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 evaluating areas such as customer service, store presentation, product quality, add on selling techniques, cleanliness and promotional material, based on a survey and guidelines provided for each shop.

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?

To become a mystery shopper with The Realise Group you will need:

  • Very good writing skills
  • The ability to follow instructions accurately
  • Reliability (eg, you keep your commitments and complete assignments by the deadline) and be contactable
  • A good memory and attention to detail
  • Your own car or transport
  • Computer skills with access to a computer, the internet and a printer
  • Adobe Reader/Acrobat software - free to download

We post mystery shopping jobs to a Job Board as they become available and you can search for jobs in your area, which you have the opportunity to apply for. It is advised that mystery shoppers should not rely on this work as a main source of income. Mystery shoppers must be over 18 years.

What is the minimum age to become a mystery shopper?

To become a mystery shopper with The Realise Group you must be at least 18 years old.

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 shop fee per 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 bank details/tax issues do I need to consider?

When you sign up to become a mystery shopper you will need to complete your bank details via our secure online form within your shopper profile. This is so we can pay you once you have completed a mystery shopping assignment. Payment is made via EFT into your bank account.

For Australian mystery shoppers, you will also need to provide us with either an ABN (Australian Business Number) or Statement By Supplier Form.

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 expenses (reimbursements) that we pay you. You will have access to all shop fees and expenses in your Shop Log. We also recommend you keep your own records of the work you have undertaken with us, for example in a spreadsheet program like Excel.

Please consult the Tax Office or an accountant for information regarding allowable deductions and how long you need to keep these records.

How will I know about mystery shopping assignments in my area?

When jobs are released we post them to the Job Board. You will receive our Job Posting emails advising you when shops are live on the Job Board. Alternatively, once you sign into your shopper account you'll see the 'Job Board' at the top menu and can search for shops in your area at any time. You are then able to 'Apply' for assignments to express your interest in jobs you wish to complete. Our Schedulers will review the applications from all our shoppers and will assign the shop to only one shopper. You will then receive an email to confirm that either your application is 'Accepted' or 'Closed'.

From time to time we may also need to send out text (SMS) messages to shoppers when we have important information that needs to be communicated quickly.

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 3 - 8 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.

What is the rate of pay?

The shop fee varies depending on assignment requirements. You will be advised of the shop fee for each shop before you accept it. If required to make a purchase you will also receive a payment for expenses, as outlined in the shop comments. The pay rate is determined by the complexity of the assignment, length of time taken to complete the shop and evaluation and whether you make and keep a purchase item. You will always be advised of the payment before you decide to apply for a mystery shop.

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 signed up to become a mystery shopper. What happens now?

You can sign up to become a mystery shopper for The Realise Group by visiting our online dashboard here: You will be asked to fill in your personal details in our secure online form, and answer some Extended Shopper Profile questions to help ensure you can see jobs that are most suitable for you. All shoppers must also complete and pass the mystery shopper training test in order to complete your account setup. Once you’ve followed these steps your account will be activated, and you will be able to see and apply for jobs on the Job Board, and start Mystery Shopping!

What if I have further questions?

If you have any queries now or whilst filling in your application, please feel free to contact us by email at or call us on 03 9687 2360.

We also have a Noticeboard page available once you have signed up with lots more useful information for our mystery shoppers. Check it out!

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