Q. How big is the mystery shopping industry?
A. The Mystery Shopping Providers Association released a report recently stating that in the United States alone, mystery shopping contributed $600 million to the economy.
Over 8 million mystery shopping trips are conducted every year. Worldwide, the industry generates US $1.5 billion in sales each year.
Q. What kinds of companies use mystery shopping services?
A. The short answer is that any business that is interested in staying competitive can benefit from the work of mystery shoppers. Companies that regularly have mystery shoppers conduct visits include the following:
Q. What would I be expected to do as a mystery shopper?
A. Before you visit the location, you would be given a set of very specific instructions to follow. Your visit will include making a purchase, and you may need to ask for information about a product or a service to give management some idea about the level of product knowledge the staff members have. After you have completed your shopping trip, you will need to write and submit a report about your experience to the company.
Q. Can anyone be hired as a mystery shopper?
A. Mystery shopping companies hire adults of all ages and from all backgrounds to go on mystery shopping assignments. Since there are many different kinds of businesses that are interested in having mystery shoppers visit their locations, this is an opportunity for anyone who has some free time and can follow instructions properly to make some money.
Q. How much will I be paid to mystery shop?
A. The fee you will receive will depend on the assignment. You will be reimbursed for your purchase (up to a set amount) and be paid for your time in conducting the visit and preparing the report.
Q. How do I get paid to mystery shop?
A. Each mystery shopping company will have its own policies about how often you will be paid. Some companies pay by check, while others pay electronically. The company will provide you with this information when you register your information.
Q. Can I register with more than one mystery shopping company at a time?
A. Yes, you can register with multiple companies. When an assignment that fits your profile comes up, you will be contacted to see whether you are available to take it. If your name has been submitted to several companies, you may have more opportunities to work. Living in or near a large metropolitan area may mean more mystery shopping work as well.