If you love shopping, then mystery shopping sounds like a dream come true. You actually get paid to shop! Instead of coming out a store with buyers’ remorse, you will feel like it is the best payday ever!
Mystery shopping might be the most fun way to make extra money. It is also not a difficult way to make extra money if you enjoy shopping. The hardest part about mystery shopping is finding a trustworthy company to earn extra money with.
Table of Contents
- Best Mystery Shopping Companies
- Phone Mystery Shopping
- Advice for New Mystery Shoppers
Best Mystery Shopping Companies
Luckily for you, I have done the research for you! Check out the list below to find the mystery company that best fits your needs!
BestMark is the largest mystery shopping company and it has an amazing reputation. With a BBB (Better Business Bureau) score of an A+, it is likely you will have a good experience with shopping for this company.
The payment will vary based on the various shops you are able to pick up. Usually, you will receive a flat rate as well as a reimbursement for your purchase. Make sure to pay attention while shopping because you will have to relay your experience back to BestMark.
You need to be 21 years old with a reliable source of transportation and good communication skills to apply for this job. Once you get accepted, just log on regularly to find new jobs.
2. Second to None
Second to None opened in 1989 and has earned a good reputation over the years.
They have a variety of different shops available and the pay varies by the shop. You will usually be reimbursed for your purchase, plus a fee. The company will pay you once a month via PayPal or direct deposit.
You can claim a shop by just logging into your account to check for available shops.
3. Market Force
Market Force has established a good reputation since 1972. Most people really like this company and you can feel comfortable signing up with them.
The amount you are paid will vary by shop. You will get paid once a month via check or direct deposit. Make sure to follow all of the directions on your shop or they might decide to not pay you!
You will need to be 18 years old with a high school diploma to qualify to be a shopper in this company.
GAPbuster is a worldwide company that has shops in over 105 countries.
The reputation of GAPbuster seems to be more mixed than other companies. However, if you want to work with them, don’t let a few bad reviews stop you.
The company has a list of rules that you will have to follow if you decide to work for them. The rules include concealing your identity, honoring commitments, meeting deadlines, submitting your response the same day at the shop visit and more. Before you sign up, just make sure you are comfortable with all of the rules.
After you sign up if there is a shop in your area, then GAPbuster will send you an email about it. GAPbuster will pay you once a month via electronic funds transfer.
5. Secret Shopper
Secret Shopper is a newer company, but they seem to have amassed a good reputation so far. They have an app if you prefer to complete shops on your phone instead of on your desktop.
The company will pay you by check on the 20th of the month, every month. The pay ranges between 12 and 25 dollars per shop.
Secret Shopper requires that you be 18 years old and a generally dependable person. If that sounds like you, then give it a try!
6. About Face
About Face has a positive reputation in the mystery shopping industry.
You will sometimes receive emails about a shop, but if you log into the job board you will find all of the available shops.
The typical pay range for About Face shops is 25 to 45 dollars, but the exact amount will vary by shop. You will receive your payment 45 days after the shop via PayPal.
7. GFK Mystery Shopping
GFK Mystery Shopping is known for paying quickly via PayPal, which is an important quality in any mystery shopping company. However, the other reviews on this company are more mixed. If being paid on time outweighs some of the potential cons, then this is still a good company to work with.
8. A Closer Look
A Closer Look is a trustworthy company that has been around since 1994. The company not only offers many traditional retail shops but also restaurant and motel shops! It is always fun to get paid for a nice meal or a night out of the house!
Before you shop, A Closer Look will let you know how much you will be reimbursed. So make sure to keep that in mind as you are shopping.
A Closer Look will pay you on the 3rd Friday of every month via check.
In order to work for A Closer Look, you will need to be 18 years old and pass a pre-qualification test. You will need to take this test seriously because they are trying to see if you can follow directions and pay attention to relatively small details.
Confero has been around since 1986 and has a very good reputation. They offer a variety of shops spanning a large range of industries.
The pay varies per shop, but you will be paid on the 20th of every month via PayPal.
The company requires you to be 21 years old with decent observation skills. They want people from all of the states in the US.
Once you join, check the job board for available shops.
10. Amusement Advantage
If you love theme parks and fun, then Amusement Advantage is the mystery shop for you!
The only shops available at this company are theme parks and other entertainment facilities. Imagine getting paid to go on a rollercoaster, it would be an amazing day.
The downside of this mystery shopping company is that you might not get paid as well as you would with other mystery shopping companies. The difference in pay relates to the fact that theme parks are just expensive places to go to.
The amount per shop varies, but it is usually only enough to cover the expenses for 1-2 people. However, if your goal is to enjoy a free (or discounted) day at the theme park then this would be a great fit. Especially if you are already planning to go to a theme park, you might as well take advantage of this mystery shopping opportunity.
11. Sinclair Customer Metrics
Sinclair Customer Metrics has been around since 1976. Over the years, it has gained a good reputation from mystery shoppers. It also has an A+ score from the Better Business Bureau which speaks highly of the business.
If you want to sign up with this company, then you will have to agree to some basic rules for your mystery shopping work. The pay varies by shop, but the company will pay you by check 60 days after the shop.
Generally, people seem to like shopping for Sinclair Customer Metrics. Definitely worth a try!
Intelli-shop offers shops in a variety of industries, including fast food, car maintenance, automotive services and more.
The company usually pays between 5 and 10 dollars per shop, plus they reimburse what you spent at the shop. They pay via PayPal on the 20th of the month after the shop was completed.
You can sign up for shops through their job board, but they will also send you emails about available shops in your area.
Pinnacle is a mystery shopping company that has an A+ score from the Better Business Bureau.
The layout is similar to other mystery shopping companies, you will use a job board to claim jobs in your area. After the shop, you have 12 hours to complete the survey about your experience.
As you continue to work with this company, you will be graded on a scale (1 to 10) for each shop you compete. The score reflects your accuracy, detail, dependability and writing skills. The better your overall score, the more opportunities you will have to complete shops.
The pay per shop ranges from 4 to 75 dollars and the company will pay you once a month via PayPal.
Phone Mystery Shopping
If you are thinking “these shops all sound fine, but it would require me to leave the house,” then check out these phone mystery shopping companies.
You don’t even have to leave the house to work with these companies. You could even complete these shops without getting out of bed if you really wanted to. Just call in from anywhere to complete a shop.
Phone shops work very similarly to in-person shops, you will be asked to call a company and find out specific information. You cannot reveal that you are a mystery shopper. Just like in a normal shop, you will be asked to relay your experience to the company in exchange for payment.
14. Yardi Matrix
Yardi Matrix is a company that will pay you to call various rental properties and find out information about them. The goal is to make sure that Yardi Matrix has the correct information on that property.
You have to pass a quiz to work here and you should have basic telephone etiquette skills.
Yardi Matrix is different than most mystery shopping companies because it will ask you to be an employee instead of an independent contractor. This could be good or bad for you depending on your situation.
Basically, this means your taxes will be deducted automatically, instead of you having to keep track of how much money you make over the course of a year. The company is even offering benefits like health and dental insurance.
You will be expected to work for about 10 hours a week and you will be paid about 10 to 11 dollars an hour depending on your efficiency.
The key to a good hourly rate to performing calls quickly. If you are good at getting information fast, then your hourly rate will be higher than others.
The positions are temporary, lasting about 6 weeks. The surveys are conducted 3 times a year (January/February, May/June and September/October). If you want to work for all of the periods, then just note that you are a returning worker on your application and you will likely be asked to return.
It is easier for the company to hire people that already know how to do the job.
ARC is a company that offers both mystery shopping and performance monitoring and analysis. The phone mystery shopping pays between 3.50 and 12 dollars per call. The company will pay you once a month via direct deposit.
If you apply, then you will receive an invitation to a training meeting before they let you take phone shops. The number of phone shops you will be able to make just depending on how many they have available. The company will let you know when there are available shops for you.
If you are really great at the phone mystery shopping, then the company might invite you to join the performance monitoring side of the business. It looks like that work is a better paying gig, which could be great if you want to expand your mystery shopping experience and make a little bit more money.
16. Call Center QA
Call Center QA hires people to perform call auditing and evaluation services on call centers around the country. The company will ask you to call a company and evaluate the call center based on your experience. After the call, you will have to write up a summary of your experience.
If you want to apply, you will need these skills: good listening skills, attention to detail, good writing skills, objectivity and a desire to provide a great evaluation service. If you have a call center background, that is a huge plus but it is not required to be hired.
After you are hired, you will be asked to perform two unpaid test calls before you are allowed to start making calls for money. You will be contacted by the company if there is work available, but the number of opportunities you receive just varies based on what they have available.
You will get paid 5 dollars per call. One great thing about this company is that they are known for paying extremely fast via PayPal. Sometimes even within 24 hours of your call!
17. Perception Strategies
Perception Strategies is a mystery shopping company that focuses specifically on the healthcare industry. They not only do phone shopping but also in person and website shops. The phone calls are usually to doctor’s offices to confirm hours and services offered.
After you apply and are accepted, the company will require you to go through a training process. Once you pass through that, they will assign you phone shops based on what they need to be done. You have a whole week to complete the call and you can do it anytime that the business is open.
The company will pay you between 12 and 17 dollars per shop, which is a really good rate considering that you are just making one phone call. You will receive a payment via check at the beginning of the month for work that you completed the previous month.
Advice for New Mystery Shoppers
A word of caution, if you are going to sign up for any mystery shopping company, then make sure to check that it is not a scam. One sure sign of a scam is being asked to pay for the privilege to mystery shop.
A legitimate company would never ask you to pay to work. If you run into that huge red flag, then just move on to a different company that has been proven to be reputable.
There are plenty of great mystery shopping companies out there, so never sign up with one that makes you feel uncomfortable. It is just not worth it if you do not feel okay with working for that company.
Although mystery shopping is an unreliable source of income, it can be a really easy way to earn some extra cash and have a little bit of fun at the same time.
Some easy ways to increase your opportunities are to sign up for multiple companies, always show up if you sign up for a shop and just do a good job! Any company is more likely to give you work if you are good at the job.