There has been a Daily Mail mystery shopping article published. It is supposed to be an expose about mystery shopping and really ends on quite a negative tone. Although there are some facts contained in the article I really do take issue with some parts of it. Here are the 5 main parts of the article that I disagree with-
You earn £1.57 per hour
This does kind of depend on a few things. Firstly (and lastly as we shall see later) I don’t think you could ever become rich being a mystery shopper. There are good weeks where you can maybe do 30 to 40 mystery shopping jobs and make good money but the Summer holidays, Easter and Christmas are when mystery shopping pretty much switches off and you will have long periods of time when you don’t make much if anything at all. The Daily Mail mystery shopping article doesn’t take all of this into account.
The best way to make good money in mystery shopping is to find a location and set up several mystery shops there. It minimises the travel costs and maximises your earnings. To do this you have to be a more established mystery shopper and sign up with more than one mystery shopping company but the potential is there. My best day was with 12 mystery shops in one large town and nearly £200 of goods and pay.
Once you are more familiar with mystery shopping and get better at filling out the reports then this becomes easier too.
That the Daily Mail mystery shopping article says it is tedious
Let’s be honest, not every job out there in the country is going to stimulate your brain for the full 8 hours per day. Factory work, many retail jobs and working in food outlets can be monotonous and do destroy the soul a little. Mystery shopping to me is a contrast to this. Yes, there may be elements of it that are boring such as checking where certain items are but the better mystery shop assignments are much more varied and interesting than this. Read the Daily Mail mystery shopping article with a pinch of salt on this point.
The rewards are non-existent
This can really depend on your lifestyle and income. For many people, a free meal or some extra groceries can make a difference to their life. I personally use it to take the kids out for something to eat or for extras for their Christmas stockings. I can’t live off the money from mystery shopping but it does make a difference to my life. The kids get free trainers or clothes every now and again. I get to have a bet with someone else’s money. And we all get to have a free coffee or meal every few weeks. It allows me to live parts of a life that I probably couldn’t afford any other way.
I can only carry out one mystery shop per day
With some mystery shopping companies this is true to begin with. They want to know what you are like as a mystery shopper before they set you loose with a lot of their customers all at once. But this restriction doesn’t last long. And soon enough you can carry out a lot of assignments on the same day. As pointed out earlier, this means that you can go from earning the odd free meal to being able to plan a full day out and getting the most from mystery shopping.
A full-time mystery shopper can earn £40,000 per year
This simply is not true. I think that someone who lives in or near a big city with lots of shops and restaurants to visit might be able to get their hands on about half of this amount. But I have never seen any mystery shopping company make claims of this amount. It is a lifestyle job and can be used to get extra items when you are already visiting or passing somewhere. But for me it doesn’t seem like it could ever be a full-time job.
If you are thinking of becoming a mystery shopper then you will want to do it right. My book is full of great ideas and advice on how to become a mystery shopper.