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Get the Inside Scoop on Mystery Shopper’s

Updated on August 21, 2015

Imagine going into your favorite stores, scoping out the products, presentation and service while getting paid to be there. Mystery shopping is a real business that can add extra cash into your coffers or even turn into a full-time venture in some cases. The field, however, is fraught with potential pitfalls, so it pays to learn the inside scoop on how to make the most of the job. The Mystery Shopper’s Academy can teach you the tricks of the trade before you dive in with both feet.

As you consider this career choice, here are some answers to questions you probably have:

Just what do mystery shoppers do?

Mystery shoppers are paid evaluators who go into stores and other public service venues to find out just how a particular business rates on customer service. Since solid customer service is critical for repeat business, stores hire mystery shopping companies and their evaluators to gain insights into areas that might need improvement.

How do mystery shoppers get paid?

Shoppers who work for legitimate companies will generally accept assignments at specific stores or entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, zoos and so on. Those assignments have a set price they pay once a shopper has completed an evaluation.

Do mystery shoppers have to buy goods?

In some cases, yes. When this is the case, however, a reputable assignment company will reimburse its mystery shoppers for their purchases if they submit receipts. In most cases, the assigning company will also specify only that a small purchase be made so the shopper isn’t out a lot of money during the reimbursement wait.

Aren’t mystery shopping businesses scams?

While it’s true there are scams associated with this field, the Mystery Shopper’s Academy offers insights on how to avoid them. There are highly reputable companies that offer positions for mystery shoppers that pay real money in a timely fashion. The key to launching this type of career is making sure to apply for positions with reputable firms.

How much does it cost to get started?

As the Mystery Shopper’s Academy explains, shoppers shouldn’t have to pay anything to work for someone else. When a company asks for money up front, certification fees and so on, chances are it’s just not reputable.

Can you work only a few hours and make good money?

That’s a misconception, too. Mystery shopping is a serious business and those who want to break in will find the pay is comparable with how much they are willing to work. Since the best mystery shopping companies pay by the assignment, how much a worker puts in will reflect in the bottom line.

If you love shopping and have a fair, critical eye for service, this career field might be worth exploring. Whether you want to bolster your income by working as a mystery shopper on the side or hope to launch a full-time career evaluating others, be sure to stop by for step-by-step advice for breaking into this field.

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