to be a
Table of Contents
The Joy of Shopping 3
What Exactly Is A Mystery Shopper? 4
What do I do to get started? 7
The Ringing Phone
What Do I Do Now? 9
How Much Work Is There After
I'm Through Shopping? 12
How Do I Find Work As
A Mystery Shopper? 15
Shopping Possibilities 17
Checklist for a Successful Start 18
Sample/Practice Form 19
The Joy of Shopping
For some of us, the thought of having to go to the grocery store, mall
or any store for that matter is considered something of a pleasure! The
hard part is always having a reason to go, or the extra money to spend when
we do. Does this sound like you? If so, then you are a perfect candidate to
become a Mystery Shopper!
As a Mystery Shopper you will have many benefits beyond the
shopping - you can also receive free merchandise, get paid for your time,
enjoy dinner at restaurants you have always wanted to try, take tripsÖthe
possibilities are endless. Now you can shop to your hearts content and have
fun while you "work"!
What Exactly Is A Mystery Shopper?
What is a Mystery Shopper you say? Someone who can go to a store,
restaurant, theme park or any business that values their customers and
evaluate their appearance, services, and employee's without them knowing
what you are doing. In some instances store clerks, counter help and other
employees may treat customers differently when they donít know they are being evaluated. Your job is not to spy on the employee's or business, or
even try to catch them in something wrong. You are not even looking for
You simply evaluate your experience.
Mystery Shoppers must remain completely unbiased when
performing their duties. If you have had a bad experience in the past at a
certain business, then you should be professional and refuse to evaluate that
establishment if you feel you cannot be objective. This is not a time for
You are the link that keeps the Corporate Headquarters informed and
they need you to maintain yourself in a professional manner. For a
business to be successful, they must maintain customer satisfaction. They
can better please the customer if they understand how the customer is being
treated and if their product is being sold as they intended.
Many businesses operate from a Corporate Office with stores all over
the country. For them, Mystery Shoppers are invaluable to maintain
quality in each and every location. By having you, the ordinary customer
report on your shopping excursion, they can better achieve uniformity
throughout their chain. They are completely aware that cleanliness, service
and the quality of their product is essential to their success. Give them your
loyalty by not revealing your findings with any other source, whether
friends, competitors or other Marketing Research companies and you can
have a wonderful, long lasting working relationship with them.
Remember, the customer is always right!
You will have the benefit of working around your schedule, which
can be beneficial for a housewife, mother or part time worker. Some
places may want you to go to their establishment only during certain hours,
i.e. happy hour, early bird specials, moonlight madness sales, etc. You may
be able to request certain hours of the day that are best for you, such as early
mornings for momís with small children in preschool or late afternoons -
early evenings for those who already hold down a part time job.
Mystery Shoppers are needed every hour of the day somewhere!
What Do I Do To Get Started?
First do your homework. There are many companies that place
Mystery Shoppers. You can review the list located in the back of this book
or go to your local library or telephone book and look for Marketing
Research companies. You will need to write to them and submit a resume. You may even want to send a recent photo of yourself. Don't worry about having professional pictures done, a Polaroid will work just as well.
Make sure to give the times you are available, and you may want to copy a
local or state map and detail the areas you would be available to
work in. Also give specifics in your letter. If you prefer to only do
restaurants, let them know. There are many areas you can work in, you
don't have to take an assignment for a computer store if you have absolutely
no knowledge or interest in that matter. There is a list on page with some
suggested places that utilize Mystery Shoppers. Go over it carefully and
make several selections. You can also decide to take assignments as they
Never feel pressured into a job.
Don't be afraid to say no if you are uncomfortable with an assignment. If you do not drink alcoholic beverages, let them know ahead of time and they will do their best to not place you on jobs that require drinking. After you have mailed this detailed letter and resume to them, you will have to wait. It may take two or three weeks, even up to two to three months to hear from them. After all, they have many applicants wanting the same thing you do.
Don't give up. You most likely will hear from them.
The Ringing Phone
What Do I Do Now???
Get ready for the phone to ring! When the Marketing Research
Company calls you for the first time, they will ask if you are available at a
certain time and date, for a specified job. For example, let's say a
department store needs a Mystery Shopper next week sometime between
Monday and Thursday in the mornings to evaluate the Ladies Department.
Your fee may be $25.00 for the trip and merchandise valued up to $25.00.
They will send you a questionnaire in the mail several days before your
shopping trip with detailed instructions.
Your instructions may include: Looking at the displays to see if they
are kept neat and well put together. Asking the sales clerk for information
about a certain item, and how they could assist you in getting a certain size
not readily available. They may ask you to try on several items and check
the dressing rooms for neatness. Does the sales clerk offer to assist you
with additional sizes? Are the shelves well stocked and neat in appearance?
Was the sales clerk helpful? They will want you to actually purchase
something they suggest or of your choice and will want you to observe the
actual transaction and note how easily or difficult it was performed. They
may also ask you to question the sales clerk on several different items.
What was his/her response? They may ask you to visit the restrooms and
make sure they are clean and well stocked. Use a public telephone and
comment on its accessibility. Now that you have decided that you are going
to do this Mystery Shop, plan ahead. Look over the questionnaire they sent
you. There may be 20, 30 or more questions to review. Study it carefully,
so you can be prepared before you go of what you will be doing. Take
along a notepad to leave in your car. This will come in handy for
making quick notes to yourself to be used for reference when completing
NEVER TAKE YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE
IN THE STORE WITH YOU!
Your next step will be to actually go to the store during the times
specified. Before you even get out of your car, note the time you actually go
and also make some reference to surroundings such as weather conditions,
crowded parking, etc. This information may not be required on the form,
but may assist you later on in remembering details.
Next, go through your shopping as described on your questionnaire.
Shop around, enjoy the beautiful displays, select something for yourself or
as a gift for someone special and have fun while you make some money!
How Much Work Is There After I'm
There's not a lot of work left, however, you will be required to file a
report or fill out the questionnaire within a short time of your visit. A
response is usually expected with in 24 - 48 hours. You can fax or mail
your forms in, but always adhere to the time frame set by the company you
are working for.
It is very important that you be as accurate as possible,
giving only the facts that they request. For example, say you went to a
restaurant and had to wait quite a while before being seated. After 30
minutes or so, you finally get your turn and are seated near the kitchen!
Then the waiter takes another 5 minutes to come to your table. By the time
your food arrives you are not a happy camper. You think the waiter has a
personal dislike for you, and you may not enjoy your meal because of all
the aggravation you have just endured. However, when you write your
report, you must adhere strictly to the questions they are asking and interject
no personal thoughts of your experience unless asked. You can't say you
found his nose ring offensive unless they ask about his appearance. You
can't express your annoyance at being kept waiting unless they ask how
long it took to be seated.
Keep to the questions at hand only.
Once you are back in your car, take a few minutes to make some
quick notes in your notepad. Make sure you have your receipt. You will
need to turn this in for reimbursement. Later, when you fill out the actual
form you will refer to these notes extensively.
Answer all the questions to the best of your knowledge, keeping an
unbiased view. If you are unsure how to answer a question, call the
company for details. Follow the instructions accompanying your
questionnaire completely. If they ask you to call within a certain time, do
everything possible to comply. They may ask you to call and
fax or mail your questionnaire within a certain time. Remember to adhere to
the time allotted for response. If you do not respond in time, call the
company immediately and let them know why.
Once you have made a copy of your report/questionnaire for your
records and turned in your paper work (including your sales receipt), you
are done. Now you just have to wait a few days for your check in the mail
and start thinking of where you would like to shop next!
How Do I Find Work
There are several different ways you can go about finding work shopping. You can:
Look for ads in your local newspaper
Go on the Internet and search Mystery Shoppers
Contact Marketing and Research companies in your area
Ask a friend - they may already be "Shopping"!
Send your resume' to one of the businesses on the following
Q.A. Mystery Shoppers, Inc.
Attn: Mr. Conner
PO Box 9009
Austin, TX 78766
(Requests no phone calls)
B.M. - T.I.P.S
4915 West 35 St. Suite 206
Minneapolis, MN 55416
One of the larger contractors in the U.S. They send out post cards to shoppers
each month and give dates and times to contact them to sign up for the shops available in your area. You must call only during the time allotted for the first letter in your last name. Example: A - G call on Tuesday, H - N on Wednesday and O - Z on Thursday.
Advantage Marketing Group
PO Box 734
Portland, ME 04104
Young company wanting to expand their database. Send resume with area you prefer
to shop in, photo and best times available. If possible, list types of businesses you prefer.
We will contact you when something is available in your area.
Security and Loss Prevention
Consulting & Mystery Shopping & Spotting
Franklin Office Park
38 Pond St., Suite 104
Franklin, MA 02038
Mystery Shopping Services
A Congent Company
Denton Downs Office Center
640 Denton, Suite 102
PO Box 591
Frankfort, Michigan 49635
3405 Kilmer Lane North
Plymouth, MN 55441
Below is a list of some of the more popular business establishments that use Mystery Shoppers on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You should read it carefully and note the ones that interest you most. When making your selection, keep in mind that the large chains are the ones most likely to use Mystery Shoppers.
Be sure to mention your those that interest you most on you resume'.
_____ Grocery Stores
_____ Drug Stores
_____ Department Stores
_____ Specialty shops (various forms)
______ Toy Stores
_____ Stereo/Appliance Stores
_____ Hardware Stores
_____ Movie Theaters
_____ Theme Parks
_____ Night Clubs
_____ Travel Agents
_____ Air Lines
_____ Cruise Lines
_____ Restaurants (fast food)
_____ No preference
Checklist For A Successful Start
1.) Read this material before you make your decision
2.) Send your resume to several businesses. You don't have to do all of
them, but it certainly can't hurt if you do! Don't forget to include your
3.) Once accepted, you will receive your first assignment. You may
4.) Follow the instructions completely. Take a note pad with you, and
keep in your car for quick notes. They will come in very handy when you fill out the application. Read the instructions again right before
you go in to refresh your memory.
5.) Enjoy your shopping excursion! Remember to take mental notes of
all the details requested on the instruction sheet.
6.) When you return to your car, make quick notes on your notepad for
later reference. Don't forget to note your surroundings.
7.) Fill our the form/questionnaire as completely as possible. If you have
a question, you can call the company for clarification. Remember to
enclose any receipts for reimbursement.
8.) Make a copy of everything for your files.
9.) Return the form within the deadline time frame. If unable to do so,
call the company and tell them why. Now you can wait for your
check in the mail and the phone to ring!
SAMPLE SHOPPING QUESTIONNAIRE
NOTE: Each time you go on a Mystery Shopping Trip, you will use a form designed by the store or business establishment. This is only a sample.
BUSINESS (Store) NAME: ________________________________________________
MYSTERY SHOPPER'S NAME:____________________________________________
DATE AND TIME OF SHOPPING EXPERIENCE:_____________________________
YES NO N/A
Was store clean and neat?
Was lobby/waiting area clean?
Was your presence acknowledged
within a short time of arrival?
Were you greeted in a friendly manner?
Were employee's dressed professional?
Did they offer to assist you with problems?
Were they courteous?
Did they know their products well?
Were the dressing rooms clean?
Did they thank you for shopping with us?
In the space provided below, please give a summary of your shopping experience.
How do you rate this establishment? ____________ Excellent
Based on your experience, would you shop at this location again in the future?_________
Your signature Date Submitted
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