When I was  given voluntary retirement from my job I was so pleased, I hated my job and the money that they gave me would enable me to have a look around at the jobs available and choosing one I liked rather than the first one I could get. After a couple of weeks I did start to get bored,there is only so much time you can spend cleaning and ironing. It was at this point that I read an advert for mystery shopping, the idea of getting paid to do something that I enjoyed was quite appealing.

Secret shoppers?

What is mystery shopping? Sometimes it is called Secret Shopping, but it is the same thing!
Mystery shopping is where you get sent to sample a shops products and services and have to write a report about it and then you get paid. That's it, not hard is it?

 I found that there was an awful lot more involved in writing those "little" reports.The survey company provides you with an information brief of which you have to remember the most important points.   If you have not got a fairly good memory then this is not the job for you, as you can't refer to your notes or the job brief once you are actually shopping.They give you a scenario and ask you to approach staff with that scenario. This might be , for example,to get measured for a bra or book a holiday. I found that remembering the brief could be a problem, when it asked me to enquire about a holiday for my family including children, I found the easiest way was to take 10 years off the age of my actual children so that I got my story straight!

You will really have to be observant whilst you are in the shop or restaurant and remember what the sales person said and even things like whether the decor was faded, was it  clean and was the shop warm enough. Not only that you have to evidence your comments you can't say "the shop was cold" you might say " when I took my dress off to try on the bra, I felt very cold and did not wish to continue shopping".


When you get home you have to complete an on line questionnaire with details of the visit, I used to rush to the nearest seat, out of view of the shop and try and pencil in some of the answers. Earnings do vary, it is often not very much, in the region of £10 but if you are in the area any it is a "nice little earner". Sometimes you have to buy a product as well as get paid, so on a couple of occasions I bought a bra from my earnings they were better quality than I normally buy which was a nice bonus for me!

 .I have spoken to other Secret Shoppers who agree that it is only worth doing
if you are not going out of your way as the fees are not enough to pay petrol and parking etc. If you think that you can have a career as a Mystery Shopper that pays all your bills and lets you have a lavish lifestyle then this is not the career for you. However if you just enjoy shopping and want to try new things and make a few extra bucks then this may be the career for you.

So, if you are at a loose end with some free time or simply just love shopping, give it a try. You will need to sign up with one of the Mystery Shopping
Companies that are on the Internet. If you are answering one of those ads that ask for fees and promise a regular healthy income don't do it. I think they are scams anyone who wants money to arrange secret/mystery shopping is not on the level, they pay you, not the other way around!