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Mystery Shopping 101

What is a Mystery Shopper?

A mystery shopper (also called a secret shopper) is someone who gets paid to visit a store or restaurant and secretly evaluate things like customer service, store cleanliness and product quality. After the visit, the secret shopper fills out a brief questionnaire (shopper report) describing their shopping experience and gets paid for their time and opinions. The business owner then uses the information the mystery shopper has given them to make any necessary improvements in their store or service. The importance of customer service has turned mystery shopping into a $1.6 billion a year industry.


Get Paid to Shop

Mystery shopper jobs pay well and quite often, the secret shopper is treated to free merchandise and free meals as part of the job. A secret shopping career can be very exciting, and for those who love to shop and dine out - it's the perfect job that offers fun assignments and flexible schedules.


History of Mystery Shopping

Mystery shoppers were first employed in the 1940s as a mechanism to measure employee integrity. Tools used for secret shopping assessments are generally simple questionnaires. Most secret shopper companies administer through the Internet, allowing potential mystery shoppers to register for participation and find mystery shopping jobs online.

The most common venues for a mystery shop are retail stores, movie theatres, restaurants, fast food chains, banks, gas stations, car dealerships, health clubs, and more. Virtually any context where there is a customer/business interaction is open to mystery shopping.




Retail evaluations in popular chain stores like Macy's account for roughly 35% of all mystery shopping revenue.


Methods of a Secret Shopper


Secret shoppers are often given assignments to simply test the service skills of the employees. Some of the common things secret shoppers will be looking for include:

- how long it takes before the secret shopper is greeted
- how was the secret shopper treated during their visit at the location
- cleanliness of location and employees
- quality and taste of meal served
- selection of products/food and prices
- speed and efficiency of service

After the visit, the secret shopper will then submit their opinions about their shopping experience. That information is then reviewed and analyzed by the business to find areas in their service that need improvement.



Approximately 32% of all mystery shopping assignments are for dining establishments. Famous for its delicious food,
friendly service, great atmosphere and cleanliness, the Cheesecake Factory is always a favorite with mystery shoppers.


Finding Real Mystery Shopper Jobs

Whether you are looking to become a mystery shopper or secret shopper for the first time, or looking for mystery shopping companies to work for, Mystery Shopping Providers can help.

We can connect you with 184 mystery shopping companies that hire new shoppers for assignments every day. Mystery Shopping Providers also offers online training for new mystery shoppers, personal consultation and an online newsletter for our new shoppers. No experience is required to take part in mystery shops. And because hundreds of new mystery shopper jobs are available every day, our members are guaranteed work.


Become a Mystery Shopper

Mystery Shoppers America is in business for one reason: to connect you with mystery shopper jobs. You are our first priority and we are committed to your success. If you want to be a mystery shopper, you need the service of the best available of all mystery shopping companies. MSP is the industry leader.

In business since 2002, MSP is reputable and well established. We are the largest mystery shopping service of our kind and we’re the best at what we do. Our experienced staff knows the mystery shopping industry inside-out.


Join us today & Get Paid to Shop!

Register with Mystery Shopping Providers and begin your new career as a paid shopper.
Click here to
Become a Mystery Shopper




Mystery Shoppers are in demand in all markets - large and small
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Buffalo, NY
Many of your mystery shopping jobs will take place in major malls like Walden Galleria. This outstanding complex is the largest mall in the area with over 200 fine retailers and 12 full...
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Cleveland, OH
Cleveland has numerous fun and exciting shopping, dining and entertainment districts. Eton Chagrin Boulevard, for example, offers a unique and refined shopping and dining...
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Grand Rapids, MI
Your mystery shopping assignments can take you to the finest destinations in the Grand Rapids area like River Town Crossings. This great mall features more than 130 retailers...
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Long Beach, CA
Long Beach offers a wealth of mystery shopper job opportunities. Local shoppers can find themselves getting to paid to shop and dine in fine destinations like Los Cerritos Center...
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Memphis, TN
Memphis is home to some spectacular mystery shopping destinations like the impressive Wolfchase Galleria. This marvelous mall hosts 130 great retailers and services.
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New Orleans, LA
Like most things in this unique city, mystery shopping in New Orleans is a an exceptional experience and mystery shopper jobs are ample. Local mystery shoppers can enjoy a...
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Oklahoma City, OK
Mystery shopping destinations in OKC don’t get much better than Quail Springs Mall. This extraordinary complex features 130 prominent retailers and services including Dillards...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh area mystery shoppers can find themselves on assignment in exciting destinations like Southside Works - a hip and vibrant riverfront shopping, dining and...
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San Diego, CA
Mystery shopping is a very active and successful industry in San Diego with plenty of great mystery shopper jobs also available in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon...
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Tampa, FL
With an abundance of first-class shopping centers, mystery shopping in Tampa is a healthy and flourishing industry. You can get paid to shop in magnificent locations like International Plaza and Bay...
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RETAIL REPORTS


 

Wynn Plaza Shopping Center to Open this Fall

Here's some very good news for Las Vegas-area mystery shoppers! Wynn Las Vegas revealed more details about its planned shopping center development...
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New Shopping Center Coming to Abilene

Abilene-area mystery shoppers will soon have more options available to them. Prestige Development Group (PDG, Inc.), a national commercial retail developer, is...
read more




 

New Mauna Lani Shopping Center Coming Soon

Mystery shopping in paradise is about to get even better as the Beautiful Big Island will soon have another shopping center. The Mauna Lani Shopping and dining...
read more

 



 

The Rise of the Lifestyle Center

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose’s Santana Row covers 42 acres. Its dense, high-end retailing, residences, restaurants and offices create a city-within...
read more

 




Mystery Shopping in the News

Mystery Shopping Restaurants - Getting Paid to Dine Out
Mystery shopper services play a vital role in the success of any restaurant. In today’s ultra-competitive market, it’s imperative that every restaurant serves up the best tasting food while providing excellent customer service in a clean and inviting premises. Read full article


Confessions of a Hotel Mystery Shopper
30,000 Americans stay at hotels as mystery shoppers, giving companies inside scoops on their services. Try finding a hotel mystery shopper willing to dish on one of their stays. Ask them to reveal the dirt on the unkempt suite, the coquette of a... Read full article


Secret Shopping Supermarkets & Grocery Stores
America’s supermarkets are in fierce competition for your food shopping dollar. Find out how you can profit from this and provide a valuable service to your community by mystery shopping in grocery stores. Read full article


Mystery Shoppers Help U.S. Regulators Fight Racial Discrimination At Banks
When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked into the Mississippi-based regional bank BancorpSouth, it didn't just review thousands of loan applications. It sent in undercover operatives - some white, some black - who pretended to... Read full article


Using mystery shopping to increase profit in the hospitality industry
A customer’s point of view and perceived levels of service are critical to increasing profit in the Hospitality industry. How can your team ensure customer expectations are being met all while achieving brand standards?
Read full article


6 Ways to Have Fun with the Customer Experience
Good business doesn’t have to be all business all the time. In fact, the customer experience can benefit from some funny business as well. More than half of customers say humor resonates with them when they do business with a company, a Nielsen...
Read full article

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All Rights Reserved

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