Thursday, May 29, 2008

Silver/Gold Certification Buzz

Silver/Gold Certified is not required to mystery shop. It is recommended through the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers Association). I am silver certified and I did see an increase of job offers. A number of Mystery Shopper Providers say that certified shoppers are given precedence for assignments. I have gotten most of the assignments I signed up for since becoming silver certified, but I believe it also has a lot to do with my improved skills in filling out the reports foremost and then, for being silver certified.

Mystery Shopping Providers Association

Two certification programs are offered by the industry association, Mystery Shopping Providers Association. Anyone can become certified, it provides the mystery shopper information about industry standards and the skills needed to mystery shop. Certification is not required to use MSPA’s services. MSP’s do not require the shopper to be certified, however most clearly state that it is favored.

MSPA’s General Certification Questions Answered

Silver Certified is the first step in a two-step process. The Silver Certification consists of a $15 online test. If you pass this test, you will be given a confirmation number. You will be able to use your e-mail address and this confirmation number to sign up for Gold Certification conferences. The buzz is that if you get the Gold Certification you receive higher paying assignment offers. Given the area that I live in, I have not found the Gold Certification process necessary.

I have found the Silver Certification well worth the fee. It’s an easy test that does not take long. The information that the test is based on is given in one page and then you go on to a page with a set of questions. The questions are multiple choices. This process repeats until the test is finished. It is a trustworthy way to get the information you need to become a successful mystery shopper.

As mentioned before, in the post Mystery Shopping Necessities, it is advisable to set up a separate e-mail address for all your secret shopper activities. Your certification is associated to your e-mail address. When the MSP’s authenticate your certification they need to have the e-mail address originally connected to the certification. While most companies make it easy for you to add your certification number, there is a space reserved for this in your shopper’s profile page, there is no place to add the e-mail associated with the certification. I suggest an e-mail account that is not connected to your current internet provider, such as Yahoo or Google. Also, remember that changing your e-mail address with a bunch of companies will be a pain!

Happy Mystery shopping!

Coming soon to this blog:

Mystery Shopping Tips

For more information on mystery shopping check out some of my other posts!

Location and Mystery Shopping
Ready to Mystery Shop?
Mystery Shopping Necessities
Mystery Shopping and Scams
The Buzz on Mystery Shopping

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You may see ads for Mystery shopping on this site, unless I specifically mention that I use a certain company you should do your homework first! Follow the ‘Safety First’ guidelines.

Safety First:

  • You can check registration data here such as name, address and phone number.
  • Updated link to The BBBOnLine "Check out a Business or Charity
  • Check it out with the Federal Trade Commission
  • Google the site name or registered domain owner and check out the buzz!
  • Leave a post about the site you are curious about and I will do all the work for you! Chances are I already have checked it out.

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