How to Avoid Mystery Shopper Scams & Find Legitimate Jobs

Just Who Is the Mystery Shopper? Does He or She Really Exist?

In short, the answer's yes. Mystery shopping is used by companies to ensure the customer experience in their shop or business is up to the standard they expect. Mystery shoppers act as real life customers and evaluate how well they are treated in a retail environment. The information they collect is then relayed to the owners of the business and often fed back to the staff in question.

Mystery shopper jobs are usually very simple as they involve answering a series of yes/no questions. For example, a mystery shopper may be asked if they are greeted upon arrival at the store.

Because of the relative ease of the job, mystery shopper roles are in high demand. However, mystery shopper scams do exist, especially online, which puts many off applying. Here we will look at what's involved with the genuine role and how to spot a scam.

Legitimate Mystery Shopper Roles

Not all advertised mystery shopper jobs are scams, and there are plenty of legitimate jobs out there. Customer feedback is a sought after commodity in businesses all over Canada, and companies have large budgets to collect such data.

Retail companies in particular often employ mystery shoppers to ensure their staff are carrying out their work effectively, and many large companies have a pool of mystery shoppers to choose from. National companies like to have mystery shoppers which are local to a particular store. Some companies advertise mystery shopper jobs themselves, whereas others go through an agency.

How to Avoid Mystery Shopper Scams

Unfortunately, there are a number of scam mystery shopper jobs out there as certain people will take advantage of the fact that such roles are in high demand. However, there are a few basic rules you can follow to avoid such scams, and really, all these boil down to is using your common sense.

Firstly, never pay anything upfront even if you are promised you will get the money back. Legitimate mystery shopping jobs do not require a sign-up fee or fee to cover expenses. If a website or company asks you for a payment and you are fool enough to pay, it is very unlikely you will ever hear from them again.

Legitimate mystery shopper jobs pay for any expenses incurred by the employee. Indeed, the only upfront payment you are likely to encounter is when paying for a product or service as part of your shop and for which you will be reimbursed. You would not pay a company to begin work in an office so do not pay a company to become a mystery shopper.

If It Sounds Too Good to be True, It Probably Is!

Avoid mystery shopper jobs, which claim you can earn hundreds of dollars a week, as these are likely to be a scam. Payment for legitimate mystery shopper jobs depend on the length of time needed to complete the job, but is generally between 10 to 20 Canadian dollars. Furthermore, work may not be constant, so it is virtually impossible to make a large amount of money.

Some scam sites may also claim that you will receive free gifts from the companies you shop for including cell phones and designer clothes. Whilst some companies may hand out freebies to their mystery shoppers, these are unlikely to be of an extravagant nature. Beware of offers like this that seem too good to be true.

Next Steps?

If you are interested in legitimate mystery shopper jobs, fill out the form at the top of this page. A member of SurveyCompare will be in touch with you to discuss opportunities.