23 Mystery Shopping Companies That will Pay You to Shop
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You may have come across some mystery shopping scams in your search for work at home jobs. There seem to be a few out there. However, there a lot of legitimate companies always looking for shoppers. While mystery shopping isn’t really considered a job, it is a great way to earn extra money. There are people who report earning a few hundred dollars a month.
What is Mystery Shopping?
When a company wants to get feedback about its operation, mystery shoppers are hired to act like customers in order to observe the employees and appearance of its place of business. The employees are not informed that they are being observed. That’s why it is called “mystery shopping.”
How it works
Once you sign up with a mystery shopping company, you can select shop assignments to complete from a job board. Then you visit the assigned business to observe, interact and possibly make a purchase. You will be instructed to observe specific things about the business.
Once you have gathered all the information, you will complete a report online with your findings. Mystery shoppers are paid a fee for their effort and time. If you were required to make a purchase, you will be reimbursed for either some of or the entire amount.
Types of Available Shops
- Grocery Stores
- Retail or Department Stores
- Movie Theaters
- Apartment Complexes
- Gas Stations
- Test Drives
- And many more!
Something to Remember
The availability of shops in heavily populated areas may differ from areas with smaller populations. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage. Generally, more shops are available in bigger cities and as well as more shoppers, making opportunities “first come, first served.” However, sometimes, smaller cities do not have enough shoppers signed up to cover the available opportunities, leaving plenty of shops for those in that area. Also, when available shops aren’t picked up after a while, mystery shopping companies sometimes offer bonuses on top of the set payment and reimbursement in order to get them completed.
Don’t get scammed!
There are a lot of scams that attempt to take advantage of people looking for mystery shopping opportunities. Here are some tips on avoiding them:
- NEVER pay to join a mystery shopping company. The legitimate companies are free to join.
- NEVER pay a fee for a list of mystery shopping companies or jobs.
- Most mystery shopping companies are members of the MSPA, Mystery Shopping Provider’s Association. Legitimate companies will indicate their membership on their website.
- A legitimate mystery shopping company will NEVER send you a check and instruct you to deposit it so that you can withdraw money to wire back to the company.
Mystery Shopping Companies
- A Closer Look
- Amusement Advantage
- KSS International
- Second to None
- Secret Shopper
Tip: To increase your earning potential, register with multiple companies.
Telephone Mystery Shopping Companies
A number of mystery shopping companies offer shops that must be done by phone. These types of shops help businesses find out if their employees are following established protocol when speaking to customers, providing correct information for customer inquiries, or exhibiting friendliness and professionalism. Some telephone shops are solely for the purpose of collecting information from multiple businesses of the same type. Here are some that look for shoppers regularly.
- ARC Hires shoppers “provide invaluable feedback and data to brands to improve their customer service experience.” To sign up, you will be directed to the iSecretShop Platform to register as a shopper.
- Call Center QA Pays $5 per shop. Must complete a brief feedback form online after each mystery shop.
- Intelichek Phone mystery shopping of businesses to verify that correct information is being provided by employees.
- Perception Strategies Healthcare mystery shopping.
- YardiMatrix Hires surveyors to call apartment complexes in the Spring and Fall of each year for prices, specials, and other factors. Pays $6 per hour plus a rate per completed survey.
Mystery Shopping Apps
While not always considered mystery shopping, there are several smartphone apps available that require some of the same tasks to be performed as standard mystery shopping. They can be found in the PlayStore and AppStore.
To earn money, you must complete all of the steps required for a gig or assignment. You may be required to take photos of a business or of a product or display inside the business. You may be assigned to locate a particular item in a store. Sometimes, there are surveys that you can complete. Assignments pay somewhere between $3 – $5 and possibly more. Here are some the have regular opportunities.
Bonus – Mystery Shopping Movie Theaters
Market Force Certified Field Associate Get paid to perform movie theater “checks.” Assignments include checking movie trailers for certain movies, counting moviegoers for a particular scheduled showing of a movie, installing promotional posters or standees, and a host of other duties.
For many mystery shoppers, this type of work is used to provide extra cash in addition to a primary job. However, there are those who have made it into a full-time job. If you become a highly ranked shopper and, there are enough assignments available in your area, full-time income is certainly possible.