Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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 Mystery shopping/Secret Shopping/Mystery Audit

Though the name itself may seem a bit mysterious, the concept of mystery shopping is actually straightforward. Also referred to as secret shopping, performance evaluations, service checks and frontline evaluations to name a few, mystery shopping allows companies to obtain a “snapshot in time” by trained researchers who know in advance what they are to evaluate. It provides management a method to quickly yet efficiently evaluate their business practices, deliverables, and employees from the perspective of a non-biased consumer.

What is mystery shopping?
Mystery shopping is all about giving feedback about a store’s customer service. This means going to the store, interacting with employees, and then filling out a report detailing your experiences. Mystery shopping is work. There are professional standards expected of mystery shoppers. Fortunately, they are usually explicitly laid out in the assignment instructions.
So, what you need to do to get started, is to sign up with real mystery shopping companies and then apply for assignments with those companies.

Mystery Shopping Services
Mystery shoppers visit or call businesses posing as ordinary customers and provide detailed evaluations of their experience using written reports or questionnaires.
Mystery shopping is used in a wide variety of industries such as retail, restaurants, financial institutions, convenience stores and gas stations, service providers, manufacturers, department stores, travel and entertainment, etc.

Mystery Shopper Jobs
Though there is a certain level of responsibility and professionalism required to be an effective mystery shopper, you should never have to pay to get a job. There are dozens of companies claiming that by paying them a registration fee they will send you job opportunities and teach you the steps to becoming a shopper. This may be true, but is also completely unnecessary.
The legitimate mystery shopping companies in the industry NEVER charge fees to the shopper. Training, tips for improvement, and shopping opportunities are provided free to registered shoppers. Mystery shoppers are either paid a pre-arranged fee for a particular shop, a reimbursement for a purchase or a combination of both. Though it is possible to make a living solely from mystery shopping, it is not very common. Most shoppers view this as a second income source or as a way to obtain fully reimbursed meals, products, and services.

 The registration process with leading mystery shopping companies has improved over the years. Most provide a simple online form that takes only a few minutes to complete. Once you have registered with a company or two, they will start informing you of shopping opportunities. Most of these are “first-come, first-serve”, so be sure to provide the company with an email address that you check regularly, and a phone number where you can be easily reached.

Be willing to accept last minute assignments and treat bottom-of-the-barrel assignments just like top-of-the-line assignments. At first, take whatever you can get. This will allow you to build a reputation with each company. The old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” is exceptionally true in this industry. Make sure you completely understand the instructions for the particular shop, be impartial, and focus on accuracy. You may be required to document employee names and descriptions, prices, inventory evaluations, etc.

Go hi-tech. More and more mystery shopping companies are requiring shoppers to have access to the Internet, email and a fax machine. Some shops even require the use of a digital camera to capture product placement, signage, cleanliness or other focus points.

Complete all assignments on time. If you absolutely cannot complete an assignment, contact the mystery shopping company immediately so they can reschedule the assignment. Dependable shoppers get the best assignments!
Assignments can be as basic as sitting in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant for 20 minutes to document drive-thru service times to taking an all-expense-paid trip to a resort for 2 weeks to document your daily service experiences.

Mystery Shopping Job Search Tips
Now that you understand the mystery shopping industry a little more clearly, the next step is to locate a few top mystery shopping providers and register, remembering that even if a firm doesn’t have a client in your area today, they may next month. Once registered with a company, it would not hurt to call or send an email to express your willingness to shop and to confirm your professionalism and attention to detail. Just make sure that you do not send an email full of typos and grammatical errors ­ definitely not the type of first impression that you want to leave.
Another method for finding potential shopping opportunities and to gather further industry knowledge is by monitoring online mystery shopping message boards and forums. To locate a few, type words like “mystery shopping message board” or “mystery shopping forum” into your favorite browser.
Mystery shopping may not become your next career, but it will provide you with some extra income, free goods, and maybe even a few adventures along the way!

You may see advertisements for mystery shopper on this page, because that's the topic of the article. All these are legitimate company's.

Before Joining: Mystery shopping requires you to shop (in most cases), Since they don’t mail you cash up front, it is your responsibility to be able to cover your purchases for the shop. It also takes between 30 and 90 days to get reimbursed. If you can’t spare this money, this may not be the job for you. But but you'll really make some money. Don't give up because there are hundreds of companies who mystery shops[clients] Reebok,Adidas,McDonald's,Subway,US pizza,Levi's,Hotels,Cinema halls,hospitals etc.......

Important :
1). Legit company's won't ask registration/sign up fees.
2). No referral system , so you have to make your own money.
3). If you have MSPA Certification then you'll get more opportunities to shop [90% companies won't ask this certification in USA, and this certification is not needed in India,Asia].
The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) offers a legitimate mystery shopper certification program for shoppers who want to expand their knowledge and increase their opportunities. The MSPA is the leading industry association, with nearly 200 member companies. These companies are responsible for completing millions of mystery shops annually, and they include the leaders in the mystery shopping arena.

Learn more about MSPA Certification : MSPA - Instructions,Tips,Warnings

What is mystery shopping market research firm in syracuse ny

Companies you should work as a mystery shopper/auditor:

1. Helion Research -  This is the company with less number of jobs on the job board but with high pay. 

  • They have the clients like Marks & Spencer, Intel.
  • Company needs critical evaluation
  • Pay rate : More than 10$/shop
  • Must join to increase earnings
  • Link to join :

 2. BARE INTERNATIONAL - Company with more number of jobs with high pay.

  • Clients - Lenovo,Microsoft,Intel,Pearson Vue, Reebok, Levis
  • No strict evaluation
  • Pay rate : More than 4$/shop
  • More clients means more money
  • Link to join : Bare International Sign-Up

 3. Service Sleuth [H S Brands] - Company with world class clients.
  • Clients - Sony,LG,US pizza,Pizza hut,Gelato,Cafe coffee day,Fastrack,Subway .... 
  • No strict evalation
  • Pay rate - More than 6$/shop - 25$/shop
  • Link - H S Brands Sign-Up

 4. International Service Check - Only company with more than 20 clients but most of the audits will be given to known people.
  • Clients - McDonald's,Adidas,Van Heusen,Scullers,Casio,Norton,Dell....
  • Need 90% accurate
  • Pay rate - More than 20$
  • Link - Service Check Sign-Up

Other companies : I can't write about all compnies so here are some companies for Indians [only].
  • Redquanta Sign-Up
  • Shaw Hotels
  • Wemark India
  • LeCapri
  • These are the some companies I work for. I have a full time job and  limited to do mystery shops only in the weekends. So you can search in the google for some other companies and read the reviews before joining them in  


If you want to contact me:

Cell: (91)8150933336    ----> 91 is the country code.

I am from Bangalore,India


  1. Take into consideration the possibility of scams when applying for mystery shopping. I've done it a few time snow, I think most companies are very trustworthy though, and it doesn't really take that much investigation to spot a scammer. Enjoy your mystery shopping anyway!

  2. Your post is very helpful to those who are seeking jobs and would like to try mystery shopping. Thanks for a very informative article!

  3. Hey great placement i am so inspired here can you more share here i will be back to you as soon as possible keep continue sharing.

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    1. Hi, You can contact me on

  4. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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  5. Naveen ji,

    Me from punjab and very active shopper from punjab. Here opputunities are less, but i m making good income from these less opputunities.

    Your blog is very usefull but the name of brands u gave with company names, is tgat true.for e.g, fastrack with service sleuth, van huesen with ISC and others.

    And can u please let us know whoch company conducting woodland and kfc?

  6. Its an amazing post. For the best of my knowledge the following companies are good. Shaw Hotels & Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. is also a good place to start. its located in Dadar, Mumbai. It provides a database of reputable mystery shopping , as reported by actual mystery shoppers – so the information is more reliable than what you’ll find through a web search.

  7. In india Hsbrands is also good you can check out how to get to their affiliate page here
    Discount Coupons and Affiliate Programmes

  8. Its an amazing post and u want more info auditing plz visit my website Auditing Services Bangalore

  9. Since four years I m working almost with all the mystery companies and getting pay on time but some times late but they do pay now I feel I should uprgrade to other I mean is there any other way to earn money like this I mean fixed salary and all like if I give audit the mystery shopper but it should be from home because I have my Own responsibility of my son so I need to be there at home for some hours kindly let m know any alternative ways to earn money or with this only.