Mystery shopping is a means of testing products and services by subterfuge. Basically, individuals hide their identity and then experience a product or trial as one of the customers. In doing so, they are able to reflect on what actually happens when one deals with the retail service or tests a product, and then report this back to the market research agency for which they work.
There are a wide range of industries that employ mystery shoppers, including shopping, dining, hotels, banks, and other businesses. Experienced mystery shoppers can make great money while at the same time enjoying the perks of the business. For those at home who want to take advantage of this opportunity, there are a number of ways.
Online mystery shopping can involve testing customer service either via phone or instant message on the computer. Sales and other facets of the business can also be assessed. Some unethical companies may charge a fee to become a mystery shopper, but the real businesses never ask for an upfront payment, so keep this in mind when looking for a job.