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Make Money Mystery Shopping Without Getting Scammed

Updated on January 14, 2016
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Jo has been an ITU nurse at the London North West NHS Trust for 14 years. She obtained her RN at University College London Hospital.


Get paid for doing what you enjoy; Mystery Shopping

Every day people are searching for new and simple ways to make money.

If you are reading this article, you are probably one of those people, so read on, and I’m sure you will find this article very useful.

Make Money Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is an excellent way to earn some extra cash. If you also happen to love shopping and eating out this is a no brainer.

You can make money while doing the things you enjoy all at the same time.

Mystery shopping is not a get rich quick scheme, but it can be a fun way to earn a part-time wage, it's something you might want to do in your spare time. Mystery shopping can be flexible, allowing you to schedule assignments whether you are in full-time employment, self-employed, work from home mum, student or retired.

Shoppers can be male or female, any age group and from all walks of life, with good communication skills.

As a mystery shopper, you are paid to eat in restaurants and pubs, visit movie theaters, hotels, and various other businesses as an undercover customer. Mystery shoppers gather information for the company owners, helping them to improve their customer service. There is a broad range of work available.

If you already have some expertise in a particular industry, you can use your experience to monitor the skills of a particular department, fly on airlines and comment on the services you received from the staff.

You may be required to purchase individual items from fast food chains, health care outlets, banks and motor car dealership.

How Much Time Does it Take and What does it Pay

The length of time a mystery shopper takes depends largely on the type of assignment they are given. A shop could take less than an hour. The amount of work for mystery shopping tends to vary as does the pay; shoppers can expect to be paid anywhere between $8 and $20 for shopping, expected earnings in the UK is between £5 and £20. Mystery shoppers may also receive free meals, discounts, and savings.

However, shoppers should be wary of promises of extraordinary freebies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Why do Companies need Mystery Shoppers?

The information provided by the mystery shopper is crucial to the various companies, it gives them insight into understanding how their branches and departments are running; companies look at their franchises to assess standardization of the services.

In the current economic climate, shoppers are selective about how and where they spend their money.

To attract new customers, and to ensure current customers keep returning, businesses need to up their game, and they do this, by placing more focus on customer service. Business owners are waking up to the simple fact that it is better and cheaper to retain their existing customers than to attract new ones.

Some companies use customer's feedback to ascertain their client’s view. However, this method has proven to be unreliable, because customers are often reluctant to complain.

Mystery Shopping Scam

Like most money making ideas, there are always people looking to relieve unsuspecting customers of their money. Mystery shopping is no exception. Scammers operate by assuming the identities of reputable mystery shopping companies; they try to obtain details of potential shoppers by e-mail or telephone. Customers are advised not to respond to any e-mail requesting payment in advance of conducting an assessment, and definitely not when an application to cash checks and wire the funds to someone else is made.

Hackers are known to steal website's identity of reputable companies, creating sites that look legitimate. If you like the idea of mystery shopping and want to try it, check out the accompanying video before you do.

Mystery shopping for a legitimate company should not cost you money to sign up.

Do your research about mystery shopping, check reputable online sites for tips on how to find the legitimate companies hiring mystery shoppers; do not pay a fee to become a mystery shopper. Check out the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) at Search their data for assignments and learn more about applying. There are certification programs on offer for a fee, but it is not necessary to look or to apply for assignments.

For more detailed information, see the Federal Trade Commission, for protecting America’s consumers at this link. for those of us in the UK Mystery Shopper Jobs is worth checking out sites like follow the link below to more sites. this site provides free sign up for jobs, no training required since most companies prefer the experience of real shoppers. I strongly recommend that you research each site and be aware of the potential for scams.Make money as a mystery shopper - Spend & Save - Money - The Independent.


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    • Dan Barfield profile image

      Dan Barfield 5 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      This is very useful info - thanks for enlightening me. I may well get involved with some mystery dining at the very least!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Frank, thank you for the visit and the comment. You're right, there is a lot of scams, but you can make money if you know and can avoid the pitfalls.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Great Hub tobusiness--I always thought all those mystery shopper jobs was a quick cash scam..hmm