October 28, 2016
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Mystery Shopping
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Mystery shopping programs can offer you a simple and fun way to earn money. Companies pay you to shop at their stores, buy their products, attend movies, and eat at their restaurants. In return, you send them a survey reporting on your experience. You are your own boss, and only work the assignments that you choose.

You can earn a substantial income as a mystery shopper. There are a variety of mystery shopping programs available today. But beware, some websites feature programs where you have to pay to become a mystery shopper - you should avoid those. You should never have to pay to become a mystery shopper.

However, some companies offer services where they constantly find and send you all the mystery shopping jobs in your area, and alert you when new ones are added. These companies charge a small nominal fee for their efforts to help you find good mystery shopping jobs. The best of these programs provide you with supporting materials in addition to a large number of job assignments.

Best Mystery Shopping Programs

When evaluating mystery shopping programs, you want to consider a number of features. Some of these include:

  • Selection.  Does the program offer a variety of mystery shopping jobs?
  • Support.  What services does the program offer to help you maximize your potential income?
  • Cost.  How much does it cost to participate in the program? Is it a one-time fee or a recurring expense? has reviewed and ranked the best mystery shopping programs available today. We hope this free information helps you start your Mystery Shopping adventure today!


Mystery Shopping Reviews

5 stars
Elite Mystery Shopper

ELITE MYSTERY Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Elite Mystery Shopper came in ahead of the pack with a quality program, easy to use website, and quick access to anything you might be looking for. They provide you with the flexibility of shopping and rating your experience, or sitting in your home filling out surveys right over the internet.
Read More... Visit

3.5 stars
Secret Shopping Center


Secret Shopping Center offers connections to mystery shopping companies looking to hire secret shoppers, for a one-time fee of $39.97 to access lifetime membership. While this service offers some novel referral perks, such as paying members for adding new mystery shopping companies to the database, their satisfaction guarantee is stricter than others within the industry. Read More... Visit

3 stars
Paid Surveys and More


Paid Surveys and More is upfront with the expectations needed to be met to make money as a mystery shopper. The website is easy to understand and there is a 60-day money back guarantee. However, Paid Surveys and More did not provide a list of companies that utilize their research. Read More... Visit

Benefits of Mystery Shopping

If you're thinking of becoming a mystery shopper, there are a number of benefits awaiting you. In addition to terrific hours, the convenience of taking a family vacation without asking the boss and having more fun at any job than most people will ever dream of having, you will enjoy the potential for a decent income at a job that offers plenty of free perks. Below are just a handful of detailed benefits for mystery shoppers.

Flexible work schedule. When you get a job as a mystery shopper, you receive paperwork necessary for your evaluation and you will enjoy being able to arrive at work according to your own schedule. Once you have completed your assessment, you simply fill out the evaluation and submit it to the company that hired you. Being able to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want are two of the greatest benefits to being a mystery shopper.

Variety. Instead of sitting in the same old office and staring out the same old window every day, mystery shopping offers a literal change in scenery. One day you may be evaluating a retail store, the next a fine restaurant and the next a movie theater. Can you imagine being paid to watch a movie or dine out? If you would enjoy getting out of a career slump, mystery shopping may be the boost that you need.

Income potential. Whether you want to participate in mystery shopping as a way to earn a few extra bucks or you want to turn it into a part or full-time career, the choice is yours. The more mystery shopping companies that you sign up with, the more income you may receive. As is the case with anything, your reward(s) that you receive will largely be determined by your efforts.

Be in business for yourself. The fact is that you are the best boss that you will ever have. When you work for yourself as a mystery shopper, you are working on your schedule, according to your hours and have more control over your income. Self-employed individuals receive tax advantages, receive higher rates of pay and are much more likely to enjoy their work.

Free stuff. When you are a mystery shopper, you are assigned a job that requires you to evaluate either a product or service. You will be given specific instructions as to what items, if any, are required to be purchased in accordance with your evaluation. Whether it is a slice of pizza or a pair of sunglasses, you will almost always be reimbursed for the cost of these items by the company who hires you as a mystery shopper. What this means for you is, in addition to being compensated financially for your job, you will also often enjoy the benefits of freebies.

Interesting work. At the end of the day, which side of the customer counter would you prefer to be on? Would you rather be the cashier ringing up the purchase or would you rather be shopping and getting paid for it? If you are like most, the latter is the most appealing option. When you are a mystery shopper, your work is never boring because it varies from one day to the next. You can never get bored by seeing the same people every day or doing the same activities. Mystery shopping will keep you stepping high and well over any slumps that a traditional job may offer.




Check Out These 5 Legit Mystery Shopping Gigs

The idea of someone paying you to shop is quite an attractive draw. But unfortunately, due to rampant scams over the years, many shoppers roll their eyes at the idea of being a mystery or "secret" shopper. With this in mind, I want to detail some ...

Published:  Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:16:00 GMT

'Mystery shopping didn't make me rich, but I got to see snow monkeys in Japan!' We hear YOUR revelations

Our report last month on mystery shopping - people going undercover to check on the quality of the service offered by retailers - provoked a huge response from readers. TOBY WALNE, an erstwhile 'mystery shopper', shares their experiences, good and bad.

Published:  Sat, 15 Oct 2016 08:01:00 GMT

The Customer Side of Mystery Shopping

In my last article, I reviewed what mystery shopping is and how it has been used in the past and today by companies to identify any gaps towards their service standards and metrics. Also I mentioned how the mystery shopping industry continues to change and ...

Published:  Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:05:00 GMT

3 Ways to Get More from Your Mystery Shops

At conferences, I'm often asked about mystery shopping, and it got me thinking: there are a lot of misunderstandings about what mystery shopping can and can't do. Some see mystery shopping as a simple check-in; others see it as too artificial for an ...

Published:  Sun, 16 Oct 2016 09:27:00 GMT

Mystery shopper scam targets Tri-State woman

So she responded to an email about becoming a mystery shopper. "They said it was from the National Mystery Shopping Network. And doing some research, it seemed legit," Tull said. So she applied, and couldn't believe what showed up a week later in the mail ...

Published:  Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:30:00 GMT

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