What do I get paid for my efforts? What is ‘actuals’? And how do these payments affect my tax?

What you stand to earn as a shopper differs from assignment to assignment; typically, payment for your audit effort is in the form of reimbursement (also called actuals) and/or a fee.

Actuals or reimbursements means that we pay for your purchases or spend (which is obviously capped at a certain level).  So if the cap is Rs 1,000/- and you spend Rs 600/-; we will reimburse Rs 600; however, if you were to spend Rs 1,500/- then we would cap the reimbursement at Rs 1,000/-.

You may also make a fee, which is a flat amount that we pay, irrespective of whether you’ve spent that money or not.

Hence payment for mystery shopping is in kind (where we reimburse your bill amount) and/or in cash (flat fee).

Now the tax part – since a mystery shopper is not an employee of Redquanta, we neither compute nor deduct any tax.  Income earned from mystery shopping therefore needs to be considered by the shopper in his total income while he/she calculates his final tax liability.

Are there any downsides in becoming a mystery shopper?

Not really; however, once you commit to an assignment, you must be able to complete it from start to finish within the given deadline.

Also, since the crux of mystery shopping is that you stay ‘anonymous’, the ability to remain calm and think quickly if you are suspected of being a mystery shopper is key.

Is mystery shopping for real?

Mystery shopping  is a widely accepted, respected and seriously taken business in the Western countries.

In India, mystery shopping is nascent but a fast growing industry encouraged by the increasing number of retail businesses; the fact that customers are becoming more aware & demanding better service across sectors is also helping.

Never has the individual consumer been this important; businesses are finally realising the importance of quality customer service & its direct impact on sales and are actively using mystery shoppers to know where their businesses stand.

What’s the best thing about being a Mystery Shopper?

Mystery Shopping is fun, flexible and a great way to stay gainfully engaged while getting some of your regular expenses reimbursed and/or making some money on the side.

You choose when and what you want to audit.  You never know when you might get an assignment at your favourite restaurant, salon or retail store; the scenarios generally differ each assignment so there is a surprise element each time you audit. Continue Reading →

Do I need to pay or have any previous experience to become a Mystery Shopper?

No, most shoppers start with no experience.  An eye-for-detail, keen observation, good English language skills and a joy for shopping are qualities that make a great shopper.  Respect for deadlines and commitment to work is also something that is much valued and respected.

Also, given the nature of work, the more you audit and gain experience and confidence, the more seasoned you become.   ‘Practice makes perfect’ couldn’t have been truer.

Never pay anyone to become a mystery shopper. Reputable mystery audit firms do not charge a fee!

What type of mystery shopping does redquanta do?

A : We do a variety of integrity and customer service audits across industries and sectors.  The objective of these audits range from evaluating customer satisfaction to employee integrity or efficiencies and effectiveness.

The end result normally is that Companies & service providers want first hand feedback on how they are performing.

redquanta also performs a wide range of “special” audits and inspections that require a more formal, specific and in-depth reporting skills.

What would I be expected to do as a mystery shopper?

A : Before you visit the shop/outlet that you have chosen to audit, you would be given a set of very specific instructions to follow.  Your visit may include availing services or making purchases which will be reimbursed to you by us.  And yes, you get to keep what you buy.  In some audits, in addition to the reimbursement, you also get a small fee.

Once we approve your selected audit a redquanta project leader calls you & explains the process in detail; detailed instructions are also sent to you on your registered email address.   Make sure you discuss and resolve all your doubts & queries BEFORE the audit.

That’s about it; you need to shop; observe; report and get paid and/or reimbursed for your efforts.

How do I become a Mystery Shopper?

A simple registration that takes about 5 minutes and you are set. The link below takes you to the registration page.

http://www.redquanta.com/index.html

Once you register and are logged on, select the ‘Job Board’ icon on the top-centre of the web page.  Filter jobs by state; once you see the jobs on your screen, you can sort them by due-date, company or location.

Details of what needs to be done on the audit are provided therein; read and understand details carefully and apply to the shops of your choice.

Once redquanta approves your selection, a team member you will call you and explain the process in detail; you will also receive detailed guidelines on email.

That’s it! You visit the shop, avail services, fill in the report and claim the amount of bill/cash.

In case you have any difficulties registering or selecting jobs, do not hesitate to contact Aishwarya 081081 54760 aishwarya@redquanta.com or

Hema 081081 54763 hema@redquanta.com

 

Who can become a mystery shopper? Do I have to have any qualifications to become a mystery shopper?

Anyone over 18 years of age residing in India; who has a natural inclination to observe while shopping and cares about the service he/she receives can become a mystery shopper. Good English language skills (reading & writing) are an added advantage.

Since most assignments have to be submitted on the Internet, having access to a computer & internet is also beneficial.  We also have audits where the reporting can be done over the phone or over mail so please do not feel disheartened if you are not computer or net-savvy.

Also, there are no special qualifications required to be a mystery shopper.  Eye-for-detail, respect for deadlines & good English communication skills would help you sail through.

Will I be removed from a mystery shopper provider’s list if I turn down a shopping assignment?

Audit firms want shoppers to enjoy the experience and hence offer complete flexibility with respect to choice and timing of audits; so, NO, you will not be removed from the shopper database should you refuse audits.

We would rather you decline a shop than accept it and then not complete it.

However, if you continue to turn down work without explaining why or without trying to work something out, you may hurt your chances at getting future work. Continue Reading →