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No Frills Mystery Shopping Guide - The Real Truth

Updated on November 20, 2011

Would you like to earn a little extra money or start getting things for free. Follow my simple steps to becoming a Mystery Shopper.

Do Not Pay Anyone

First of all, DO NOT pay out any money to anyone to become a Mystery shopper. This is not necessary. Also, you do not need any type of certification. However, MSPA Shopper Certification may make it easier to obtain jobs or make you eligible for additional jobs.

Get on the Internet

Get out there on the Internet and register with some mystery shopping sites. I highly recommend They are not a mystery shopping company but merely a job board for many mystery shopping companies. You will want to register with them and sign up for IC Pro status, which means you are an independent contractor. Once registered, you will be able to search jobs by zip code. When you find jobs that you are interested in, you will need to register with each individual company as you apply for the jobs. Don't worry, this can all be done through the Jobslinger website. You will also be required to sign up with Sassie Shop at some point during this process. Sassie Shop is an online service that the majority of the companies use.

Be Patient

It may take a while before you get your first job since at this point you have no experience. It all depends on supply and demand of Mystery Shoppers in your area. If you live in a densely populated area, there may be hundreds of jobs available. If you live in a rural area or sleeper town, jobs may be few and far between.

Be Picky

Once you have established yourself as a Mystery Shopper, you may want to be picky. I once signed up for a job that paid $60 for what was promised to be 2-3 hours of work. In the end it was 10 hours of work and 18 pages of writing. I was exhausted at the end of it and told myself I would be more careful in the future. Read the description of the job, think about what it entails and see if it is worth your while. If it is available, read the questionnaire that you are required to complete for the job too. Some jobs will pay you a flat fee, some jobs will only reimburse you for your expenses, some will reimburse you and pay a fee.

Don't Expect to Make This Your Full Time Job

This is not a profession that can earn you a full time income. However, you can make some extra money and get things that you may want or need for free. You may find yourself dining at restaurants frequently, but the majority of these will only reimburse you. Other freebies that you may find in your area are haircuts, oil changes, veterinary visits, groceries, clothing and more.

Make Sure Your Grammar is Excellent

If writing is not your strong suit, then don't bother. As a mystery shopper, you are expected to use excellent grammar, detailed descriptions and perfect spelling. If you turn in a report that does not meet these expectations, you may find yourself not getting paid and being disqualified for future work with that company.

Check Your E-mail and Job Boards Frequently

Make sure you check any job boards frequently and keep an eye on your e-mail inbox. Once established, you will be able to self-assign many of the jobs on the job boards, but they can be snatched up quickly. Also, after a while, you will begin to receive job offers in your e-mail inbox. You will want to reply to these quickly as you may not be the only person receiving the e-mail.

Have Fun and Reap the Rewards

Lastly, make sure you enjoy the experiences you have and mostly, enjoy the financial gain and the rewards at the end!


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    • Sharon McConnell profile image

      Sharon McConnell 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Thanks for the feedback! It can be a fun and rewarding experience. I am getting paid to take my little boy to get his hair cut this week!

    • Karry Campbell profile image

      Karry Campbell 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Interesting hub. Always wondered how people became mystery shoppers.

    • EndaMac profile image

      Enda McLarnon 6 years ago from Belfast

      Thanks Sharon, good honest information here and I will be having a look!