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Side hustle earning Aussies up to $300 to shop at Aldi and go to the pub: ‘Anyone can do it’

Aussie mums, retirees, uni students, teachers and more are earning cash as mystery shoppers.

Louise Heffernan and Aldi
Mystery shoppers can earn between $20 to $300 per task so it could be a side hustle worth considering. (Source: Supplied/TikTok)

Aussie mystery shoppers have lifted the lid on how they are scoring extra cash simply by shopping at Aldi, taking public transport or having a meal down at the pub. With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing budgets, many Aussies are looking for second jobs and side hustles to boost their income.

Louise Heffernan, owner of mystery shopper business Mystery Management, told Yahoo Finance that Aussies could earn cash by anonymously shopping at a range of stores, like Aldi or Subway, and reporting back on their experience.

Along with mystery shopping, there is also ‘mystery dining’ where Aussies can be paid and score a free meal to eat at certain restaurants and pubs, along with ‘mystery riding’ where they report on their experience as a passenger on public transport, including on buses and ferries.

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“There’s a whole heap of different things and anyone can do it. It’s a good way to make extra money,” Heffernan said.

Mystery Management currently has more than 2,000 Aussies across the country who work as mystery shoppers. While a couple of people do it as a full-time gig, for the majority it is a side hustle.

“So we’ve got school teachers, police officers, uni students, stay-at-home mums, retirees, you name it, they work for us,” she said.

“Anybody can be a mystery shopper. Our oldest mystery shopper was 81 and she just recently retired last month.”

Heffernan said tasks like shopping at Aldi can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes, followed by 5 to 10 minutes to do the report. Public transport tasks will depend on the specific journey, while food and dining tasks will be the duration of the meal.

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Mystery shoppers are assigned specific jobs to do at certain stores or establishments. They then report back on their experience including things like customer service and the cleanliness of the store.

Every job will be a bit different depending on what the company is after. For example, mystery shoppers at Aldi are currently tasked with buying one alcoholic item and talking to a team member on the floor.

“If you are going to Subway, you need to buy a sandwich and see if they upsell to a cookie or a bottle of water,” Heffernan told Yahoo Finance.

“If you’re going to a pub and ordering a pub meal, are they upselling garlic bread or sides? When you go to the bar and order a glass of wine, are they offering you a premium glass?”

It depends on the specific task you complete.

“You can earn as little as $20 to as much as $300. It does vary,” Heffernan said, noting that public transport tasks often paid more.

If a shopper needs to make a purchase, they will be reimbursed for this and can keep the item. If they are doing a dining task, they’ll get to eat their meal for free.

“You’re paid by the task. Anybody that works for us as a contractor can supply their ABN or a statement of supplier and you can do this as a hobby,” Heffernan said.

There are a range of different mystery shopper agencies you can apply for online.

Once you are approved, most companies have a ‘Jobs Board’ and if you meet their criteria, you can apply for the ones you want to complete.

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