Company Overview: GFK Mystery Shopping is a branch of GFK Custom Research North America. They have been in the market research industry conducting shopping assignments for over fifteen years and have an international reach as to where shopping assignments may be performed. GFK Mystery Shopping is located in New York, New York. They focus on the United States though the larger company is in over 40 countries worldwide. There are a number of assignment types that they offer ranging from wireless telephone shops, nutrition shops, or even restaurant shops.
The number and types of shops can vary depending on your location but they largely do casual dining type mystery shop assignments in the state of Virginia. The range of pay per shop can vary depending on location as the more rural an area is, the more difficult it can be to get shoppers to go there. It often is an out of the way trip for someone to go to such an area.
For casual dining type shops, the pay will usually be in the form of a low fee of $5 and a reimbursement of up to $15 for food reimbursement. The nutrition/health shops will usually have a fee of $15 and a reimbursement amount of $10. The wireless phone mystery shops will be at about $12. There is usually no reimbursement with a wireless phone shop as you are there to inquire but, in most cases, not to actually buy a phone or other item.
GFK Mystery shopping has relatively recently changed their platform for sign up as well as for shopper profiles and for the job board of available assignments to Sassie. You would sign up by applying at their website and clicking the apply icon. This would take you to the sign up page on Sassie. The process is straight forward and would ask questions such as your name, address, phone number, and your social security number. If you make any mistakes, such as missing a box that you are required to fill in, you would be alerted when you tried to submit your application. When you are finished, you would receive a confirmation email to the one you provided.
The reviews for GFK Mystery Shopping on MysteryShopForum are mixed though they appear to be biased more toward the negative. The main compliments were the ease of sign up as well as the very fast pay turn around. They currently pay for most assignments between two and three weeks. The negative reviews ranged from getting way too many new shop emails only to find out that they were the same shops already posted for a shopper’s area, to issues with not being paid or over payment. There were also negative reviews concerning having one’s account deactivated for not taking a new test as well as someone being concerned as to whether all the tests and quizzes needed to do shops with this company are worth the time and effort.
The assignments, such as the casual dining assignments, require you to take a quiz each rotation in order to make sure that shoppers know the main objectives and points of the shop. In order to verify that you went to the assigned location, you usually need to take an external picture (in the case of casual dining assignments) or the location as well as uploading a digital image of the receipt. The report is straight forward and is largely yes or no questions. There is some narrative to the reports as well. If you miss anything when submitting your report, the next screen will tell you that you have a number of “oops” errors and need to correct them before submitting. If it appears you have done everything correctly, the next screen will tell you that you are complete but if you need to go back, this will be the last time you can.
Personal Experience: My personal experience with the company has been a positive one. I, to date, have always been paid within two to three weeks and found initial sign up to be an easy process. I also liked the transition from their old platform to Sassie as now I can see shops out of my area whereas before I had to contact a scheduler directly for this information. The shops that I perform for them are mainly casual dining shops to which I sometimes get bonuses for.
The schedulers have always been accommodating of my needs if I had questions as well as if I needed an extension for special circumstances. My pay has never been docked because I needed an extension. They do not appear to have as many assignments as they have had on their older platform but I enjoy the shops that I do currently perform. The reports, for me have always been of a reasonable length and did not require much in the way of narrative writing as I could click on the yes, no, or not applicable options. I have not been contacted by an editor for the need of extra information for my reports as can sometimes happen with various companies.
The pay I have received, considering the general time, distance, and reporting, has been reasonable. I mainly do casual dining shops and the ability to get paid and reimbursed for my meal gives me more of an excuse to eat out and eat well all while not breaking the bank in the overall scheme of things.