Getting paid to shop… sounds like a dream come true, right? Mystery shopping is a gig that allows you to make purchases while evaluating customer service at specific stores. You receive payment for each establishment you evaluate. Depending on how often you work, you could make anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars a month.
While a mystery shopper may seem like a dream job, you need to be cautious about diving into this opportunity. Mystery shopping is growing in popularity, and as such, many dishonest companies are taking advantage of this by scamming job seekers. They may require a membership for you to view a list of jobs or refuse to compensate you once you complete a job.
One rule to always keep in mind when looking for a job: Never pay for a job. Remember, the employer is supposed to pay YOU. This applies to all jobs in all industries. So if a company won’t provide you with work unless you pay them first, that’s a red flag. That company isn’t legit and you should look elsewhere.
So how do you find companies that are legit? We did the hard work for you and found nine companies that offer legitimate jobs:
Source: Confero Inc.
This company hires both mystery shoppers and exit interviewers to help retailers enhance the shopping experience for their customers. They offer 10,000 jobs a month across the United States. To work at BestMark, you must be at least 19 years old and have reliable transportation and Internet access. You should also be detail-oriented and a good communicator.
To receive jobs from IntelliShop, you first have to apply and take a test to see if you qualify. You’ll receive an email if you’re selected for a job. But you have to respond right away or someone else could snag it. IntelliShop uses a rating system for shoppers and the amount of work you receive depends on your rating.
3. Market Force
Source: Code Check
Eat and shop for free at your favorite establishments with Market Force. To become a shopper, you must be at least 18 years old with a high school education. You will need a digital watch to time the service of various establishments. You will also need a digital camera and computer with high-speed Internet access. Each job takes 1-2 hours.
This woman-owned company offers a variety of mystery shops for its clients, so if you apply here, you may be able to do more than visit a brick and mortar store and shop. You may evaluate customer service by making telephone calls, using online chat tools, visiting a website or posting questions on a social media account. Shoppers Inc. focuses primarily on the retail, restaurant and banking industries.
Source: PC Press
The company was formed in 1989 and works with many businesses throughout North America. Besides on-location mystery shopping, the company gauges the quality of customer service via call centers, phone calls and websites. Second to None is looking for shoppers who enjoy communicating with others, are detail-oriented and organized. You are required to have a digital camera or scanner and a computer with email access and high-speed Internet.
Want to get paid to eat? Then Restaurant Cops may be the ideal mystery shopping gig for you. Your job would be to evaluate the wait staff and make sure they are providing diners with quality service. This company is looking for fair but honest diners who are very observational and selective when eating out in public. You must be detail-oriented and possess good writing skills. Reliability is also important.
Source: Keyword Suggestions
Quality Shopper has been around since 1915. The company requires accurate and reliable people to check the quality of establishments in their area. Before you can mystery shop, you must complete eight hours of paid training plus another eight hours of practice, which is also paid. Quality Shopper also pays for mileage beyond 20 miles, but does not reimburse you for anything you buy in a store. You are paid by the hour. Hours are not guaranteed and you must have a flexible schedule. A drug test is required before you are offered employment.
This company, formed in 1994, focuses primarily on the hospitality industry. In order to work, you’ll have to pass a test and submit a narrative about a recent dining experience. You must be at least 18 years old to apply.
Source: EGC Group
Work undercover with Spies in Disguise. The company requires a significant amount of detail from their reports, and judging from the application, prefers those with mystery shopping experience. This is a good company to apply for if you are an experienced mystery shopper looking to take on more work.
If mystery shopping is an interest to you, check out the companies above and you’ll soon be making money by doing something you love. Interested in a company not listed here but unsure if they are legit? Check and see if it’s a member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. This organization is in charge of regulating these companies and ensuring they meet industry standards.