Beginners Guide to Mystery Shopping in the UK

When you enter the world of money saving it can be a daunting place, trying to work out where you can save money in your day to day life, how to drop your weekly food bill and how to you save for those luxury items, but its not all about where you can save money, you also need to look into how you can make money and one of the many ways you can do this is by becoming a mystery shopper.

So, what does a mystery shopper do?…

By signing with an agency or an independent company you can fulfil jobs anonymously to check that businesses are meeting set criteria. From food to clothes and everything in between there’s always lots of jobs that can be found.

How does it work?…

This can change from job to job and even from agency to agency, but the general rules are usually the same, before you accept a job you will receive a specific set of instruction for that particular job so you can see what is needed these can include:

Guideline on what to purchase (this is usually flexible with a spend limit applied and you can buy or eat what you like)

  • Questions that you have to ask in store
  • A list of photographs you must take
  • Details of things to take notice of for your report such as, cleanliness of the store, lighting, did someone acknowledge you when you enter etc
  • Date when your report needs to be submitted by

All these tasks need to be completed without anyone knowing you are on a mystery shop, once home make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to correctly write your report and ensure you completed everything that was asked of you.

What are you likely to earn?…

This can vary widely but you aren’t going to make a full time wage out of it, you need to look at it like you are earning some pocket money or a freebie item, when selecting jobs pay close attention to the amount being offered. Sometimes it simply isn’t worth doing if you are going to be out of pocket but if they are offering a free meal or £5 or more then its worth taking a look.

Most jobs such as dining out will be on a reimbursement basis so keep receipts as you will need these as proof to claim your money back. Some agencies may offer travel expenses so its always worth an ask.

Where do I sign up?…

There’s no shortage of companies offering mystery shopping jobs, this can unfortunately attract fake companies that will try and get you to part with money to sign up to them. Sign up will always be FREE and if they are asking for money then approach cautiously. You can always check a company with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and see if they are listed if you are in doubt. Sign up will usually just be an online form and then you are set, however some of the bigger companies will require you to complete a spelling and grammar test, you will get a few goes at it so don’t panic!

Here’s some companies you can take a look at…

Market Force

One of the UKs most well-known mystery shopping sites with over 300,000 members, have a wide range of jobs and they have recently made an app that will allow you to select jobs based in your area. Their payment is usually very low or just reimburse with jobs averaging £5-£15. https://uk.marketforceshopper.com

Grassroots

Another fan favourite with jobs ranging from getting free groceries, testing out click and collect and even being paid to ask about travel currency, jobs are varied, and some can be well paid. https://www.grassrootsmysteryshopping.com

Red wigwam

They are a fairly new company so don’t have as many available jobs as some of the other companies, but it still may be worth signing up and seeing what you can find. Jobs seem to pay well with this one. https://www.redwigwam.com/

E-digital

Not everyone can get out to do a mystery shop, so this one can be done exclusively online, jobs include reimbursed purchasing ad testing out apps. With e-digital you must reach a payment threshold and then send them an invoice to claim any payment. http://edigital.com/

There are also apps you can download which will give you jobs in your area some of the best ones are

Field Agent

Roamler

Streetspotr

 

Ipoll 

What are the Do’s and Don’ts as a mystery shopper?…

DO’s…

  • Work regularly
  • Memory practise (you aren’t allowed a note book so good memory is essential)
  • Make sure you declare any earning and keep the taxman happy
  • Sign up to as many companies as you can to ensure you are getting work consistently
  • Keep all receipts (you will need them to claim money back)

DONT’S…

  • Be late submitting a report
  • Ever pay to register
  • Forget to ask for all the information regarding expenses ad reimbursements
  • Rely on mystery shopping as a source of income

Its not a way to pay off student loans or that overdraft but it may just be a way for you to treat the kids or buy that luxury item you have had your eye on so its definitely worth signing up and seeing what you can do


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