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Curious about mystery shopper jobs for money?
You’ve come to the right place!
Mystery shopping is an awesome way to earn money while you shop. You get to do things like go undercover at stores, ask questions and take notes during your shopping experience. And there are some great perks when you become a mystery shopper which we’ll discuss below.
We’re often discouraged from spending too much money, AKA retail therapy, because it can become an unhealthy addiction. But, when you’re a mystery shopper, you get paid to shop and help companies out, which is a big bonus!
Mystery shoppers can score anything from free food to extra money when they work for a mystery shopping company. And the great news is that there are usually plenty of positions that need filling.
After researching companies and reading reviews about mystery shopping, it turns out to be a legitimate and fantastic side hustle. Especially if you’re after some extra work in your spare time, either after work or a job for the weekend.
If you’re not a fan of shopping, then you can look at other side hustles like dog sitting, selling crafts online or completing daily tasks for cash. Just to name a few!
But if you’re a shopping enthusiast and love the idea of undercover work and providing valuable feedback to companies, then read on!
PIN THIS: I’ll continue to update this post so be sure to pin this and save it to your relevant Pinterest boards. Then you’ll be able to refer back to this post and learn all about how to make money as a mystery shopper and find the best mystery shopper jobs!
WHAT IS MYSTERY SHOPPING?
Mystery shoppers are also known as secret shoppers, or evaluators. Their job is to secretly note down what’s happening in a retailer or company’s store. Things like customer service, shop presentation and cleanliness are some of the things mystery shoppers take note of.
A mystery shopper will write up a report on their shopping experience in detail, then the company pays them for their job.
Retailers want to make sure things are running smoothly and that shoppers have a good experience in their store. So, they hire mystery shoppers to record their shopping experience and report back to them.
This is an effective way for retailers to see what’s going on in their stores in a real and authentic way. Chances are, employees would act differently if they knew they were being evaluated! So mystery shoppers are a good way to get a legitimate store evaluation.
Mystery shoppers are typically asked to do the following things:
- Travel to and visit assigned store locations
- Observe the store’s inside setup
- Ask questions about a product
- Purchase items
- Write up a detailed report
- Save all purchased items’ receipts
- Time record the hours of work spent
HOW MUCH MONEY DO MYSTERY SHOPPERS MAKE?
Good question! This will depend on the company you work for as well as the number of mystery shopper jobs you complete.
But the average weekly pay for a mystery shopper, according to ZipRecruiter, is around $967 a week. Equivalent to $24 per hour.
Being able to earn almost $1K a week would make a world of difference to many people, particularly as a side gig! And even if you earned an extra $200 a week doing mystery shopping, that’s still a great income boost.
It’s also a pretty easy job to get into. However some companies do require background checks before they will hire you.
HOW DO YOU GET STARTED AS A MYSTERY SHOPPER?
To get started with finding mystery shopper jobs, scoping out reputable and dedicated companies is a good place to start (more on that below). But you can also check an online job site like Indeed.com.
Once you’ve applied and your application is approved, you then log into your account and select the jobs you’d like to do. You’ll be provided with all the instructions needed for the job, and once you’ve completed the shop, you’ll be required to complete the feedback.
Some companies pay you via PayPal, but a lot of them will mail you a check at the end of the month.
Most mystery shopping companies require you to be 18 years or older to work with them. And for any jobs involving alcohol, you will need to be at least 21 years. Some assignments may also require a particular age range for that particular job.
Many mystery shopper jobs will also require you to have reliable transportation.
HOW TO AVOID MYSTERY SHOPPING SCAMS
It’s important to be alert and aware for any mystery shopper job scams. Because unfortunately, they’re out there, alive and well. And this is why it’s important to work with legitimate companies that have happy employee reviews online.
If a company ever asks you to pay them before you work, this is a big red flag! No legitimate company out there will ask you for payment to work for them. So if you come across this online, quickly leave their website and never give out any personal details.
As a general rule, if a company claims to offer huge pay outs and wants you to quickly sign up without much thought, run the opposite direction. They are usually preying on people who are desperate to earn money quickly.
Always complete thorough research before committing to working with any company. This includes reading reviews, checking out websites and finding the legitimate companies who will pay you for your work. It may seem like a drag having to do this but it can save you from any shady businesses ready to take you for a ride.
Important to note! One last thing to be aware of is that a lot of legitimate companies have impersonations of them. This means they will use the same name, content and other information of the legitimate company. Thereby confusing and scamming people who are unaware of the imposter. Just another thing to be careful of and watch out for!
Still unsure? You can visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) which is a trade organization that offers resources for secret shopping companies, as well as guidelines for people who are interested in doing this type of work.
BEST MYSTERY SHOPPING COMPANIES
1. SECOND TO NONE
Second To None has been helping brands for 30+ years and have over 500,000 mystery shoppers across the US and Canada. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, making them one of the leading customer experience firms in North America.
Some of the biggest names that Second To None work with are Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Under Armour, BP and Citi. Payments are made via PayPal and direct deposit.
To get started, you’ll need to fill out an application on their website which is quick and straightforward. Once approved, you can check out their job board of assignments and start requesting mystery shopper jobs to suit your schedule. Simples!
Some of Second To None’s mystery shopping opportunities include retail and e-commerce, restaurants, financial services, healthcare, consumer products and services, groceries, fast casual dining, gas stations, and convenience stores. Plenty of variety here!
Second To None have some great reviews and most shoppers seem happy with their job experiences.
2. SECRET SHOPPER
Secret Shopper is another highly rated mystery shopping company that pays between $15 and $25 for most jobs.
Payments are made on the 20th of every month by check (for domestic shoppers) and securely by PayPal for international shoppers.
One thing you will definitely need to watch out for are scammers claiming to be this company! There have been reports of fake checks sent out under the guise of a “secret shopping job”. So make sure that any checks you receive corresponds with the work you’ve completed. Checks are sent out for the previous month’s work.
Previous experience isn’t required here, however they are looking for shoppers who are reliable, detail-oriented and who have excellent communication skills.
Some of the jobs that you can find at Secret Shopper are:
- Website evaluations
- Customer experience
- Online surveys
- Competitor analysis
- Reward programs
- And a ton more!
Overall, Secret Shopper is a great option for new mystery shoppers as they’ve also got a proven track record with Better Business Bureau.
3. MARKET FORCE
If you like the sound of getting paid to shop, eat or play, Market Force has it all!
Market Force is a widely known company in the mystery shopping industry and they’ve been in the business for over 20 years. Their mystery shoppers have completed over 100,000 jobs! Market Force is also proud to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Now, lets take a look at the main categories of mystery shopping with Market Force:
On-Site Mystery Shops – This means you visit stores in person, taking notes and completing tasks ready to report later on. You will be taking note on things like first impressions, employee knowledge and friendliness, product displays and pricing, just to name a few.
Website Mystery Shops – In this technology age we live in, having a website that provides users with a positive experience is very important. Businesses want their websites to be just as good as their physical stores. So, companies want mystery shoppers to look for things like user experience, product search, customer follow-up, parcel return, form submission and many other things. The awesome thing about these jobs are you don’t even need to leave the house! They can be completed from the comfort of home.
App/Mobile Mystery Shops – As you probably know, many businesses have their own apps to download on smart devices for their customers to use. These jobs require you to check the app experience, functionality, chat function, transparency, social connections etc.
Theatre Mystery Shops – Getting paid to watch movies and test out snacks sounds way too good to be true! But with Market Force’s theatre mystery shops, that’s exactly what they want you to do! They will require you to check things like app experiences, pre-purchase of tickets, movie availability, snack variety, quality and value, screen quality, sound quality, seating comfort and the like.
Many brands and businesses who want to improve their customer experience and reputation call on IntelliShop to help them achieve this.
IntelliShop is a bit different to other mystery shopping companies I’ve listed in this post, as they are quite diverse with the industries they serve. They’ve offered their services to a broad range of industries, from agencies to healthcare.
Being a mystery shopper with IntelliShop opens the door to trying new experiences, products and services. Your jobs can be quite different to each other, keeping things interesting and never a dull moment!
5. SINCLAIR CUSTOMER METRICS
Sinclair has been in operation since 1987. And they’ve helped many companies better their customer service and increase their customer satisfaction. The fact they’ve been in the business for so long proves their dedication to helping their customers.
After a deeper look on what they have to offer, their main mystery shopping jobs include the following:
On-Site Mystery Shopping
These jobs require you to look at conditions, behaviors and processes a customer goes through during a transaction. This means that you, as a mystery shopper, would take notes of what you liked and disliked about the customer experience.
These may also include an audit-like approach where you measure a store’s compliance with things like checking for correct product placement, weight and temperature. And you may be required to take digital photos in these instances.
Telephone Mystery Shopping
These jobs require you to assess an organization’s telecommunication skills. So, you would take notes of the representative’s tone, knowledge and their willingness of helping out a customer.
Working for Sinclair as a mystery shopper involves visiting restaurants, retailers, banks, auto dealerships and a lot more. So if this is something that interests you, then it’s worth applying to work as a mystery shopper with this company.
One downside to completing mystery shopper jobs with Sinclair is that they can be a bit slow with payment. So you may be waiting up to two months for the cash.
AboutFace’s slogan is what a mystery shopper’s dreams are made of!
Shop, Get Paid, Repeat.
AboutFace has 20+ years of industry experience and are another A+ rated company with Better Business Bureau. They pride themselves on this high rating and consider themselves one of the top leading customer experience firms.
Some of the benefits of working with AboutFace are:
- They have local jobs in all 50 states and Canada, and occasionally other parts of the world.
- They love and value their shoppers and pay 15% more than the industry standard.
- They have areas you can branch out to outside of mystery shopping. Things like: field researcher, survey panelist, focus group participation, product demonstrator are all extra jobs you can do.
- Flexibility and control of your own schedule.
There’s a huge variety of jobs with AboutFace so you won’t be short of interesting jobs to complete.
AboutFace pays via PayPal 30-45 days after job completion. You can read their very handy FAQ section here for more info.
7. ELITE CXS
Elite CXS is a smaller, veteran-owned and award-winning mystery shopping company.
This company has partnered with big brands such as Porsche, T-Mobile and Gold’s Gym. Jobs will vary by region across the US but you can expect jobs in: Property Management, New Home, Real Estate, Senior Living, Retail, Restaurants, Car Wash/Automotive, Education, Hotels, Cruise Lines, Packing & Moving, Self Storage and Marinas. As you can see they have quite an extensive category list!
They pay via PayPal once a month and tend to have some higher paying jobs than their rivals.
If you’re interested in finding mystery shopper jobs with Elite CXS, their application process is basic with quick and easy questions for you to get started.
8. SHOPPER’S VIEW
Shopper’s View is a Michigan based business that has been around for almost 30 years. They’re another A+ rated company with Better Business Bureau and shoppers love that they make twice a month payments via PayPal.
Some of the jobs you can find at Shopper’s View are in the Healthcare, Banking/Financial, Retail, and Restaurants categories. However, this company doesn’t seem to have quite as many jobs on offer compared to others in the industry.
It’s pretty cool that they make payments twice a month, but this is pretty pointless if you can’t get jobs in the first place. I still thought the company was worth mentioning, and hopefully in future they will have more jobs on offer.
9. PERCEPTION STRATEGIES
Perception Strategies is a company that specializes in the healthcare sector.
They help their clients to better understand their patient experience and offering of services. It’s through their research that they can discover whether a client’s marketing, training and communication is effective or not and what they can do to improve.
This company is an older business (from 1998) that offers mystery shopping. They have managed to conduct over 300,000 healthcare mystery shops over the years.
Your job here is to get unbiased data and information for clients. You will be asked to look into the following aspects of a business or company:
- Process shops
- In-person shops
- Competitor calls
- Observation shops
- Customer service calls
- Price transparency calls
- Customized appointment calls
One of the cool things about these processes is that almost anyone can do them. They can even be done at home or by visiting a clinic as a patient!
So if you’re interested in learning more about mystery shopper jobs with Perception Strategies, consider applying with them to see if they have jobs on offer in your local area.
BEST TIPS TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL MYSTERY SHOPPER!
COMPLETE JOBS ON TIME
It’s good practice to complete jobs on time, so you get paid for your time. Mystery shopping companies can withhold payment if a task was either incomplete or not completed on time. So make sure you’re setting good practices for yourself!
READ JOB DESCRIPTIONS THOROUGHLY
Make sure you read the jobs on offer thoroughly, so you understand exactly what’s required of you. This will also help you prepare for and complete the job thoroughly and efficiently.
PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Take thorough notes and be meticulous when completing a job so you can complete the data carefully and effectively. Listen, watch and observe when you’re completing a job, particularly at on-site places.
STAY ORGANIZED AND FOCUSED
Hold on to all receipts, business cards and any other items you need to submit to get reimbursed and paid for the job you completed. Pay attention to deadlines so you don’t miss anything. Using a calendar for reminders will be very helpful here.
Mystery shopping can be a fantastic way to earn some extra cash. But you should treat these opportunities like any other job. Especially because you want to get paid for the work you complete. So be professional, follow the rules and pay attention to detail.
You’ll be a seasoned mystery shopper in no time!
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