You may ask yourself if it is worth it to get your mystery shopping certification through the MSPA (The Mystery Shopping Provider Association).
The MSPA offers their gold and silver mystery shopping certifications to shoppers as an option for those shoppers who
wish to be more educated about the ins and outs of mystery shopping.
Here are some quick facts about getting certified as a mystery shopper:
Mystery shopper certification is not required to be able to work
with MSPA certified companies.
You must be a silver certified shopper before you can become a gold certified shopper.
Once certified, you will receive a certificate of completion from the MSPA as well as a certification number that you can use when applying to different mystery shop companies.
If you are already registered with shop companies, you can e-mail them and update them on your new mystery shopper certification status.
Since mystery shopping certification is not required in order to be a shopper, you may ask yourself if it is worth it to get certified.
Currently, there are two certifications that can be received through the MSPA: the Silver and Gold certifications.
Both of these are considered to make a mystery shopper more attractive to many shop companies because it shows that the shopper may be more educated when it comes to the ins and outs of mystery shopping, as well as more serious (perhaps) about following through with completing the shop.
So, the question is, how important is mystery shopping certification and will it be a detriment to you if you decide not to get certified?
First, let's take a look at the two types of certifications available:
Silver certification costs $15.00 and can be obtained only through the MSPA's website.
It covers basic information on how to be a good mystery shopper and may be well worth the time and money spent for what you get in return.
And what do you get in return?
Most times, if a mystery shop company has to decide between a silver/gold certified shopper and a non certified shopper, they will choose a certified shopper because they know they have a better shot at getting that shop completed. So you get to "cut in line" so to speak, in front of other potential shoppers and...
You may also be considered more often for the better paying shops.
In the past, the MSPA only offered Gold Certification courses in certain cites several times a year.
So, if you were lucky enough to have the seminar located in your city, then the only expense you would have would be the cost of the seminar. Many people, however, were not that lucky and would have to travel a great distance to attend and receive their gold certification.
Luckily for all of us just starting out on this, the MSPA now offers Gold certification online!
The class offered is $99.00 and can take several days to complete because the information and training provided is more advanced.
So, is gold certification worth it?
The consensus is that if you are planning on really pursuing mystery shopping and are going after those higher paying shops, then getting gold certified is worth it.
For those of you that are looking to pursue mystery shopping occasionally, you may want to look into the silver certification because again, it will give you an edge above other shoppers for just the cost of one hour of your time and $15.00 out of pocket.
As I mentioned earlier, you must be a silver certified shopper before you can test to be a gold certified shopper.
I always recommend starting out and staying with the silver certification for a while before you go for the gold certification.
In this way, you can see if mystery shopping is something that you enjoy and wish to do more often!
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