I am always being asked what it’s like being a mystery shopper for Tern and how it all works, so I thought it might help new shoppers if I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and put some thoughts down. Hopefully you will find the information useful – It might be of use to some of our old faithful shoppers too.
Being a mystery shopper is a great way to earn extra income whilst doing something challenging and productive. The reports you submit carry real significance and are used to help manage, recognise and reward the staff members you deal with. A good mystery shopper always remembers this fact and scores their reports fairly and objectively.
No, absolutely not. You will never be asked to pay to register with Tern or for taking any tests once registered.
This is the question that I get asked the most by people considering applying. Unfortunately, whilst this may sound like a cop out, there is no straightforward answer. We work with many Nationwide clients and generally work is posted on our online job board when assignments become available. Obviously there will be more visits available in and around major cities but we have more shoppers in these locations so even if you live in a remote part of the UK, you should find periodical work you can apply for. For more complex programmes, we may approach shoppers who have a specific skill set directly.
The most important aspect of securing more work is to check the job board regularly. We might place hundreds of assignments on the job board but they get taken up really quickly, so whilst sometimes it might seem that there is little activity, the reality is that you have probably ‘missed the boat’.
At Tern, we also make extensive use of mystery shopper ‘tests’. These tests allow us to create sub-teams which we can use for particular clients or for a particular type of work. For example, if you have successfully used one of our audio recording devices to conduct an audio mystery shopping exercise, you will be placed in our audio sub-team and given preference on future audio work.
With Tern, you are never obliged to take on work. As a mystery shopper, you are a sub-contractor and it is entirely your decision which assignments to apply for.
At Tern, we try to pay above the industry average because we expect more than average in terms of reporting depth and quality. In return, we also make weekly payment runs and give preference to shoppers who have proven that they can follow a detailed brief and submit high quality reports.
All our visit fees include travel and miscellaneous costs so you can quickly work out if a task is viable for you. Most assignments pay between £10 and £35 but some do pay more where the programme is complex or places high demands on the shopper. Some assignments are paid via a refund or contribution towards goods bought in-store and again, it is up to the individual shopper to decide if the remuneration is attractive.
Some websites promoting the work with lines like “eat for free” and “get paid to shop” are misleading. Whatever the reward is for carrying out the assignment, the chances are you are going to have to work hard for it. Mystery shopping is a highly competitive industry and as the saying goes, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.
Our system uses an advanced automated payment process which approves your work for payment once it has been quality checked. Payment is made automatically by BACS. We only require your SORT code and account number which is the same information you share when you write someone a cheque.
Why is the sign-up test so difficult?
We succeed as a business by having a high quality team of shoppers who pay attention to detail and submit accurate, high quality work. You have two attempts at passing the sign-up test but if you fail on both ocassions, then you are probably not cut out as a Tern shopper.
I hope you’ve found the information useful. Please visit our become a mystery shopper page for how to apply. We look forward to having you as one of our mystery shoppers.