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How to Become a Mystery Shopper and Make Money

Have you ever wanted to become a mystery shopper and wondered how to actually go about landing a gig?

Mystery shopping is not only a great way to make some extra pocket money, it’s really fun!

I first started doing mystery shops about 3 years ago and really enjoy learning about new companies and writing my reports.

This week I did a mystery shop at a fast food restaurant that took about 2 minutes and paid me $15 plus free food!

how to make money as a mystery shopper


How does Mystery Shopping work?

Although there are all kinds of mystery shopping jobs that you can get, for the most part the process is the same:

  • Join a shopping network and fill out your profile
  • Apply for any jobs that fit your location and demographics
  • Once accepted for a job, read the instructions very carefully
  • On the given day, visit or call the store and take note of everything you can as per the instructions
  • Some shops may require photographs or business cards
  • Once you have completed the shop, fill out your report and submit it for approval
  • Payment is normally 7-30 days after the shop via PayPal.

What kinds of shops can I expect to do?

Once you have signed up with a shopping network and have become a mystery shopper, you will start to receive notifications either by email or through the app whenever there is a shop available near you.

The requirements of a shop can vary:

  • You may simply have to “shop” for information and evaluate the assistant’s knowledge and helpfulness
  • I’ve been asked to make a purchase and then a return within an hour to see how it is treated
  • You might be asked to have a meal and drinks at a restaurant
  • Stay at a hotel and evaluate the service

The number of options and variety will depend on your location, I live near a major urban center and here are some of the shops I have been offered:

  • Dinner at a local restaurant for myself and a guest
  • Big screen TV shopping
  • Stay at a Timeshare resort in Florida
  • Visit a gas station and pay inside
  • Call a college and ask about the application process

As you can see, not all shops are actually in stores. You may have opportunities to perform online or telephone shops for quick cash.

How does payment work?

Most shops I have done pay $10-15 per shop depending on how much work it entailed. I would say that no shop I have ever done has taken me longer than 10 minutes so it is easy money for the time expended!

If you are asked to make a purchase, you will be reimbursed the cost when you receive your payment. You will be asked to provide any receipts as part of your shopping report.

How can I become a mystery shopper?

You can apply to as many shopping networks as you wish, they will all have different opportunities so I advise registering with a few to increase your chances of regular shops.


This is my favorite company to work with. I’ve done quite a few shops for them and they pay very quickly and the communication is really good. They also offer a ton of phone and internet shops which is awesome for some quick money.

They have an app so you can complete your report from your phone while on the go.


Bestmark has opportunities all over the USA and Canada. You can do mystery shopping or store exit interviews with Bestmark for cash. Their reports are very detailed so attention to detail is extremely important.

MarketForce Information

Marketforce is one of the largest mystery shopping companies. They offer positions Worldwide including North America, Europe and Australia. They have a great app that you can use to apply for jobs and complete your reports.

Reality Based Group

This is the first company I worked with as a mystery shopper. They have a lot of great opportunities including hotel stays and restaurants. They send out emails and also have a mobile app for easier use.

There are a lot of other companies that offer mystery shops. Before signing up to become a mystery shopper, definitely check that they are registered with the BBB or the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) who regulate mystery shopping companies.

There are a lot of mystery shopping scams out there so only sign up with a reputable company like the ones I’ve outlined here.

Good luck and happy shopping!

More ways to make some extra cash:

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Mystery shopping jobs! This beginners guide to mystery shopping tells you exactly how to become a mystery shopper, to find jobs online and all the details about the mystery shopping business.If you fancy becoming a secret shopper and making extra money, this is a great way to start. There are a lot of mystery shopping apps out there but many are scams,this list will help you find great mystery shopping companies to work for

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Sunday 17th of December 2017

This is the good guide to earn some extra money from home. Keep sharing with us.