Are you too old to be a mystery shoppper?

Mystery shopping is the ideal job for many people, including retirees. With many jobs suited for retirees, but most require that you work a set number of hours each week and commit yourself to being available to work on a regular basis. As a retiree, however, you want the freedom and flexibility to work when you need or want to, rather than have someone else tell you when you must work. So mystery shopping is a wonderful opportunity for retirees to earn some extra cash while still enjoying their freedom from a regular commitment as a member of the workforce.

Mystery shopping may be suitable for retirees, but are retirees suited for mystery shopping? Many older mystery shoppers have been vocal in announcing their beliefs that there is age discrimination in the industry, which makes many retirees wary about entering into the mystery shopping world. So is there actually an age when you are simply too old to be a mystery shopper?

The Assignments. Mystery shopping assignments in general are geared towards anyone that is of age to be a consumer and old enough to work. So everyone from working age through very advanced years can find work as a mystery shopper. However, many assignments will specify that the mystery shopper must fit the business’s typical client profile, and this typically includes an age range. Some stores will target very young consumers, under 25 years old. Others will target middle aged consumers, and some will target retirement age individuals. It is common knowledge that younger and middle aged adults are the largest consumer base, and for this reason most stores and restaurants target their business towards them. This is also the reason why many mystery shopping assignments are geared toward or require a mystery shopper in a younger age range.

Opportunities for Retirees. While some assignments do specify that a mystery shopper must fall within a certain age range, many assignments do not specify an age range at all. These assignments, including those for grocery stores, movie theaters, gas stations, and more, are all well-suited for mystery shoppers of any age. These assignments are also very abundant in most areas, so typically you won’t have any trouble locating these types of assignments to work on.

Expand Your Horizons. While some assignments will specify an age range for the mystery shopper, this may not be a hard and fast rule. If you notice that a particular assignment has been sitting on the job boards for some time and you are interested in the assignment, it never hurts to ask the provider if you can have a shot at it. If the assignment is for a specialty store where older adults may not be the store’s target clientele, such as a toy store, a lingerie store, or another store of this nature, you may need to assume a role during your site visit. For instance, when you enter a lingerie store, you may have a story of buying a gift for your engaged daughter to wear on her wedding night. Be sure to run your story by your provider when you ask for the assignment.

While older adults may be restricted from working on some mystery shopping assignments, there are more than plenty of other assignments that are suitable for mystery shoppers of all ages. Be sure to pay attention to age requirements when you request an assignment, regardless of what your current age is.