Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

From your first assignment to your first check, our FAQ can help you get started.

Becoming a Field Representative

Why should I work with BestMark?

Headquartered near Minneapolis, MN, BestMark is one of the world’s largest mystery shopping, market research and customer experience measurement companies. We partner with clients in a wide range of industries, such as restaurants, retail establishments, banks, auto service operations and casinos to provide feedback regarding the customer experience.

What is a BestMark field representative?

“Field representative” is how we refer to all who perform the following services for BestMark’s clients:

  • Mystery shoppers (a.k.a. “secret shoppers”) pose as customers in order to evaluate the quality of customer service they receive. They will perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product or posing a specific scenario, and then providing critical insights needed for an organization/brand to drive effective change within their business.
  • Intercept interviewers directly gather information from customers as they exit the store. Retailers use the survey results to understand how to improve shopping experiences for their customers.
  • Compliance auditors review adherence to company and/or regulatory guidelines, such as product pricing and placement, employee procedures, data security and more.
  • Panelists participate in moderator-led panel or focus-group discussions that allow respondents to offer their opinions and feelings about products or services.
How do I qualify to become a BestMark field representative?

Successful BestMark field representatives are detail oriented, dedicated to honoring commitments and able to follow detailed instructions, write fact-based reports and meet deadlines. If you’re 18 years of age or older with good written communication skills and full internet access, please complete and submit our free online application form.

How can I benefit from becoming a field representative for BestMark?

There are many benefits to becoming a BestMark field representative, including opportunities to:

  • Earn extra money, free meals or services
  • Help companies improve their customer service
  • Try new businesses and services
  • Get bonuses for referring friends and family to BestMark
After I complete the application, how long will it take to be contacted?

Most field representatives are automatically placed in our system of eligible contractors when their application is submitted. Field representatives who are flagged for manual activation will be contacted within 5-10 business days. When you’re activated in our system, you’ll receive an email with your ShopperID and password.

Are there any fees involved in becoming a field representative for BestMark?

No, BestMark does not require a fee to become a mystery shopper. Reputable mystery shopping companies generally do not charge “membership fees,” and you should be cautious if a company requests an up-front fee to become a shopper.

Some BestMark assignments require the purchase of a meal or a small item based on client specifications. These assignments generally include a reimbursement, which will be listed on each assignment-instructions page.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of assignments I must take each month?

As an independent contractor, we cannot require you to take a minimum number of assignments. The maximum number of assignments you may take in a month varies depending upon client requirements. All evaluation opportunities will be offered on a project-by-project basis. BestMark has no obligation to offer the contractor any minimum number of opportunities, and the contractor has no obligation to accept any minimum number of opportunities that BestMark offers, or any at all.

Compensation

How are BestMark shoppers compensated?

BestMark field representatives are independent contractors who are paid based on the assignments they select. Depending upon the assignment, payment may be a reimbursement for a meal or purchase and/or a cash payment. Our field representatives can choose to be paid by PayPal, direct deposit or gift card, and they are responsible for calculating and paying their own income taxes according to IRS 1099 rules.

After we receive field representatives’ assignments (within the specified timeframe), BestMark staff validate and process payments. If field representatives don’t adhere to all assignment specifications, BestMark reserves the right to withhold all or part of the specified compensation.

The payment process generally takes three to four weeks after assignment completion.

Is mystery shopping considered a job?

No, field representatives are considered independent contractors and perform market research services on behalf of BestMark’s clients. BestMark field representatives, including mystery shoppers, intercept interviewers, compliance auditors and panelists, are independent contractors (with the exception of field representatives who live in the state of Nevada). Some field representatives do an occasional assignment for fun and extra cash, while others select multiple assignments each month. Most field representatives perform assignments for multiple mystery shopping companies.

Once a field representative completes and receives payment for a project/assignment, neither party (BestMark or Contractor) shall have any ongoing contractual duties to the other, until such time as BestMark offers, and field representative contractually agrees to perform another project/assignment.

How and when do I get paid after an assignment is completed?

Payments are processed twice a month. Contractors may choose to be paid via PayPal, direct deposit or gift card.

Assignments

Do I need a specific browser or software to access BestMark's assignments?

BestMark supports all modern browsers. We recommend:

  • Google Chrome 29 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 28 or higher
  • Safari 10.3 or higher
  • Microsoft Edge
How do I know if there are any assignments in my area?

All available assignments are always listed on our website. Once you are in our system, check the My Assignments page regularly — new assignments are added throughout the month. You can also search for assignments in other areas if you want to pick up projects while traveling. Based upon the preferences you specify in your account settings, you can also be informed of assignments by phone, text or email.

Can I complete assignments outside of my local area/state?

As an independent contractor, the distance you travel is completely up to you. BestMark does not reimburse travel expenses, which is why we suggest you request shops in your local area. However, you may perform assignments anywhere you may be traveling.

If you’re interested in areas outside your local state, contact your Field Operations Project Manager to locate assignments in your areas of travel. Please note, however, that client survey deadlines will still apply and you should make prior arrangements to ensure you’ll have access to the internet while out of town.

What type of assignment preparation will I receive?

We believe that communication is a key component to our relationships with our field representatives. Therefore, a Field Operations Project Manager from BestMark will be available to provide you with client requirement details in order for you to successfully perform your assignment. You’ll also receive (via the MSPA website) the specific evaluation criteria that our clients are looking for with each and every assignment, as well as how to properly complete each assignment survey.

How is my assignment evaluated?

Quality assurance editors review and evaluate all assignments. At times you may be contacted by one of our editors for additional information and you can always contact us if you have questions regarding your work. We want to help you do the best work possible for our clients.

How do I request assignments and get them back to BestMark?

As an independent contractor, you may sign up for assignments on our website, via email or phone/SMS. Details about the assignment, location and reimbursement are provided online. Once you take an assignment, you can review the full set of client instructions online.

Are all the surveys completed on BestMark's website?

Yes, all of your surveys will be completed online. Field representatives must have reliable internet access to perform assignments for BestMark. Assignments may be completed with any modern browser on your computer, tablet or smart phone.

How soon is the survey due after completing the assignment?

Typically, surveys are due within 24 hours of the assignment, but there are assignments that have different deadlines per client requirements. Be sure to check the assignment instructions page to see when your completed survey is due.

What if I have assignment-related questions after hours or on weekends?

For any assignments scheduled over a weekend, it’s highly recommended that you print and review your assignment sheets prior to 5 p.m. CST on Friday and call your Field Operations Project Manager with any questions. If you experience technical difficulties outside of BestMark’s standard office hours, you may either leave a message on the toll-free shopper voicemail box or email shops@bestmark.com. We’ll respond to your issues as soon as possible on the following business day.

What happens if I have to cancel an assignment?

We understand that sometimes life throws us curveballs. If this occurs, you can reschedule your assignment on your My Shops page. If you need to cancel your assignment, please email us at shops@bestmark.com.

If necessary, can I take a break from completing assignments for BestMark and still remain a field representative?

Absolutely. As an independent contractor, you’re free to take assignments or choose not to take assignments, depending on your availability.

Submit your Independent Contractor Application Today!

Successful BestMark field representatives are detail-oriented, dedicated to honoring commitments and able to follow detailed client requirements. If you’re 18 years of age or older with good written communication skills and full internet access, please complete and submit our free online application form with BestMark.