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In many ways, my reasons for signing up with Retail Eyes were very similar to my reasons for joining Ciao, namely I wanted to provide my opinion to enable customer service to be improved, and at the same time make a few quid out of it. Like any other mystery shopping company, you won’t make enough money out of it to enable you to give up your career but it is a useful supplement to your income.
So who are Retail Eyes
Retail Eyes are the Uk’s leading customer experience improvement agency, with their primary service being the provision of a mystery shopper service. They do provide other services such as employee surveys and retail audits, but their primary function is the pfacilitation of mystery shops. Retail Eyes have recently been acquired by Market Force Information, the world’s leading customer intelligence solutions company. Retail Eyes are based in Milton Keynes.
Note The positioning of Retail Eyes and Market Force as the UK’s and Worlds leading exponents are taken directly from the Retail Eyes website, and I am in no way confirming that this is the case.
It truth be known, I had never heard of Retail Eyes when I signed up with them back in June 2011, but I saw a recommendation from Money Saving Expert so thought I would have a look into it.
Web Site Layout
The Web site is clearly laid out with a number of Tabs which predominantly provide you with more detail around the company. The information contained within these is useful to give you an overview of the company, but in essence if you are thinking of joining retail eyes, the information you require can be found under the ‘Join Us’ tab.
Under this tabulation, further sub-categories are provided as follows:
Become a mystery shopper
A general overview around the role of a mystery shopper
Register as a mystery shopper
Under this section you are required to provide your personal details, where you will then be directed to the next part of the registration process
Mystery Shopper Criteria
Here provides an overview of the skills you will require to be a successful mystery shopper, with the requirement to be at least 18 years of age, have access to the internet, and to be reliable, objective, accurate, honest and professional.
Mystery Shopper FAQs
Does exactly as you would expect.
Careers at Retail Eyes
As I have indicated above, when you initially sign up with the company, you enter your basic details, and to be honest, I can’t remember if you are sent a link via your email account or not, but prior to being accepted as a mystery shopper you are provided with a series of paragraphs which are written incorrectly, and you are required to correct them. This is undertaken to identify if you meet the criteria of being accurate and thorough with a good grasp of the English language. Suffice to say I passed the accreditation and was accepted as a mystery shopper.
At the same time, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire regarding your interests and hobbies, which will help to ensure that you have access to the most appropriate assignments.
It is important once you are registered with the site that you keep on top of your profile, and in particular before you can be paid you need to provide your bank details. If you are not happy to do this then Retail Eyes is not for you. Within your profile you will also find a series of questions entitled ‘About Me’ which are designed to elicit information so that the appropriate assignments can be targetted towards you. As I say these questions fall under a number of different categories including Computing, employment, and personal finance.
Another important aspect to keep on top of is defining the areas in which you are able to work. Ordinarily this will either be within a certain radius of where you live or work, buy you are able to set multiple locations so if you are away on business or holiday for example, you could search for assignments on the dates you are away for example. You are able to specify a distance of up to 50 miles from your chosen postcode or location which is great if you are flexible with your travel arrangements.
Once you have set your profile up and defined the areas you are happy to work in, you will be notified via the website which assignments you are able to apply for. You are able to filter this so that you are not informed of all assignments in your area which may be beneficial on occasions if you are being notified of large volumes of assignments, but ordinarily I apply the filter so that I am notified of all assignments. For example you can filter by Job Type (ie Airports, Pubs), Job Features (ie Airside or Landside) or by your defined areas.
The assignments which are available to you will be listed, and these will provide an overview of the dates the assignments needs to be completed by, together with details of the remuneration associated with that assignment. Ordinarily assignments will need to be completed within a three or four day window, and any time restrictions are detailed by clicking on the relevant tab. Prior to requesting an assignment you need to familiarise yourself with the assignment notes to ensure that you are able to meet the criteria for the assignment as failing to adhere to these will result in non-payment. Having done this you are then able to apply for the assignment. Prior to being accepted you are required to answer a series of yes / no questions to ensure that you have fully understood the assignment requirements, and to specify the exact date when you will undertake the assignment. If you are successful in the accreditation, the assignment will now appear in your Active Assignments on the left hand side of your website. More details of your assignments are provided on the right hand side of the web site. Also note, that due to other shoppers accepting a large volume of shops and then releasing them, you are now only to have a maximum of 8 active assignments in your in-box at any one time.
Ordinarily as part of an assignment, a purchase will need to be made which you will be reimbursed for as part of your fee. Others will just reimburse you for your outlay, and others will pay you with you not needing to make a purchase. Clearly, the latter is the better sort of assignment to have but these are few and far between with the majority being a reimbursement of your outlay, or reimbursement plus a small contribution. Ordinarily you can expect to be reimbursed between £4 and £10 for each individual assignment.
Once you have undertaken your mystery vuisit, where ordinarily you will be asked to comment on the cleanliness of premises and toilets, staff appearance, customer service, promotional literatute etc, you are then required to submit your report. Ordinarily these need to be completed by mid day the day after your assignment, but on occasions you are required to submit them on the same day so be careful. The questionnaire can be accessed via the right hand tab on the web page, and is relatively straight forward to complete. If you miss any questions you are unable tio submit your report and expenses claim. It is also wother checking the website on a regular basis for any tickets, which are querys from the proof reading team if they have questions regarding the answers which you have provided. If you fail to respond on a timely basis, once again you will not be paid for your assignments.
One other aspect to note is that you are provided with a score, which you build up with the completion of assignments. Ordinarily you will receive 10 points for completing an assignment and receive a 2 point bonus if you complete and submit an assignment on its original day. Be warned though that you will be deducted points if you receiive proof-reading queries. To be honest I’m not really sure about what the point score actually means, other than if you average les than 10 points per assignment you are not eligible to undertak audits.
Similarly, if you accept assignments and then subsequently release them because you are unable to undertake, you will be deducted 2 points.
The payment process is automatic and other than registering your bank details you don’t have to do anything further.
Unlike other companies, you don’t have to reach a certain threshold for payment to be made – if you have undertaken an assignment in the qualifying period you will be paid. Basically Retail Eyes pay twice a month on the 10th and 25th of the month, although the reality is the payment reaches your account on the 15th and 30th of the Month. The cut off is very tight however, and for example an assignment which I undertook on 1st November will not be paid until 30th November.
Details of any payments which are due to you are clearly displayed on the web site, and you can go back to see the breakdown of payments due and payments which have been made previously.
When I first signed up I was a little bit sceptical, and didn’t expect to be able to identify any assignments which were relevant to me. However, this has not been the case, and ordinarily I have been able to find two or three asignments to undertake per week. So far in approximately five month of being with Retail Eyes I have made £500. I have never had an issue with Retail Eyes not paying, and have only not been paid on one occasion which was my own fault because I did not meet the midnight deadline for submitting my report.
If you want to supplement your income, and are interested in Mystery Shopping I would definitely recommend Retail Eyes. Their assignments are vaied and relatively plentiful, and most importantly, they do actually pay.
Missed this on 'Money Saving Expert'. This is such an excellent and practical review. You have given all the information that is needed to make a decision as whether to join or not. Superb. E from me xXx