The Mystery Shopping Providers Association
The MSPA or Mystery Shopping Providers Association is one of the largest Mystery Shopping Providers in the world. The MSPA is located in North America, Asia, Europe and South America representing one of the largest resources for businesses and shoppers in the industry.
The MSPA represents over 150 member companies worldwide, meaning that they work with companies that service mystery shoppers, private businesses in search of mystery shoppers, private investigators who offer mystery shopping services and market research companies all with the purpose of improving levels of service for businesses. The MSPA is considered one of the best venues for both shoppers and businesses that are interested in anonymous shopping. Through the MSPA businesses can find shoppers, train shoppers and have shopping assignments analyzed from market research professionals. Simply put it is a forum for businesses as well as mystery shoppers to connect and achieve their individual goals.
MSPA for Shoppers
Because of its popularity many shoppers choose to attend conferences or obtain training materials from the MSPA. Obtaining certification from the MSPA is considered by some shoppers a valuable resource because it helps them become a better shopper through the instruction of market research professionals. The MSPA sells different levels of certification that can be achieved through the purchase of a mystery shopping DVD training course and then a test that shoppers are required to pass in order to gain official certification. It is an example of how some shoppers choose to associate themselves by aligning their training with a well-known provider. Additionally, the MSPA also holds conferences all over the world for businesses and shoppers alike.
Shoppers who acquire certification under the MSPA do not work directly for the MSPA. Instead, while they can obtain training materials or certifications from the provider they will only be included into a database of shoppers. If you are in the MSPA database you might possibly be contacted by a smaller provider or business that commonly uses mystery shoppers for market research. The MSPA then, acts more like a venue for businesses and shoppers to connect rather than a direct provider to clients. When the MSPA does directly link a shopper with a client the shopper is under contract with the business, not the MSPA, as the Mystery Shopping Provider only provided the connection for the two to exchange business.
The best way to think about the MSPA as a shopper is as an incredible resource. They have training services, bulletin boards that host jobs and discussions, phone numbers and locations of hiring Mystery Shopping Providers as well as other information for shoppers.
MSPA for Businesses
Several businesses turn to the MSPA because it provides excellent resources in terms of market research. Member businesses of the MSPA are privy to market research tools such as a list of shoppers as well as help in organizing incoming data from their shoppers. In reality for businesses, the MSPA acts as a provider of shoppers but more like a market research company. They help businesses outline where their services are in need and help them outline the goals of their mystery shopping experience. The MSPA helps member businesses improve areas of their business by connecting them with mystery shopping providers and in training them in how mystery shopping can benefit their business.