Expert guide: All you need to know about mystery shopping Expert guide: All you need to know about mystery shopping

Expert guide: All you need to know about mystery shopping

If you love shopping and spend lots of time in stores, why not make a side hustle out of it? Now that stores are beginning to open again, you can turn into a mystery shopper and receive an extra income by doing what you like most.

Become a mystery shopper and get paid to shop

Retail companies often want to gather information about merchandise stocking, promotion signage, or checkout experience at their physical stores, and hiring mystery shoppers is a way of finding out these things.

If getting paíd to shop sounds like something too good to be true, there is good news for you. Many companies hire “paid consumers” to shop at their stores and then give feedback on their experience there. Becoming a mystery shopper is simple. All you do is sign up with the best mystery shopping companies, choose your tasks or assignments, and start shopping.

Think of mystery shoppers as "undercover customers" sent in to observe, interact, and report on other customers and store employees. Mystery shoppers are typically employed by a third-party rather than the store or company itself.

If you like to shop around and enjoy spending hours in department stores,  malls, or shopping centers, being a mystery shopper is probably your ideal job. 

Which are the best mystery shopping companies?

 If being a mystery shopper is something you think can interest you, check out these mystery shopping companies for the best jobs. 

A Closer Look

“We’ve been customer experience fanatics and mystery shopping experts for over 25 years, and we provide our clients with the focused operational insights needed to keep their business flourishing”, is show they describe themselves on their website.
A Closer Look is a quality option for any secret shopper. If performing secret shops for hotels, restaurants, retail, health and wellness, and much more sounds like something you would enjoy, you’ll love working here.

Secret Shopper

Secret Shopper is a well-established Company that’s been around since 1993  and helps clients improve their businesses using mystery shoppers to gather data.

It’s completely free to sign up, and you set your own hours.


With over 34 years of market research expertise, BestMark is one of the largest mystery shopper companies. They help businesses large and small improve employee and customer experiences,.  Nowadays, due to COVID-19 also offers to quickly design a program to ensure that the store’s staff is following proper protocols to keep themselves and your customers safe.

Sinclair Customer Metrics

Since 1987, Sinclair has helped thousands of businesses improve their overall customer experience.  Each mystery shopping program is tailored to meet the measurement goals of the client and provide the analysis required to fuel improved unit operations and customer service. They offer a wide variety of tasks, from video secret shops to telephone mystery shops

How to become a telephone mystery shopper

If you want to work as a mystery shopper, but in-person shopping isn’t your thing, or if you don’t have time to visit stores, then secret shopping by phone may be a better fit for you.

Mystery Shopping is a popular job among people who enjoy shopping and like to decide their work schedule. However, if in-store mystery shopping doesn’t appeal to you, doing it on the phone could be your best option. 

Here are some mystery shopping companies where you can work from home:

12. Call Center QA

Call Center QA is a company that hires Telephone Mystery Shoppers Throughout The United States to help organizations improve the quality and helpfulness of their call centers. This from home opportunity is offered to men and women who don’t mind speaking on the phone, have great listening and writing skills, and strong attention to detail.

No experience is needed, there is no background checkup is done and registration is free. If you are at least 18 years old and live in the US, this could be a perfect job for you to do.

Quest for Best

In terms of pay per shop and shopper support, Quest for Best is a very good option. The disadvantage of this company is that they do not service all areas of the country and there may not be very many opportunities. But this not be your case, so check them out for a possible job.

Yardi Matrix

The company is a company within the property management industry that provides job opportunities for those interested in taking surveys for the commercial real estate industry. If you get the job, you must call apartment communities and act as a renter. It is a fairly large firm where it is possible for mystery shoppers to advance into other full- or part-time positions.

Of all the legitimate phone mystery shopping jobs we’ve found, Yardi Matrix is the only one that hires their mystery shoppers as W2 payroll employees. 

How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams

There are many legit mystery shopping companies to choose from, but you should know that there are also some organizations that are complete scams. Here’s what to watch out for.

Only Choose from a Trusted List Of Mystery Shopping Companies

 When searching for reputable mystery shopping companies, make sure you sign up for companies recommended by trusted sources. us!

Never Wire Money

 Play it safe and never deposit a check from someone you don’t trust if you’re going to wire the money back.

If you are asked to deposit a check into your personal account, withdraw the amount of the check-in cash, and wire it to a third party, don’t do it. The check is probably fake, and once the fake check is discovered, you will be responsible for paying back the bank for the amount you deposited and withdrew.

Never Pay in Advance to Become a Mystery Shopper. Legit mystery shopping companies are completely free to sign up, and that’s for a reason. If you ever come across a mystery shopping company that asks you to pay money to sign up, it’s a scam. 

Find Your Ideal Mystery Shopping Niche

Once you acquire experience with mystery shops, you’ll realize which secret shops come naturally to you and you enjoy the most. You may find that some are such an easy job for you, that they don’t even feel like work.

When you become more comfortable in your mystery shopping niche, you’ll be able to make money with hardly any effort.  It’s your choice to stick to one company or try them all.

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