What is Mystery Shopping?
Market research, including mystery shopping, provides information and trusted insight about
client established customer service standards. This information then allows companies to adjust
training and award bonuses that help turn their service vision into a reality. Good customer
service benefits us all! Tools used for mystery shopping assessments range from simple
questionnaires to complete audio and video recordings. Mystery shopping can be used in any
industry, with the most common venues being retail stores, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants,
fast food chains, banks, gas stations, car dealerships, apartments, health clubs and health care
What is a Field Agent?
A Field Agent is an Independent Contractor who is paid to complete an evaluation of a
business or service based on specific criteria, usually anonymously. Field Agents may also
be known as "Mystery Shoppers" or "Secret Shoppers"; however, they may also participate in
revealed projects as well.
While participating in unrevealed projects (mystery shops), Field Agents pose as a regular
customer while performing the evaluation. During revealed projects, the Field Agent may
identify themselves before or after the evaluation, depending on the type of project. After
the project is completed, Field Agents will submit their data through an online evaluation
Does TrendSource charge any fees?
NO, there are no fees to complete work with TrendSource. No reputable mystery shopping
company will charge fees to work for their company. There are purchase requirements for some
projects that are out-of-pocket expenses you must incur, but you will be reimbursed for the
required purchase when the project is completed, reported and verified.
How do I know that TrendSource is a legitimate company?
TrendSource has been a leader and innovator in the industry since 1989. TrendSource is
an ISO Certified Organization and is a founding member of the Mystery Shopping Providers
Association (MSPA). For more information about TrendSource, you can visit
MSPA's website for a list of reputable mystery shopping companies and
Although we are not affiliated with Volition, we do encourage individuals to visit
www.volition.com and enter the mystery shopping forum to read what thousands of Field Agents
have to say about TrendSource.
You can also visit the Better Business Bureau's website to check TrendSource's Better
If I perform projects for TrendSource as an Independent Contractor, can I also do
similar work for other companies?
Yes. It is not a conflict of interest if you are doing work as an Independent Contractor for
other mystery shopping companies. We expect that our Field Agents will not disclose any
TrendSource information to these other companies including TrendSource clients and areas
served. What IS a conflict of interest is when a Field Agent is working as an employee for
another mystery shopping company. Independent contract work is fine. It is only when a Field
Agent is hired on as a permanent employee for another mystery shopping company that there is
a conflict of interest.
How do I get paid? When do I get paid?
TrendSource pays twice a month for all completed and verified work. We offer Direct Deposit
(US Field Agents only) or payment by paper check. We offer PayPal for Canadian and UK Field
How much will I be paid? Do you pay per hour?
We do not pay per hour; we pay per project. Each project payment varies based on
a number of parameters, such as length of execution and project difficulty.
Is mystery shopping part-time or full-time?
Mystery shopping is generally part-time work, but it's up to you how many projects you
pick up. The amount of projects in any given area can vary by program, so the volume of
work can fluctuate. However, we run programs nationwide so there is usually some level of work
in most areas.
What are the benefits of mystery shopping?
Many of our Field Agents have stated that they participate in mystery shopping to help save
for a vacation, pay for groceries, put toward bills, or just have a little extra spending money. In
addition to that, many mystery shop programs focus around customer service or internal training
initiatives so you are helping to ensure that those objectives are in place and better service is
provided to the community as a whole.
How can I find out if there are any available project in my area?
Once you have filled out an application, you will gain access to our applicant website. On that
site, you will be able to view and request any available projects in your area.
Does applying to be a Field Agent mean that I am committed to do work for
No. Our Field Agents are Independent Contractors, and it is up to the individual which
projects they want to pick up and when they want to pick up those projects. Only
when a Field Agent requests and is approved for a specific project is there the expectation
that they will complete it.
How long does it take to become a Field Agent?
There is no specific timeline to become a Field Agent with TrendSource. We engage new
Field Agents on an as-needed basis only, so if you request an project in your area and it is
not picked up by an existing Field Agent, you will have the opportunity to become a Field Agent.
What tools or capabilities will be required of me as a Field Agent with TrendSource?
1) Scanner or digital camera. This will be used to upload your photo ID, receipts, or any
project-relevant information. We do offer some Digital Photo projects which
require a digital camera. You will still qualify for all other programs if you only have a
2) Daily access to internet. After completing and inputting a project, the report goes
through a quality control process, and additional clarification may be needed. If so, an
issue will be created on the project, which is extremely time-sensitive and must be
resolved as soon as possible. It is important that you have daily internet access in order
to check for any emails or issues from TrendSource.
Can I pick up projects in other areas if I am traveling?
Of course! As an applicant or a Field Agent, you can request projects using a City/State
search. This will allow you to find shops in the area to which you are traveling or along a route if
you are driving to a destination.
How do I get started?
You can fill out an application HERE. TrendSource provides as much
opportunity as possible to our existing field agents and only engages new field agents on an as-
needed basis. Once you fill out an application, you will have access to the applicant website,
where you can search for available projects. If an existing agent cannot complete the
project, we will reach out to you!
What if I don't see an answer to my question?
If our FAQ's do not cover everything you need to know, you have two options:
1) Fill out our online application and send us an email.
2) Call us at (619) 718-7467.