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Shopper FAQs

Helpful answers to common questions:

1. What is Mystery Shopping?

A: Mystery Shopping with Sensors Quality Management Inc. consists of evaluating restaurants, retail locations and other service-based industries. As a Mystery Shopper, you will dine in the restaurant, or shop in the store that you are assigned, act as a regular customer would, and fill out a customized report based on your experience. As a Mystery Shopper, you work as either a part-time employee, or as an independent contractor on an as-needed basis.

2. What is the Purpose of Mystery Shopping?

A: The purpose of Mystery Shopping is to provide our clients with an unbiased evaluation of how their business is operated from a consumer's point of view. It is not just about criticizing how a facility does badly. Although pointing out needed improvements is imperative, businesses must also know what they do well, so that they can continue doing it. Our clients use these reports for various purposes. Many of our clients use these reports for associate development, to re-enforce training programs and as a part of integrated Incentive Programs. Regardless of the purpose, our clients take these reports very seriously. These reports are incorporated into their monthly training programs and progress reports.

3. What Qualities Does SQM Look for in its Mystery Shoppers?

A: SQM seeks mature, reliable, detail oriented people with experience in customer service. Successful candidates will have a critical eye for detail, an excellent memory, a proven ability to follow instructions, work independently, and have a hospitality or business background. As an SQM shopper, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Post-secondary education would be an asset.

4. How Do I Become an SQM Mystery Shopper?

A: To become an SQM Mystery Shopper, you must complete the Mystery Shopper application form. If there are positions available in the area that you work or reside, you will be contacted by our Shopper Resources staff. If there are no vacancies at the time of your application, your application will be kept on file for up to 18 months, and you may be contacted as assignments become available.

5. How much does Mystery Shopping Pay?

A: The amount that you get paid is all dependant on the assignments that you perform. There are 4 types of evaluations:

  1. An evaluation with a Shopper Fee. (You get paid to perform the assignment.)
  2. An evaluation with a Shopper Fee and a Reimbursement Fee. (You get paid to perform the assignment and you get to purchase an item and get reimbursed (partly or fully) for it.
  3. An evaluation only with a Reimbursement Fee.
  4. An evaluation that you pay only part of the fee for. (50% off of Vacation, train travel, etc.)

The more complicated or involved an assignment is, the higher the fee that you'll receive. An evaluation can pay anywhere between $5 and $100, depending on the type (Restaurant, Hotel, Retail, Fast Food, etc.).

6. What kind of shops does SQM have?

A: SQM has many different types of available assignments. We have Retail, Restaurant (Fine Dining, Fast Food, Family, Bar), Hotels, Car Rental, Travel, Banking, Attractions, Grocery and more. The types of assignments that we offer vary all the time, but we certainly have a lot of variety, and the best part is that it keeps getting better!

7. I submitted an application but have not heard back regarding its status. (Why? or When?)

A: After completing and submitting the application form, please allow us time to process it. As you can appreciate, SQM receives a high volume of applications each day. If there are positions available in the area that you work or reside, you will be contacted by our Shopper Resources staff. If there are no vacancies at the time of your application, your application will be kept on file for up to 18 months, and you may be contacted as assignments become available.

8. How many shops do you have in my area?

A: SQM performs Mystery Shops all over the world. We're a company that continues to grow! As a result, while we may not have a lot of work in your area right now, we're always expanding so chances are that we will have more work there soon. Unfortunately we can't be more specific than this. If you get hired, it means that there is work available in your area.

There's another factor to consider here as well. Even if there are a lot of assignments available in your area, you aren't guaranteed to get all of them. Check out "How do I get assigned shops?" for more clarification here. Chances are that you won't be the only Mystery Shopper in your area. Others will be requesting assignments too. There is a limit to the amount of requests a given assignment can have. Therefore we encourage our Shoppers to enter their web account as often as possible (every day or every other day) to see what is available in their area.

9. How do I get assigned shops? (Or How do I request Shops?)

A: Once you become a Mystery Shopper, you are able to request assignments. SQM will not assign anything to you unless you request it. The process of getting assignments is explained clearly in our SQM Orientation Manual. Here is an excerpt from the manual:

We put assignments into our online system. It's up to you to decide which ones you would like to perform, and then apply for them. The most suitable candidate will be given the assignment.

How do I become a "suitable candidate", (a.k.a. How do I get assignments?)

Read the instructions for every assignment and perform the applicable Comprehension Reviews. Only apply for the assignments that you are willing and able to complete. Perform your evaluations within the correct date/time frames. Provide a good amount of detail.
Write in full sentences, using proper grammar and punctuation. If you are contacted by SQM for follow-up regarding an assignment, respond quickly. Make your way through the STEP program (minimum of STEP 2 is required after you've been with us for 3 months).

Not so tough, is it?

10. Is Mystery Shopping a full-time position?

A: Mystery Shopper's are contract employees. Having said that, there are people out there who have made Mystery Shopping a full-time position. These are highly reliable, detail-oriented people who perform Mystery Shops for a number of different Mystery Shopping companies. By being dependable, following instructions, and by being reliable, these people manage to get enough work from companies like SQM to make it a full-time job.

11. Is there a registration fee to join SQM?

A: There is no fee to become a Mystery Shopper for SQM. We pay you to perform Mystery Shops. It doesn't work the other way around.

12. Do I have to spend my own money during shops?

A: There are assignments which will instruct you to put out some money initially, but these same assignments will typically reimburse you up to a certain amount. For example, if you are doing a restaurant evaluation, you will pay for the meal using your money and will receive a certain amount back, based on the assignment guidelines.

13. How do I get paid for Mystery Shopping?

A: Once you become a Mystery Shopper, you will be able to volunteer for assignments. If you get an assignment and perform it as per the Assignment Instructions and SQM standards, you can then invoice SQM for the work you completed (through our online system). You'll then receive your payment shortly after invoicing us.The payment guidelines are explained very clearly within the website, once you become a Mystery Shopper.\

14. When do I get paid for Mystery Shopping?

A: You get paid once you submit an invoice to SQM. Here is an excerpt from our Shopper website:"The invoices are to be submitted by the 10th of the month following the month the shops are completed. The cheques/direct deposits will be processed between the 25th and 30th of the month. [Ex. if you complete three assignments in September, your cheque is issued and processed between the 25th and 30th of October (providing that we have received a web submitted invoice).]"

15. I am unable to login. What do I do?

A: Please contact your Shopper Resources coordinator by calling (416) 444-4491 or 1-800-866-2624, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

16. I forgot my Shopper Code and Password. What is it?

A: If you don't remember your Shopper Code, contact your Shopper Resources coordinator by calling us at (416) 444-4491 or 1-800-866-2624, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you remember your Shopper Code but not your Password, click on "Forgot Password" from our main website page.

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