GFK Mystery Shopping

If you’re a super shopper who loves to pay attention to details you may want to consider becoming a mystery shopper.  Mystery shoppers are hired by companies such as GFK to report on their shopping experiences.  Companies use the information to assist them in improving customer service and in making policy changes that will increase sales.

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They find companies with assignments available, and send them straight to you.

GFK is a leader in North American field service reviews.  There are many well-known companies that are clients of GFK.  Chances are that there will be many mystery shopping opportunities in your area.

Start the Process

If you think you’re interested in becoming a mystery shopper for GFK you can start by filling out an application.  The application is filled out online and takes only a few minutes to complete.  Mystery shoppers complete a form when they sign up that includes their address and the distance you’ll be willing to travel to carry out a mystery shopping assignment.

You can determine the area in which you want to complete assignments and can change or expand the area at any time.  Once you sign up you’ll be asked to complete some online training.  This training is essential because it gives you the information you need in order to do the job properly.  You’ll understand what is expected of you as a mystery shopper.
The online training is very fast and easy to complete.  It’s really just a series of informational slides that you must read and understand.  You can take notes or even print it out to have it for later reference.  After you take the online training you must complete an online test.  Applicants must score 100% on the test in order to start getting assignments.

Getting Assignments

Yes, you CAN shop for a living – at least part-time.  Once you’re officially registered and have completed the training test you’re ready to start getting assignments.  When schedulers look for shoppers to fill the assignments they will look for several things including:

  • Location
  • Shopper profile
  • Shopping history

If you’ve proven yourself as a good shopper you’ll likely get considered for many more mystery shopping opportunities.  When you get your assignment you’ll get a list of instructions for the mystery shop.  You must read through and follow the instructions exactly.  If you don’t you may end up not getting paid.

On the downside, if you’re looking for a lot of assignments you may be disappointed.  There are more than 50,000 registered mystery shoppers, many with more experience than you.  You’ll be competing with these people to get job assignments so you may only get one or two a month.  However, if you are satisfied with a few assignments a month you’ll be quite happy with GFK.

Completing Assignments

Congratulations!  You’re a mystery shopper with your first assignment.  What can you expect?  First, print out the instructions that you get from the scheduler.  Assignments always have a deadline.  Typically the deadline is within just a few days of getting the assignment.  This means you’ll have only a day or two to visit the store and write up the report.  By the way, don’t take assignments if you can’t complete them within the deadline.  You’ll end up not getting any more assignments!

When you visit the store you must be sure that you’re identity is kept confidential.  You’ve got to look and act just like any other customer.  You’ll have specific instructions to carry out.  For example you may be asked to shop in a certain department and make a purchase of a particular type of item.  You may be asked to try an item on in the fitting room.

Whatever your assignment is you must carry it out properly.  You aren’t allowed to carry any information with you, refer to any paperwork or make any notes until after you leave the premise.  So, you’ll need to have a good memory and attention to detail.  If you’re asked to purchase an item you’ll need to pay for it yourself and you’ll get an allowance toward the item when you turn in your receipts.

Once you’re done at the store visit the next part is crucial.  You must write up a report and submit it within the allotted timeframe.  A report that’s poorly written or late may not be accepted and you risk not getting paid.  If you had to make a purchase you must submit the receipt.

Remember, though, that you need to be totally unbiased when you take a shopping assignment.  You can’t ever take into account any previous dealings with that particular store or chain.  You must be able to observe and report according to the exact rules of the assignment.  Customers are looking for objective customer feedback and they need to know that your report is reliable.

When a report is submitted to GFK it will eventually make its way back to the client.  This is often done through the parent company, franchise owner or company headquarters.  Since the information is used to help improve customer service and sales the store managers and employees will review the reports.  In fact some companies use these reports as part of the employee review process.

Getting Paid to Shop

After you complete the assignment and submit the report it will be reviewed.  Once it is reviewed it will be accepted as long as there are no errors or problems.  Expect to wait a little while to get paid for your shopping assignments.  Pay can run anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks after the report is accepted.  Pay for any particular assignment will vary but expect pay to be anywhere from about $10 to $25 per shopping assignment.

No, you’re not exactly going to get rich as a mystery shopper but you will have some fun.  You can actually get paid for shopping and you’ll really get some products or services for free.  In this economy you can’t beat that!

Mystery Shopper Magazine: Subscribe Now (Free)

They find companies with assignments available, and send them straight to you.