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How to become a mystery shopper

By ninemsn staff
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Air date: Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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You can get paid to shop (Getty Images)

When it comes to paying off your mortgage sooner, most of us avoid hitting the stores for some retail therapy. But there is a way to shop and slash your interest payments at the same time. It's called mystery shopping and one Australian company is currently recruiting

Mystery shopping is one way retail outlets check on the customer service skills of their workforce.

Mystery shoppers spend money, buy and test items just like any other shopper. They then evaluate a company's products and workforce —,; the best bit is this is a paid gig.

Professional spenders can expect to test drive new cars, buy fast food or just ring a customer help line.

These shop-a-holics are in high demand all over the country, according to Shopping Science International, who are currently recruiting for new mystery shoppers.

"The supply of mystery shoppers is somewhat constrained at the moment," says Peter Rogers of Shopping Science International.

Which city has the most demand? Adelaide, that's right the city of churches needs more mystery shoppers.

What are potential employers looking for in a professional spenders?

"They do have to pass certain hurdles before they can become a mystery shopper," Peter explains. "They've got to be able to understand certain simple instructions they need to be able to follow those instructions," he says.

You can join Shopping Science or find out more about becoming a mystery shopper by visiting the Shopping Science International website here.

Other mystery shopping companies worth checking out are:
www.hoed.com.au
getpaidtoshop.com.au
shopangels.com.au

What should people look out for when signing up to be a mystery shopper?

Is the company a member of the Mystery Shopping Provider's Association (MSPA)?: This industry body has a code of ethics and they offer advice to would-be mystery shoppers. If the company is a member of this groups it means they uphold the industry's standards and they won't do things like charge you to join their company.

Never pay to register as a mystery shopper: If the company wants you to pay a joining fee or pay for training then be wary. You should never pay for these things.

Does the company have a good reputation?: If they are a MSPA member then they are a reputable company. If in doubt, contact the MSPA and ask about the company before you sign up.

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