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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



$29.95 one-time fee Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Elite Mystery Shopper offers the best overall value of any mystery shopping program we reviewed. Their website is the best organized with easy to find navigation tabs, well laid out text and pictures on the homepage, which is not too lengthy, making it easy to find what you are looking for. A video is automatically loaded when you open the page that shows a special report done on Good Morning America in regards to the opportunities available with mystery shopping.

With your one-time membership fee, backed with a 60-day money back guarantee, your membership gives you access to over 175 companies that are hiring mystery shoppers. There are also a few bonuses that are offered including free business cards, access to online surveys that you can get paid for, and the option to get paid to read emails. Elite Mystery Shopper offers the flexibility to work from home or on site at the actual location. This allows shoppers to choose the jobs that best fit their needs and keep the projects interesting.

Elite Mystery Shopping provides the best mystery shopping experience for those that want to earn extra money working part time. With an excellent website, low membership fee, project flexibility, and a strong return policy, Elite Mystery Shopping earns our highest rating.

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4.5 stars
Paid Surveys Online



Normally $59.95, currently $34.95

The initial appearance of the Paid Surveys Online website does not seem to set it apart from other websites reviewed. It is mostly one long page that has a lot of information among the length text. It was organized well enough to read, simply laying out the different amounts that can be made for different options chosen. You can make anywhere from $5 for a survey to $150 an hour for participating in an online focus group.

Like other companies reviewed, Paid Surveys Online expressed how you are in control of how much money you make by how many hours in put in. You are also in control of your schedule, working from home the hours that fit your lifestyle. Examples are given for what you can make per month by working different amounts of time, and free bonuses are offered for signing up.

The FAQís section sets Paid Surveys Online apart from most of the other companies. The questions and answers really solidify the company as legitimate in our eyes. Topics include; the process of how companies are selected to work with, how you get paid, the difference between a survey and focus group, the amount of surveys available, questioning if it is a scam, and much more. This section of the website can be found at the bottom of the webpage and in our minds, shows that Paid Surveys Online takes their business serious, giving you peace of mind.

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3.5 stars
Dollar Frog



$34.50 one-time fee

Dollar Frog is easy to navigate and presents a wealth of information. The homepage is separated into sections based on the information you are looking for: Mystery Shopper or Paid Surveys. You can also make your choice from the navigation bar at the top of the page. The quotes from shoppers are helpful but not as convincing as the meat and potatoes program information.

The Mystery Shopper page gives thorough information about how you get paid, including a dollar per hour range and a sample of what a "mystery shopping" job would entail. The FAQ's are very insightful and give you confidence to continue with the process. After signup you receive a free bonus ebook of mystery shopping tips and techniques. The site offers step-by-step training for registrants, a directory of more than 150 online applications to choose from, a job log and unlimited access to a job board.

The Paid Survey page is equally enticing. Registrants to this program can get paid to take surveys, read email, participate in focus groups or surf the web. Again, the sample survey and FAQ section is very informative. A quick link to sign up for a free newsletter is at the top of the page. The site also offers multiple easy links to refer a friend.

Dollar Frog offers good information and quality companies to sign up with. However, the relatively higher cost for registration, along with a lack of quality bonuses, dropped it in our ranking slightly.

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3.5 stars
Paid Surveys and More



Normally $69, currently $24

According to the website, Paid Surveys and More was started by a single mom who left her job after discovering the benefits of how online surveys financially helped her friends and family. Paid Surveys and More is similar to many of the other websites reviewed in that it is one long page, with much information and text. This page, though long and wordy, is much better organized and easier to read than many of the other sites.

The website does a good job of explaining the benefits, and the process of the online surveys. Right up front, it explains that this isn't a get quick rich scheme, and that it takes time and effort to make money. It even goes as far as saying if you canít commit to an hour or two each day, that this opportunity might not be a fit for you. There is a handy calculator that helps give you an appropriate estimate of how much money you can make by how much time you are willing to put into the business.

There is a 100% 60-day money back guarantee offered by Paid Surveys and More. Once you have signed up you have access to a memberís only area that has resources and assistance in getting assignments and learning tips to cash in on some of the best surveys. Check out the website for more bonuses that are available when you sign up.

Paid Surveys and More is clear about what it takes to make money working with them, they are more upfront than other companies about the expectations and effort required. Unfortunately, no companies are listed to give you an example of what you'll be working on.

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3 stars
My Shopping Jobs



$24.95 - 1 year membership

$27.95 - 2 year membership

$29.95 - Lifetime membership

My Shopping Jobs has been around for over 10 years and provides a lot of information for those interested in pursuing a mystery shopping job. They offer 3 forms of membership, with the lifetime option providing the best value if you intend to stick with mystery shopping for longer than a year.

My Shopping Jobs does a good job of explaining what's involved with mystery shopping assignments. They provide quick links to the following information:

  • Frequently Asked Questions - a long list of good questions that are often asked about mystery shopping jobs
  • A sample questionnaire that shows the types of questions you'll be asked about your shopping experience
  • A presentation that walks you through the steps to become a mystery shopper

My Shopping Jobs provides 3 levels of membership- 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years. With each level, you receive access to the following:

  • Unlimited access to the employer database
  • Daily job boards
  • Mystery shopper platinum guide
  • Word processor
  • Guide to earning money by passing out free samples
  • Guide to getting paid to drive
  • Instant 24/7 access

My Shopping Jobs does a good job connecting shoppers with their database of employers. If you're looking to become a mystery shopper, My Shopping Jobs is worth a look.

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1.5 stars
Online Home Surveys



Normally $99.95, currently $49.95

Online Home Surveys website initially looks like it might be an informative website, it has a decent amount of text and graphics, including the logos for many large, well recognized companies, implying they are companies you might be taking surveys for.

After reading through the website, we discovered this was a poor attempt at luring in mystery shoppers and lacked credibility. It reads more as a story of an individual and what their day looks like making a living off Online Home Surveys. There are also testimonies that are not very convincing. The information presented seems very general about companies paying people for their opinions, but does not explain which companies they work with, or even the number of companies they partner with.

Start up costs are more expensive than many. You would have to churn out several projects before you made up your out of pocket expenses.

There are no bonuses offered, no training tips, no money back guarantee, no FAQ section to answer some of those lingering questions you might be considering and higher start up costs than most other companies reviewed. Most of the other companies reviewed had at least some of the information we were looking for but Online Home Surveys is seriously lacking quality information. Because of the problems listed above, Online Home Surveys received one of our lowest ratings. We would suggest you trying another company ranked higher.

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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.




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