I started mystery shopping when my son was just a baby. This gave me a chance to interact again with the real world! It started by taking on the odd High Street visit which I could do at the same time as the weekly shopping, this progressed to special trips to carry out assignments and by the time my son was having a few hours each week at pre-school I was ready to take on more. 

There are many advantages of being a mystery shopper, being paid to shop has got to be every woman's dream! Along with it being very flexible and most assignments can be done on a variety of days and times.
Prior to starting my family, I worked in a customer service role and this is something I'm still passionate about (along with shopping!) I feel very privileged to be able to help companies improve their customer service and give the feedback they request to help them reward and train staff appropriately. 

I've had some wonderful opportunities for both myself and my family to visit tourist attractions and also have had holidays and weekend breaks in some lovely places. Yes, I do view it as work but as they saying goes, find a job you love and you'll never work again! If you have an eye for detail and too are passionate about good service then it's something I would encourage people to do. My advice would be to always plan ahead, check your timings and locations before turning up, don't expect to be paid if you shop the wrong branch or staff member! 

I really hope to continue my mystery shopping journey and love opportunities to gain experience and learn more about the industry. My goal now would be to shop an overseas destination.
Carolyn from Worcestershire

Mystery shopping changes you as a person. That was not something I expected. as I entered the world of mystery shopping.

Now my mind functions so differently. It is as if the survey questions are imprinted on my brain - did they greet me, was I offered additional items? These questions run automatically in the background even on every day trips to the shops.
I’m grateful to mystery shopping for making me more attentive to what I’m actually receiving when I shop. I should be given an experience and be left with a positive feeling. After all we never just buy a product. We unknowingly buy with our five senses and we use our instinct to help us to make decisions. Your observational skills become finely tuned and your expectations of excellent service are higher than they were before. 

So I’m thankful to have been given the wonderful opportunity to mystery shop and hopefully improve the standards of service for myself and other consumers.
Michelle from Leicestershire

A Charity Downpour

A curious search online that morning led to me applying for the opportunity to play the role of a door-to-door fundraiser, with the view to assessing their behaviour. "What a great cause" I thought.

I was happy that my application was successful and that I was going to be making a difference in the community of fundraisers for a prestigious charity. I arrived at the meeting point on an overcast March evening and joined the fundraisers, a group of four enthusiastic young adults who were passionate about the job and eager to embark on the four hour shift for which I would be joining them as a 'newbie fundraiser’. I received a gigantic, bright yellow waterproof jacket.
A huge black cloud was now above our heads. I was paired off with one fundraiser to shadow and observed the interactions as he knocked on doors.

By now a downpour of rain was becoming more violent as the minutes went by.

Fast-forward two hours; my hands were wrinkled and numb, mascara was running down my face, my enormous 'waterproof' coat was no longer waterproof and my hood was so large that it had been falling down the entire time, leaving my hair to become utterly sodden. I was literally dripping and so miserable. My ability to concentrate on the job had gone, and it was all I could do to run off crying and jump on the next bus back home – which is what I ended up doing, ending my ‘exciting assignment’.Not my finest moment.
Cleo from Leeds

I did some mystery shopping for a mobile phone chain, with the scenario that my contract was due to expire and I was looking for a new deal. The salesman went through the options and threw in several freebies to convince me to buy but I had to keep declining. 

The  following week, I was shopping another branch in a town 40 miles away from me and the scenario was I was looking for a PAYG phone. I was browsing the display, when a voice behind me said “oh hello Rebecca! What are you doing all the way down here?” It was the same salesman! I made up a story that my brother had said he needed a new PAYG phone and it was his birthday soon.

He went through all the options and came up with a great deal which I had to decline. The area manager came over and was puzzled as to why I’d declined two really good offers from one of his best salesmen and tried to convince me to buy. I got out of it by saying “look at the time! I’ll have to go and meet my friend, but I’ll pop back afterwards.” Needless to say I didn’t pop back! During the conversation, the salesman mentioned he was covering in another branch later that week that I was due to visit when he was there. I scrapped my planned schedule and went and immediately shopped that branch while I knew he wasn’t there!

You really have to think on your feet at times in this job.
Rebecca from Newcastle

Why I am a Mystery Shopper

I often wonder why
mystery shopping is what I do
I am autistic, have a poor memory
and am honest through and through

However I can see how I've grown
over many years
I have faced many challenges
and shed many tears

But I still love the job
and really feel it's me
I like the flexibility
I just like feeling free

I like that I can travel
or can stay at home
I can do report, audio, video
or even telephone

I sometimes go on my own
and sometimes take my mates
sometimes I go shopping
and sometimes go on dates

I have learned many things 
as I go about about my day
especially cars and finance 
are how I get my pay 

Sometimes things go wrong
Once I forgot my name
but one thing that is sure
my days are not the same

Generally I love the job
it suits me to a tee
and I know that overall
there is nowhere I would rather be.

Caroline from Wales

An amazing job

Now it always amazes me
Why is it people shop for fun
Wandering round the high street
 Until the day is done

Well I get paid for shopping
Which I consider a winner
They’ll usually buy me coffee
And occasionally my dinner

MSP’s will contact me
To be a mystery shopper
Then if I do my job right
I’ll never spend a copper

Walking round town centres
Of which I’m allowed to choose
Asking questions in different shops
Of shirts and colour of shoes

For a shopper service is king
Who will go that extra mile
Giving customers’ attention
It costs them nothing to smile

Time to write up the reports
This is never the fun part
If I’m to recall what was said
I suppose I’d better start

John from Manchester


MSPA E-Learning for Shoppers & Employees!