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Thinking of Becoming a Secret Shopper? - How Much Money Can I Make?

Secret Shopping began back in the 1940's when it was used as a mechanism to measure employee integrity and although the processes have changed out of all recognition over the years, the basic principles still remain the same today.

Secret Shopper or Mystery Shopper programs as they are sometimes called, have been used for decades by some of the world's largest corporations and franchises and shoppers can earn a good part-time income of anything from $10 to $40 per hour. Some even manage to work on a full-time basis and can potentially earn up to $50,000 or more per year.

A Secret Shopper is someone who acts as a regular customer in a designated establishment like department store, restaurant, amusement park or movie theatre. They are hired by an independent company to honestly and anonymously evaluate the quality of customer service they receive.

As a Secret Shopper you will be encouraged to be objective and be able to present both negative and positive opinions based on industry standards. For example, a shopper may be asked to purchase a specific product, such as a hamburger from a fast food restaurant, and then fill out a detailed form concerning the experience. Don't be disheartened though, your next assignment may be to spend an evening or even weekend at a luxury hotel.

It is very straightforward to become a secret shopper. First of all, you have to find yourself a secret shopping agency. There are many on the internet, take a look at as many as you can and start off by selecting one that you feel comfortable with. You can sign up with others later. Once you have supplied your details, you will be notified of assignments in your area. Pay for shopping jobs can range from as little as $8 to $10 for fairly simple assignments, buying a hot-dog for example up to $50 or even $100 for really complex jobs.

It is important that you have the ability to be able to write up a detailed and objective account of you shopping experience. The more time you spend on this activity, particularly in the early days, the more interesting and better paid assignments will follow. Agencies put great store in having a reliable shopper and if you start to build a name for yourself as reliable, thorough and flexible the greater will be your shopping opportunities in the long term.

One question often asked is "Do I need any special tools to be a secret shopper" and the answer is quite simple - No. I'll qualify that, if you consider an internet connection to be a tool, then yes you do although these days, most homes will have access to the internet and I guess that if your reading this report...then you're already connected. A few other items may help but are not essential, a stop watch, digital camera, small tape recorder may all come in useful, but that's really up to you. While you can limit the jobs that you do to just what you have the tools to do, this will inevitably limit the number of secret shops you are able to do.

More and more companies are beginning to see the value in experience measurement techniques such as secret shopping, and as such larger organizations such as Hotels, Retail Chains, and even Airlines have engaged companies for these purposes.

Becoming a secret shopper is not a way to get rich quick, although it is rewarding, can provide plenty of perks and will provide the opportunity to make money. Aside from the pay and flexibility, it can provide a fun and fulfilling career with loads of variety.

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