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Shopping will get you paid!

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Not many in life get a job that perfectly aligns with their hobbies and interests. However, there are numerous lucky enough individuals to whom work and pleasure are synonymous to one another. Being a mystery shopper is a position where you get paid to shop in various retail stores, visit movie theatres, dine at fine restaurants and fast food chains and for seeing different apartments and health clubs. Such people are hired by mystery shopping companies in order to evaluate the businesses of their clients by physically visiting their stores under the guise of an everyday consumer. The identity of the secret shopper, however, is kept hidden from the business company that asks for the services of a mystery shopping company.

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The life of a mystery shopping is full of events. One gets to interact with all kinds of people with different walks of life. Taking secret shopping as a viable source of income requires an individual to visit multiple store within a single day. This helps in building one’s portfolio. One gets to move on to bigger stores as one gets more experience with time and can earn more money as these tasks are highly paid. However, most but not all secret shopping tasks require the secret shopper to buy a product. This product can be a commodity one requires that can be utilized for personal use. However, reimbursements can also take place in certain tasks.

In some cases, the business company requires an analysis of their employee’s reactions to certain stimuli and their ability to respond to it. In this case, the secret shopper has to create the situation. For example, if a company wants to check the emergency response of the store, the secret shopper will have to cause that emergency through enactment.

Mystery shopping may seem like an easy way of earning money but it does have a prerequisite set of skills without which one cannot become a good secret shopper.

Reliability and Credibility are the foremost skills mystery shoppers should assimilate in themselves. One’s observations and recordings should be trustworthy and reliable. While evaluating a business store, the mystery shopper should keep an objective point of view and focus on the store working during the present visit to the location. All past visits to the store as a regular shopper must not be a part of the judgment report.

Confidence is a key trait one requires in order to become a secret shopper. An individual needs to play out the role of a regular customer and be able to communicate comfortably. A good mystery shopper can only record the workings of the retail store accurately by giving the outlook of an ordinary customer to the store employees.

One needs to be punctual in order to be a good mystery shopper. Being at the store location at the given time and reporting to the parent mystery shopping company before the deadline is paramount to one’s job. Some tasks are specifically pertained to specific timings and thus one has to be physically present on the spot in order to carry out one’s task with efficiency and accuracy.

A mystery shopper should have good writing and communication skills in order to make reports of the different tasks assigned. This also requires a hands on knowledge of the internet so that one can write emails and create online evaluation tables which are accessible in real time.

Secret shoppers must be honest and ethical in their report. Under the agreed upon ethics of secret shopping, it is ethically wrong to terminate the services of an employee based on the report of a mystery shopper. Mystery shopping reports should solely aim to improve the standards of a preexisting business instead of firing of an employee. Thus the responsibility is equally on the shoulders of the secret shopper as well as the secret shopping company apart from the business store.

An individual should have good memory to get paid to shop. One should not only be able to remember encounters but also surroundings, timings and placements of different objects and salesmen in order to connect all of them in their report. Moreover, along with having good memory, one should have a camera as well to record the different receipts and transactions by taking their photos and attaching them to the report.

There are many traits and key skills that one can attain by focus, practice and dedication but sometimes there are limits to one’s abilities in the secret shopping world. In some cases, the business company needs to evaluate the behavior of its employees with people of certain characteristics. In this case, the mystery shopping company delegates tasks to the members of the respective group. For example, a Car Dealership wants to assess the behavior of its employees with female customers, thus a mystery shopping company will only delegate this task to a female mystery shopper. However, apart from this certain case, the remaining traits can be achieved if one is dedicated to the task at hand.

Many mystery shopping companies look for individuals with the above mentioned traits by posting advertisements over the internet. Others create their own websites through which one can sign up and after an assessment procedure, can find numerous mystery shopping tasks one can pick up. Some of these include:

Concluding, secret shopping is one of the modern ways of earning an income. It has not only revolutionized the process of business evaluation but has also provided a mystery shopper with no business experience with a chance to undergo market analysis. Good mystery shoppers can also become good merchandizers and salesmen since they are aware of their shortcomings. Thus becoming a mystery shopper not only enables you to become one but also provides you with the necessary skills for making it into other fields of business as well.