ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Become a Secret Shopper

Updated on September 16, 2015

How to Become a Secret Shopper

Do you want to know how to become a secret shopper? A secret shopper, also known as a mystery shopper, freelances for a middleman company that receives contracts with corporations, chains and small businesses. The secret shopper insures that employees are courtesy, knowledgeable and comply with company policies. The shopper generally goes into a business after reading the assignment requirements, pretends to be a customer and then fills out reports of the experience to the middleman company. The shopper is then paid for the assignment after satisfactory reporting. Pay depends on the type of job, company and paperwork or other essentials that may be involved. Avoid paying for mystery shopping job listings by using the best two free sources via online.

Did you know? Secret shoppers, or mystery shoppers are considered independent contractors. They are issued a 1099 if they earn 400 to 600 more per year from an individual company.

How to Become A Secret Shopper: Finding Mystery Shopper Jobs

Visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) at and a popular secret shopper board at According to the MSPA, they are the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. is the oldest and largest online secret shopper business directory that provides information free. Both sites provide job listings via on forum boards or a job search field option.

Visit each site’s forum or job search field to find jobs. Find jobs on MSPA by clicking on the company logo that is located at the top left then click on the “shoppers” link. Click on the “click here to search for assignments” button. Fill out your location information and click search. Browse through the job assignments and read the job descriptions and requirements carefully. Follow the instructions for receiving the assignment(s) that you choose.

Click on “forums” at the top left corner of then click on “Job Openings & Recruitment Ads.” Fill out your location information and then click search. Browse through the job openings that are listed and apply via the job description.

Read the shopping instructions carefully before completing any assignments. Follow the guidelines if any are given to complete the necessary forms required to be paid.

How to Become a Secret Shopper: Tips

Complete the online MSPA silver course to obtain the silver certification for higher paying mystery shopping jobs. Mystery shopping companies favor individuals with premium assignments for having the certificate through the MSPA. Consider completing the gold certification after receiving the silver document either by attending a workshop or by using the DVD training. You must receive the silver certification before you will be able to receive the gold.

Apply to numerous companies that are listed on Volition to have jobs e-mailed to you when assignments become available for your location. Read the requirements carefully before applying to insure that you comply with company standards. Each company may differ from one another.

Consider buying a digital camera. A great deal of mystery shopping jobs require the use of a digital camera for assignments.


Insure that you read the job description carefully to avoid not being paid. Be aware that generally a secret shopper may have to make a small purchase for a job then scan a copy of the receipt to be reimbursed and compensated for completing the assignment.

Avoid paying for “secret shopper” or “mystery shopper” listings or e-books. You can find all the information on how to become a secret shopper through the MSPA or to retrieve jobs. Consider purchasing a few resource books to provide you with tips on how to perform a job, what is expected of you and other essential information about taxes and write-offs.

ABC News Piece about Mystery Shopper Jobs


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I have gotten emails about this. Seems great to get paid to shop!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)