Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Mystery Shopping?

A type of market research, Mystery Shopping, also known as secret shopping, is a standard and common business practice where service evaluations are made by mystery shoppers pretending to be real customers without the store’s personnel being aware that they are being “shopped.” Mystery Shopping provides our clients with information about the customer service and experience at all of their locations. This information helps companies to turn their service vision into reality and make necessary changes to provide a consistently positive experience for their customers. After all, good customer service benefits us all. 


Anonymous mystery shoppers pose as ordinary customers and evaluate a business’ service, cleanliness, food quality and other factors that meet the client’s requirements. As an Independent Contractor, not an employee, mystery shoppers choose their assignments according to their schedule and receive complete guidelines for each shop that they choose to accept. Average shop time is between one and two hours. 


Sign up to become a Market Force Mystery Shopper.


What is Theatre Checking?

Theatre checkers perform similar tasks as mystery shoppers do, except they undertake special assignments inside movie theatres. Assignments can be either covert (secret) or overt (announced with a letter of authorization presented to the theatre employees). Tasks include counting guests, counting seats, recording the number of times a particular trailer is shown before a show, etc.


Sign up to become a Market Force Certified Field Associate.


What is the difference between a Mystery Shopper and a Certified Field Associate?

Both are part of the Market Force Shopper Force, but they each complete different types of assignments. Market Force assignments are offered through two different websites. Please sign up separately for each in order to have access to the full range of assignment types.


Market Force Mystery Shoppers (aka secret shoppers) visit stores and restaurants posing as real customers and make various observations while there.


Market Force Certified Field Associates  (CFAs) can accept similar observational assignments in movie theatres.  


Why become a Mystery Shopper or Certified Field Associate?

Becoming a Market Force Mystery Shopper or Certified Field Associate will enable you to help improve Customer Service in your area while making some extra money with a flexible, part-time job. Your feedback is provided to the highest management levels in corporate America. You can make a difference and get paid for it—join our network! 


Why join Market Force over other mystery shopping companies?

Market Force is the largest mystery shopping company in the world. With years of experience, we are one of the most respected leaders in the industry. Because of our size, we offer a very large number of brand names and assignments to choose from and a wide variety of locations, brands and industries.


Where might my assignments be?

Our clients represent a variety of businesses, including big brand retailers and stores, restaurants, movie theatres, drug and grocery stores, banks, convenience stores and gas stations. You will recognize many of these companies and may currently visit them on a regular basis.


What do I get paid?

For many assignments you will be paid a fee to compensate you for completing our service questionnaire. Some mystery shops require you to purchase a meal or item, the cost of which is later reimbursed. Shoppers are paid once a month for all approved shops completed in the prior calendar month. Note that fees are paid only for quality reports.


What are the requirements for joining the Market Force Shopper Force?

You must be at least 18 years old to be a Mystery Shopper or Certified Field Associate. You need excellent observational skills and must be very detail-oriented. Access to a computer is required and high-speed Internet access is highly recommended. A digital camera is necessary for higher paying audit-type assignments.


Why do you require so much personal information?

As a part of the Shopper Force, you are an independent contractor for Market Force, and thus we must ask for personal information in accordance with tax laws. Our clients also have various shopper requirements and requests for different kinds of shops, and thus we collect qualification information to be included in your shopper profile to make you eligible for as many shops as possible. Keep in mind, your information is kept on a secure server and we NEVER sell or share your information with any other company or third party, in accordance with our privacy policy.


Does Market Force Information need/use more than one shopper or CFA in my area?

Yes, we do. To maintain the confidentiality of our mystery shoppers, we must rotate assignments to our Shopper Force on a regular basis.


What is the process for selecting and approving shops?

Remember that you need to sign up with both the Mystery Shopping portal and the Theatre checker portal separately in order to accept assignments from both.


Once your shopper application is approved, you will receive a user ID and password for our shopper website(s), where you choose the shops you are interested in completing. When a shop is accepted, you then choose from a range of dates when you can perform your shop. Accepting a shop means you are committed to completing the shop during the time frame that you choose.


You need to print out the necessary paperwork for each shop and review the guidelines for the shop so that you are prepared. After each shop, you simply report the results online (in most cases) and forward us your shop documentation (receipt or business card) for payment.


How secure is my Social Security Number and personal information?

Your information is collected via a secure web environment and there is a link to our privacy statement next to the Social Security Number (SSN) box on the form. If you note the URL in your web browser after you entered this website, you will see “https” in the URL—a sign that you are on a secure server.


If you are still uncomfortable giving us your SSN online, we also accept packets via fax. You may email, an auto-responder, to receive an immediate electronic copy of the paperwork that may then be filled out and faxed back.


Do not enter a SSN other than your true and valid SSN; remember, identity theft is a crime. This number is used for IRS purposes and will be reported to the IRS when payments exceed a certain amount.