How to Become a Mystery Shopper in New Zealand

This page contains compensated links. Read the disclosure for more info

Being a parent and trying to juggle a job – even a part-time job – is a huge challenge.

With endless commitments and unexpected tasks cropping up every day, it’s hard to find something with a flexible schedule.

By signing up to be a mystery shopper NZ mums can find the perfect side gig.

You can choose when to fit in your assignments and select the number of jobs to suit your lifestyle.

It’s a great way to bring in some extra money without the stress of conforming to the rigid hours of a regular job.

What is a mystery shopper?

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their customer’s experiences and ensure they are providing top notch customer service.

In today’s online world, one bad review can spread rapidly and have a serious impact on your bottom line.

Mystery shoppers are everyday people who are hired – usually by a middle-man specialist company – to assess different aspects of a business and report back on their experiences, helping the company or business to improve.

Who can be a mystery shopper?

Almost anyone can be a mystery shopper, although most companies require a minimum age of 18.

Whether you’re a stay at home mum or dad, senior citizen or student, you are a candidate to be a mystery shopper.

Some agencies cater their jobs to meet your areas of interest or expertise, but generally, they’re looking for the average consumer – which is all of us!

Preferably, you’ll need your own transport to get to your mystery shopping locations, but there’s nothing to say you can’t jump on a bus to get there.

You’ll also need access to computer and reliable internet, as most of the feedback is done online.

It may also be beneficial if you have a phone with a camera, in case you need to take photographic evidence of anything.

What skills do I need to have?

Computer skills – You’ll need to have basic computer skills in order to complete online feedback and communicate with the agency you have signed up with. This won’t be anything too technical, however.

Good communication – You should be able to read, write, and speak clearly and effectively. This is essential both during your mystery shop and during the feedback process afterwards. You may be required to submit detailed written reports of your shopping experience.

A good grasp of English – Although English doesn’t have to be your first language, you will need to be able to communicate well enough to provide thorough feedback, written or verbal.

Attention and focus – Before your shop, you’ll be provided with in-depth information on the task/s required of you, which may include a detailed list of instructions and things to look for.

To be an effective mystery shopper, you’ll need to memorise all this info.

Along with these skills, mystery shopping agencies are looking for the following attributes:

  • Reliable and conscientious
  • Honest
  • Hard-working
  • Good observation skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to follow instructions accurately
  • A good memory

Want to be a secret shopper? NZers can sign up with these companies to start making money today.

What kind of things will I be doing?

Every assignment will vary, depending on the business and its requests.

Your job may be as straightforward as going into a shop and buying a specific product, then reporting on facets of this process, or you might be visiting to ask for details about a service.

You could be shopping, eating dinner at a restaurant, taking a tour, staying in accommodation, or making general customer enquiries.

You could be asked to evaluate the cleanliness of a store or the orderliness of product displays or give feedback on the staff you interact with.

Some businesses merely want you to visit competitors and find out how much they charge for various products and services.

Other jobs might require you to be a bit more hands-on; for example, visiting a bank and asking about a loan.

After you have completed the job, you will generally log into your agency’s website and input your feedback online.

Some feedback may be in the form of multi-choice answers, but many require you to be as specific and detailed as possible.

How much can I make?

Payment varies depending on the scope of the work.

Similarly to online surveys, time-consuming and technical assignments will be paid more than easy jobs.

Generally, assignments start at around $20 per shop.

You may get benefits other than money, such as free meals or drinks, free accommodation or products.

Unless it’s agreed prior to the job, you will be reimbursed for any products or services that you purchase.

The number of assignments you get will vary. If you live in a remote, rural area, there may be very few jobs available.

Those living in cities tend to get a lot more options.

You don’t have to commit to a certain amount of jobs per month, and each agency has different availability and assignments.

In general, you may get between one and five assignments a month, depending on where you live.

Note that with most of these companies, you are considered to be an independent contractor, not an employee.

You’ll still need to pay tax on your income.

How to find Mystery Shopper Jobs in New Zealand

By becoming a mystery shopper NZ mums can earn a little extra cash and work when it suits.
There are many agencies operating around New Zealand that are actively looking for mystery shoppers to join their ranks right now.

Following are the top six that we’ve dug up, so you can sign up and get to work straight away!

1. iShop for Ipsos

iShop for Ipsos projects cover a wide range of industries including retail, restaurants, telecommunication, petrol stations, banking and finance, healthcare etc.

Most projects run monthly, so shoppers can be sure they will always have some jobs waiting for them.

The incentives offered are project-based. Online and phone call tasks pay between NZD5-15 per task, and physical visits start from NZD10 and can be up to NZD50.

Shoppers are paid every 14 days and payments are processed directly to their bank accounts.

At the moment, Ipsos is running one of its biggest projects and are looking for a huge amount of shoppers to cover shops nationwide.

Click here to join iShop for Ipsos.

2. Mystery Shop Network New Zealand

This New Zealand based consulting company offers services that measure customer service and research competitors for their clients.

They are members of the international Mystery Shop Providers Association.

Visit their website here:

3. Hoed Mystery Shopping NZ Ltd.

Hoed has the largest database of mystery shoppers in NZ and Australia.

They tend to give assignments based not only on location but also on the shopper’s background and knowledge base.

Jobs may be online visits, retail visits or phone calls and they estimate you will get an average of one to five jobs per month.

Visit their website here:

4. Customer Care

This is a market research business that provides customized mystery shopper programmes throughout NZ and Australia.

They pride themselves on individually training each shopper and you will be evaluated using a rating system for accuracy and details.

Visit their website here:

5. The Realise Group

The Realise Group is one of the leading mystery shopping companies in Australia, but are on the hunt for new shoppers throughout NZ, particularly in the North Island.

Jobs are posted on a Job Board and you can select any that are relevant and apply online.

The number of jobs could vary from 1-10 a month, dependent on a variety of factors.

Visit their website here:

6. Service Integrity

This appears to be more of a boutique, specialist company that operates in Australia and New Zealand.

They are very into their neuro-science with regard to buying behaviour.

Once you are registered with them, you can log into the website to find assignments in your area. Registration is free.

Visit their website here:

Related guides:

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Stuff, NZHerald, Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.