Mystery shopping is a growing business in Canada. Ten years ago, there weren’t a lot of companies providing this service. Now, mystery shopping has grown into a $50 million dollar industry with more than 40 companies providing this type of service.
More than ever, Canadian businesses like airlines, hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, and retailers all use the services of mystery shoppers. This increase in business is great news for people who are interested in working as mystery shoppers, since more demand means more opportunities for them.
An example of a large mystery shopping company based in Canada is Service Intelligence. Located in Calgary, this company has approximately 50,000 mystery shoppers registered in its database. To register as a mystery shopper, an online application form is filled out. Once the information has been received by the company, the shopper is given login information to access a list of mystery shopping opportunities. Shoppers are told in advance how much the assignment will pay, the amount they will be reimbursed for their purchase, the address of the business, and the deadline for the assignment. (Shopping assignments given by this company range in pay from $7-$20, plus reimbursement for the shopper’s purchase.)
Sensors Quality Management Inc. is another Canadian mystery shopping company that has a large database of shoppers (more than 7,000 at last count). This company has a training program that includes nine different levels. A person who is just starting out (Step 1) will be given relatively simple assignments, such as evaluating a fast food restaurant. For this type of assignment, they would be paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 (plus the cost of their meal). At the other end of the scale, a shopper on Step 9 might be asked to stay overnight at at hotel and be paid $150 for his or her time.
A third Canadian company that hires independent contractors to work as mystery shoppers is Mystery Shopping Canada Inc. This company has a job board where registered mystery shoppers can see available assignments. Most of their assignments involve visiting a store for a brief visit (15 minutes on average) and another 10-15 minutes filling out a report about the experience. Pay varies, depending on the assignment, but averages $10-$20. Some assignments involve being reimbursed for the cost of buying an item as well.