Almost everyone would like the opportunity to get paid to shop. Starting your own mystery shopper business can be fun and exciting, and it offers great perks, such as free or reduced-price merchandise and services.
Mystery shoppers are individuals who are contracted to offer opinions on goods and/or services for a specific business. Your mystery shopper business may have you going into a restaurant and reporting back about your service or quality of product, or visiting a hotel and offering an opinion about customer service quality and the pleasure of your stay. As a mystery shopper, you are “undercover,” meaning the business staff does not know you are secretly rating your experience.
Mystery shopping can offer valuable feedback to businesses on how to improve customer service interaction, the appearance of a store, or even how to improve product delivery.
Skills Required: Ability to express opinions clearly and elaborately, discretion, keen observation.
The most important quality you can have for your mystery shopping business is to be able to communicate effectively. The ability you have to interact with business staff on a customer’s level is important in determining the quality of service they provide. Also, you must be able to provide detailed written accounts and opinions of your experience.
As a mystery shopper, you must keep discretion during your visit. It must not be revealed that you are rating your experience or else you could spoil the “normal” experience offered to everyday customers. During your experience, it is important for you to make keen observations about a business, including customer service interaction, décor, quality of product or service, etc.
Startup Expenses: $0 – $700
Starting a mystery shopper business does not require much in terms of startup capital. Important equipment you should have is reliable transportation, which most people already have, a computer with internet access, and word processing software. If you have these items, you are practically set to go. If you need a computer, you can get a reliable used desktop or laptop for under $500 and word processing software for about $50.
If you want to try to solicit direct business, you may want to print up business cards and brochures that you could give to business owners and offer your services. Expect to pay about $50 to $100 for quality business cards and marketing materials.
Monthly Revenue: $100 – $1,000 per month
As a part-time business, your mystery shopper business you could earn as little as $5 for a visit or $10 rebate off your next grocery bill, free products, or you could earn hundreds a month as a regular mystery shopper for a mystery shopper service. Usually when you first start, your jobs will be smaller until you prove that your services are consistent, detailed, and articulate.
Monthly Expenses: $100 – $500
Your expenses are minimal. Expect to pay for your automobile upkeep and maintenance and regular office supplies for your mystery shopper business reports.
Mystery Shopper Business Resources
How can you start a mystery shopper business? There are many free resources available on the internet that offer ways you can get your proverbial hat in the ring. Remember that you should NEVER pay to join a mystery shopper service.
Here is a list of reliable resources: