Mystery shopping seems like a dream job for many. Getting paid to shop - doesn't get much better, does it?
There is some truth there, but only when you link up with the right mystery shopping company. You hear the bad press on businesses getting taken by the less than reputable mystery shopping firms; but it can happen to those that work for them as well. Before signing on the dotted line to become a mystery shopper, ask the company the following questions:
- Do I have to pay to join? Some mystery shopping companies require candidates to pay in order to get added to their roster. You should never have to pay anyone anything when you take a job. Particularly not when work is not guaranteed.
- Do I have to pay for my purchases? Many mystery shopping companies will have you shop at the stores that you're already familiar with. As a regular customer, they believe you're in a better position to make a judgement. Just because you're on a mystery shopping assignment at a store you'd purchase from already doesn't mean the purchases should be entirely on your dime. Purchase guidelines should be set before you start shopping.
- What am I responsible for? The workload requirements vary with regards to your deliverables as a mystery shopper. Get your responsibilities in writing, plain and simple.
Even if you aren't a prospective mystery shopper reading this and happen to be a business looking to hire one, recognize the importance of the above.
Happy, satisfied mystery shoppers will be a much greater asset to the integrity of your shops.