Mystery Shopping: The New Way to Make Money?

(Last Updated On: November 10, 2022)
Mystery Shopping

People are finding mystery shopping a great way to make extra money. It is when companies hire individuals to pose as customers to evaluate the quality of service they receive. This can help you make extra cash and receive free stuff. 

What Is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is a new way to make money. It involves going to stores or businesses and pretending to be a customer. The mystery shopper then evaluates the store or business based on specific criteria. Mystery shopping might be an excellent way to get additional money, but you need to know what to expect. 

First, you will need to be able to act like a regular customer. This means being able to ask questions and act interested in the products or services that the store or business offers. Second, you will need to be able to take good notes and remember details. This is important because you will need to report your experience later. Finally, before accepting any assignments, you should read the mystery shopping guidelines carefully.

The History Of Mystery Shopping

In the early days of mystery shopping, people were paid to provide detailed reports of their experiences in stores. Today, mystery shoppers are more likely to be hired to simply provide feedback on their overall experience.

Despite its relatively short history, mystery shopping has come a long way. It was first introduced in the 1930s to measure employee performance in restaurants and hotels. In the 1940s, it also began to be used in retail settings.

Today, mystery shopping is a popular way for companies to gather customer feedback. It can be used to evaluate everything from customer service to product quality. And it’s not just big businesses using mystery shoppers – small businesses are also beginning to see the value in this type of feedback.

Best Mystery Shopping Sites That Pay

If you need extra cash, try mystery shopping. It’s a flexible gig you can do on your own time. 

One of the great things about mystery shopping is that it’s a relatively easy way to make money. You don’t need special skills or training, and you can often do it on your own schedule. You should find a mystery shopping company that matches your needs. 

The more reputable mystery shopping companies should have a positive reputation. Before you sign up with any company, though, be sure to do your research. You don’t want to lose time and money on a scam. It’s also important to check the company out with your local Better Business Bureau.

If you’re using mystery shopping to supplement your income, making $25 per assignment is acceptable. You can negotiate a higher rate if you do well on your first few assignments. It probably could be more realistic if you’re hoping to make a living at it.

Some people are skeptical when they hear about what I’m doing. I’ve also had to overcome my doubts about whether it’s real. It took a lot of research and trial and error to get me here, but I’m so glad I decided to try it. This is a terrific way to make money and get out of the house. I hope this helps you to jump-start your own mystery shopping career! Sign up for mystery shopping companies. 

1. A Closer Look. Size: 11–50 employees. A Closer Look is a company that has been around since 1994. It helps clients measure and analyze their customers’ experiences. The company works with clients in various fields, including restaurants, hotels, health and wellness, retail, senior living, and more. Among these analytical services are mystery shopping, market research, and the management of customer surveys. Mystery shoppers often go to stores, restaurants, and motels to do shopping.

2. Marketforce. Size: 500–1,000 employees. Marketforce is a company that has been around since 1972. It offers services for customer experience management, analytics, and reporting. In 2005, Marketforce founded Marketforce Information, a place where mystery shoppers can work for different clients. Mystery shoppers can keep track of their work through the company’s data technology, such as a shopper app.

3. Perception Strategies. Size: 2–10 employees. Perception Strategies has been in business since 1998. Its primary focus is on the healthcare industry. It researches how customers and patients feel, including mystery shopping studies. A lot of the work that mystery shoppers do can be done on-site at clinics, hospitals, outpatient service providers, or other care centers. However, they can also do their jobs online or over the phone.

4. BestMark. BestMark is a market research company that has been around since 1986. It focuses on mystery shopping and other ways to measure the customer experience. Size: 51–200 employees. BestMark is a big mystery shopping company that works with clients in various fields. Some places that use it are restaurants, stores, banks, auto repair shops, casinos, and more.

5. Confero. Size: 51–200 employees. Confero is a company that has been around since 1986 and researches how customers feel about different companies. It offers in-person and online mystery shopping, competitive studies, customer surveys, brand support, and audits to ensure businesses follow the rules. Using Confero’s platforms and apps for mystery shopping, shoppers can do jobs in person, online, or over the phone.

6. Second to None. Second to None is a market research company that has been around since 1989. It offers tools, measures, and analytics about how customers and employees feel. Size: 50–200 employees. Its services are used in the retail, restaurant, health care, financial services, education, and government sectors. Second to None is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and hires and does mystery shopping for people in the United States and Canada.

7. Yardi Systems Inc. Size: 5,000–10,000 employees. Yardi Systems Inc. is a software company that has been around since 1982 and specializes in property management technology. Yardi Matrix, its real estate management brand, gives owners, investors, developers, and other real estate professionals information about their properties. Mystery shoppers pose as possible renters and talk to property managers over the phone to find out about housing complexes or buildings.

8. Call Center QA. Size: 2 to 10 workers. Call Center QA is a customer experience analytics company that has been around since 2014. They focus on how well their clients’ call centers are doing. This company’s “mystery shoppers” can call centers and give detailed summaries of their interactions with customer support. This helps clients collect and analyze data about how well their call centers are doing. Call Center QA hires mystery phone shoppers from all over the United States. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

9. Sinclair Customer Metrics. Size: 11–50 employees. Sinclair Customer Metrics is a customer measurement and analytics company that has been in business since 1987 and is based in San Antonio, Texas. Some of the services it offers are tools and measures for customer service, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. Mystery shoppers can do their jobs in person and over the phone in the U.S. and abroad.

10. GAPbuster Worldwide. Size: 51–200 employees. SonataGBW, the GAPbuster Worldwide group, started this company in 1994. It offers customer experience software, measurement services, and analysis, among other things. Even though the company’s headquarters are in Melbourne, Australia, it offers online, in-person, and phone-based mystery shopping jobs worldwide.

How Mystery Shopping Works

With the rise of the internet, a new way to make money has surfaced: mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is when companies hire individuals to pose as customers to gather information about a particular service or product.

So how does one go about becoming a mystery shopper? First, you must find a reputable company that hires mystery shoppers. Once you find a company, you must complete an application and pass a background check.

Once you are approved, the company will send you assignments via email. The email will include all the necessary information, such as where you need to go and what you need to do. For example, you may be asked to order a dish in a restaurant. After completing the assignment, you must complete a report detailing your experience.

1. Sign up with a mystery shopping company. They will provide you with a list of companies to visit and the type of service you need to evaluate. The companies will provide you with a list of stores to visit and the types of services to assess. Many of these assignments require you to purchase an item or service to complete the assignment. Some companies may pay for your purchases, while others will ask you to use your own money

2. Evaluate the products or services you have purchased. After you purchase an item or service, the company will provide you with an evaluation form that asks specific questions about your experience. You will rate the company on specific items, including price, quality of merchandise or service, and customer service. You will also be asked to provide comments about your experience.

3. Submit your evaluation form to the company or the representative supervising you.

4. Prepare your final report. When you have completed this exercise, you will need to prepare a written report to be sent to your company. Your company will provide you with a copy of the report they prepared. This report will include customer satisfaction, complaints, and suggestions. You will need to compare your findings to their findings and point out any discrepancies that you may have found. Your report should be approximately four pages in length.

Sample Reporting

Thank you for participating in this study as a mystery shopper for XXXXXXX, Inc., one of the largest retail stores in the country. As an employee of XXXXXXX, Inc., you are an important part of our company. Your personal satisfaction is important to us, and your sufficiency as a mystery shopper is equally important.

This report aims to collect information on the quality of service received at XXXXXXX, Inc. by its customers. You must understand the purpose of this report and how it will be used. The information collected will only be used to improve customer service at XXXXXXX, Inc. You must provide your name and telephone number to receive payment for your services.

However, your name and telephone number will not be used other than to verify the report’s accuracy. Your personal information will be kept confidential. The information collected in this report will only be used by XXXXXXX, Inc. management to improve service quality and customer satisfaction.

Thank you for your assistance in this important project.



The Benefits Of Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is a fun and easy way to make money. The best mystery shopping sites will offer a variety of assignments, and they will pay you well for each assignment you complete.

You can mystery shop at your favorite stores and restaurants from home. You can even get paid for your opinion about a product or service, and you can use that money to buy the product or service.

The Downside Of Mystery Shopping

While most mystery shopping assignments go off without a hitch, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before taking on such a gig. Though mystery shopping may seem fun and easy to make extra cash, the gig has some downsides.

 First, mystery shoppers are typically only paid for their time after they have completed their assignment and submitted a detailed report. This means they will only get paid if a mystery shopper is assigned to visit a store and the store is closed or needs help finding what they are looking for. 

In addition, many mystery shopping companies require shoppers to pay for their purchases upfront and then be reimbursed later, which can be a hassle.

Finally, some shoppers have complained of being treated rudely by employees who know they are being evaluated.

Mystery Shopping Success

When you become a part of the mystery shopping world, there are several things you will have to do to maintain your status as a mystery shopper. One of the most essential things in mystery shopping is note-taking. You will be required by the company you are shopping for to take detailed notes about the establishment you have visited.

It is wise to take these notes immediately upon returning to your car. This will let you have fresh information and details in your mind. Still, if you wait until you get home, you could forget various information that was needed by the company.

Another thing to remember is that you should never attempt to take notes while shopping. This could cause someone to spot you and “get caught.” Many companies will refuse to pay anyone caught in mystery shopping. 

Once you have taken notes, you should keep a copy of them safe. The notes will allow you to look at your notes and answer them accurately. The mystery shopping company will occasionally return to you to ask other questions about your experience.

Mystery shopping can earn you good money, the amount will be determined by the particular job, where you live, and the type of shop you will visit. Sometimes your mystery shopping experience will be paid for (expenses). Other times reimbursement will be less than for mystery shopping jobs. 

Typically, a retail store job will pay you anywhere from $10 to $30 a shop, depending on the type of store you visit.

A fast food job will pay between $5 to $15 with a meal allowance of around $5.

For a casual dining job, you will typically receive between $15 and $30, depending on the establishment, with a meal allowance of $15 to $20.

Grocery stores can earn between $15 and $30 with an allowance of around $5 to $8. The grocery store jobs will likely have a shopping list specific to what you should get during the mystery shopping experience.


Mystery shopping lets you buy and eat out for pay. It’s a fun and easy way to make extra money and a great way to help businesses improve their customer service. Mystery shopping is an excellent option if you’re looking for a flexible side gig.


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