FAQ's: Mystery Shopping for CSE

HOW DO I BECOME A MYSTERY SHOPPER FOR CSE?

New shoppers are encouraged to Apply Here! You will be asked to submit a writing sample of a recent shopping experience and asked to sign our Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA). Once your application has been reviewed and accepted, you can begin to apply to specific shops in your area.

IS THERE A FEE TO WORK FOR CSE?

There is never a fee for working with CSE! If you are asked to pay to become a mystery shopper, you should be EXTREMELY leery of the offer…check the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website for a listing of their reputable member companies.

LEARN MORE:

If I'm new to mystery shopping, can i still apply to shop?

Absolutely! CSE loves giving new shoppers a chance to start mystery shopping. We do not train mystery shoppers, but feel we can give you the proper guidelines to successfully complete a first mystery shop. We’re always here to help and guide you through your first mystery shop.

What is AN "AVERAGE" MYSTERY SHOP payment?

Client fees vary depending on each project. Payment is determined based on time required to conduct the shop, the length of the online eView® form, and time required to submit the mystery shop. Every project varies and client fees and reimbursements (if applicable) are noted in the mystery shop posting.

CAN ANYONE ACCOMPANY ME ON A MYSTERY SHOP?

As long as they won't interfere with your ability to observe and evaluate your experience, it is fine to bring along children or spouses. In some cases, it may help to make your role more realistic. Occasionally we receive client requests that would require you to evaluate alone or that you must bring a companion.

CAN I WORK FOR CSE WHILE WORKING FOR OTHER MYSTERY SHOPPING COMPANIES?

Mystery Shoppers may work for more than one Mystery Shopping company at a time. We do require that, while you are on an assignment for CSE, you be focused only on that project. This ensures the most accurate, detailed results and information for the client.

what is the shop rating scale and how does it work?

Shop ratings are given by the CSE editor of the project when an evaluation is complete and sent to the client. This helps CSE gain insight on whether to select the shopper (see below). The shopper rating scale ranges from 1-10. CSE editors take into consideration these areas when rating shops:

  • The amount of information given about the experience
  • Whether the client’s shop guidelines were followed
  • Proper grammar and spelling
  • Timeliness of entering the mystery shop into the eView® system
  • Promptness making any requested updates

Why am i not being selected for a project?

Mystery shoppers that we utilize build up their reputation over time. Performing shops according to client’s guidelines increase the chances that you will be selected again to complete another project. Sometimes there are many applicants for one shop location or project. We try to utilize our entire shopper pool and rotate (see below) as much as possible. This helps our client receive unique information from evaluators, so please keep applying!

A few options to help you stand out:

  • Become a MSPA Silver or Gold certified mystery shopper. Learn more about the MSPA Silver and Gold certifications HERE.
  • Register as an IC PRO! This is a way to declare shoppers as independent contractors. First register as IC PRO on JobSlinger. Then connect your Job Slinger account to your eView® account to be viewed as an IC PRO.

what is mystery shopper rotation?

Shopper rotation determines how long a shopper must wait before applying for a project or location after previously completing it. Clients request how many times the same mystery shopper can evaluate a specific location or project in an amount of time. This allows for unique viewpoints.

Some of the shopper rotations are 30, 60, or 90 days, and sometimes there are no rotations. Some clients request we do not use the same shopper more than once. All projects differ.

Why do i need to select a specific date for the project to be completed?

Our clients dictate when and where a shop will take place, not CSE. When a shopper applies and accepts a shop with a specific date and time, they agree to complete it on that date only.

  • 5-7 business day rules: Our clients request that mystery shops are completed and sent to them within 5-7 business days. This is why it’s so important for mystery shoppers to be responsive to CSE editors and coordinators. To ensure the client gets their project deliverables on time, shoppers need to perform and enter their information only on the dates requested.

What if i need to cancel a project or need an extension?

Please be aware that when a shopper applies to a certain shop within the clients requested shop dates, the shopper should keep that date and time open on their schedule. If something comes up, please notify the coordinator within 24 hours of the shop date.

REMEMBER: always keep the lines of communication between coordinators and mystery shoppers open.

CSE’s coordinators keep track of all cancelled shops in the shopper’s eView® shop log with a citation. This information helps when selecting a shopper to complete a project.

REMEMBER: mystery shoppers build up a reputation over time with the assignments they complete and the assignments they cancel.

What is a flake Citation?

A “flake” is when a shopper doesn’t complete their assigned shop with ZERO notification to a coordinator. A flake citation is given to a shopper in their eView® “shop log” and reflects very poorly on the shopper’s record of reliability. It is better to notify the scheduler of the cancellation or reschedule than it is to flake on a project.

What is a Cancel Citation?

A “cancel” is when a shopper cancelled an assigned project in advance with the coordinator. A cancel citation may be noted on the shopper’s eView® “shop log” and reflects better on a shopper’s record in comparison to flaking.

What is a hero citation?

A hero citation is awarded to a shopper if they choose to take on a project last minute, or when the coordinator needs to quickly fill it. It can also be awarded if the shopper does a great job on a project. This helps a shopper’s chances of performing more shops.

How do i know if i’ve received client fees for my shops?

Client fees are reflected on a shopper’s log in eView®. To see if a shop has been paid, shoppers need to login to their account and look under the “Shop Fees” column. If the shop was paid it will say "Paid On" and give the date that we sent it to PayPal, right above the shop fees. If the area above the shop fees is blank, the shop is not yet eligible for payment.

The Paypal email address and email address listed in the shopper’s eView® profile must match in order to correctly receive fees through Paypal. Please note that if an email address changes, and is not updated in our eView® system, the shopper would not receive the Paypal payment.

Check out our Project Fees and Reimbursements page to learn more!

I did not receive my fees through paypal but my Shop log lists that i was paid, what do I do?

If there is an issue with a Paypal account please call Paypal at (888) 221-1161 for assistance with the account. If a Paypal email address didn’t matched to the one we have on file in eView® and payment was bounced back to CSE, please call our office and ask to speak with Accounts Payable at (888) 770-7625. We will verify that the fees were not received and have an option of re-sending to the correct Paypal account or sending a check in the mail.