When you tell your friends you are a mystery shopper….

Katie Paterson
Updated on

They will say how fabulous, how lucky you are and how they always wanted to become a mystery shopper. They will usually add on to this that they love shopping and can be very critical.  It is usually at this point that my face says it all. Mystery shopping has nothing to do with shopping or being critical, it is about assessing the level of service offered and giving a very accurate account of what has happened. No one wants an overly critical mystery shopper, they want an accurate, trustworthy shopper. In the 20 years that I have been mystery shopping, I have been in a huge variety of stores, always appearing as their most typical customer and not always in stores that would be my first choice for a visit.  It is not glamorous, in fact it is rather hard work, going from store to store, making a very accurate account of what has happened before you go into the next store. It is not just stores that require a mystery visit, you might have to go to a petrol station, a charity shop or garden centre. These are rarely very glamorous and the free first class flights we’ve all heard about simply don’t come around. If you are lucky, the job might offer a free meal or some toiletries!

However, mystery shopping certainly has its upsides. I have been all around UK, Ireland and Jersey, and it was great to see many lovely places I wouldn’t have visited otherwise. I know virtually every shopping centre in the UK, where to park nearby and where the nearest toilets are. This can come in very handy especially at Christmas when there are queues in the car parks. I’ve also been able to work around my family and other commitments, without being tied to set hours each week. It is not the job for everyone, but if you do have a bit of free time, have a good memory and can follow instructions, it might be for you. A lot of shoppers will sign up with several mystery shopping companies, taking jobs from all of them in one town on the same day. This works really well, as long as you remember to write up the details of each visit before you start another. Investing in video and audio equipment also pays great dividends as shop fees can be many times higher than a written report

If you’d like to register as a mystery shopper, you can do that here. We’re also very happy to offer advice to anyone thinking about becoming a shopper or wondering about investing in more equipment. Get in touch!