Mystery Shopping can be a fun way to earn some extra money while not having to go out of your way. The idea behind Mystery Shopping is pretty simple. Retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses want to know how they’re employees are performing when management isn’t looking over their shoulders.
They send in mystery shoppers to assess how their store handles customer inquiries, sales techniques, or whatever else the owners think may need improvement. As a mystery shopper you are given a specific assignment for what to buy, what questions to ask, and instructions on how to complete a detailed report.
When you are asked to purchase things in most cases you will be reimbursed after you submit your report. The pay varies based on the job, which is why a lot of people sign up with several mystery shopping services at the same time.
There is one very important thing that you need to be aware of if you’re going to seriously pursue mystery shopping. Many scam artists have started masquerading as legitimate mystery shopping companies.
So here are some tips for staying safe with mystery shopping…
- Never pay money to become a mystery shopper, or for that matter any kind of certification programs.
- Keep a list of all the real companies that you’ve registered with and know what their email addresses look like. Scammers will send out emails pretending to be real companies, but these are easy to spot since they use free or foreign email addresses.
- Most importantly if you get an email asking you to cash a check or do a Western Union “mystery shop” immediately discard it. Real mystery shopping companies will never ask you to do anything involving sending money, cashing huge checks, or anything financially sensitive.
With that being said if you are careful about what you’re doing and only stick to the real companies provided in this list or other trusted online sources then you should have no problems with mystery shopping.
Below you will find a list of Legitimate Mystery Shopping Job Companies (Updated 2018):
Mystery Shopping Jobs (A-B)
Mystery Shopping Jobs (C-L)
Customer Responses, Reviews, or Complaints
You need to sign up with as many companies as possible, just make sure they do not specialize in an industry you do not like. The mystery shop companies post available jobs and you can apply for these jobs.
I was a Mystery Shopper for 7 years and shopped for about half of the companies listed above. After 7 years I ended up in a wheelchair. Not conducive to blending in!!! That is the only reason I stopped, I really loved doing these jobs and made pretty good money. It takes a couple of years, as a rule, before you will be assigned to higher paying jobs.
One of my favorite companies on the list was EPMS. You shop only apartments (maybe they do new housing construction now as well). One thing, for this company you need to be able to write well and be extremely observant.
If you decide to be a Mystery Shopper, have fun with it, I did.
This is a hobby. Its a couple free pizzas a month and occasionally a $150 focus group that you drive to Pittsburgh (my area) for. But can I live off this alone? NOOOOO not unless i have another Real Job which I do. Its fun and a hobby but dont hope to feed your family! I am making extra fun Money and I enjoy telling my opinions so I will be checking out many of these. Also check in your local big city for a actual market research company. I did and made $150 to talk for 2 hrs about mashed potatoes! We got gift cards but it was gas money for the month!
thanks for any info william W.