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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


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    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

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