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Table of Contents

The Joy of Shopping

Chapter 1
What Exactly Is A Mystery Shopper?

Chapter 2
What do I do to get started?

Chapter 3
The Ringing Phone
What Do I Do Now?

Chapter 4
How Much Work Is There After
I'm Through Shopping?

Chapter 5
How Do I Find Work As
A Mystery Shopper?

Chapter 6
Shopping Possibilities

Chapter 7
Checklist for a Successful Start

Chapter 8
Sample/Practice Form


The Joy of Shopping


For some of us, the thought of having to go to the grocery store, mall

or any store for that matter is considered something of a pleasure! The

hard part is always having a reason to go, or the extra money to spend when

we do. Does this sound like you? If so, then you are a perfect candidate to

become a Mystery Shopper!


As a Mystery Shopper you will have many benefits beyond the

shopping - you can also receive free merchandise, get paid for your time,

enjoy dinner at restaurants you have always wanted to try, take trips…the

possibilities are endless. Now you can shop to your hearts content and have

fun while you “work”!



What Exactly Is A Mystery Shopper?

What is a Mystery Shopper you say? Someone who can go to a store,

restaurant, theme park or any business that values their customers and

evaluate their appearance, services, and employee's without them knowing

what you are doing. In some instances store clerks, counter help and other

employees may treat customers differently when they don’t know they are
being evaluated. Your job is not to spy on the employee's or business, or
even try to catch them in something wrong. You are not even looking for

anything right.

You simply evaluate your experience.

Mystery Shoppers must remain completely unbiased when

performing their duties. If you have had a bad experience in the past at a

certain business, then you should be professional and refuse to evaluate that

establishment if you feel you cannot be objective. This is not a time for


You are the link that keeps the Corporate Headquarters informed and

they need you to maintain yourself in a professional manner. For a

business to be successful, they must maintain customer satisfaction. They

can better please the customer if they understand how the customer is being

treated and if their product is being sold as they intended.

Many businesses operate from a Corporate Office with stores all over

the country. For them, Mystery Shoppers are invaluable to maintain

quality in each and every location. By having you, the ordinary customer

report on your shopping excursion, they can better achieve uniformity

throughout their chain. They are completely aware that cleanliness, service

and the quality of their product is essential to their success. Give them your

loyalty by not revealing your findings with any other source, whether

friends, competitors or other Marketing Research companies and you can

have a wonderful, long lasting working relationship with them.


Remember, the customer is always right!


You will have the benefit of working around your schedule, which

can be beneficial for a housewife, mother or part time worker. Some

places may want you to go to their establishment only during certain hours,

i.e. happy hour, early bird specials, moonlight madness sales, etc. You may

be able to request certain hours of the day that are best for you, such as early

mornings for mom’s with small children in preschool or late afternoons -

early evenings for those who already hold down a part time job.


Mystery Shoppers are needed every hour of the day somewhere!



What Do I Do To Get Started?

First do your homework. There are many companies that place

Mystery Shoppers. You can review the list located in the back of this book

or go to your local library or telephone book and look for Marketing

Research companies. You will need to write to them and submit a resume.
You may even want to send a recent photo of yourself. Don't worry about
having professional pictures done, a Polaroid will work just as well.
Make sure to give the times you are available, and you may want to copy a

local or state map and detail the areas you would be available to

work in. Also give specifics in your letter. If you prefer to only do

restaurants, let them know. There are many areas you can work in, you

don't have to take an assignment for a computer store if you have absolutely

no knowledge or interest in that matter. There is a list on page with some

suggested places that utilize Mystery Shoppers. Go over it carefully and

make several selections. You can also decide to take assignments as they


Never feel pressured into a job.

Don't be afraid to say no if you are uncomfortable with an
assignment. If you do not drink alcoholic beverages, let them know ahead
of time and they will do their best to not place you on jobs that require
drinking. After you have mailed this detailed letter and resume to them,
you will have to wait. It may take two or three weeks, even up to two to
three months to hear from them. After all, they have many applicants
wanting the same thing you do.

Don't give up. You most likely will hear from them.



The Ringing Phone

What Do I Do Now???

Get ready for the phone to ring! When the Marketing Research

Company calls you for the first time, they will ask if you are available at a

certain time and date, for a specified job. For example, let's say a

department store needs a Mystery Shopper next week sometime between

Monday and Thursday in the mornings to evaluate the Ladies Department.

Your fee may be $25.00 for the trip and merchandise valued up to $25.00.

They will send you a questionnaire in the mail several days before your

shopping trip with detailed instructions.

Your instructions may include: Looking at the displays to see if they

are kept neat and well put together. Asking the sales clerk for information

about a certain item, and how they could assist you in getting a certain size

not readily available. They may ask you to try on several items and check

the dressing rooms for neatness. Does the sales clerk offer to assist you

with additional sizes? Are the shelves well stocked and neat in appearance?
Was the sales clerk helpful? They will want you to actually purchase

something they suggest or of your choice and will want you to observe the

actual transaction and note how easily or difficult it was performed. They

may also ask you to question the sales clerk on several different items.

What was his/her response? They may ask you to visit the restrooms and

make sure they are clean and well stocked. Use a public telephone and

comment on its accessibility. Now that you have decided that you are going

to do this Mystery Shop, plan ahead. Look over the questionnaire they sent

you. There may be 20, 30 or more questions to review. Study it carefully,

so you can be prepared before you go of what you will be doing. Take

along a notepad to leave in your car. This will come in handy for

making quick notes to yourself to be used for reference when completing

your questionnaire.


It most likely would violate the terms of your agreement and end
in you not being used again as a Mystery Shopper for their


Your next step will be to actually go to the store during the times

specified. Before you even get out of your car, note the time you actually go

and also make some reference to surroundings such as weather conditions,

crowded parking, etc. This information may not be required on the form,

but may assist you later on in remembering details.


Next, go through your shopping as described on your questionnaire.

Shop around, enjoy the beautiful displays, select something for yourself or

as a gift for someone special and have fun while you make some money!



How Much Work Is There After I'm
Through Shopping?

There's not a lot of work left, however, you will be required to file a

report or fill out the questionnaire within a short time of your visit. A

response is usually expected with in 24 - 48 hours. You can fax or mail

your forms in, but always adhere to the time frame set by the company you

are working for.

It is very important that you be as accurate as possible,

giving only the facts that they request. For example, say you went to a

restaurant and had to wait quite a while before being seated. After 30

minutes or so, you finally get your turn and are seated near the kitchen!

Then the waiter takes another 5 minutes to come to your table. By the time

your food arrives you are not a happy camper. You think the waiter has a

personal dislike for you, and you may not enjoy your meal because of all

the aggravation you have just endured. However, when you write your

report, you must adhere strictly to the questions they are asking and interject

no personal thoughts of your experience unless asked. You can't say you

found his nose ring offensive unless they ask about his appearance. You

can't express your annoyance at being kept waiting unless they ask how

long it took to be seated.


Keep to the questions at hand only.


Once you are back in your car, take a few minutes to make some

quick notes in your notepad. Make sure you have your receipt. You will

need to turn this in for reimbursement. Later, when you fill out the actual

form you will refer to these notes extensively.

Answer all the questions to the best of your knowledge, keeping an

unbiased view. If you are unsure how to answer a question, call the

company for details. Follow the instructions accompanying your

questionnaire completely. If they ask you to call within a certain time, do

everything possible to comply. They may ask you to call and

fax or mail your questionnaire within a certain time. Remember to adhere to

the time allotted for response. If you do not respond in time, call the

company immediately and let them know why.
Once you have made a copy of your report/questionnaire for your

records and turned in your paper work (including your sales receipt), you

are done. Now you just have to wait a few days for your check in the mail

and start thinking of where you would like to shop next!


Chapter 5

How Do I Find Work

As A

Mystery Shopper?

There are several different ways you can go about finding work
shopping. You can:


Look for ads in your local newspaper

Go on the Internet and search Mystery Shoppers

Contact Marketing and Research companies in your area

Ask a friend - they may already be "Shopping"!

Send your resume' to one of the businesses on the following



Q.A. Mystery Shoppers, Inc.
Attn: Mr. Conner
PO Box 9009
Austin, TX 78766
(Requests no phone calls)

B.M. - T.I.P.S
4915 West 35 St. Suite 206
Minneapolis, MN 55416
One of the larger contractors in the U.S. They send out post cards to shoppers
each month and give dates and times to contact them to sign up for the shops available in
your area. You must call only during the time allotted for the first letter in your last
name. Example: A - G call on Tuesday, H - N on Wednesday and O - Z on Thursday.

Advantage Marketing Group
PO Box 734
Portland, ME 04104
Young company wanting to expand their database. Send resume with area you prefer
to shop in, photo and best times available. If possible, list types of businesses you prefer.
We will contact you when something is available in your area.

Security and Loss Prevention
Consulting & Mystery Shopping & Spotting
Franklin Office Park
38 Pond St., Suite 104
Franklin, MA 02038

The Plethora
Mystery Shopping Services
A Congent Company
Denton Downs Office Center
640 Denton, Suite 102
PO Box 591
Frankfort, Michigan 49635
3405 Kilmer Lane North
Plymouth, MN 55441


Chapter 6

Shopping Possibilities

Below is a list of some of the more popular business establishments
that use Mystery Shoppers on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You should
read it carefully and note the ones that interest you most. When making
your selection, keep in mind that the large chains are the ones most likely to
use Mystery Shoppers.

Be sure to mention your those that interest you most on you resume'.

_____ Grocery Stores
_____ Drug Stores
_____ Department Stores
_____ Specialty shops (various forms)
______ Toy Stores
_____ Stereo/Appliance Stores
_____ Hardware Stores
_____ Movie Theaters
_____ Theaters
_____ Theme Parks
_____ Casinos
_____ Night Clubs
_____ Florists
_____ Banks
_____ Travel Agents
_____ Air Lines
_____ Hotels
_____ Cruise Lines
_____ Restaurants (fast food)
_____ (family)
_____ (Cuisine)
_____ No preference


Chapter 7

Checklist For A Successful Start


1.) Read this material before you make your decision

2.) Send your resume to several businesses. You don't have to do all of
them, but it certainly can't hurt if you do! Don't forget to include your
hours available, photo, map of area available to you, and a list of
businesses you might prefer.

3.) Once accepted, you will receive your first assignment. You may
receive a phone call from the company detailing the job. If in
agreement, you will be sent a form with complete instructions.

4.) Follow the instructions completely. Take a note pad with you, and
keep in your car for quick notes. They will come in very handy when
you fill out the application. Read the instructions again right before
you go in to refresh your memory.

5.) Enjoy your shopping excursion! Remember to take mental notes of
all the details requested on the instruction sheet.

6.) When you return to your car, make quick notes on your notepad for
later reference. Don't forget to note your surroundings.

7.) Fill our the form/questionnaire as completely as possible. If you have
a question, you can call the company for clarification. Remember to
enclose any receipts for reimbursement.

8.) Make a copy of everything for your files.

9.) Return the form within the deadline time frame. If unable to do so,
call the company and tell them why. Now you can wait for your
check in the mail and the phone to ring!

NOTE: Each time you go on a Mystery Shopping Trip, you will use a form designed by
the store or business establishment. This is only a sample.

BUSINESS (Store) NAME: ________________________________________________
MYSTERY SHOPPER'S NAME:____________________________________________
DATE AND TIME OF SHOPPING EXPERIENCE:_____________________________

Was store clean and neat?

Was lobby/waiting area clean?

Was your presence acknowledged
within a short time of arrival?

Were you greeted in a friendly manner?

Were employee's dressed professional?

Did they offer to assist you with problems?

Were they courteous?

Did they know their products well?

Were the dressing rooms clean?

Did they thank you for shopping with us?

In the space provided below, please give a summary of your shopping experience.
How do you rate this establishment? ____________ Excellent
____________ Good
____________ Fair
____________ Poor

Based on your experience, would you shop at this location again in the future?_________
__________________________________ ______________________________
Your signature Date Submitted

This publication is designed to provide accurate and
authoritative information with regard to the subject matter
covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher
is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other
professional advice. If legal advice or other professional
assistance is required, the services of a competent
professional person should be sought.


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