Mystery Shopper FAQs

Are you delivering what your customers want, or what you think they want?

Mystery shopping involves visiting a nominated retail store or service outlet as an 'undercover customer' reporting back on the shopping experience. Mystery shoppers assess their shopping experience by assessing areas such as customer service, store presentation, product quality, add on selling techniques, cleanliness and promotional material.

Apply to Become a Mystery Shopper

Click on any question to read the answer

What do I need to know about being a mystery shopper?

Shoppers are employed as contractors and generally must have an Australian Business Number (ABN). You must have easy access to the internet. We allocate jobs to shoppers as they become available in your area. Shoppers should not rely on this work as a main source of income. Shoppers must be over 18 years.

Am I an employee or an independent contractor?

As a mystery shopper, you will work for The Realise Group as an independent contractor. This means that you are not an employee of The Realise Group, and will not be paid holiday pay, sick leave, superannuation, workers compensation, or other employee entitlements. The rate of pay offered for the assignment is the full payment that you will receive (if required to make a purchase you will be reimbursed for the cost of the purchase on top of your payment). You are expected to cover all costs associated with you completing the mystery shopping assignments, including stationery, travel expenses etc.

What tax issues do I need to consider?

As you are a mystery shopping contractor and not an employee, an annual Statement of Earnings or Group Certificate is not provided at the end of the financial year. As a contractor, it is your responsibility to keep records of all work you carry out for The Realise Group. This includes all fees and reimbursements that we pay you. We recommend that you keep all of your ‘Allocation Emails’ (which notify you of the payment amount for each assignment) as a record of the work you have undertaken with us. Many mystery shoppers use a spreadsheet in excel to keep track of their earnings.

How and when will I be paid?

Your payment for successfully completed evaluations will be made directly into your nominated bank account within 2-3 weeks of the month following your assignment. eg. If you complete a project anytime in April, you can expect payment will be made by the 2nd or 3rd week in May. You will be notified by email when payment has been made.

What documents do I need to complete to get paid?

After you are recruited by one of our team, and pass the shopper training test, you will need to submit the required forms below so we can pay you:

1. Bank Account Details Form - Australia
2. Shopper Contract Form - Australia
3. ABN or Statement by Supplier Form (Australian shoppers only)

New Zealand
1. Bank Account Details Form - New Zealand
2. Shopper Contract Form - New Zealand

These forms need to be completed in full and sent back to us by email (scan the documents), fax or post. All contact details are below.

Post: The Realise Group, Studio 53, 91 Moreland Street, Footscray, VIC, 3011
Fax within Australia: (03) 9687-2431
Fax from New Zealand : +61 3 9687 2431

What if I receive an email to notify me that payment has been made, but the money is not in my bank account?

If you are a new shopper, this means that you have probably not sent us your completed shopper contract, bank details form, or supplied us with an ABN or statement by supplier.

Refer to our FAQ above: What documents do I need to complete to get paid?

If you believe you have submitted all forms, please email your project co-ordinator or to investigate further.

What is the rate of pay?

You will be paid per assignment, not an hourly rate, and advised of this amount before you agree to complete the work. The payment varies depending on the complexity of the questionnaire, how much time you are required to spend on the assignment, and whether you are required to make a purchase.

What skills do I need to do be a mystery shopper?

To be a great mystery shopper you need to be able to:

  • follow guidelines and instructions and perform evaluations accurately
  • make discreet and objective observations
  • remember the details of your experience easily
  • pay close attention to detail
  • write detailed, constructive and grammatically correct comments
  • meet commitments and deadlines
  • be easily contactable by email and phone
  • use the internet proficiently

Do I need access to the internet to become a mystery shopper? What other equipment will I need?

To become a mystery shopper you are required to have very regular access to internet, email and a printer, as well as a car. You will be given a brief and questionnaire on each assignment explaining what is required, and what you need to assess at the store. These documents (in pdf format) need to be printed out. 

You will accept or reject work and download all documents from our website, so internet access is essential. Once you have completed your assignment you are required to data enter your results on our website. 

A good memory and attention to detail are essential!

How will you communicate with me about mystery shopping assignments in my area?

We will communicate the availability of assignments to you via email and through our Realise Online website that gives shoppers the ability to log on and find out the requirements of each job (such as deadline dates, purchases required, special instructions, location etc) before they accept an assignment. Sometimes we will email you an 'allocation email' about a specific assignment we have allocated you, and sometimes we will email many shoppers on the database about a particular assignment that is available in order to determine who is available to complete it (an 'expression of interest' email). From time to time we may also send SMS messages regarding assignments. Receiving these emails and SMS messages regarding assignments is a central part of the mystery shopping process. If you are unable to or do not wish to receive these electronic messages, mystery shopping may not be for you.

How many mystery shopping assignments will I receive?

The quantity of assignments you will receive will vary dependent upon where you live (are there many shopping centres nearby for example) and the distance you are willing to travel. Also your reliability and commitment to deadlines, as well as the quality of your work will affect how much work you receive from us. It could vary from 1 to 10 assignments per month, less or more depending upon you and your location.

How long do assignments take to complete?

Some assignments may take 2-3 minutes to complete inside the store, however you also need to consider the time taken to read the instructions before completing the assignment, and also the time to submit your results online after you do the assignment. In total this may add another 10-20 minutes or more to an assignment.

 On average, you should not need to spend more than 30-60 minutes on each assignment. Obviously the first time you do a shop for a particular client you may have more reading time, but if you are doing several shops for this client on a regular basis it should take you less time from then on. There could be other assignments which take an hour or even more (ie. enquiring about a complex product, such as a home loan or computer). We factor in the time required and complexity and pay accordingly.

Do I need to make a purchase?

Some assignments usually require a purchase, and others do not. You will be instructed when the assignment is first given to you if a purchase is required, and what that purchase is. You will be reimbursed for all purchases, in addition to your assignment payment.

Do I get to keep my mystery shopping purchase?

On most occasions you will get to keep your purchase (and if it is a food item, you will always get to keep and consume it!). Occasionally we may ask you to return the purchase either to the store, or to our head office.

I’ve registered to become a mystery shopper. What happens now?

After registering your details, we will review your application once we have work available in your area. If successful we will call you to discuss your application, and you will be required to undertake some training. Mystery shoppers who have successfully passed our training are then selected from our database to complete mystery shopping assignments.

How do I update my details on my profile?

To update your personal details refer to our instruction sheet: How to update your personal details - for shoppers. You will be able to update:

  • Your address, phone and email contact details
  • Current employment details
  • Other companies you mystery shop / conduct market research for
  • Mystery shopping locations – where and how far you are willing to travel
  • Additional information

To update your bank details, please complete a new bank details form:

Email directly to your project co-ordinator or to:
Fax within Australia: (03) 9687-2431
Fax from New Zealand : +61 3 9687 2431

What if I have further questions?

If you have any queries whilst filling in your application please email us at or call us on 03 9687 2360.

Our Clients Say...

"From a global perspective our company rated it as outstanding and one of the best Mystery Shopping programs we have seen. From our experience with The Realise Group, we would have no hesitation in recommending them as your Mystery Shopping Company."

Estee Lauder

"The mystery shopping program has been very well received in our organisation and has been a central part of an overall performance improvement program at Red Rooster. I would not hesitate to recommend The Realise Group as a mystery shopping supplier."

Red Rooster

"The Realise Group are responsive and always available. They are quick and helpful with queries, creating new reports, and helping us to ensure all data is correct. They understand our business and are great at anticipating our needs."

Foodco Group

"We have been very happy with the level of service provided to us, the responsiveness of the Group to our requests and the manner in which they conduct business. The quality of the staff conducting the surveys and the reports themselves has seen this program grow to be an important and valuable part of our annual Centre program."

Chadstone Shopping Centre

"The Realise Group provide flexible and comprehensive reporting and quick turnaround of results. Furthermore, they are reliable and easy to deal with and have a “make it happen” service approach that allows us to react quickly to changing needs."

7 Eleven

"Everything is managed professionally and efficiently, and no request is too much trouble. They have also used their expertise to recommend changes to the programs which have been very well received by the network."

Tatts Pokies

"After working with several mystery shopping companies, Michael Hill partnered with The Realise Group in 2008. Specialising in behavioural identification and interpretation, The Realise Group have successfully assisted us to make definitive changes in our service delivery. The data gathered by The Realise Group's field based analysts directly correlates to our core KPI's and is utilised by both senior and frontline management to effect positive behavioural change on the sales floor."

Michael Hill