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5 Tips for Successful Secret Shoppers

Updated on April 4, 2018
Tilly Rogers profile image

Tilly Rogers is a mother, writer and thrift loving woman! She has a B.A. from UNC Charlotte with a B.A. in Education.

5 Tips for Successful Secret Shoppers

Being a Secret or Mystery shopper is a great way to supplement your income. Especially if you have children or are retired. Here are some tips to make sure that you are successful in this contract work.

1. Make sure the company you are working for is a legitimate company.

Poking around the internet and researching the company you are applying for for a few minutes online can save you a headache later. Read forums, read reviews and weed out the crazies from the legitimate complaints.

How do you know if it's a legitimate company?

The following companies have a higher ranking nationally with the BBB.



Once you've decided which company you'll be working for. On to step two make sure you understand the shop.

2. Understand the Shop

When you have an assignment, make sure you understand exactly what you're shopping for. Often times the typed up scenarios has multiple scenarios and there could be so much information you simply don't read it. If you are "Scenario A" make sure you follow all of the instructions or you may not be paid.



Example of a shop scenario

Scenario A

You are required to ask the Pharmacy associate at the Pharmacy counter two questions (below) about medication.

Question 1 Ask about the location of an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Do not ask about a product that is within sight of where you’re standing.

3. Check the time frame

Often times there are specific hours that the shop should occur. If the shop gives you a window of 2 pm - 5 pm, that means they want information about the business ONLY during those hours. It's required that you do that shop at that specific time. The Shop Client might have concerns about their business during these hours. Maybe there is an employee, manager or customer that they need more information about. Either way it's your job to gather the information in a covert way. If you shop outside of that time your shop may not be accepted.



One Woman Makes $8000 a Year!

4. Make sure you're at the right location and be observant

Generally large companies, major retail chains hire secret shoppers. There could have three stores on the same street in larger cities. So checking and rechecking the address is good practice as you're beginning as a mystery shopper. If you shop the wrong store they probably will cancel the shop and you've wasted time and possibly money.

While you're there take in the details. Often times the Shop company wants physical descriptions, gender and names of the employees you interact with. Sometimes they want pictures, business cards or brochures from the shop. This is a way for them to have "proof of shop".

5. Cluster your shops

Instead of running here and there to do a shop, plan out a day that you will do your shops. Open your trusted map or GPS Apps to make sure you organize your shops in the way that is most effective for your needs. As an example you know that a shop isn't allowed during 2 PM - 3 PM, plan your schedule with the other shops so that you end up at the restricted shop before or after that hour. Or if you know a shp=op is near your child's school and you need that one to be the last before you pick her up. Get as many as is possible in the time that you have. This saves on gas money and even more valuable your time!

© 2018 Tilly Rogers

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