Have you ever considered mystery shopping? It’s a fun side hustle in Australia and I’m here to tell you more about how it works.
Mystery shopping is a flexible side job which you can fit it in around your family. No commitment is required long term, so you can always try out mystery shopping in Australia and see how you like it.
Below are the best mystery shopper companies in Australia, including an overview of what’s involved and how much you can make. Keep reading to see if you fit the bill to get paid to shop!
What is a mystery shopper?
We all know a good review can make a business and a bad one will spread like wildfire, so customer service is hugely important for a business to survive.
Mystery shoppers – sometimes known as secret shoppers – are everyday people who are hired to covertly assess different aspects of a business including customer service, merchandising, pricing and more.
Mystery shopping agencies in Australia these shoppers to act as customers and report back on their experiences, helping the company or business improve.
Who can be a mystery shopper?
Most mystery shopping jobs require you to be 18 or over but there are exceptions. Mystery shopping is one scenario where being an average consumer can really benefit you – an earn you extra money!
You will need a computer, a phone with a camera (in case photos are required), and a reliable internet connection, and be techie enough to navigate online reporting systems and emails.
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 retail store or business. This means you’ll either need to have your own transport or access to public transportation.
Note: most assignments will not allow you to bring your children along.
What skills do I need to have?
- Good communication – 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.
- 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 have to do it online.
- 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. You’ll also need to be observant and have a good memory of your shopping experience, so you can provide in-depth feedback later on.
- 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.
Along with these skills, mystery shopping agencies are looking for people who are:
- Reliable and conscientious
- 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. You might be asked to shop for things you enjoy buying, eat dinner at a restaurant, take a tour, or stay in a hotel.
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 simply want you to visit competitors and find out how much they charge for various products and services.
Just like product testing, after you have completed the job, you log into your agency’s website and input your feedback online.
How much money can I make?
Payment varies depending on how difficult the task is. 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!
>> Click the title to be taken to the website.
This service was one of the first entirely web-based mystery shopping companies in Australia, and claim to be one of the largest in the nation. Simply search for assignments using your postcode.
There are two different memberships: standard and priority.
Standard members can search online for assignments and register their interest. Priority members can directly accept assignments without prior approval and are given preference.
You become a priority member by consistently completing quality assignments.
Each assignment comes with a different listed flat fee (no rates are listed on their website) depending on requirements, and there is no minimum monthly commitment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This mystery shopping company has been operating for more than 12 years.
They claim to have the highest pay rates in the industry, stating that the pay per assignment is usually between $30 and $100.
Mystery shopping is a fun side hustle worth trying. You’re not going to make early-retirement money, but every little bit counts. Have you tried mystery shopping?