fbpx Skip to content

Top 10 Mystery Shopping Myths Debunked: Unveiling the Truth Behind the Shops

Top 10 Mystery Shopping Myths Debunked - Unveiling the truth behind the shops - Blog post

Share This Post

By Lynn Carr – Senior Project Manager

Have you ever heard of mystery shopping and wondered if it’s too good to be true? You’re not alone. Mystery shopping, the act of evaluating customer service undercover, is shrouded in a surprising number of myths. This blog post dives headfirst into the top 10 mystery shopping myths, debunking them to reveal the exciting (and realistic) world of secret shopping.

Myth 1: Mystery Shopping is a Scam

This is a big one! Legitimate mystery shopping companies exist and partner with businesses to assess customer service quality. However, scams do try to lurk in the shadows. Here’s how to identify the real deal:

  • Membership in Reputable Organisations: Look for companies affiliated with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.
  • Professional Communication: Legitimate companies have established websites, use professional email addresses (no @gmail.com!), and have consistent branding across all communications.
  • Upfront Costs: Reputable companies won’t ask you for upfront fees to become a shopper.

Red Flags: If you’re ever asked to send money (especially via money order) to participate in a shop, it’s a scam. Trust your gut and avoid such opportunities.

Myth 2: You Need to be a Professional Shopper

Absolutely not! Mystery shopping is open to anyone with a keen eye for detail and strong observation skills. The training provided by reputable companies equips you with the specific criteria to evaluate during your shops.

Myth 3: Mystery Shopping Makes You Rich

While mystery shopping can be a fun way to earn some extra cash, getting rich solely through it is unrealistic. Shops typically pay between €5 and €15, and their frequency depends on location and company needs. However, for those with flexible schedules and living in areas with high shop availability, it can become a decent side hustle.

Myth 4: Mystery Shopping is Only in Big Towns

False! Businesses of all sizes, from local restaurants to national chains, utilise mystery shopping. Companies are interested in the performance of all their locations, regardless of twon size.

Myth 5: You Get Free Stuff All the Time

This one can be misleading. While some shops might involve making a small purchase, you’re reimbursed for following the specific instructions. However, some shops might involve observing customer service interactions without making a purchase.

Myth 6: Mystery Shopping is Easy Work

Mystery shopping requires following specific guidelines, accurately documenting your experience, and submitting detailed reports within deadlines. It’s not just about shopping; it’s about providing valuable feedback.

Myth 7: Honest Reports Get You Blacklisted

Absolutely not! Mystery shopping companies rely on honest and objective feedback. Your job is to report on your experience accurately, and as long as your report is factual, you won’t be penalised. In fact, companies value consistent and reliable shoppers.

Myth 8: Mystery Shopping is Dangerous

Mystery shopping is generally safe. Most shops involve everyday tasks you might already be doing. However, it’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings and avoid situations that feel unsafe.

Myth 9: You Need Special Equipment

Nope! All you typically need is a smartphone with a camera and a notebook (or note-taking app) to document your experience. Some shops might require taking discreet photos/vidoes, but that’s usually the extent of it.

Myth 10: Mystery Shopping is a Dying Industry

With the increasing focus on customer service excellence, mystery shopping remains a relevant tool for businesses. The industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies like mobile apps being incorporated to streamline the shopping experience for mystery shoppers.

Ready to Become a Mystery Shopper?

Now that you’ve demystified the myths, are you interested in becoming a mystery shopper? Here are some steps to get you started:

1. Research Reputable Companies: As mentioned, look for companies with a good reputation and affiliation with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA). Customer Perceptions, a leading mystery shopping company with a strong presence in Ireland and the UK, is a great example.

2. Sign Up and Complete Training: Most companies, including Customer Perceptions, require a basic training program to familiarise you with their specific requirements and evaluation criteria. This training is usually free and can be completed online at your convenience.

3. Apply for Shops: Once trained, you can browse available shops on the company’s platform. Customer Perceptions offers a variety of shops across various industries, allowing you to choose opportunities that suit your location and interests.

4. Shop and Report: When you accept a shop, follow the detailed instructions meticulously. This might involve making a purchase, asking specific questions, or simply observing customer interactions. After your experience, submit a comprehensive report within the timeframe using the company’s online portal.

Mystery shopping can be a rewarding experience with Customer Perceptions. You’ll have the chance to earn extra cash, experience different businesses undercover, and contribute to improved customer service experiences. So, ditch the misconceptions, embrace the truth, and explore the exciting world of mystery shopping!

Want to learn more? Visit the Customer Perceptions website at www.customerperceptions.ie/ to sign up and start your mystery shopping journey today!

More To Explore

The different types of mystery shops - Blog Post

The Different Types of Mystery Shops

Mystery shopping isn’t just about shopping in retail stores. It’s a versatile tool used by businesses across various industries to assess and improve the customer

Do You Want To Boost Your Business?

drop us a line and keep in touch


Top 10 Mystery Shopping Myths Debunked: Unveiling the Truth Behind the Shops