How to be a secret shopper in the UK

Written by peter mitchell
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How to be a secret shopper in the UK
Secret shopping often includes restaurant visits. (Getty Images)

It's easy to see why the idea of secret shopping appeals to many people in the UK. You can spend your spare time eating at local restaurants, shopping at local retailers and staying over at hotels -- and get paid for it. However, becoming a mystery shopper in the UK isn't a straightforward process. Secret shopping companies need reliable and observant people who can record their experiences accurately. You will have to go through a few stages to prove that you can meet their requirements.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet access

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  1. 1

    Put together a list of mystery shopping organisations. It helps to apply for several companies in tandem as jobs can be unpredictable and sparse. An updated list of reputable UK secret shopping companies can be found on the Money Saving Expert website forums. The Mystery Shoppers Provider's Association Europe also has a list of registered UK members.

  2. 2

    Sign up for as many sites as you can. Enter your details as requested. Usually, you will need to have a registered UK address, a bank account and either be a British citizen or have a valid UK work permit.

  3. 3

    Complete the online tests for your chosen companies. Most modern mystery shopping websites require some kind of written or interactive test. This can range from giving a sample report based on a shop you recently visited, or filling out answers to animated mock scenarios. Most secret shopping outfits in the UK do not require any official certification, however.

  4. 4

    Concentrate while performing the tests or completing the questionnaires. You will be marked on accuracy and clarity of communication. Double check your spelling and grammar before submitting -- sloppy writing can count against you.

  5. 5

    Wait to hear back from your chosen companies. Click confirmation links in any emails you receive to activate your mystery shopping accounts. Search through the list of available assignments on each company site. Look for projects in your location that you can easily get to during the day, or after work. Choose jobs that you're confident you can complete. Poorly reported or incomplete assignments may result in your termination from a company. Submit your assignments when ready and wait for payment.

Tips and warnings

  • Think of relevant experience you can add to your resume. Some companies ask for related jobs.

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