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You Can Start Earning Money Today With These Mystery Shops

Updated on January 1, 2011


Your ready to start making money as a mystery shoppers, but your not sure what shops to chose.  One of the most popular types of mystery shopping is the retail stores.  You go into the store and shop without the company knowing you are there.  You make an evaluation of the inventory, the salespeople, and your overall experience. When you are assigned a shopping store, you will be given the paperwork.  The paperwork can only be completed after you have visited the store, but you can review the form online before you go.  This is a good idea, better yet, it is a must.  The paperwork lists what each client wants. Visiting the website before you go to the store and reviewing the paperwork required makes it easier to complete your job without having to go back. The pay for these jobs can be from $5.00 to $16.00.


Auditing can either be concealed or revealed.  A conceal assignment is when you go into a store as an uncover mystery shopper. The employees do not know you are spying on them. A revealed assignment is when you have a letter of authority to give to the store manager or owner.  In this type of assignment you could be doing something as simple as counting inventory, looking for items on the shelf, checking fire codes, or safety regulations.  In some auditing shops you might be required to take a photo of the outside, company sign, or front entrance.  These types of assignments usually do not require a purchase.  The fee can be from $6.00 to $15.00.


Merchandising is a different type of mystery shopping, in that you are often paid by the hour.  You work with the shop displaying a product and sharing with the public.  You might demonstrate a product, hand out samples, give out coupons, or show how to use a product.  These assignments can last for months or longer.  You are still considered an independent contractor; you just have a regular assignment with the same company.  As a mystery shopper you might be hired just to set up the display in a store.  The fee for this type of job is from $6.00 to $9.00 per hour.


Movie theater mystery shopping can be fun, but also time consuming.  Theater shopping has several types of shops within the heading of movie going.  First, is a trailer check. This is a revealed assignment. You give the management your letter of authorization and watch the previews of a movie.  You record what is shown before the feature and record how the audience reacts. You are not required to sit through the movie. If the manager gives permission you may stay for the feature.  The reports on these assignments are easy, but it does ask some questions that require writing several sentences. Second, is seat counting.  This is exactly what it says; you count the seats, not the people viewing the movie. Third, is an open checking. You count the number of people viewing the show and then at the end of the day you get information from the collection box. Fourth, is the sneak checks. You watch the previews of upcoming movies and record the audience reactions.  This requires detailed paperwork. The last type of theater observation is a covert operation. This means you are a mystery shopper, no one knows what you are doing.  It is called blind checks. You count all the people attending the movies all day long.  Some of these assignment can be long and boring. The fee for this type of job is from $7.00 to $15.00.


Restaurant shopping requires you to purchase the meal and send the receipt to the company for your reimbursement.  The fast food stores could ask you to purchase a burger, and then go back for a chicken or fish sandwich. Be careful not to go over your limit amount of reimbursement.  Casual dining may require the purchasing of an alcoholic beverage.  The forms for evaluating these restaurants can be long and require several sentences describing the store, inside and outside, the restrooms, the bar, the waiter personal, the management and the service. It is a great way to try different restaurants and get paid for eating. You are reimbursed for the meal and paid from $12.00 to $15.00.


Cellular or cell phone shopping is also fun.  You are asked to go into a retail store and play out a scenario.  You either want to upgrade a plan or change providers, or check on the new smart phone.  You must study the question before going and have some knowledge to make the shop ‘real.’ No purchase is required.  The form ranges from 25 to 40 multiple choice questions. It is fairly easy.  The fee paid is from $10.00 to $15.00, and you gain a wealth of knowledge.


Car dealerships are time consuming. If you always wanted to test drive a high end car, this is the time to do it.  You must spend about 20 to 30 minutes at the dealership and take a test drive.  The form questions are easy.   Fees for this shop run from $25.00 to $70.00


Apartment or model home viewing requires patience and time. You must ask very specific questions. These questions are given to you in your paperwork.  The reports are lengthy and they take a long time to complete. The fee for this shop runs anywhere from $30.00 to $40.00.


Other shops that are not always convenient include the airport shops.  The airport parking lot shops require you to take a ticket and park you car, or just drive around the lot and observe.  The report included information about the cleanliness of the lot, the condition of the blacktop, the lines, the lights and the exit attendant.  The other type of airport parking is playing out a scenario when you lost your ticket.  How the attendant handles the situation is the focus of your report.  The form has all the questions and you fill in the blanks.  The downfall of these assignments is usually the drive to and from an airport.  The pay for these jobs can be from $15.00 to $25.00.


Grocery store shopping is another questionable assignment.  If you are going to the store anyway, just do the assignment and get $10.00, worth of free food.  The shops usually don’t pay an additional fee for completing the shop.  The form requires you to go to all the departments.  This can be a lot of extra work just for free food.


Gas station shops will give you $5.00 or $10.00 worth of gas.  They require a receipt and sometimes a photo of the exterior. Some ask you to make a small purchase inside and then observe the restroom, the clerks, and the grounds.


Pizza ‘phone assignment’ have been given a poor rating by mystery shoppers.  You are asked to call and inquire about a special, or call and order a pizza, then call and cancel. The report is very long and the fee is only $1.50 to $3. Most say this type of assignment is not worth your time.


Bank assignments can be big bucks, but you are required to do quite a bit of work. You must interact with a bank representative.  You could be asked to open a bank account, apply for a credit card, or apply for a loan.  This could take a long time, depending on the bank and location.  The reports are longer than average.  The pay is good, $30.00 to $40.00 for opening an account and up to $150.00 for applying for a loan.  Some bank assignments could be as easy as checking the drive thru teller, so check out all the details before committing.


This covers just about all the types of shops you may encounter.  Read the paperwork before deciding.  Make sure you can complete the assignment on time and make sure you scan or fax the receipts and other expenses.  You will not be reimbursed without the proper paperwork.


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