Mystery shopping is great. Every month it can provide a pretty hefty amount of online income. It also provides you with free products, which frees up more money to be spent elsewhere.
You can use mystery shopping to purchase groceries, toiletries, and it can even help with gift and Christmas shopping.
What is mystery shopping?
Mystery shopping is used by companies to evaluate the quality service of a specific store. They prefer using mystery shoppers as their identity is kept secret to all inside the store. If the regional manager were to do this test, they would be on their best behavior, and it wouldn’t provide an insight on where the store naturally needs work.
Employing an outside mystery shopping agency will provide a great look into what is needed, as they will be provided with the normal customer service. After the store visit, the shopper will provide a report on what they experienced, maybe some pictures too then will be paid for doing so.
Examples of mystery shopping
Here are three examples of mystery shopping tasks that will normally be offered to you:
- Visiting a popular fast food restaurant, timing how long the order takes to arrive, checking the condiments area is all well stocked and checking the bathroom for cleanliness.
- Recording phone calls to hotels when booking a room, then going to the hotel, staying overnight
- Enquiring about a product over the phone or in store. Seeing if they ask for all your details, give you a tour if needed, as well as offer you all the information. After that, waiting two days to see if they call or contact you again to close the sale.
What can you get from mystery shopping?
If you mystery shop for any length of time, you will quickly rack up the products. It would take years to list the possible products, from pizza to toiletries. Just make sure that you provide the mystery shopping agency with all the information they need, so they contact you with more opportunities.
Mystery shopping over the phone
As well actually visiting the stores itself, you might be asked to call a company or enquire online. Some mystery shopping companies only provide online assignments, or they can be found with more traditional mystery shopping assignments.
Mystery shopping companies
There are a bundle of mystery shopping companies in the UK. It can be tough picking who to start with, but below there are some listed. See first just below, a couple of special mentions.
Earn up to £75
If you are interested in mystery shopping in a bank and have a healthy credit rating, then this is the perfect job for you. All you have to do is visit a branch and take out a financial product. To learn more about this, see our post on here!
Perhaps the most well-known one in the UK, Market Force are a great company to sign up for. They have hundreds of clients, many you will no doubt recognize. You can select specific areas you would like to work in, for instance where you live, work and frequently visit. Market Force is a strong recommendation.
Grassroots Mystery Shopping
Grassroots are another favourite, they offer jobs that range from getting groceries free to test out click and collect, and also asking about travel currency. The jobs are varied and well paid.
Red WigWam are the newest Mystery Shopping company around, but can be used to make lots of money. Their current focus is on supermarket shopping, but you could get various jobs depending on where you live. They send detailed pay slips and also take care of all your tax, making life easier for you, and your pay
e-digital is one of the aforementioned online mystery shopping companies. They have regular mystery shopping tasks which require you to shop online, where they then reimburse these items. They also offer app testing. To get paid every month, you will need to invoice them your balance, once you have reached the payment threshold. #
Other recommended mystery shopping companies
- Amber Arch
- Bare International
- Customer Perspective Limited
- ESA Retail
- GFK Mystery Shopping
- Helion Research
- Market Checker
- Mystery Dining Company
- Performance in People
- QDOS mystery shopping
- React Surveys
- Retail Active
- Retail Maxim
- Service Measure
Mystery shopping apps
As well as companies, there are a tonne of smart phone apps that pay you for the same service. Here are a few favourites:
If you are interested in using your phone for cash, check out my e-book 50 iPhone Apps To Earn Cash, which is just 99p on amazon.
Mystery shopping and tax
When you mystery shop, you need to declare your earnings and pay the relevant tax. There is a guide here, on how to declare your extra income to HMRC. Remember that you can offset any travel you do at a rate of 45p per mile
Mystery shopping hints and tips
- When you apply to mystery shopping companies, you will most likely be asked to write a report on why you would make a good mystery shopper. You can save this, and use it for the next few times you sign up, to save you time.
- As mentioned before, read through the brief carefully, and do what the company has asked you to do. It also doesn’t hurt to do some research beforehand. Sometimes the reimbursement will not cover the product completely. If you were planning on buying it anyway, this is ok, as you save some money, but just keep it in mind.
- Ask for travel expenses, don’t be afraid! If an assignment has been difficult for others to complete, then you might be able to ask for an increased fee and travel expenses.
- Don’t talk about your assignments. Pretty much all of the mystery shopping companies don’t allow you to mention their clients.
There you have it, everything to get started with mystery shopping in the UK. If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to ask them in the comments below!