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Mystery Shopper

Size up the customer experience at shops and restaurants.

What does a Mystery Shopper do?

Imagine being paid to shop or eat. Well, if you’re a Mystery Shopper, that’s what you do. Corporations, market research firms, or individual companies hire you to figure out how the customer experience is at different stores and restaurants.

Your job as a Mystery Shopper doesn’t work like a normal shopping trip though. That means you don’t just buy something and leave when you’re a Mystery Shopper. Instead, you get a feel for the way the store works.

You might ask a few workers some questions to see how knowledgeable they are about the product, or how friendly they are to customers. You might also check out the way they display merchandise to see whether it’s neat and presentable. You might even scrutinize the cleanliness of the store, from the floors to the bathrooms. Before you start, you usually get a checklist of things to look for, or specific items that your company wants to know more about.

The purpose of all this is to see if those in charge need to make changes. When you finish with a visit, you write up a report detailing everything you saw and experienced. With this information, owners of stores and restaurants can improve. They might increase the number of staff members to enhance customer service, enforce stricter rules on cleanliness, or change the way they advertise different deals.

The prospect of making money shopping or eating might seem like a dream job. But when looking for one of these jobs, keep an eye out for scams. Some of these scams make you pay to shop, or ask you to cash bad checks and forward the money.