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Fact or Myth: Mystery Shopping

by B Kenney | January 14th, 2009 | Fashion
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For quite some time Mystery Shopping has been reported to exist all over the country. Many of you might have heard of the concept, especially if you’ve worked retail here and there.

mystery shoppingThe idea is that certain individuals are hired by various big-name and corporate sales companies to parade around and shop. They are not just shopping, however, but reviewing products and merchandise for quality,  stores for aspects such as cleanliness, and even employees to make sure they are giving aid to customers as they should. These “Mystery Shoppers”, in theory, then have some way of communicating to their employers what they felt was acceptable and what needed improving.

Do they exist?

Yes, but quite possibly not in the form you may think.

Many companies advertise for a small sum that you may become a Mystery Shopper all on your own, being paid to shop and being permitted to keep the items which you test. This unfortunately is too much of a dream job to be true. In some cases Mystery Shoppers are allowed to keep the merchandise they purchased, but in others they are required to return the items to the manufacturer. It depends more specifically on who they are “mystery shopping” for. In any case, most Mystery Shoppers are hired through the application process just like any other job out there. These companies advertising Mystery Shopping for everyone are just in the long haul to take money from those who are willing to give it.

Mystery Shopping is a job just like any other. Those hired are required to take very detailed and concise notes as well as list suggestions or information that would help their employer improve on the certain aspects that are not acceptable. Upon arriving home most employers would require shoppers to fill out a long list of special forms, both explaining their shopping experience and listing the items they purchased and why.

For those who wish to give Mystery Shopping a whirl, here are some sites that seem to be worthy of trying out. It should be noted, however, that one should never pay any amount of fee to become a shopper. If you have to pay, then more than likely the site is a hoax or scam.

http://www.volition.com/mystery.html

http://www.mysteryshop.org/

http://www.secretshopper.com/

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