How to Boost Your Income by Becoming a Mystery Shopper

You may have heard of mystery shopping before and dismissed it as too good to be true.

I mean, getting paid just to shop and share your experience? That would be the perfect world, right? But as it turns out, mystery shopping is really as easy as that.

The feedback you provide on customer experiences gives companies essential marketing information, and they’re more than glad to compensate you for your time.

Mystery shopping is a convenient gig if you have irregular working hours and want to pocket some extra cash (and some freebies along the way).

While this sounds enticing, it’s vital you understand everything there is to know about mystery shopping to earn even more money.

Who is a Mystery Shopper?

A mystery or secret shopper is an individual who is paid to shop in stores and gather data for marketing purposes.

All kinds of businesses (restaurants, retail stores, car dealerships) and watchdog groups hire market research companies to go to specific locations and report back on stuff like product quality, customer service, compliance with existing laws and cleanliness.

These companies bring on regular people like you and me to go undercover to visit businesses, shop at stores or eat at restaurants.

By not revealing your identity, you’ll be on the receiving end of genuine customer service.

How Much Are Mystery Shoppers Paid?

How much you can make varies widely.

Generally, you should earn somewhere between £10 and £30 for each gig. You will also be refunded for the products you have to buy to finish the job (up to a certain amount).

You can rack up more money if you take on gigs that require more time to complete.

Most companies use PayPal to pay shoppers for their services. You’ll be asked to share your email address associated with your PayPal account and the funds will be deposited into your account.

To avoid not getting paid, it’s vital that you adhere to the company’s instructions within the set timeline.

How to Become a Mystery Shopper

  1. Research a Reputable Company

Mystery shopping agencies are almost always looking for members.

You will need to be careful to avoid potential scams. Remember, a legit company will NOT ask you to pay to register with them.

The company you choose should be a member of the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA) and/or the International Mystery Shoppers Coalition (IMSC).

Best mystery shopping companies:

  1. Apply Online

Once you’ve spotted a legit company you’d like to register with, apply.

Most companies will require you to fill out an online application form and read through what is needed of you beforehand before accepting the job. Your application will be reviewed once submitted and you should hear back from them shortly.

Once approved, you can start applying for gigs. The company you work for should either post current jobs on their website or send out emails.

  1. Start Mystery Shopping

When you’re accepted to complete an assignment, you will have to pick a date to do the assignment within the time frame they have given.

The company will give you a detailed outline of the things the business would like you to pay close attention to during your visit.

After completing the assignment, you will have to fill out a report, submit it and wait to be paid.

How to Double Your Mystery Shopper Income

  • Prepare for tomorrow’s assignment today
  • Apply to more companies and check for new assignments regularly
  • Schedule multiple assignments per day by doing route shops
  • Be willing to do types of stores you haven’t done before
  • Stay ahead of deadlines by setting your own deadlines
  • Provide detailed comments on all assignments


Mystery shopping is no get rich quick scheme, and you probably won’t be able to turn it into a full-time job.

The information provided in this document is an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as investment advice. Seek a licensed professional if you are in need of investment or financial guidance.

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