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How to Understand Mystery Shopping Terms

By Edited Apr 5, 2014 0 3

Mystery shopping can be a rewarding experience if you understand what you are doing. The following article explains how to understand mystery shopping terms in a language the average person can understand.

Things You Will Need

  • A willingness to learn
  • internet connection

Step 1

The most common mystery shopping terms can easily be understood over time with experience mystery shopping. Consider this a "cheat sheet" to get ahead of the game and become a more successful mystery shopper.

Step 2

Let's start with "shop". A shop is a specific mystery shopping assignment. A shop can be performed on site, over the telephone, and even on the internet. A scheduler assigns you a shop after you apply for it. You need to read through your shop instructions before performing the shop. After you perform your shop, you need to fill out your report or survey online.

Step 3

The "scheduler" is the person who assigns shop to you. Your scheduler for a specific shop is kind of like your manager for the shop. It is their job to ensure you perform your shop accurately and on time. If you have any questions at any point while performing your shop, you need to contact your scheduler.

Step 4

Your scheduler is hired by the "mystery shop provider". This is the company which has been hired by the company you will be shopping. Let's say you would do a mystery shop for McDonald's. The mystery shop provider was hired by McDonald's corporation to provide mystery shopping for McDonald's.

Step 5

"Shop instructions" are given to you after your scheduler assigns a shop to you. The shop instructions are most often found on the mystery shop provider's website. These detail exactly what is expected of you while performing your shop and when you fill out your report later.

Step 6

A "report" or "survey" is an online form you must fill out after completing the evaluation part of your shop. If you do not submit your report, the mystery shopping provider will not know you have completed your shop and you will not be paid. As you complete more mystery shops, you will become more used to the terms used in mystery shopping. Soon you will find yourself using the terms so offhandedly that you'll have to stop yourself and explain the terms to non-mystery shoppers!

Tips & Warnings

As a mystery shopper, you are considered an independent agent. You are not an employee of a mystery shop provider company or a scheduler. Never say you were "hired" to do a shop, as this is not true and will make you look like a novice.


Dec 9, 2009 8:59am
Where are some real mystery shopping places online?
Dec 9, 2009 11:24am
Start with Volition.com. Good luck!
May 15, 2011 2:48pm
This is a new concept to me, never knew it existed. Mind you I wouldn't go into a McDonalds even if I was getting paid.
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