Being a mystery shopper sounds like a fun way to earn money on the side. However, it’s actually more than just heading into a store, buying things, and then answering a survey. Being one means that you’re assisting in market research which yields very important facts about customer service. Companies, and sometimes, organizations that aim to protect consumer rights put in people to act as regular shoppers in order to check the quality of a store’s products and services to either improve on them or just to see if a business is operating properly.
Mystery shopping requires schedule flexibility. It can be a slightly demanding part-time gig, especially if you want to cover more stores to up your pay; but it can also be an interesting learning experience if you’ve been pursuing a career in marketing, sales, and customer service.
Below are some of the institutions that hire mystery shoppers, according to our GirlTalkers who have experienced getting into them. If you’re interested to learn more, you can always go to the forum and join the conversation.
Born out of a merger between the Philippine company Customer Insights Worldwide, Inc. and Indian company Kaiz Consult, SatisFIND has been offering Customer Experience Measurement studies in Asia and the Middle east for quite some time. Their services include market research and customer insights based on secret shopper reviews.
SatisFIND is known to request reviews of fun establishments and services, including restaurants and even airlines. GirlTalker heaven_charm shares her experience: “My first project was in a Japanese restaurant. May P700 GC, ‘yun (sic) lang talaga. The airline project naman, libre roundtrip ticket ko tapos may 1k na bayad. All expenses in between, sagot na ng shopper.”
She also gives a few tips on how to look at mystery shopping from a financial perspective. “[It’s] best to not look at this as a job or source of extra income. I consider this more of a freebie or a hobby… Sulit naman yun (sic) pamasahe ko sa P700 meal saka yun terminal fee at pamasahe kasi libre naman yun (sic) plane ticket ko… Satisfind naman will let you know automatically if may token fee or payment para sa project. It's up to you whether you want to work on the project or not.”
Bare International is based in the U.S., and offers their customer review services worldwide. They claim to be "doing research for clients in more than 150 countries, completing more than 50,000 evaluations each month."
Some of the places that Bare International asks feedback for include restaurants and drugstores. However, payment may take a bit of time as it comes in Euros, so you may need to be patient about it. “This year lang ako nag-start and I was assigned 18 shops na, 8 Euro per shop, yung iba 12 Euro. Enjoy naman ako, mababait pa mga nagma-manage,” says jelliebean28. "Kapag hindi mo kaya tapusin 'yung shop on that date, nagbibigay sila ng extension."
You may also need to wait for the right project to come around, as sometimes store locations can be a bit far. As nicola_juliano notes, “Marami na binigay si Bare, kaso ang lalayo sa location ko. Kaya not worth it din kapag in-avail, gastos sa pamasahe kulang pa sa pambayad. Mag-register lang ako sa project na medyo malapit sa area ko.”
GapBuster Worldwide’s business involves employing work-from-home mystery shoppers and professional auditors for institutions who need marketing and customer care data. Based in Australia, it has offices in Europe and Asia, and is also open for mystery shopper recruitment in the Philippines.
According to GirlTalker Ayami, Gapbuster pays well, but they can be a bit demanding sometimes. “I enjoy Gapbuster naman, medyo makulit lang sila post-survey. I think I earned a decent amount na with them for the past 4 months. Marami akong pinapakyaw na tasks since our house is situated in a nice location (aka malapit sa major Metro Manila malls). In a day, 2-3 malls pinupuntahan ko. Matyaga rin husband ko na sumama sakin so wala akong problema sa parking fees, aantay lang sya and a task takes 10-15 minutes to finish lang.”
Shop’n Chek Philippines
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/shopnchekPH
Shop’n Chek Philippines is powered by John Clements Consultants, a consulting firm that dates back to the 1970s. According to a feature on Entrepreneur Philippines, their mystery shoppers “can typically earn from P300 to as high as P2,000 per shop.”
Albatross is based in Dubai, but has an arm in the Philippines. They have more stringent qualifiers for mystery shoppers (which includes very specific income brackets) as they may sometimes require them to shell out cash for luxury brands. Of course, these purchases are reimbursed.
This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.