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      July 6, 2020

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Best Mystery Shopping Programs

Who wouldn't love to get paid to shop, eat out, or go to the movies? That may sound too good to be true, but thousands of mystery shoppers across the US and Canada are doing just that: getting paid to visit restaurants, retail stores, and even theme parks in order to provide a customer's perspective on the cleanliness, service, and overall experience at the location.

How does mystery shopping work? Most "secret shoppers", as they are also known, are hired by third-party companies that specialize in helping businesses evaluate their performance. These third-party providers maintain a database of all of the current opportunities in your area, allowing you to apply for the jobs you'd like to do.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews


2020

Mystery Shopping Reviews

5 stars
About Face

ABOUT FACETopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

With an easy-to-use, attractive website and the most comprehensive information available to prospective mystery shoppers, AboutFace is our top choice for secret shopping companies. You can even get advance notice of hot shops on their social media channels, making it easy to get the types of stores you'd like to visit.

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4.5 stars
Shopper's View

SHOPPER'S VIEW

Shopper's View has an excellent reputation as a mystery shopping provider, in business for more than two decades and one of the founders of the top association for secret shopping companies (the MSPA). On their site, you'll find helpful videos showing you what to expect from them as a company and from their application process. This is one of the most trusted names in mystery shopping.

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4 stars
Best Mark

BEST MARK

BestMark has been giving mystery shoppers the opportunity to evaluate businesses since 1987. As an A+-rated company with the BBB, this secret shopper resource offers more than 10,000 assignments per month and also has contractors who perform exit interviews at various retail locations. BestMark is a good choice for new and seasoned mystery shoppers alike.

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3.5 stars
IntelliShop

INTELLI SHOP

IntelliShop has been working with mystery shoppers for more than 18 years. Their website offers a good deal of information prior to signing up with them as a secret shopper, with detailed steps for what to expect. Be aware that they do have a reputation for very strict guidelines for accepting your completed evaluations.

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3.5 stars
Market Force

MARKET FORCE

MarketForce has been in the mystery shopping business for more than a decade, and their Eyes:On mobile app makes it easy to find jobs and submit evaluations. On the downside, their site doesn't offer much information about their process or requirements prior to sign-up, and we found several complaints from experienced shoppers saying that MarketForce's support team isn't very helpful.

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3 stars
Second To None

SECOND TO NONE

BestMark has been giving mystery shoppers the opportunity to evaluate businesses since 1987. As an A+-rated company with the BBB, this secret shopper resource offers more than 10,000 assignments per month and also has contractors who perform exit interviews at various retail locations. BestMark is a good choice for new and seasoned mystery shoppers alike.

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3 stars
Sinclair Customer Metrics

SINCLAIR CUSTOMER METRICS

With a history spanning more than 40 years, Sinclair Customer Metrics is a well-known name among seasoned mystery shoppers. Unfortunately, they don't offer prospective contractors much information prior to the sign-up process, making it difficult to compare them easily with other services in our review.

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2 stars
Sentry Marketing

SENTRY MARKETING

With no rating at the BBB, numerous complaints from shoppers about late payments and other unpleasant surprises, and very little up-front information about what new shoppers can expect, Sentry Marketing fails to inspire confidence in their mystery shopping program. We recommend caution when signing up with this secret shopping company.

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Continued from above

Sometimes, if there's a high-priority shop near you, you may even receive a direct invitation to do the assignment. Of course, in order to be eligible, you'll likely have to fill out an application to be accepted as a mystery shopper for each provider that interests you.

Payment varies by company; some mystery shops pay you for your time, while others reimburse you for making a purchase that you get to keep. In either case, you'll be expected to fill out some kind of survey or evaluation regarding your experience in order to get paid. Most mystery shopping companies make payments via PayPal, though some still use traditional paper checks for their contractors.

No matter which mystery shopping company you choose, however, you should never have to pay to be a secret shopper: though you can opt for shopper training and certification to increase your chances of being selected for certain jobs, joining a reputable company's shopper database shouldn't cost you anything.

When considering the many different companies that specialize in hiring mystery shoppers, there are several aspects to keep in mind. Some of these include:

  • Selection. How many businesses does the company work with? Do they have any businesses that you'd enjoy reviewing?
  • Transparency. Does the company offer plenty of information upfront about their process for hiring mystery shoppers? Or do you have to give them your information first?
  • Reputation. Does the mystery shopping company have a good track record for quality jobs, on-time payments, and support for their secret shoppers?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best mystery shopping providers available today. We hope this free information gets you on the road to your secret shopping experience right away!

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.

 

Go read this story about a mystery shopper creating confusion across the web

For over a year, a mystery shopper known only as "John Smith" has been creating confusion across the web. He's repeatedly visited numerous online stores, ranging from auto supply shops to home goods ...

Published:  Thu, 02 Jul 2020 06:46:00 GMT



Who Is the Mystery Shopper Leaving Behind Thousands of Online Shopping Carts?

Merchants have seen a lot of browsing by John Smith, who picks up items, then leaves without buying; "it started getting out of hand' ...

Published:  Wed, 01 Jul 2020 13:31:00 GMT



Free Fire: Mystery Shop 10.0 expected release date

The Free Fire Mystery Shop 10.0 update is expected to be released over the coming weeks. This update will offer a bunch of in-game items at huge discounts, as per sources. The Free Fire Mystery Shop ...

Published:  Sat, 04 Jul 2020 05:27:00 GMT



Why mystery shopper John Smith fills online carts but never buys

For more than a year, online merchants selling items ranging from kayaks to key chains have puzzled over the mystery shopper with the generic name behind thousands of abandoned carts. Each cart has ...

Published:  Wed, 01 Jul 2020 19:47:00 GMT



Brands Have "Work To Do' To Meet Shopper Demands, Report Finds

Mystery shoppers audit omnichannel capabilities to reveal where brands are making progress and where they fall short ...

Published:  Wed, 01 Jul 2020 06:05:00 GMT



Don't Fall for This Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam

The letter asked them to register the check they received online, then deposit it in their bank account and use some of the money to complete a mystery shopping assignment. Although there are ...

Published:  Mon, 29 Jun 2020 13:45:00 GMT



Master Of Mystery: The New Billionaire Whose Cult Favorite Toys Are Sold At Random

And that's the mystery, fun and immense commercial promise of Pop Mart ... them to pool their savings together-and opened the first Pop Mart store in a shopping mall near Beijing's Zhongguancun ...

Published:  Thu, 02 Jul 2020 11:21:00 GMT



Podcast: Are grocery retailers living up to shoppers' COVID-19 safety expectations?

The study includes a poll of 2,000 U.S. shoppers to find out which COVID-19 safety practices they deem most important, followed by "mystery" shopping trips at thousands of stores across 45 major U.S.

Published:  Wed, 01 Jul 2020 07:16:00 GMT



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