by J. Stephen Pope
How would you like to get paid to go shopping? That's right! Get paid to shop for clothes, eat in restaurants, watch movies, play golf, travel, and so on.
You can have your cake and eat it too! Enjoy the best of both worlds. Make money and have fun at the same time as a mystery shopper.
What is a Mystery Shopper?
Sometimes known as a secret shopper, a mystery shopper looks like any other customer but is working undercover to perform market research or other tests on business establishments.
For example, a mystery shopper may check on the quality of service and products at a particular fast food outlet.
Were the staff friendly, courteous and helpful? Were the washrooms clean? Was the food hot and tasty? Did the staff attempt to upsell? Was the order filled accurately and quickly?
Why the Need for Mystery Shoppers?
Companies are concerned about the quality of your shopping experience. If there is a problem, they would like to know about it so that they can take corrective action and keep you as a customer.
For this reason, businesses hire mystery shoppers to check on their locations and report the results.
As well, comparison shopping can reveal pricing and service differences of the competition.
Mystery shoppers sometimes uncover safety or security concerns and other helpful information.
How To Make Money as a Mystery Shopper
You can make money as a freelance mystery shopper. Contact market research companies and other businesses to obtain clients.
As an independent contractor, you will invoice clients your fees for services rendered. As well, you will be reimbursed for any direct expenses incurred (such as the cost of store purchases).
It is also possible to run your own market research company and subcontract out the work. You would need to get business clients who are willing to pay for these secret shopping assignments. Then, find suitable people who are willing to perform those assignments for you.
Variety is the Spice of Mystery Shopping
Your assignments as a mystery shopper can be varied and interesting.
One time you may eat in a fast food restaurant. Another time you may be asked to see how long it takes to get service from a company by telephone.
Perhaps you may be asked to shop at a website to check out its user friendliness. Still another assignment may require you to rate the helpfulness of store staff.
So, if you would like to have fun while making money, consider becoming a mystery shopper.