Have you had an interest in mystery shopping? It’s a real thing! I’ve done it and I’ve had family members do it. It’s so cool because it’s actually fun and you get paid for it! Think about it, getting paid to shop. It’s the best opportunity ever. You’ll learn 8 legit companies to make money mystery shopping, along with best practices and tips for not getting scammed. Ready? Here we go!
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What’s Mystery Shopping?
Companies want to know how their employees perform, first impressions, etc. So, they employ mystery shopping where shoppers are paid to shop at the company’s establishment. This can be a restaurant, a retail store, etc. Have you seen the TV show, Undercover Boss? It’s kind of like that.
How it Works?
A mystery shopper will visit a store either in person, online, via video, or phone and follow the shop instructions which might consist of asking store personnel certain questions, waiting to see how long it takes before staff ask if you need help, ask if you were greeted, impressions about the cleanliness, etc. There’s more to it than you might think.
After you complete your shop, you write your feedback, turn in video (where required), etc. Then, you submit and get paid. Easy!
Check out these 8 legit mystery shopping companies that you can started shopping with today:
BestMark’s clients are restaurants, financial institutions, casinos, retail stores, and more. Their ideal mystery shopper is a regular person who fits into their target market. To be successful, you want to have great attention to detail and follow the instructions correctly. The traits they seek in their shoppers are:
- Effective, concise communication
- Adherence to deadlines
- Pay attention to detail
Compensation varies according to the shop job but can include cash compensation, reimbursement for dollars spent or a combination of the two. This means you can shop for free, get paid to shop, both, or in some combination. Pretty cool, huh? To apply, click here
Their focus is on customer satisfaction and they offer shops in these industries:
- Convenience store and gas station
- Grocery and drug
- Retail banking and financial services
- Movie theater and motion picture studios
MarketForce even have a mobile app! The app is one of the things I love most about MarketForce. You can actually complete shops on the go! That means if you’re out and about, you can access to app to see what shops are available for you to work! Check out the app here:
You’re going to love the Intell-Shop site for its streamlined and user-friendly navigation. They work in various industries including furniture, gift stores, museums, online stores and more. Of all the mystery shop sites visited, Intelli-Shop seems to work with the most broad of categories.
Their FAQ section is designed specifically for shoppers and answers questions you might have about finding and applying for opportunities, preparing for a shop, and more. The shops available are on location, on a website, or by phone.
After you sign up, apply for and work a mystery shop, payment is sent via PayPal approximately 30 days after the last day of the month that your shop was completed in. Pay dates normally fall on the 20th of the month. Wanna join? Apply here.
At Sinclair Consumer Metrics, they offer on-site, video, and telephone mystery shopping in these industries:
- Convenience store
- Quick service restaurant
Join their program here.
#5.) About Face
You can sign up to be a shopper pretty easily right here.
Once you sign up, you are notified of opportunities via email based on proximity to your zip code. There is an opportunity to learn about advance notice of shops, by joining their Facebook page and/or following AboutFace on Twitter.
The shop rate (what you’ll be paid) varies from client to client and you receive payment 45 days after shop submission.
To be successful as a mystery shopper with AboutFace, you must:
- Have reliable transporation
- Access to computer and ability to check-in often
- Telephone and writing skills
- Ability to remain neutral when describing your experience
- Deadline driven
If you’re looking for a scam-free, straightforward mystery shop company, AboutFace is for you!
#6.) GFK Mystery Shopping
You will find a simple, navigation-friendly site with an application link right on the homepage. GFK uses the power of mystery shopping to help clients grow brand equity, increase revenues, and create a positive customer experience. You’ll love reading their success stories. Check them out if you’d like to be a mystery shopper.
#7.) Secret Shopper
You can earn $12-$25 per shop at Secret Shopper as a mystery shopper. Payment is made via check and paid out on the 20th of each month. At Secret Shopper they’re looking for shoppers that are 18 years old or older, reliable, dependable, access to a computer, and access to a digital camera and scanner.
After you apply, you will have access to shops in your area available to be worked. They also have a mobile app where you can search and self-assign shops, get directions, and fill out reports. Interested? Sign up to get started.
#8.) Second to None
Second to None has the most straightforward sign up process of all the companies on this list! They boast a super quick 30 second application process with instant access to their national job board of mystery shopping assignments. Once registered with Second to None, you’ll receive a custom list of open jobs every Tuesday! Sign up here to join!
How to Not Get Scammed
You may have heard of mystery shop scams. It’s an industry that can be hit by scams unfortunately. It seems like an easy opportunity to make money and so people take advantage of that and scam shoppers. Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:
- Never pay money to become a mystery shopper
- Never pay for mystery shopping training, certification, etc.
- Be wary of unsolicited emails you receive about mystery shopping, especially if it does not come from a company email (non-company emails include emails with @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.)
- Be suspicious if communication is unprofessional and/or written with poor grammar, spelling, etc.
- Practice common sense: if you think an opportunity is a scam, avoid it
If you have a gut feeling that something is off, go with it, and move onto the next company.
There you have it, 8 legit mystery shop companies that you can join to earn some extra income. Mystery shopping is fun and very rewarding. I did it a few shops several years ago, earning around $25/shop and it was a great experience. I know you’ll love it?
Do you have experience with mystery shopping? Share your thoughts down below in comments!
And check out some of our other popular articles to learn how to make more money work from home:
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