Have you ever wondered how to be a mystery shopper in Australia or a secret shopper? Mystery Shopping (sometimes called secret shopping) is something I have been doing for years and it’s a lot of fun. It’s not going to make you a lot of money, but it does provide some fun and free experiences and adds a little bit of extra money to the family budget.
I often get asked how to be a mystery shopper in Australia and the process is really easy (and free).
How to be a mystery shopper in Australia
This post is specifically on how to be a mysterys shopper in Australia, but the process is very simialar for other countries. I have previously mystery shopped in England while on a working holiday and it was a great way to eat at restaurants we wouldn’t normally be able to afford.
What kind of stores are mystery shopped in Australia?
When you sign up for the mystery shopping companies you are required to not disclose the specific stores you shop at, but a good guide would be:
- Fast food outlets (probably all of the main ones)
- Coffee shops and restaurants
- Pubs and Casinos
- Clothing stores and retail outlets
- Phone calls (calling and reporting on the service you received over the phone)
- Email shops – where you email a company and report on the speed of their reply.
Where do I find the Australian Mystery Shopping Companies?
Here are the ones that I am currently aware of. If you know of any more or find that this list is outdated please let me know. There should be no charge to sign up to a mystery shopping company – if you find one that ones to charge you I recommend avoiding them.
How to be a Mystery Shopper
- Sign up to a mystery shopping agency
There are many of these around, and you can find some of our favorites listed here. (Note: you should never have to pay to join a mystery shopping company. There are a few scam sites out there who try to get you to pay for a list of companies – avoid them!). This should be a free process so if it’s not move on to a different company.
- Fill in all of the required information
This can take quite a bit of time as their customers will be looking for very specific shoppers depending on their store. The more information you fill in, the more chances you will have of being selected for a job. Try not to skip any questions as it could mean that you miss out on being selected for certain jobs.
- Apply for jobs
Some sites have a job board where you can register your interest or select jobs to shop. For these kind of sites you will need to check in regularly to make sure that you are not missing out on jobs in your area. Other sites will contact you when there are jobs available in your area, which is why it is important to keep your details updated.
- Accept the job
You will rarely be assigned a job without first requesting and accepting it. Before accepting it, make sure that you read through all of the details first, especially the location, date and time that the shop needs to take place. Some mystery shops will give you a window of days to complete the assignment and others are very specific. It is important to make sure that you can meet all of the requirements of the shop before you accept.
- Read the briefing documents
Most mystery shops have very specific criteria and instructions that you need to follow. It is important that you read over and familiarize yourself with the instructions (as you can’t take the instructions with you) and that you are comfortable with what you need to do. I like to save the instructions on my phone and quickly scan over them before I enter.
- Complete the shop
Before you enter the store, have a quick look over your briefing notes to make sure you don’t forget anything. Once you have completed the shop (make sure you request a receipt if you need one) go somewhere discreet where you can write down your notes. I like to go to a food court or café and jot notes down on my phone (I use the free evernote app) or fill in your paperwork. Don’t wait until you get home as often you will have forgotten some of the key details.
- Complete your report
Most agencies like you to complete your report as soon as possible after the shop. Prompt reporting will mean that you will have a much better chance of being selected for future shops. Fill in the reports with as much detail as possible, and ensure that you use full sentences and correct spelling
- Wait for pay day!
Most mystery shopping sites have a delay in payments, and you will normally get paid about a month later. Make sure that you keep track of any money owed and double check the amounts when you get paid. Check with your accountant about whether or not you need to declare your income as all states and countries are different.