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Want to be a mystery shopper?

By RachelPower - 4 March 2009 24

[ED – Before any of you start screaming. I asked Rachel to send in some information on this and no money or any other consideration has changed hands]

SpySee Mystery Shopping and Reviews are Canberra’s only locally owned and run mystery shopping specialists.  No doubt you have heard that mystery shopping is a great way to make money and be paid to do something you love anyway – shop!  This is not completely true although it is something very interesting to be a part of there is so much more to the big picture of mystery shopping.

SpySee are dedicated to changing the customer service culture in Canberra (and Australia for that matter) to one that values the customer and rewards them for walking through the door and spending money – even a smile is more reward than many consumers get.

To achieve this goal SpySee are seeking three kinds of people, mystery shoppers, business owners dedicated to customer service excellence and everyone who has a story to tell (good and bad) about service.

So you would like to be a mystery shopper, you have heard how rewarding it can be and feel that you shop anyway why not get paid for it?  There is a little more to being a SpySee reviewer than knowing how to shop.  We are looking for ‘customers’ from all walks of life (particularly the over 55 demographic) who want to share in SpySee’s vision for a better customer experience.  You will could be asked to complete assignments that range from having a coffee in a café, buying clothes and staying in hotels to assessing websites, phone manner and government departments.  Payment is typically offered as either cash payments and/or reimbursements for purchases (and yes you get to keep your purchases).  All the details regarding payment, times, objectives and how you are to conduct yourself are provided before you accept the assignments.  

After conducting your assignment you are required to complete a questionnaire online.  This can be very comprehensive so be prepared to have a good memory and be able to finish your assessment in the set time frame.  You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your feedback is assisting these businesses improve the service they deliver to you and all of their customers.  The nature of mystery shopping is such that there are many more shoppers than there are jobs so be aware this is not a full time position.

No time to be a mystery shopper however you would like your say on customer service experiences?  SpySee collects feedback through their website on actual customer experiences.  Customer Service Heroes is designed to thank those people who value customers time and time again.  On the flipside we know that people need to vent their anger and it is not always satisfying enough to tell the person behind the counter who did not care about you in the first place!  Tell Us your experience and SpySee will take your story as high up in the business as they can.  More than a rant and rave for the public, Tell Us offers the opportunity for business owners and managers to be informed and rectify issues they may not have been aware of. 

SpySee are also on the look out for business owners who want to improve their customer service or just have those niggling questions about their business answered.  Questions like:

    “what really happens when I walk out that door?” Or,
    “I know I have great staff, how can I reward them for great work without being seen as biased?” Or even,
    “I have just spent thousands on advertising, what do customers expect of my business based on my advertising and are my staff delivering on that expectation?”

SpySee has grown up in the community and know what Canberra customers expect, it certainly is not what a person from Sydney or Melbourne would expect. 

For more information, to sign up to be a mystery shopper or to Tell Us your customer experiences please visit

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
Want to be a mystery shopper?
ant 9:00 am 05 Mar 09

I love being able to review service providers, have been doing it for years. It’s a great way to reward good service, and also a great way to have your say when things weren’t great. I’ll be doing reviews of the various things I experienced during my latest trip, as I always do. Qantas, Motel 6, United Airlines, Alamo car rentals, etc etc etc. There were some pretty amazing stuffups/downfalls, and also some good things to relate.

I use review sites when researching things, as others’ opinions are valuable. I’ve often made decisions based on good or bad reviews, and seldom disagree wildly with someone else’s summation.

One thing I’d love to see off is the annoying habit, very prevalent in US shops but starting to happen there, where a shop assistant plainly has to come up and annoy you when you enter a shop. The “hello, how are you today” is fairly painless, you can nod and smile, but when you enter a big outlet or something, you probably aren’t looking for one exact item and don’t need the sales person to help you find it and if you did, you’d ask when they greet you on entry. I really dislike being bailed up by some poor underpaid bugger who is demanding to help you find something. Thanks, but I want to forage. If I knew what I wanted, I’d order it off the website. (I like shops with websites, Macy’s and Nordstrom have brilliant net-order services).

Maybe I’ll contact this spy shopper mob. I am, after all, the uber-shopper. The US’s current recovery from recession is entirely due to my efforts over the past month.

taninaus 8:00 am 05 Mar 09

There are lots of mystery shopping companies each with their own group of companies they work with. A very comprehensive list is here including spysee.

RachelPower 7:55 am 05 Mar 09

However, there are no jobs available in Canberra at this time.

I think that bit was left out.

Not all jobs are listed on the website, just the ones that are available for anyone to complete. Quite often we are asked to match a specific demographic of customer in which case we contact these shoppers directly and the job is not listed for all shoppers to see, only the ones that we choose.

Vic Bitterman 11:24 pm 04 Mar 09

My wife does mystery shopping with another mob. Their main client seems to be some sort of chicken company. We get asked to buy stuff each month, of which we get reimbursed up to $35 of the purchase price. She just fills in a quick survey as to their shop presentation, flyers, posters, whether they spruik the monthly sales pitch, they offer their sales, hair nets in place, friendly greeting, if they offer a suggestions for bbq’s etc.

As far as food goes, $35 well spent each month for shopping at a mob we may well ordinarily shop at.

Petey 9:58 pm 04 Mar 09

You think David Jones Woden is bad. Then Visit Domayne Fyshwick.
The staff are there are just plain rude and arrogant and have no customer service skills at all.

I went out there a few weeks back to look at purchasing an air con when Canberra had that big heat wave.

it was a little past 6am on a sunday morning and ass showing me what they had said
” we have this one and this one so whats it gonna be then, we are the only place in town that has em”.

I ended up driving driving to my home town 170k’s away to buy an air con and not only did i get the air con I got excellent customer service.

anyhoo I would love to be a mystery shopper.. have been mystery shopped myself !

MWF 9:53 pm 04 Mar 09

RachelPower said :

With SpySee we list the jobs as available with all the details including pay rates and what you are required to do/ask.

However, there are no jobs available in Canberra at this time.

I think that bit was left out.

Roadrage77 5:46 pm 04 Mar 09

Do I get to wear a disguise?

David Jones Woden is in some serious need of some SpySee action. The staff there couldn’t be less knowledgable or more apathetic if they tried. I really want to buy some stuff from there to pay them back from all the stuff I pinched when I was in high school but gawd damn they make it hard for me to purge my conscience.

RachelPower 4:54 pm 04 Mar 09

we don’t publicise it – that doesn’t mean that we don’t take it as high as we possibly can to sort the issue out! How often have you complained to the person who is supposed to be the manager and they couldn’t care less? Try taking that to the business owner, franchise owner or franchise head – can be even more powerful than complaining on a website for all to see (and discredit).

Not many people would take a complaint further, that is what we do.

jakez 4:49 pm 04 Mar 09

RachelPower said :

Just wanted to clarify one thing – we don’t publicise negative feedback, there is enough negativity and we believe that by highlighting (and rewarding) the positive the negative has something to aspire to.

We also don’t give out your details to businesses involved although we do offer them the right of reply through SpySee.


RachelPower 4:18 pm 04 Mar 09

Just wanted to clarify one thing – we don’t publicise negative feedback, there is enough negativity and we believe that by highlighting (and rewarding) the positive the negative has something to aspire to.

We also don’t give out your details to businesses involved although we do offer them the right of reply through SpySee.

RachelPower 4:07 pm 04 Mar 09

You are right – mystery shopping is not for everyone. There are some companies who will pay peanuts because they know that there is hundreds of shoppers who will complete the work.

With SpySee we list the jobs as available with all the details including pay rates and what you are required to do/ask. If you feel that the job is too far for you to travel, not high enough pay or not suited to you in general you do not accept the assignment. You are not penalised for not accepting work.

We expect a lot from our shoppers so pay accordingly, we would rather have good shoppers doing the work for the right reasons rather than shoppers who are just looking for a quick buck they don’t have to declare to the tax man!

AngryHenry 3:54 pm 04 Mar 09

I had a crack at this mystery shopping a while ago, through a different organisation, and I actually found it to be much more of a hassle than what it was worth. I felt stupid going into stores enquiring about crap I didn’t need or really want.

I know in the questionairres they ask things about you to make sure you’re kind of shopping within your interests but if they’ve got an assignment and they are desperate they will contact you (at least they did me, like I said it was a different organisation so these guys may handle things differently).

And the pay sucked. Big time. It’s definitely not for everybody, I think life is too short to be wandering around all secret squirrel like in shops.

If I have a problem with the service somewhere I talk to the manager and let them know straight away, if that fails a call to head office and if that fails consumer affairs (I’ve never had to go as far as Consumer Affairs but it works if you mention them sometimes).

RachelPower 3:43 pm 04 Mar 09

I guess so – you would have to make sure the smartphone had full web browsing capability and I shouldn’t think there would be a problem. I will be using a google Android shortly so will let you know how it goes (the benefits of an online based business and wonderful technology) We are currently designing a new system that is unique to SpySee – I will keep this in mind since so many people have smartphones these days.

There is also the chance to print off the questionnaire and jot down notes after your shop and then complete the questionnaire in full when you get home/to work. That is how many of our shoppers work now.

Inappropriate 3:30 pm 04 Mar 09

Can the online questionnaire be completed on a smartphone? I’d consider it then, otherwise I’d probably be fuzzy on details when I made my way home.

emd 3:11 pm 04 Mar 09

I’ve met Rachel a few times, and this is a legit business.
I like the idea of posting reviews of businesses that I’ve dealt with.

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