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Mystery Shopping is a Big Business

The Purpose of Mystery Shopping

How to Earn Money From Home as a Mystery Shopper

How to Find Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs

Popular Industries that Use Mystery Shoppers

Tax Deductions for Mystery Shoppers

How to Spot Mystery Shopping Scams

Mystery Shopping Frequently Asked Questions

Mystery Shopping & How to Present Yourself While On the Job






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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 and we are compensated for our reviews. 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
Paid Surveys Online


Paid Surveys Online gives you various options to make money, competitive pricing, and signup bonuses. The FAQ section goes far beyond what other companies have done, in providing helpful information should you decide to work with them. They receive one of our highest ratings. Read More... Visit

3.5 stars
Dollar Frog


Dollar Frog provides a well organized, clean website to browse. There are separate registration fees for their Mystery Shopping program and Paid Surveys program, causing Dollar Frog to increase the out-of-pocket expense for some. Read More... Visit

3.5 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

1.5 stars
Online Home Surveys


Online Home Surveys received one of our lowest rating due to the lack of information provided, as well as the high startup costs and poor marketing tactics. We would suggest you consider another company first. 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.




Automotive Industry Veteran Steve Moretti Joins RepairPal as VP & GM, Business Development
RepairPal, the leading resource for consumer auto repair, announces Steve Moretti has joined the company as Vice President & General Manager, Business Development. Moretti will oversee all new business development and strengthen relationships with existing RepairPal partners including AARP, AOL Autos,, Castrol, Consumer Reports, NAPA, U.S.News & World Report, and USAA.
Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Pinnacle's New "Snap" App Revolutionizes Account Opening, Streamlining the Process to 10 Minutes or Less
Pinnacle Financial Strategies new Snap app for iPads lets banks using Jack Henry Core Operating Systems open business and retail checking, savings, CD, and IRA accounts safely and securely from anywhere with Wi-Fi access, in under 10 minutes.
Publication Date: April 03, 2015

RAC Drives Efficiency and Improved Customer Experience with NewVoiceMedia
The British automotive services company has revolutionised its customer experience and improved operational efficiencies with NewVoiceMedias cloud solution
Publication Date: April 22, 2015

Mystery Shoppers Rate Two Of Every Three Supermarkets Mediocre Or Worse
Mystery shoppers rated two of every three supermarkets they shopped mediocre or worse in a nationwide customer-experience supermarket study BARE International conducted to gain more knowledge of the grocery industry.
Publication Date: March 30, 2015

Sizzler Leverages TrendSource Services to Build an Integrated Customer Experience Measurement Program
TrendSource, Inc. teams up with United States-based restaurant chain Sizzler to launch unique market research program.
Publication Date: March 19, 2015

Sue Wong's Fall 2015 Collection Mesmerizes with Mythos & Goddesses
Internationally renowned designer SUE WONG resurrected mythic Goddesses, rocking the runway and redefining Mount Olympus with her hypnotic and sensual Goth Opera fashion show Mythos & Goddesses. She sizzled with her Fall 2015 Collection and opened Art Hearts Fashion Week at the grand Taglyan complex in Hollywood to a raving audience.
Publication Date: March 11, 2015

The Panic Room: House of Secrets Embraces Spring Renewal!
More in-game events, more playable languages, more opportunities a whole new season of meaningful improvements starts in the iOS version of the well-acclaimed mystery game The Panic Room: House of Secrets.
Publication Date: April 24, 2015

Gates Corporation Launches Century Bucks Program
Century Bucks Program encourages technicians to inspect and replace all worn system components and gives them a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas as well as cash prizes.
Publication Date: April 13, 2015

New Market Force Information Study Reveals Americas Favorite Home Improvement and Home Furnishings Stores
Ace Hardware and Costco Take Top Honors
Publication Date: April 23, 2015

UniWigs Is Sending Out Mysterious Gifts During the Easter Holidays
The California-based leading wig brand UniWigs has prepared a mysterious gift package for every customer shopping on UniWigs during the Easter Holidays from today until April 6th. There will also be a big promotion on April Fools Day.
Publication Date: March 28, 2015

Explore Native American Spirituality & Spiritual Growth at the Victory of Light Expo
The Victory of Light Expo is hailed as the Midwest's most extensive and affordable opportunity to explore alternative spirituality in its many forms. Much more than a "psychic fair, live music and dance performances, art exhibits, book signings and shopping make this a diverse, fun, family-friendly event.
Publication Date: March 29, 2015

Responding to Recent News reports, Jancyn Develops Initiative with Businesses to Verify That ID is Being Checked for Age Compliance
San Jose based Jancyn Evaluation Shops is now offering programs to businesses that sell age-restricted items in order to verify that proper ID is being checked each and every time. This new initiative will assist in stemming the tide of sales to underage patrons and is being developed in response to recent new reports concerning these sales.
Publication Date: April 23, 2015

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