Think you know mystery shopping? We’re here to look at the most common urban myths and misconceptions around this fast-growing industry! Read on to see if you know your fact from fiction…
It’s a scam
False, mystery shopping isn’t a scam but you do need to make sure you’re providing your services to a reputable company. Mystery shopping can offer a genuinely great opportunity to earn extra money. If you receive an email, text or any other communications claiming to be a mystery shopping opportunity, remember to do your research and don’t give any of your personal information away.
A legitimate company will usually be a member of the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Professionals Association). We are a member of the European division . For more tips and advice on mystery shopping scams, see our ‘Shopper Scams’ page .
All mystery shopping assignments have to be done in person
False. The great thing about mystery shopping is that it covers a variety of scenarios from phone calling to website enquiries, social media contact and in person visits. You pick and choose your assignments, so if you just want to do home based ones, you can do just that!
Mystery shopping is just for shops and restaurants
False. Anywhere there’s a customer experience, mystery shopping exists. Our shoppers have assessed betting shops, universities, hairdressers, plumbers, dentists, they’ve cheated in exams (to check the invigilators are alert), parked illegally (to test the council’s parking wardens), shoplifted (to check the security) and gone on timeshare holidays!
Mystery shopping is easy
It can be. It all depends on the assignment. Some are simple enquiries (e.g. ‘what are your opening hours’), while others are more lengthy assessments which test out the whole customer journey from start to finish (e.g. purchasing a sofa on finance). Some of our assignments include completing online tests, covertly recording your experience using special camera kits, recording your calls or travelling on certain routes. The general rule is, the more of your profile you complete, and the more certifications (short quizzes) you do, the more assignments will be available to you.
As for the signing up part, that’s a doddle! All you need to do is create an account on our website and follow the instructions.
Mystery shopping is boring
False. We don’t think it is and our community of shoppers say they love it too. If you’re getting bored of certain assignments, look at other types. Our mystery shops cover a huge variety of areas from fast food restaurants and phone stores to charity fundraising, holiday booking, leisure centre visits and train journeys. No assignment need ever be the same!
It’s all about spying on people
False. That’s not what we’re looking to do. We want our mystery shoppers to help our clients to capture instances of fantastic customer service that might otherwise go unnoticed, so that we can encourage a culture of high customer service. While we’re not expecting you to don a deerstalker and investigate with a magnifying glass, you are a secret shopper. Some shoppers love the thrill of going ‘undercover’, but all you really need to do is act natural and just assess what you experience. Some assignments, such as our mystery employee scenarios, have an element of going undercover in a specific environment. These are usually to assess company procedures and allow our clients to gain insights from a different perspective.
Mystery shopping isn’t accessible to everyone
We’re proud of the fact that mystery shopping with us is accessible to all. Whether you’re a student at university, on parental leave or disabled… you can absolutely become a mystery shopper.
For more details on becoming a mystery shopper with us, visit our ‘Become a Shopper’ page .