There are companies hiring secret shopper to complete several tasks. Many companies are genuinely interested in getting to know their customers, not to mention receiving feedback on the quality of their products and/or services.
For this reason, they often use the method of mystery shopping. As a result, the mystery shopping industry has amassed over 1.5 billion dollars and counting.
What is a Secret Shopper?
Secret shoppers pose as ordinary customers. However, they do various tasks for a company, such as purchasing products, asking questions, and providing either positive or negative feedback through detailed reports outlining their experience.
As the name suggests, the identity of the mystery shopper is not revealed. There are over 1.5 million mystery shoppers.
The 15 Best Secret Shopper Companies
As mentioned earlier, many companies offering secret shopping jobs are not legitimate and attempting to scam you out of money. Therefore, it is important to do sufficient amounts of research about companies/websites offering mystery shopping.
To simplify this process for you, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the following legitimate companies:
- Secret Shopper
- Market Force
- A Closer Look
- Quest for Best
- Percentage Strategies, Inc.
- Sinclair Customer Metrics
- GFK Mystery Shopping
- Call Center QA
- ARC Consulting
- Yardi Matrix
Now, we will discuss each of these companies in more detail. Let’s get started.
Mystery Shopper Jobs Near Me
Many sites grant you access to a database of a wide variety of companies in your area that need mystery shopping services. Here are a few of them:
1. Secret Shopper
Secret Shopper is a company that partners with businesses to provide them feedback via mystery shoppers, without revealing your identity.
To be eligible for Secret Shopper, you must be an adult (18 or older). No prior experience is necessary, but to receive compensation you must have strong written communication skills.
Materials you will need:
- Computer/Phone – All store reports are submitted digitally.
- Digital Camera/Scanner – This is necessary for providing proof of shop, such as a receipt or business card.
Whenever you sign up for a job, the tasks/report are usually due at noon Central Time the following day. It is imperative you submit work on time.
Some of the shops or restaurants on the site will require you purchase something. If you’re required to do so, you will be reimbursed through a separate payment or it will be calculated into your regular compensation.
In regards to pay, the amount varies, but it will usually fall between $12-$25. For payment, you’ll be mailed a check on the 20th of every month. If you use Secret Shopper regularly, you can potentially earn $10,000+ every year.
To apply for a position as a mystery shopper for BestMark, you must be 18 years old, have transportation, be a good writer, pay attention to detail, and have access to a computer and internet.
If you apply, you’ll be contacted by a BestMark representative. Chosen mystery shoppers are required to complete digital training and a certification test. When you begin, you must download instructions and blank surveys, signing off on them.
After you complete the shopping process, you will complete the survey forms and send them with some type of proof, like a receipt. A variety of editors will check these surveys and receipts. You can complete up to 9 assignments per month.
Just starting, you can earn anywhere from $7-$20 hourly. Within a year, you can make $10,000+. Payment is received twice a month by check.
3. Market Force
Anybody who is 18 years or older and resides in the US, Canada, Spain, UK or France is eligible to apply and become a mystery shopper for Market Force.
When working for Market Force, you’ll need to visit local banks, boutiques, and sometimes even gas stations. You’ll also need to interact with the employees. If one of the tasks is to purchase something, you will be reimbursed with cash, food, or merchandise.
The compensation will vary based on the job you’re doing, but you will likely earn anywhere from $50 to $200 every month based on the assignments you get. Payment will be sent out once a month by the 20th.
After you apply to be a secret shopper with IntelliShop, you will be required to take a brief test to evaluate your skills. You will also be screened for a background check.
As you complete jobs, you build your Shopper Rating. Your rating can be improved through providing fantastic writing, following the guidelines of your jobs, and being punctual when turning things in.
Anytime you purchase something, you will be reimbursed.
You will receive anywhere from $5-$30 based on the task. Payment comes through PayPal on the 20th of every month.
For your application to be considered and to keep your job with GBW, you must be at least 18 years of age and trustworthy. Always come through with the assignments you sign up for. You must also maintain discretion and be easy to contact.
After you apply, if you’re accepted, you’ll go through an orientation and training period.
When you select an assignment, the report along with proof of purchase is due within 8 hours. Creating your report should take 15 minutes to half an hour.
Payment varies based on the jobs you select. Your stipend will be paid 4-6 weeks after the end of the month during which you completed the evaluations.
Similar to Intellishop, Pinnacle also uses ratings for shoppers. The rating is a score of 1-10. Every shopper starts at a score of 5, and it is up to them to improve it through preciseness, writing skills, and trustworthiness.
Surveys from shopping tasks are due within 12 hours of job assignment.
Payment varies per assignment, ranging from $4-$75 depending on the extensiveness of the task. Compensation comes once a month (the 10th) via PayPal.
7. A Closer Look
If you want to apply for A Closer Look, you need to be 18+ years old and go through the rigorous application process. This includes a variety of questions related to grammar, math, and logic. You will also need to detail the most recent dining experience you had.
After this, you will need to take a Shopper Qualifying Test, which requires you to pass with a score of at least 7 to be eligible for hire.
All available shops are posted at the end of the month. And if you want to grab the available jobs before they’re snagged by other users, you’ll need to act fast.
The amount earned varies, however, you can make between $100 and $400+ a month by regularly using the site. Also, if you have to purchase any products or food, a percentage will be reimbursed. You will receive payment every 3rd Friday of the month.
8. Quest for Best
To apply for Quest for Best, you need to first create a profile. If there is no need for mystery shoppers within your vicinity, your profile will be placed on hold until your services are required in the area.
If you’d like to see available jobs prior to signing up, there is a map on the website where you can view assignments.
The amount of available jobs and pay vary by location. Typically, the compensation for each job is around $20, and sometimes there are bonuses. Payment is provided on the 17th of every month via PayPal.
9. Perception Strategies, Inc.
Perception Strategies Inc. is a company specializing in healthcare, rather than a wide variety of industries. To join, you need to go to the site and apply.
However, unlike similar sites, there are a wider variety of tasks:
- Appointment Calls: you will make an appointment with a department to evaluate customer service. You will give your opinion based on how easy it was to make an appointment, how long you were on hold, and any other comments.
- Customer Service Calls: you will experience simulated customer service calls. This way, the company can determine the quality of its telephone calls and provide improvement.
- Competitor Calls: you will have phone conversations with competitor healthcare companies to provide a comparison.
- Process Shops: a process shop is when a patient goes on a real appointment. The customer will then provide a detailed report based on their experience.
- Observation Shops: a customer will go to an observation shop for 45 minutes to evaluate.
You will typically have about a week to complete an assignment.
Phone call assignments will earn you $12-$17. In-person assignments go up to $20-$50. You will be paid by check at the start of every month.
10. Sinclair Customer Metrics
To become a secret shopper with Sinclair Customer Metrics, you need to fill out an application and agree to the terms.
As a Sinclair mystery shopper, you’ll be evaluating the various behaviors and conditions customers experience when shopping. A particular approach calls for the consumer to photograph the goods and provide detailed information about them, such as their weight and temperature.
Another method requires an orientation for the mystery customer to properly view the company through the eyes of the consumer. After this orientation, you’re required to complete questionnaires, measurements, scoring plans, etc. to outline your experience.
Sinclair, like Perception Strategies, helps with phone and competitor evaluations. And, while you’re shopping, a hidden camera records your reactions.By doing this, your facial expressions can be evaluated as feedback.
Using this website, you can make $15-$20 on a weekly basis. You’re paid by check every month.
11. GFK Mystery Shopping
To become a mystery shopper with GFK, rather than filling out an application, you need to send an email introducing yourself and detailing why you would make a good candidate. When you’re accepted, you can begin signing up for jobs.
While the majority of tasks will be in-person, some are phone calls. After you complete each assignment, you’ll need to fill out a questionnaire on the same day. Completing surveys takes about 30 minutes each.
Just by doing four jobs a month, you can earn about $60. GFK pays via PayPal on the 25th of every month.
Mystery Shopping Jobs Online
Its been made evident there are plenty of in-person secret shopper opportunities. However, you also have the option to do mystery shopping jobs from the comfort of your own home.
And by taking your secret shopping online, you don’t have to be continually traveling if you’re an active member of a mystery shopping website. Let’s take a look at a few options:
12. Call Center QA
The Call Center QA has customers interact with company representatives over the phone to evaluate the service. Consumers will identify an issue, and the representative will assist them in resolving the problem quickly and efficiently.
How successful the customer service representative is directly correlates to the report you will give.
To sign up, no previous experience is necessary – but you do need to be an adult. If you are, in fact, an adult, simply fill out a form and wait for approval.
You will be paid $5-$10 for a 5-10 minute phone call and a one-page analysis. Payout occurs within a week via PayPal.
Intelichek is a market research company with ties to many other companies. As a mystery shopper for Intelichek, you’re required to gather data over the phone. This includes facts about the warranty, store hours, sales information, the availability of certain products, etc.
Once you report this information, Intelichek does an analysis, presenting it to the businesses who requested the service.
To be eligible to apply:
- You must be 18 years or older.
- You must have a functional bank account.
- You must be a US resident.
When you apply, they will inform you if they’re hiring, and if they are, they’ll tell you if you’re a good match. If you are a good match, you will need to participate in a phone interview. The Intelichek staff will provide extensive training and give you a “trial.” If you do well, you will be hired.
Pay is given per task. Compensation falls between 30 cents and $2. If you spare a reasonable amount of time, you can earn up to $50-$100 in one day. You are paid by check at first, but once you gain experience, you’re paid via direct deposit.
14. ARC Consulting
ARC Consulting looks for potential secret shoppers with:
- Good telephone presence
- Listening skills
- Strong focus
- Superb writing skills
To apply, you must be at least 18 years old. It’s suggested to include your resume in the application.
If you’re hired, the work will revolve around calling various companies posing as a regular consumer, and inquiring about something. What questions to ask will be given to you.
You also get to choose your hours, as long as you’re calling companies within their business hours.
You will get paid $3-$12 per phone call. When you’re starting, you can expect to make about $70 monthly through direct deposit. This will most likely grow over time, as at the beginning, you will not be given a lot of work.
15. Yardi Matrix
If you’re hired to be a mystery shopper, you will become a part of the “Partners Personnel.” You’ll also need to do a bit of training.
The job consists of calling various real estate companies, acting as though you’re interested in renting a property and gathering intel about prices and other relevant information.
As an employee, you’ll be asked to work 10 hours per week. There is an automatic $6 hourly pay and rates per task:
- $.50 for surveys marked Done
- $.30 for surveys marked Wrong Number
- $.20 for surveys marked Part-Done
- $.07 for surveys marked Answering Machine or No Answer.
Your pay depends on how quick and efficient you are with phone calls. Based on an average, you’ll likely be making approximately $10 an hour.
You must complete a minimum of 75 completed surveys the first week, and 100 from then on.
Working with Yardi Matrix is not permanent. Positions last for six weeks or so. Once that period is up, you can apply again. If you were a good worker, you have a high chance of being rehired.
Secret Shopping FAQs
Do Secret Shoppers Get Paid?
As with any “job,” there is potential for scams. However, there are plenty of legitimate mystery shopping sources for secret shoppers. These unidentified buyers receive compensation for providing genuine feedback for marketing organizations and other companies.
The idea of scams might be disheartening for somebody aspiring to become a mystery shopper, but scams can be avoided if you know how to identify them accurately.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Mystery Shopper?
There is not a set amount mystery shoppers make, but companies often deliver a flat rate between $5 and $25, sometimes more. You can build up your pay by doing work for a variety of companies.
How much you make can be altered by a variety of factors:
- Location: if you are in proximity to a variety of companies/stores, you will have a wider range of jobs, and therefore more revenue.
- Competition/Success Rate: you will have competition, as other people in your area are also going to want the same opportunities you’re aiming for. Therefore, your efficiency with past jobs might give you an advantage.
- Writing Skills: to create a fantastic report and get compensation, you need to have decent writing skills. If you do the report incorrectly, the company can refuse to pay you.
How Do I Become a Secret Shopper?
If the idea of a side job testing products and services sounds intriguing to you, you might be wondering how to become a mystery shopper.
For starters, you usually have to submit an application to the site you’re using. Sometimes, you have to go through a training and/or screening process prior to beginning your journey as an unidentified shopper.
Then, when you find jobs you’re interested in, you can submit an application for each one.
How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams
Earlier, it was mentioned there are various scams online in regards to mystery shopping. As such, it’s crucial you’re able to identify signs of a scam.
Some signs of a fake secret shopping job include:
- Being sent a check before doing any work. Often, the check is fraudulent.
- Being asked to pay prior to becoming a mystery shopper. Most legitimate companies do not ask for your money.
- The email address does not look professional. If the email says anything like “gmail.com” or “aol.com,” it’s likely a scam.
- The pay is super high for simple tasks. No real company will offer you a “too good to be true” type of salary.
- You’re being guaranteed a job without an application. Legitimate companies will have you go through an application process before being hired.
There are more red flags, so be sure to research prior to jumping into a secret shopping job.
Only Choose from a Trusted List of Mystery Shopping Companies
To avoid scams altogether, only use sites you know are 100% authentic, such as the 15 listed above.
There are also other sites that are perfectly safe. However, if you choose to use a site not on this list, do extensive research before even thinking of signing up.
Never Wire Money
It is imperative you never wire money to a company claiming to be hiring mystery shoppers. The goal of these scammers is to send you a check, have you deposit it, and send back a portion of the check amount. They claim you’re able to keep your payment amount and send the rest back.
However, this check will bounce. If you’ve already sent funds back to the scammers, you will be responsible for paying the lost amount.
Never Pay in Advance to Become a Mystery Shopper
You should also never accept a mystery shopping job that requires you to pay a fee prior to starting work. Scammers will easily take your money and never give you a job, causing you to lose cash for nothing.
Mystery shopping is a great side job that can earn you over $10,000 annually. There are many companies that enjoy the services of secret shoppers.
As such, there are a large number of sites leading you to secret shopping opportunities. And if you need a little extra cash, this is a fun, exciting way to earn it.