Become a Mystery Shopper

Aug 24, 2009


I have been working as a Mystery Shopper for about 8 or more years now and I am constantly being asked how I “got the job.” So, I am going to use this blog to, once and for all, explain it to everyone!

I first heard about mystery shopping when I took an evening class at the University of Texas. The teacher was a mystery shopper and gave me the names of some reputable companies.

And that is what I am about to do for you. But, before I share the names, let me explain to you what Mystery Shopping entails and why I do it. And then, you can determine if it’s something you’d be good at and enjoy.

The reason I love mystery shopping is that I benefit from it with free meals and services. For example, I never pay for an oil change, a haircut for my kids, a pizza or a spray tan. I get to eat for free in a variety of restaurants – some very fancy and some super casual. Some “shops” do not provide a free service or meal to me. Sometimes I just get paid. Sometimes I get something free and I get paid. It just depends on the assignment.

Let me tell you up front, this is not a way to make a living. Even when I get paid, it is generally very little money - $10-$20. The most I have ever made on a mystery shop was $150 and that assignment took a lot of time over a 2 week period.

But, it can be fun. I enjoy doing new assignments and experiencing new locations. Sometimes, I can even bring my kids along with me. And, of course, I do enjoy getting things for “free.”

But, you know, “free” does come with a price. So, what is required of me, you ask?

Well, I have to be very observant whenever I do a shop. I need to take note of the time, (upon entering, when services are offered and when I leave). I need to remember names and conversations and specific details. I have to save my receipts. And I need to not reveal to the location that I am trying to do any of this!

When I come home, I then have to write a report. Some of the reports are very brief – mostly multiple choice questions with a few short answers. Some, though, take me a few hours to complete and are all in “essay” format. It just depends on the “shop.”

So, if this sounds like something you’d enjoy doing, I’m going to include the names and links to companies which I have found (through personal experience or through a friend) to be legitimate. You can apply to be a shopper online and they will start sending you emails for jobs (which you can accept or not).

Happy (Mystery) Shopping!

The Companies:

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