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Qualifications of a Good Mystery Shopper

Most people think mystery shopping is the type of job you can just sign up for and then begin making money.

This is hardly the case, as being a good mystery shopper and finding work as one, requires some special skills and attributes.

The best mystery shoppers of course, enjoy shopping. They must also like working with people and thrive on flexible work hours as well as non-traditional work environments. Good mystery shoppers know how to be objective. It is important as a mystery shopper to keep an open mind when evaluating stores. It is easier than you might think to be biased either positively or negatively if you have attended a shop or restaurant before as a non-mystery shopper. It is important to keep your previous experiences or biases to yourself and evaluate the store or product under the professional eye of a mystery shopper.

In some cases, mystery shoppers are asked to act a certain way. In this case, mystery shoppers should feel comfortable 'acting' and not let their feelings get in the way of the objectives of their secret shopping assignment. Mystery shoppers in general must feel comfortable presenting themselves as an everyday customer to the business. This makes their shopping experience as reliable and accurate as it can be, allowing them to report on their assignment with clarity and objectiveness.

It is also very important for mystery shoppers to be detail oriented. It is critical as a shopper to be able to recognize several details at once. For example, it is important to remember and accurately portray how the employees were dressed and carrying themselves as well as the appearance of the store when you were walking in. You might also have to remember if you were greeted and how long it took for you to be greeted - and this is just in the first few minutes of your shop!

Thus, multi-tasking and being detail oriented are very important skills for a good mystery shopper.

Mystery shoppers must also have good communication skills. How they communicate their experience back to their employer or client is essential for the businesses who hire them. Therefore it is important for mystery shoppers to take detailed notes about their assignment so they can accurately portray the right information back to their employer. Timeliness is also an important qualification for a good mystery shopper. Completing your assignment on time and reporting back in a timely manner is one of the most important aspects of a mystery shopper's assignment aside from the evaluation itself.

The last qualifying matter of being a mystery shopper is simply being yourself. An assignment might require a certain age demographic or type of person. For example a car dealer ship might want to see how its employees react to young, female car buyers. Thus, an assignment such as this won't be given to an older male mystery shopper. It is the only facet of mystery shopping you cannot ultimately control. However, the majority of assignments do not require a specific demographic from their shoppers.

As you can see, it takes a certain set of skills and personality traits to be a good mystery shopper. Those people who are detail oriented, enjoy shopping, are timely, flexible, organized and can be objective are the kinds of people who make great mystery shoppers and do well in the industry over time.