ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Ins and Outs on Making Money as a Mystery Shopper

Updated on June 23, 2019
Kimberly Martis profile image

Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs, and fiction.

You might have been thinking about ways to earn some extra money. If you have some spare time than mystery shopping might be for you. You will not get rich from it nor is it a fast way to get money. If you do it regularly though you will be able to make an extra living from it.

What is a Mystery Shopper

A mystery shopper is someone who shops commissioned by an agency. The get an assignment to check out a store, employees or customer service. And after they fulfilled their assignment, they need to rapport back to the agency. If the agency approves the rapport than the mystery shopper gets paid.

Why Should You Become a Mystery Shopper

If you are looking for a way to earn some extra money you should consider mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is also a great way to spend the day and get out of the house and socialize. Of course, you can't tell the employees that you’re a mystery shopper but you do get to have a (fun) conversation with them. And if you’re sitting at home all the time without having anything to do it might be a great activity


How Do You Become a Mystery Shopper

Everyone that is of legal age and can read and write can become a mystery shopper. All you have to do is sign up at a mystery shopping agency. When your application is approved you can start working as a mystery shopper. You will have access to all the open assignments. After you apply for an assignment the agency decides if they assign it to you or one of your colleague mystery shoppers. There are various reasons why you might get denied the assignment that you applied for. This can be because of your gender, age, location or previous assignments. If the assignment is assigned to you then you will get the full details and you can go out and mystery shop.


The assignments can bring you to different stores all around the country. As you can apply for assignments yourself you can decide where you want to shop. It would be best to apply for assignments in your city or nearby. This way you will not have to travel a lot which will save you time and money.



Mystery shopping does pay but there is no set amount. Some assignments pay a lot but most of the time the pay is (very) low. So, if you’re looking to make big bucks you might want to reconsider. As you will not always get paid in money. Sometimes you will get free items as payment. Other times you will get a discount in a store as payment.

You will get paid after your assignment has been approved. This means that you will not get paid right away.

Most mystery shop agencies have a budget for travel costs. They usually don’t state this upfront. Therefore, you should ask for compensation if your travel costs are high. Do this before you start your assignment. This way there will be no misunderstanding and you will know whether the agency is willing to compensate for your travel costs.

How to Make the Most out of Mystery Shopping

There are a few things that you can do to make the most out of mystery shopping. Signing up to multiple mystery shop agencies is one of them. The more agencies you are signed up to the more assignments you can apply to.

Complete multiple assignments on the same day. This way you will only have to take one trip which will save you time and money.

Apply to assignments where you have to visit stores that you were already going to. If you were already going to store x to buy something you might as well do your assignment at the same time. And if the payment for the assignment is through free items then you can also get the items that you were going to buy for free.

As you have the choice to pick which assignments, you’re applying to would be best to only apply for assignments that you like.


Pros and Cons

If you still don't know if mystery shopping might be something for you this pros and cons list might help.


  • You get paid
  • You get free stuff
  • You get to the chance to socialize
  • You can choose your own assignments
  • You have something to do during the day


  • The pay is (usually) low
  • You don't get paid immediately
  • Payment is not always in money

Would you become a mystery shopper?

See results

© 2019 Kimberly Martis


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)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)