Can You Make Good Money as a Mystery Shopper?

Mystery shopping is yet another popular way of making money. In this article we look at various aspects of mystery shopping.

For example, what do you need to get started as a mystery shopper? How much money can you make with it?

Similarly is all mystery shopping jobs genuine or there are some frauds also.

make money mystery shopping

So let us explore about mystery shopping.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Those of you who don’t know about mystery shopping then they must read this paragraph.

Big corporations and companies always need to know what end consumers are thinking about their stores and services that are being offered there.

They need a way to know whether customers are satisfied with the company or not. So they hire mystery shoppers who will shop on their behalf in a given store and send a report about the service back to the company.

As a mystery shopper you have to perform various tasks like buying products, test a service, eating in a restaurant, test drive a car etc.

If a mystery shopper spends money from his or her pocket then he or she will be reimbursed by the company that hired them.

Either mystery shoppers are hired directly by the company or sometimes a third party hires them.

How do You Get Started?

Let me be honest! Being a mystery shopper is not an easy job. Everyone can’t be a mystery shopper and start making money right from day one.

The first challenge would be avoiding scam because most of the mystery shopping jobs are scams. We talk about scams and how to avoid them later in this article.

You have to work with a reputable company that has a good record of paying on time to the mystery shoppers.

Apart from finding reputed company you also need to have certain skills to be a mystery shopper. We talk about this in next paragraph.

In short for getting started you need to avoid scams, find a right company and must have all the necessary skills.

Things Needed to Become a Mystery Shopper

Here are following things that you must have before you think of becoming a mystery shopper.

1. You Need to Collect and Record Accurately

Being mystery shopper is quite a challenge because you have to pay attention to small details.

Companies would like to know every details like how much time you spent in the line or how long it took to greet you.

These are small details that you need to keep record of as a mystery shopper.

2. You Have to be a Good Writer

You can’t relay small details to the company that hired you unless you have at least basic writing skills.

You can’t become a mystery shopper unless can express your complete experience through your writing. You have to convey the right message to the company otherwise the company can’t make right decision.

So you must write well in order to that.

3. Keep Clients Name a Secret

Competition is very tough between companies and they don’t want to lose their loyal customers to each other.

Hence you, as a mystery shopper have to ensure that you keep the clients name a secret and not let other companies to know them.

You will be forbidden to share client’s details.

4. Can’t Shop Anything from Anywhere

In other words nothing is fixed here. You are not going to shop same stuff in a same store each day.

You might have to do certain tasks that you may not want to do. For example you might like to buy a particular product but your company insists you in buying some other stuff.

5. Timing is Very Important

Are you committed to spend so much time as a mystery shopper? Sometimes for a free meal you have to drive 10 miles long then spend money on parking then you wait for the meal.

Is it worth to spend this much of time for a free lunch? You have to decide yourself otherwise mystery shopping could be a rip off.

How Much Money Can You Make Being a Mystery Shopper?

This is very important question for most of you who are serious about mystery shopping.

To be honest keep your expectation low as there is nothing much to be made with mystery shopping.

You can’t make a full time living with mystery shopping however you can make enough money to pay your bills and some spare cash to spend.

For online mystery shops you can easily make $3 to $5 and for in store shops you can make anything from $20 to $100 per assignment.

Online mystery shops are like taking up surveys and takes 10 to 15 minutes to finish. However in store shopping or going to a restaurant can take up to 1 to 2 hours.

However with experience you can earn more.

An average mystery shopper makes $500 to $600 a month.

Who all Can and Can’t Become a Mystery Shopper?

Mystery shopping is not for everyone because you must have certain skills before you get started.

You have to have patience, writing skills and some common sense also.

Moreover you are not going to get rich overnight. Sometimes you have to commit a lot of time for shopping.

If you are not serious then avoid this career.

Mystery Shopping Scams and How to Avoid Them

How do you avoid scams?

First of all if a company is asking money to join as a mystery shopper then the company itself is a scam.

No genuine company will ask you for money.

Moreover if a company is promising you huge amount of money in pay off then don’t trust.

If you are not sure about joining a genuine company then you can join a MSPA or Mystery shopping Providers Association.

Check this link for Global users & this MSPA link for Asia Pacific users.

If you are in a doubt then check whether the company is a member of MSPA or not.

If you are serious about mystery shopping then get certified by MSPA. There is a fee for MSPA certification.

Finally we give you a list of few genuine companies where you can look for mystery shopping job

  1. Best Mark
  2. Experience Exchange
  3. Market Force
  4. Sinclair Customer Metrics
  5. IntelliShop
  6. Volition

Click on the link and visit these websites to find more details.

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Hi, I am Pritam Nagrale. I have been successfully making money online since 2004. I have tried almost all the make money ideas and work from home jobs exist on internet. I know what works and what does not! What I write on my blog is my practical experience. You can find all the legit information on MoneyConnexion that will help you to make money on the side.


  1. I don’t know where on earth you are getting your information, but one (pretty major) part of the “how to become a mystery shopper” process you detail is very incorrect.

    Since I would hate for you to be passing along erroneous information to a would-be mystery shopper, I hope you’ll allow me to clear something up. (And further, I urge you to change your article, because what you describe simply isn’t how it works.)

    What I’m referring to, in particular, is that step where you tell people to “find a company to work for”. It isn’t like that.

    Mystery shoppers are freelancers. What this means, in practice, is that they contract with MULTIPLE companies. Actually, “multiple” is bit of a misnomer as well: As a full-time mystery shopper, I can work with up to maybe 50 different companies per month. I kid you not.

    You don’t find one company to work for. The process is like so:

    You select a job (more commonly referred to as a “shop”) that you would like to do from a list of postings. These postings are usually from a variety of different companies. Sometimes one company will have their own mobile app, but that is generally not the way that smart shoppers work (i.e., they don’t stick with only one company–and they are never employed by a company either). But back to what I was saying…

    The process in general (sometimes it differs but this is vaguely the structure):

    So you select a shop that you might like to do. You then apply for said shop (some are self-assign but that’s more rare, and I won’t go into that).

    Then you wait and see if you were accepted to perform the shop.

    You read the guidelines, etc., and you perform the shop.

    You go back, fill out your questionnaire, and later on, depending on whatever that company’s (or “scheduler’s”) policy is, you get paid.

    What you said about working for a company unfortunately renders a lot of your subsequent advice/comments wrong as well. For example, you say that you might have to do things you don’t want to do, because “your company” asks you to do them. That is NOT TRUE.

    You NEVER have to do anything you don’t want to do. (And again, you don’t work for a “company”.)

    You get to see a summary of what the shop entails prior to applying. You don’t get to see it all, but most times it is enough to know pretty well what you’re getting into (without any major surprises). Depending on the scheduler (or “company”), some summaries are more detailed than others.

    Even after you’ve accepted a shop–and you’ve been approved by the scheduler–you still don’t have to perform the shop if there’s something you’re not comfortable with. At that point you would call or email the scheduler and tell them you have a problem with it. They’re not going to force you to do anything. (And again, you’re not their employee.)

    I am seriously wondering where you got all of this, sorry to say but “crazy” information.

    One thing that legit scheduling/mystery shopping companies STRESS all the time is that you are never, at any point, an “employee” of their company. You are an independent contractor. You sign up for a gig (that’s a contract), and once that contract is finished, you’re done. You may choose to do more jobs with that same company (and I myself have several that I return to again and again, and that I prefer to work with), but that’s up to you. You’re an independent contractor, not an employee. This also means you get paid by the job and not by the hour, or make a salary, in case anyone is wondering.

    I want to go just a step further and explain a bit more about these “companies” or whatnot.

    Most of the companies you, as a mystery shopper, will be working with–or through–are what’s known as “schedulers”. These companies get clients (the stores you’ll be shopping) and talk to the clients about what the client wants to find out. Then, together with the client, they come up with a scenario that they will hire they mystery shoppers to act out.

    These companies are known as Schedulers because, well, they schedule stuff. They may work with one client or many, at any given time. They may work with a client for a week, or for two years. Or they may work with a client for 5 shops, or 5000. Their job, from the mystery shopper’s POV, is to act as a middleman between the client and the shopper. (In reality, they do a lot more than that–and it’s really hard work–but for purposes of keeping things simple, that’s the part of the scheduler’s job that the shopper is concerned with.)

    Please, fix your article. If you want me to explain this more clearly (because I don’t think I’ve done the best job here) feel free to contact me. I cringe when I read info about mystery shopping that is just so patently wrong. I don’t want people to be misinformed about what we do.


  2. hi,
    thanks for sharing information how to make money by using shopping website.
    earning form shopping is slow and steady race.once you started earning with shopping website income will grow as E commerce industry have lot of potential in India.

  3. Yes this is a promising venture as per the prerequisites of the company… being a good writer as well as an orator I am sure I can very well do the job…Patience is a wisdom that u don’t inherit, so I didn’t however I have learnt it in my adversities.
    Yes, this acts as an exilix for a human being…personally as well as professionally..
    I am all se t to go..Best wishes
    Aseem Mishra

  4. I am best for this, have all knowledges of internet & have all qualities which should required…
    So plzz contact my no. 9873091266


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