June 26, 2016
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Mystery Shopping is a Big Business

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Popular Industries that Use Mystery Shoppers

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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.

There are a variety of mystery shopping programs available today. The best programs provide you with supporting materials in addition to a large number of job assignments. You can earn a substantial income as a mystery shopper.

When evaluating mystery shopping programs, you want to consider a number of elements. 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 information helps you start your Mystery Shopping adventure today!

Disclosure: We pay our reviewers for their reviews. We are not compensated by companies for their reviews, but we are compensated for links and advertisements on our website. Click here for details.


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

4 stars
Shopping Jobs


Shopping Jobs connects people with companies looking to pay individuals to evaluate their customer service and overall shopping experience, known as “secret shopping” or “mystery shopping”. Member testimonials indicate that this is a solid provider of mystery shopping opportunities.
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.




Bamboozled: The job that could get you arrested

Mystery shopping gigs are real, but they're also a common job title you'll see when a scammer is looking for a victim. And now, fraudsters are giving this job scam a new twist. One that could land you in jail. But first, the real thing. Retailers will hire ...

Published:  Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:19:00 GMT

Don't get tricked into being a 'personal shoplifter' this summer

A female, in Boots and Wilkinsons in Torquay, claimed she was employed by a company called Mystery Shopping UK when she was arrested. Their website (shared by the police) is still advertising a "Shoplifting / Theft Service", but Boots tells officers it ...

Published:  Sun, 19 Jun 2016 17:00:00 GMT

Mystery shopper scam offers money, steals from bank accounts

Inevitably, the checks bounce and you are held liable for the money. There are legitimate mystery shopping companies out there. However, they don't send you checks in the mail and then ask you to wire part of it.

Published:  Tue, 21 Jun 2016 04:25:00 GMT

Five Ways ACE Hardware Proves David Can Beat Goliath

The headquarters provides customer service training and mystery shopping services that the dealers know will take them to a higher level of customer experience. Ace corporate has created stringent standards their retailers must meet to earn the designation ...

Published:  Sat, 25 Jun 2016 07:03:00 GMT

New scam warning: criminals are conning people into shoplifting

When the police were called, she claimed she was working for a company called Mystery Shopping UK. She explained she had gained a job as a 'personal shoplifter', and had been given a list of things to steal and send to the company. She had also been sent a ...

Published:  Wed, 22 Jun 2016 04:40:00 GMT

High-end agency 'mystery shops' Purplebricks - with very mixed results

Property Vision, an independent buying agency which routinely handles clients with seven and eight figure purchasing budgets in prime central London and the Home Counties in particular, says it undertook a mystery shopping exercise on Purplebricks after ...

Published:  Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:56:00 GMT

Beware of mystery shopper scams

The con artists say the consumer should keep a portion of the check but then take some of the money to shop at a local store like Walmart to fulfill the requirements of the mystery shopping assignment. The shopper is then told to wire the rest of the money ...

Published:  Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:41:00 GMT

Ken Keller: Addressing our cash flow issue-help!

Seventh, consider your pricing. Are you regularly considering increases? How do you compare to your competition; have you done some mystery shopping to see their offering service and pricing options? I've noticed that companies are often overly concerned ...

Published:  Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:14:00 GMT

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