Monday, 11 February 2013

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is the perfect solution for students who force themselves to shy away from the city centre for fear of spending money they haven’t got. In fact, even if you simply love to shop and want to earn money doing it, this is for you. As the Joker says; if you’re good at something, never do it for free!

A mystery shopper’s job is to go under cover into a predetermined shop, restaurant, bar, hotel etc. and act like a normal customer. Afterwards, it will be your job to write a report on the experience; whether it was positive or negative and why (reporting on things like staff friendliness and cleanliness of the building.)

It is great if you don’t mind writing reports and even if you do, is good practice to get into the swing of it to help your academic work to improve.  Tasks are usually very simple such as go into a fast food restaurant, and order a burger and a milkshake. Even better, you get to choose what tasks you do and the benefits of the task are usually free! So, if you fancy a free pizza, look out for tasks requiring you to go into a pizza restaurant. If pampering is more your thing, look out for any spa related tasks!

However do bear in mind that the report writing can be time consuming, especially if English is not your first language. Also, many websites require you to pass their own English language test before you can sign up. It is very casual and you may be able to retake the test but it can be daunting at first. Another thing to consider is the time. The best paying tasks take a lot more time and can require 2 or 3 days, especially hotel stays which can be difficult to plan alongside coursework (though if you have the time – free hotel stay!)

To become a mystery shopper, it is very simple to start doing. Just sign up to a mystery shopping company’s website and the tasks will be available online. We recommend the following sites as reputable mystery shopper firms:

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