Working as a mystery shopper

It is possible that in some point of your life you’ve been standing in a queue at a retail store next to a mystery shopper.

They’ll be hard to spot, seemingly shopping for a night out for essentials, but what they are doing is taking mental notes of the stores’ appearance, cleanliness, and service of the store.

There are roughly 50,000 mystery shopping trips carried out every month in the UK, as stated by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), and as more and more spending takes place online, the demand for mystery shoppers is increasing.

Big brands such as Metro Bank, Sainsbury’s, the Post Office, and John Lewis are known to use mystery shopping services to score their stores, this, in turn, helps to determine staff bonuses and identify any areas that need improving.

Mystery shoppers may spend up to eight hours visiting 5-10 stores in one day, pocketing over £100 that day. Shoppers are also reimbursed for their petrol and hotel stay if needed. Furthermore, video mystery shoppers that film their project visits with a hidden camera will earn more.

A mystery shopper will often be repaid any money they spend in store, and may also get to keep the items they purchase. However, purchases will usually need to be related to a service or a type of product the retailer wants checking.

An understated perk to the job is returning to a store that a shopper has previously shopped in and seeing what has improved.

There is an estimate of over 500,000 people having registered as a mystery shopper in the UK, but just 10% or fewer manage to get regular work each month, leading to a dramatic decrease in the compensation.

At present mystery shopping companies rely on the promise of freebies to incentivise their workers.

Working as a mystery shopper certainly has its advantages and can be a great way being a part of a brands’ improvement, while earning some extra money on the side.

Think you have what it takes to be a mystery shopper? Check out our mystery shopper criteria to see if you could handle the role. Contact our mystery shopping company, Retail Maxim, for more information.