Mystery shopping is an exciting way to earn extra money.
You get paid to shop, dine out, and visit different locations while giving feedback on your experience.
It’s a great chance for anyone who loves to explore the world around them!
And it can be done from home or anywhere else in the country with just a computer and internet connection.
Plus, mystery shoppers are often hired by companies that need help assessing their customer service quality – so you will also be helping someone improve their business!
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What is a mystery shopper?
Mystery shoppers are people who go into different locations to give their opinions on customer service.
You might be asked to talk with employees, look around the store/restaurant, and eat/shop at the business.
The goal is to make the customer experience as true to real life as possible.
This is why you may be asked a lot of questions about your experience, and might even need to fill out a short survey after leaving the location.
You’ll also most likely get paid well for following directions that help companies improve their services, which makes this a fun way to earn money.
What is the pay like?
Mystery shopping jobs are different, but the median pay is around $18-$20 per hour.
It’s important to remember that you will be paid for your time and experience, not just walking into a store or restaurant and then leaving.
What are the requirements for being a Mystery Shopper?
One of the great things about this job is that it can be done from anywhere in the country!
There are no strict requirements to be a mystery shopper, but there are a few things you should know before you apply.
First of all, most shoppers need a computer and internet connection – if you don’t have access to these things at home, you can always visit your local library or borrow one from family or friends!
You will also need a camera or smartphone with a built-in camera, so you can use it to complete your assignments.
You might also want to have a car because some companies will ask you to drive to different locations and fill out an in-car observation form after visiting the business.
And lastly, all mystery shoppers are required to be 18 years or older.
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How to avoid scams on mystery shopping sites
It can be tough going through all of the mystery shopping sites out there to find a legitimate company.
If you are interested in applying for a job, here are some useful information on how to avoid the common scams when searching online:
1. Make sure you know exactly how much a company is going to pay you for a job.
Typically, mystery shoppers can expect $10-$20 per hour for their work.
If someone is offering you a rate that seems too good to be true, there’s probably a reason why!
Remember: if it sounds like they are trying to rush you into signing up or spending money before learning all of the details about the job, it is probably a scam.
2. Some mystery shopping companies will ask you to pay money upfront – avoid these businesses!
Rip-off artists will use this as a way to scam people into spending money that they don’t need to.
There are plenty of legitimate mystery shopping companies that will pay you for your time and expertise – but you should never have to spend any of your own money as part of the hiring process.
However, there are assignments where you will be asked to pay for an item or a service that you are using, but you will get reimbursed after your job is done.
3. Do your research before applying for any mystery shopping job.
If you are interested in working for a company, start by checking their website to make sure they are legitimate.
You should be able to find customer testimonials, details on when/where you will be shopping, and contact information without any issues.
4. Do not share any personal information with companies that you don’t know very well!
No legitimate company will ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card information.
If someone does ask you for this information, it is a scam and they are not interested in actually hiring you.
5. Beware of mystery shopping sites that do not have a legit website, phone number, or email.
Always look for a contact address of some kind – if the mystery shopping company has zero information besides a phone number or form, they are probably fake.
10 Legit Mystery Shopping Sites to Find Jobs
If you are looking for secret shopping jobs, there are many different places you can search.
Here is a list of some of the best websites to visit if you are looking for mystery shopping opportunities:
This is a well-known website that connects companies with mystery shoppers.
You can find jobs that will pay you $12 an hour to complete a task, and they offer plenty of ways to search for work in your area!
But be aware that they don’t hire full-time shoppers but will offer you a job as an independent worker.
Click here to start applying and get paid to shop right away!
This site connects you with different companies that will pay you to mystery shop.
The average pay is from $15-$25 per job, but some jobs only give you reimbursement for the items you buy or a free meal from restaurants.
You can apply for jobs that are in your area, and start earning money within days!
If you are looking for food-related assignments, then this mystery shopping site is for you.
They pay you on average $12 per meal, so you will get the benefit of getting paid to eat!
A few places that you may get hired to mystery shop are restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, pharmacies, and more.
There are plenty of opportunities available in your area, so start applying now to see what’s available!
This is the perfect shopping site for those looking for top brands.
You can apply to mystery shop for sports teams, home goods, restaurants, transportation companies and so much more.
They also give you 3 choices of how you can do your mystery shopping – on location, online, or via phone.
To apply, you’ll need to create an account and then they will send you updates on available jobs that match your preferences.
Sinclair Customer Metrics
This mystery shopping site has a lot of great benefits!
They specialize in restaurants, retail shops, banking, grocery stores, and more.
You will also have a choice of how to complete your tasks with either being in person or video and you can even use hidden cameras!
Sign up by creating an account and once you are approved you can start searching for jobs get paid.
They hire mystery shoppers to do in person, over the phone calls, or with video chats.
When you sign up, BARE gives you the choice of 5 area codes where you can shop.
This is a great option because you will have a lot of opportunities to be paid.
If you are interested in mystery shopping for banks and credit unions then this is the perfect shopping site for you.
It’s free to sign up and they have a wide variety of jobs available in many areas.
A Closer Look
This shopping site is great if you want to mystery shop for different industries.
They will allow you to work with companies like restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and so much more.
You can sign up for free and if you get approved you will get paid to do what you love!
Perception Strategies, Inc.
If you are looking for mystery shopping sites that are geared towards health care then this company is for you.
You will have different tasks from calling doctors’ offices to doing in-person visits with and without an appointment.
If you want to sign up you can do so for free and search their list of areas where they need secret shoppers the most.
What does it take to be a great mystery shopper?
Now that you know the best secret shopping sites to visit, what does it actually take to be successful?
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start the job:
1. It takes a lot of patience to be an effective shopper, so it is important to take your time and be patient with the work you are given.
2. You also need to be able to prioritize your time well since you are getting paid for each task that you complete.
3. Spend time looking at each store’s website before you go, so that you can be familiar with what they offer.
4. Make sure to follow all of the mystery shopping company’s guidelines for completing your task, or else it can affect your feedback!
5. After the task is complete, be sure to submit it and get reimbursed.
This list of tips just scratches the surface – there are other things that you could potentially learn to become a successful mystery shopper!
How do you get paid as a secret shopper?
Many companies hire mystery shoppers so they can get feedback on customer service quality.
Every company has its own guidelines, but here are several ways that you could be paid after finishing your task:
1. You may receive reimbursement for the items or services you used during the assignment.
2. Your reward can come in the form of a stipend, so you can use it for anything!
3. Some shoppers are paid via check or PayPal.
4. Another way that shoppers are compensated is to receive points that they can redeem for an incentive down the road.
You could also get points as a bonus after completing your assignment well!
5. Some shoppers are given gift cards for completing their tasks successfully.
These are just a few of the ways secret shoppers can get paid, but all in all, it’s always nice to get something back for your time!
Frequently asked questions about mystery shopping sites
Here are responses to some of the most common questions about secret shopping:
1. Do you need a degree to become a mystery shopper?
No, there is no official education requirement and it is an entry-level position.
This means that you can be paid for your time and learn how to become an effective shopper without any experience.
2. How is the payment determined?
The type of job and the length of the assignment will decide how much money you get per hour or what kind of reimbursements can be made with the mystery shopping sites.
3. Do I need my own car?
Some mystery shopping sites will reimburse you for the cost of gas or public transportation needed to complete your task, while others may ask that you pay out of pocket.
4. How do I keep my notes organized?
It can be helpful to get in the habit of digital note-taking so that you don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed.
You could also try using a phone application to take pictures of the experience since many have functionality that lets you tag the businesses with a location.
5. How can I find out what companies are hiring?
Most secret shopping sites will post job listings on their website as well as on their social media pages or by emailing you.
Also, many of the assignments listed will need little to no prior experience, so it can be a great way to start!
6. What should I wear?
The best way to look professional for your assignment is by wearing business casual clothing.
Some companies may ask for you to dress more formally while other companies may ask you to dress in your normal everyday clothing.
7. How do I get reimbursed for my expenses during the assignment?
Each company has its own way of working out reimbursement, but some of them will reimburse you on the spot or through PayPal while others may ask you fill out an expense report before you are reimbursed.
8. What happens if I’m not approved?
Not all companies will hire you since every company has its own approval process.
If you are rejected by one company, don’t be discouraged – there are plenty of other mystery shopping sites that would love to have your help!
9. When should I expect to be paid?
According to Indeed, most secret shoppers are typically reimbursed within a week or two of completing their assignment.
But you should always check the site to make sure what their policy is on payments.
10. How do the companies find out the results of my work?
Each company has its own process for finding out about your experience and some may contact you directly.
You can also check out specific company websites to learn more about their submission process for reports.
Mystery Shopping Sites: Key Takeaways
By now you should be ready to start your own mystery shopping adventure, but remember that there are certain guidelines that you need to follow.
Secret shoppers cannot reveal their status to customers, or store employees.
You must always give your honest opinion of the employee’s work and make sure that you are being discrete in all aspects of the assignment.
If you have any questions or concerns about this process, then it is best to contact the company directly before signing up for work.
While the pay may not be steady, part-time mystery shopping jobs can give you a glimpse into different types of industries and provide you with valuable work experience.
So grab your notepad and your best business casual outfit and head to your first assignment!