We’ve talked before about the opportunities available as a mystery shopper, which typically involve working as an undercover shopper for the benefit of a retail establishment so that the customer experience can be evaluated and improved upon by that business. Those who work as mystery shoppers tend to enjoy the experience, because it is a low-stress way to make money that involves what is, for so many, their favorite pastime – shopping!
That said, did you know that there are now opportunities to work as a mystery shopper inside of the travel industry? A company out of Canada, Evaluate It by SQM, is a mystery shopping company that has, as a big part of its offerings, travel-related mystery shopping assignments, which can be a whole lot of fun. As a Canadian company, many of the jobs that come available through Evaluate It are based in Canada, but not all; Evaluate It has opportunities, as well, at a major US airline.
When mystery shopping on behalf of an airline, you’re not usually looking at free tickets (now THAT would be nice), but up to 50% off of the price of your tickets in exchange for doing the same sort of evaluation you would if you were shopping undercover at the department store down the street. There are some restrictions of which to be mindful - for one thing, if you’re planning to travel with others, like family members or friends, their tickets will have to be purchased separately. Also, there is no opportunity to earn frequent flier miles when doing this, but that’s probably a small sacrifice when you’re getting a 50% discount off of your air fare. They also have opportunities for mystery shoppers to do hotel reviews. You can receive a reimbursement of up to 100% on the cost of hotels you are assigned to mystery shop.
To get started, you will want to register directly at Evaluate It by Clicking Here. If you’re interested in mystery shopping, more generally, and would like to avail yourself of a wide variety of opportunities to do it, then you might take a look at Paid Shopping Providers, a members-only service that can point you in the direction of nearly 200 hiring companies looking for mystery shoppers. Paid Shopping Providers, which is actually recommended by Jim Paris, can save you a lot of time and energy in ferreting out productive, confidential, mystery shopping assignments, Click Here (there is a fee to obtain their pre-screened list). The alternative is to do a simple Google search for 'mystery shopping' companies and go through the process of checking out several companies individually prior to signing up. A legitimate mystery shopping company will not ask you to pay a fee to be able to sign up for mystery shopping assignments, so that is something to look out for if you are assembling a list of your own. You can also find a good selection of books on the topic at Amazon.com Click Here.
Another alternative, for those who might be interested in more of a true “course” on mystery shopping, is a product at the wonderful Udemy education platform called Become a Mystery Shopper! This presentation is comprised of 20 video lectures that total two hours in length, and is a great fit for that person who would like to be walked through the “A to Z” of mystery shopping by someone who has a great deal of practical experience under her belt.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large