Because a number of people have asked me questions about Mystery Shopping such how to do it, how to get assignments, and so forth, I decided to put together a short post of some of the information I've found most helpful.
I've done mystery shopping for several years, and during that time it's been fun to observe and report about both excellent as well as terrible customer service. I've acted as a prospective member of fitness centers, inquired about cell phone plans, computer monitors, and party supplies, performed gas station audits, checked for serial numbers on the back of ice cream freezers, watched hundreds of movie previews (trailers), tried on clothing, shopped for new furniture, and eaten lots of fast food. The possibilities are as endless as the commercial establishments that use mystery shoppers to hopefully improve their customer service and sales.
If you're interested in making a little extra money as an independent contractor, I'd suggest doing some reading and research first to learn exactly what is required and to discover if you have what it takes to be successful. I've found the following two websites invaluable and immensely helpful.
Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) is a good place to begin. Please check out their website and bookmark it as a favorite as I'm sure you'll return to it again and again. It offers a wealth of information as well as constantly updated shopping assignments from a wide variety of mystery shopping companies.
Volition provides extensive A-Z lists of the many, many shopping companies you can sign up to represent.
Probably the most time-consuming part of becoming a mystery shopper is signing up for various companies. I've usually found those companies on volition.com. All companies require information such as name, address, phone number, email address, height, weight, gender, and so forth. You might be asked to provide a sample or two of your writing. Each company is different because each company represents a variety of companies. Some of them notify you of possible assignments by email; for some you will need to check their site for available jobs. So, be sure to bookmark all of the companies you sign on with. Also be sure to note the user name and password you use.
Here are just a few of the companies for which I have completed many assignments.
Business Evaluation Service
Second to None
Blogs represent another excellent way to gain information from shoppers' experiences and hints. Here are only a few I found from a Google search.
8 Truths from a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before you Get Started
Mystery Shopping Coach’s Update
Blogs About Mystery Shoppers
I realize this is just a very tiny bit of information about the field of mystery shopping. While doing your own research, you'll find your own favorites. However, I hope these ideas will at least get you started.