you understand the requirements of the secret shopping assignments to those businesses.
Beyond testing, mystery shopper terms and conditions require you to be very observant and to be able to take in and remember a lot of information at once. For instance, you may have to remember the exact times or exact number of minutes and seconds from the time you stand in a line until a cashier waits on you. You may need to get and remember the cashier’s name and what she said to you. You also may have to observe whether the shelves are tidy, whether there is litter on the floor, whether the restrooms are clean, and be ready to report the name of anyone who assisted you and how helpful he was.
Once you have done your secret shopper visit, you need to make thorough notes and fill out an online report giving complete details for each question on the report. A good company will give you guidelines and these questions before you do the shop so that you know what is required. You will also be required to clearly write the answers with good spelling and good grammar.
Be sure to look at the online form you will fill out before going out to do your secret shopping assignment. Typically the guidelines for the assignment do not thoroughly prepare you for everything you must observe. By looking at the actual form, you will know exactly what you will be asked.
Other terms and conditions normally require you to fax or scan and attach a copy of your receipts.
If you fail to completely meet the requirements, you may be denied payment and reimbursement for the mystery shopping assignment. If an answer you give is not complete and explained well, your payment may be held up until you submit further information.
You need to be able to do the mystery shop without giving any indication to the employees that you are on a secret shopping assignment. You may not carry with you your papers and/or fill them out while at the business.
Your report and comments will be sent to the business that hired the mystery shopping provider company, and often it will also be sent directly to the employees at the establishment you visited. If those employees indicate that they could tell you were doing a mystery shop, you will not likely be given that assignment again. So you must stay (as the old saying goes) cool, calm, and collected!
In the beginning you will likely need to accept shopping assignments that don’t pay well. The companies you work for will be evaluating whether you do the assignments promptly and on time and whether your shopping assignments and reports are done thoroughly and correctly. If you do well, you should receive offers for more and better paying assignments.