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October 1, 2014

How to Become a Mystery Shopper

Have you heard about mystery shoppers? Well, they are real. They are everyday people like you and me. Each day, they walk the aisles of stores and visit restaurants, giving quality feedback to the “middleman company” who turns the information over to headquarters. You too can be a mystery shopper and gain extra income and awesome rewards. For the most part, you need to be organized, reliable, and able to get around.


How to Become a Mystery Shopper  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Signing up with Mystery Shopping Companies


Your first step to becoming a mystery shopper is to sign up with a reputable company. You may find various opportunities on a few job search engines. However, MSPA-Global is your safest bet. Here, companies must apply for membership to be listed. They have rules, regulations, and specific standards to uphold, so you know you are not applying with a scamming company.


A few great companies are Marketforce, A Closer Look, and We Check. You can sign up with multiple companies – this is greater potential income for you.



The Application Process


For the most part, the application process for mystery shopping companies is standard. You will need:


  • Your contact information 

  • Your social security number or employer identification number (EIN) 

  • Your PayPal or bank account info (otherwise they may send a check to your home) 

  • A sample of your writing if the position includes long and detailed reports 


Once you are hired, you can start working immediately. Some may require you to take a few tests to get familiar with the client and their expectations. You will only want to take one or two jobs in the beginning until you get into the swing of things.



A Few Items You’ll Need


You do not need much to start being a mystery shopper. Each assignment may vary. It is important to pay attention to your company’s request for each assignment. Common items you will need include:



  • A smart phone (camera, note taking, timer) 


See, that was easy!


Depending upon the company and assignment you may need access to a computer. Use a scanner or your phone to scan receipts, pictures, and such and submit them online via fax or their website.



For more ways to make extra money, check out these posts.

Have you ever mystery shopped before? What was your experience?


Want to Earn Extra Money Each Month?

Get paid to become a product tester.
Complete fun surveys for cash. Get paid for the stuff you do every day.

31 comments

  1. I have always wanted to be a mystery shopper!!

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    1. It's fun! You should try it out someday Ricci.

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  2. I have done a couple usually restaurants, but I haven't done one for awhile. Usually my husband was the one that keeps the detail log and then I write up the report. We always have fun doing it together and I always got paid.

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    1. I have never done a restaurant one! I would love to do one of those type of mystery shopping since I love food.

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  3. It was something that I looked into, but this may be good for hubby - will let him know.

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    1. Hubby may like it if he has extra time to spare.

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  4. I've always thought about doing this, but I'm not sure how much time I would have to do it. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. If you have extra time to spare Sonya you should check into it.

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  5. Years (decades) ago my husband was a mystery shopper for Shoney's! Are there any left? We were both in college, so those free meals really came in handy! I'm going to look into some of the companies you mentioned. Thanks bunches!!

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    1. Shoney's is still around and I have yet to go to one. I want to try out their restaurant someday.

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  6. I have been a Mystery Shopper for quite a few years. I find it to be a lot of fun! I enjoy the rewards of free meals when I do restaurants. I do use my cell phone and the computer to make it all happen. Some companies do not pay properly so I would advice folks to be sure that is going correctly or don't continue to shop for that company.

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  7. I need to look into this more. I signed up through another network and it was not a good experience. I chose 1 out of 100 offers because what they were offering was not worth it. The one and only job I selected with this one company .. I had to call a company and pretend I was interested in their service and then tell them I was a secret shopper.. poor guy on the other end.. Then I had to write up a LONG detailed sheet and got paid $7.. A big whopping $7.

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    1. Only $7! Oh heck no! Not even worth it!

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    2. yes, some of them require a lot and pay as little as 7 bucks. The highest I had was $20 but they gave me three locations (banks) to do in a day. So, I made $60 in less than an hour.

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  8. Great post. Stopping by via the Southern Girl Blog Building.
    I used to do Mystery Shopping a long time ago. I didn't make a lot of money, but it was nice to have a little play money and do some fun activities. I used Marketforce at the time.
    I had forgotten about it too till reading your blog, so I'm going to pass this on to my daughter who could use some extra money.
    Have a great day!

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    1. I wish I could do some mystery shopping now but due to my schedule I can't. But it is a great way to make extra money and learn about different restaurants and shops. Thanks for sharing my post to your daughter!

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  9. I've always wanted to be a mystery shopper--who wouldn't want to get paid to dine and shop!?!? :) I'm definitely checking out the links you posted!

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    1. I know right! Shop, dine, and get paid! Count me in! :-D

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  10. I'm a mystery shopper. I started to earn extra money for my wedding and just kept it up. :)

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  11. Growing up my best friend's Mom was a Mystery Shopper, she loved it! I have been wanting to do this, but wasn't sure who was a reputable organization to deal with. Thank you for such great information.

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    1. There are a lot of mystery shopper scams out there so that is why I created this post since people been asking me lately about becoming a mystery shopper. Make sure if a company is asking you to do Western Union, RUN!!!!!!!!!

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  12. I've ways wanted to try being a mystery shopper. It sounds like an interesting job. Thank you for sharing this information.

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  13. I'm intrigued by mystery shopping. I should have looked into this before I had kids...back when I used to leave the house on a regular basis. lol ;-)

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    1. I think you would enjoy it Courtney.

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  14. I used to love it. It was so much fun, but now that I have a full time job I am not able to do it too much anymore.

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    1. My job gets in the way too and that is why I can't go mystery shopping. Such a bummer. :-(

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  15. I have mystery shopped and like it...this was about 8 years ago and the process of getting jobs was a little cumbersome and time consuming. I'm sure technology has changed that however. The pay is small for each job so you need a lot to really make it worth the effort. My favorite was going to a bridal store to try on dresses etc. My cover was almost blown because I was married at the time and someone who worked with my husband was working there on weekends...LOL I was able to avoid her and complete the assignment.

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    1. Good thing your cover wasn't blown Erica! Yeah, pay may not be much depending on assignment but it is a fun experience, especially if you're a mystery shopper in a restaurant.

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