For those of us who are pressed for time but would love some extra money in the bank, mystery shopping is a hugely attractive proposition.
There’s little to no commitment required, endless flexibility, and most importantly, it’s fun!
Sounds too good to be true? In reality, mystery shopping is everything it’s cracked up to be.
You can fit it in around your lifestyle, and bring in some extra income without having to conform to the rigid hours of a regular job.
If this sounds like the answer to your prayers, read on to discover the best mystery shopper companies to work for in Australia, what’s involved, how much you can make, and see if you fit the bill to get paid to shop!
- What is a mystery shopper?
- Who can be a mystery shopper?
- What skills do I need to have?
- What will my assignments involve?
- How much money can I make?
- Where can I find mystery shopping work in Australia?
- Mystery Shopping Australia: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a mystery shopper?
While the world is fast becoming digitised and many businesses are heading online, there is still a strong emphasis on the personal touch; customer service can make or break a business, and one bad review can spread rapidly and have a serious impact on revenue.
Mystery shoppers – also known as secret shoppers – are everyday people who are hired to covertly assess different aspects of a business.
Mystery shopping agencies across the globe hire these shoppers to act as customers and report back on their experiences, helping the company or business improve.
Who can be a mystery shopper?
Pretty much anyone can be a mystery shopper, and companies seek out a wide range of people from all walks of life. However, they usually have a minimum age of 18.
Whether you’re a stay at home mum or dad, senior citizen, or student – or even if you have a full-time job but want a little extra cash on the side – you are a candidate to become a mystery shopper.
While some companies may cater their assignments to meet your areas of interest or expertise, they’re generally just after the average consumer – which is all of us!
You will need access to a computer, a phone, and a reliable internet connection, and be tech-savvy enough to navigate online reporting systems and emails.
It may also be beneficial to have a phone with a camera, as you might need to take photographic evidence of various aspects of your assignment.
Some of your shopping assignments may be purely online, meaning you don’t have to leave the house, but the majority will require you to head to a bricks and mortar store or business.
This means you’ll either need to have your own transport or access to public transportation.
What skills do I need to have?
Computer skills: All the agencies these days operate online.
From registering to become a personal shopper and applying for assignments to posting your reviews and feedback, you’ll be required to do it over the internet.
So, you’ll need an email address and at least some basic computer skills.
Good communication: While you may be a naturally-gifted shopper, this is only half the task. You’ll need to be able to read, write and speak clearly and effectively.
This is essential both during your assignment and the feedback process afterwards. Following a job, you’ll need to complete an online review and give feedback to your agency – either written or verbal.
The complexity of reports varies between mystery shopping companies; some jobs might be multi-choice responses, and others lengthy written reports.
A good grasp of English: While English doesn’t have to be your first language you, you will need to be able to communicate well enough to provide thorough feedback.
Attention and focus: When you receive an assignment, you’ll be given in-depth information on the task/s required of you, which may include a detailed list of instructions and things to look for.
To be an effective mystery shopper, you’ll need to memorise all this info.
Plus, you’ll need to have a sharp eye and good memory of your shopping experience, so you can jot it down as soon as you’ve finished your assignment and provide in-depth feedback later on.
Along with these skills, mystery shopping agencies are looking for people who are:
- Reliable and conscientious
- Hard working
- Good observation skills
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to follow instructions accurately
- Have a good memory
What will my assignments involve?
Tasks will vary, depending on the business you’re targeting and their requests.
Your job may be as straightforward as going into a shop and buying a specific (or general) product, then reporting on facets of this process, or you might be visiting to ask for details about a service.
Some of your jobs may be more fun than others. For example, you may be asked to shop for things you enjoy buying, eat dinner at a restaurant, take a tour, or stay in accommodation.
You could be asked to evaluate the cleanliness of a store or the orderliness of product displays, comment on whether you’ve been provided with the right advice or product, or give feedback on the staff you interact with.
Some businesses merely want you to visit competitors and find out how much they charge for various products and services.
After you have completed the job, you will generally log into your agency’s website and input your feedback online.
How much money can I make?
Payment varies depending on the scope of the work, just like paid surveys.
Time-consuming and technical assignments pay higher than easier jobs. With most agencies featured below, assignments start at a minimum of $15 per job.
Sometimes you’ll receive benefits other than money, such as free meals or drinks, or free products.
You may even be able to keep the products you purchased, but that depends on your agency.
Unless it’s agreed prior to the assignment, you will be reimbursed for any purchases you make.
The number of assignments you get will vary. If you live in a remote, rural area, there may be very few jobs available. Those living in towns and cities tend to get more opportunities.
You aren’t required to commit to a minimum amount of jobs per month; it’s all up to you and your schedule. Some mystery shoppers get several jobs a week, while others may only complete assignments every few months.
Note that with most of these companies, you are considered to be an independent contractor, not an employee. You’ll still need to pay tax on your income.
Where can I find mystery shopping work in Australia?
There are many agencies operating throughout Australia that are actively looking to recruit new mystery shoppers.
Here are nine of the best mystery shopping companies Australia has to offer, so you can sign up and hit the shops and start earning straight away!
1. iShop for Ipsos
iShop for Ipsos projects cover a wide range of industries including retail, restaurants, telecommunication, petrol stations, banking and finance, healthcare etc.
Most projects run monthly, so shoppers can be sure they will always have some jobs waiting for them.
The incentives offered are project based. Online and phone call tasks pay between AUD5-15 per task, and physical visits start from AUD10 and can be up to AUD50.
At the moment, Ipsos are running one of their biggest projects and are recruiting a huge number of shoppers to cover shops nationwide.
Shoppers are paid every 14 days and payments are processed directly to their bank accounts.
2. Field Agent
Working with huge brands across the globe, Field Agent is a new way of mystery shopping facilitated through your smartphone.
To become an agent, you must download the Field Agent app on your phone. This is then used to build your profile, reserve assignments and manage payments.
On top of traditional mystery shopping. Field Agent needs a range of services from it’s agents. This can include trying items at home and reviewing, answering short surveys, as well as taking photos and videos of store displays.
3. Mystery Shopper
This agency provides you with online training and requires you to pass an exam before you are permitted to work with clients.
You can apply online to jobs listed in your area, and there are no minimum requirements per month.
They charge an application fee of $5, which will be deducted from your first payment.
4. Retail Reality
This company covers both Australia and NZ, including smaller rural areas and larger cities.
Pay for assignments varies, but the average job will net you between $15 and $25. Some jobs may fetch as much as $80.
The amount of work fluctuates from month to month. There’s no minimum requirement, but they will ask you how many you’d ideally like to complete every month and attempt to match that number.
5. Service Integrity
Operating in NZ and Australia, Service Integrity has more than 30,000 registered mystery shoppers.
This appears to be more of a boutique, specialist company. They are very into their neuro-science with regards to buying behaviour.
Once you are registered with them, you can log into the website to find assignments in your area. Registration is free.
6. Mystery customer
Working with huge brands across the nation, Mystery Customer is a powerhouse in the Australian mystery shopping industry.
They have been in business for over 21 years and have 885 clients so it’s fair to say you’re in good hands if you sign up as a mystery shopper with Mystery Customer.
Mystery Customer provide frequent assignments to their shoppers.
This company provides you with a short training program followed by a trial survey. If your application (which is free) is successful, you’ll have access to the customer portal to start finding jobs that suit you.
When you complete assignments, their team will give you feedback on the quality of your reports and rate your performance as a mystery shopper.
The higher your rating, the more likely you are to get offered interesting and highly paid jobs.
Mystery Customer pay and reimburse between the 10th and 12th of the month for the preceding months surveys.
The average job payout is $15 to $100.
This is a boutique market research agency which offers a variety of services, including mystery shopping.
They’re Australian owned and operated and have been in business for more than 30 years.
You can register online and use the job board to find jobs in your area.
8. Prime Mystery Shopping
This is a rather specific mystery shopping agency which targets the automotive and real estate industries.
Your assignments will, therefore, be a bit more in-depth, where you’ll have to inquire about a specific product or service or go through the process of “buying a car” including a test drive etc.
If this is an area that interests you, the rates per assignment are impressive, ranging from $80 to $100.
9. The Secret Shopper
This mystery shopping company has been operating for more than 12 years.
They claim to have the highest pay rates of any in the industry, stating that the pay per assignment is usually between $30 and $100.
Mystery shopping is no get-rich quick scheme, but it’s a fun side hustle worth trying. Let us know how you get on in the comments.
10. Snooper App
Whilst not strictly a mystery shopping company, the Snooper App does offer mystery shopping gigs and tasks through a mobile device.
These tasks are called “missions” and each mission pays a different amount depending on what’s involved.
The mum in the video below made $8000 in a year and didn’t even have to go out of her way, simply completing her missions during her regular grocery shopping.
11. Hoed Research
Hoed Research work with some of Australia’s biggest brands and are currently recruiting new members.
Mystery shopping tasks range from basic questions to complex customer interactions. Payment for Mystery Shopping tasks is based on the type of business or time allotted for each assignment.
Generally, assignments pay between $15 to $100 per survey. For some jobs, the cost of a meal or the purchase of an item is covered. This will be clearly indicated before you accept the job.
Hoed also have regular online and telephone enquiries that can be completed from home.
We hope this article has helped you understand how mystery shopping works and enticed you to become a mystery shopper. It’s the perfect side gig for busy mums!
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Mystery Shopping Australia: Frequently Asked Questions
How much do mystery shoppers get paid in Australia?
Mystery Shoppers are paid per assignment within a general range of between $10 up to $50 per task. Items bought as part of the assignment will be reimbursed by the Mystery Shopping company. This will be clarified before you accept the assignment.
Which mystery shopping companies are legitimate in Australia?
iShopFor Ipsos, Field Agent, Mystery Shopper, Retail Reality, Service Integrity, Mystery Customer, Marketshare Australia, Prime Mystery Shopping, The Secret Shopper, Snooper App and Hoed Research are all legitimate mystery shopping companies in Australia.