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Become a Mystery Shopper - A List of Real Mystery Shopper Websites

Updated on November 9, 2016

What is Mystery Shopping

Definition of mystery shopper - A person hired by a market research firm or a manufacturer to visit retail stores, posing as a casual shopper to collect information about the stores' display, prices, and quality of their sales staff.

Mystery shopping is a simple but complicated thing. Some mystery shops may be as simple as going in a store and doing your normal thing while taking notes of just a couple things. Other shops require detailed observations with long paper work.

Over all you go in a store, pay attention to trash, how the workers act, what they say to you, and how long it takes them to take care of you.

What is Mystery Shopping for?

Have you ever walked into a fast food restaurant and waited 5 minutes to be waited on plus another 10 minutes to get your "fast" food? I have and before I became a mystery shopper I use to think "they better be glad I'm not a mystery shopper". Now that I am one, if I have this type of experience while doing a shop I can report it to the people who actually care. I never want to just make the employee have a bad day, and I NEVER report any information other than what actually happens. If my experience was great then I give them as much attention as I would if my experience was awful.

Mystery shopping is not about opinion. It is about facts.

  • How long did it take you to get greeted?
  • How long did it take for them to take your order?
  • How long until you got your food?
  • How many workers were visible?
  • What were they doing?
  • Was your order correct?
  • Did they thank you for your business?
  • Did they offer you a receipt or did you have to ask for it?

If you become a mystery shopper remember that you are only to report facts unless you are specifically asked to report opinion! By reporting facts, times, and specifics you allow the company to fix the errors or reward employees going above and beyond.

What Do You Need To Be a Mystery Shopper

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Digital Camera
  • Watch with seconds hand or stopwatch
  • Orange safety vest (only for some shops)

Some places are now requiring that you have a smart phone with the ability to download apps.


Top REAL Mystery Shopping Companies

There are hundreds of real mystery shopping companies, but I will only list the top rated companies. Due to my contract with these companies I can not tell you what companies they shop, or I would lose my right to shop for them and could even be sued.

Each of these companies require you to sign up and many ask you to take a short test before being able to assign shops to you. NONE OF THESE LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. I DO NOT GET REWARDED FOR YOU CLICKING ANY OF THESE LINKS.

What Type of Business Can You Mystery Shop?

Many types of businesses get mystery shopped. Pretty much if you can think of it, likely it gets mystery shopped.

The most common mystery shops I have seen are:

  • Fast food restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Fashion retail stores
  • Big Box retail stores
  • Gas/Service stations
  • Hotels
  • Airports
  • Theaters
  • Amusement parks

Small businesses that are locally owned are about the only types of stores I have not seen mystery shops for.

Avoiding Scams

All of the companies that I listed here require no fees. I also did not include any referral links at all! Never sign up for any shop company that requires up front payment. Also never respond to emails saying they will pay you hundreds or thousands of dollars to test a money order company. These are scams. No company pays up front.

Have you ever been a Mystery Shopper?

See results


Please remember that when you work for mystery shopping companies you sign a confidentiality agreement. This means it is against rules to disclose what stores each company shops. So please do not post the name of the store that each company shops.

© 2012 Annsalo


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