Just like the name suggests, mystery shopping is a fun way of making extra money without disturbing your overall routine, either as a student or an employee. But, many people confuse it as an illegal job where you work somewhat like a spy while wearing an oversized black coat and large sunglasses.
If you thought the same, we have everything planned to clear out your confusion!
Mystery shopping is an excellent way of enjoying the work you do, making a side income, and getting some free products.
These facts have inspired many people to start mystery shopping, and they frequently search for the best mystery shopping companies to work for. If you are in the same queue, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about mystery shopping!
What is Mystery Shopping?
Every owner wants to stay updated with the current situation of their company, but they cannot be present there all the time. So, they hire a mystery shopper to do this job!
As the employees will start to act artificially in front of the owner, no employee would know about the mystery shopper. It is because he would always visit like a regular customer.
The company also gives some free money to the mystery shopper to spend in the restaurant, store, or bank and check the overall customer experience. While the mystery shopper completes all the assigned tasks, he also gets free items he bought from the money.
How to Become A Secret Shopper?
Although many of us, including me, think that becoming a mystery shopper comes with a lot of certifications and approaches, the thing is: anyone can be a mystery shopper!
But how do you become a mystery shopper?
If this question continuously bothers you, we have a list of the best mystery shopping companies to work for later in the article.
You only have to reach out to these companies, and the rest depends on your skills!
But, many companies require you to be older than 18 years to work for them.
How Do You Make Money Mystery Shopping?
Mystery shopping is considered a super-flexible job for students because you choose the time you work. Besides, you get free stuff from the place you visit.
Mystery shopping companies adopt different ways of paying money to mystery shoppers.
Thus, you can make money in any of the following ways:
- The company will offer a cash payment for the service. It usually happens for companies where you don’t have to buy anything.
- The company will only pay some money for things you buy. Restaurants often follow this method. You don’t get money afterward, but you enjoy free food.
- The company will pay money and offer free products as well. While you get paid for completing the tasks, the company also provides a few or all the products you bought for free.
The company you work for may adopt any of the methods mentioned above, depending on the type of job you get. So, you can get free food and products, get paid, or gain the advantage from both the offers!
How Much Money Do You Make Mystery Shopping?
People might think they could become millionaires mystery shopping. However, it is not true. We regard mystery shopping as a part-time hustle that helps you clear some debts and allow you to enjoy some meals with your friends out for a while.
While the salary of mystery shoppers varies dramatically from job to job and company to company, you can earn around $10-30 per hour.
In general, the average pay of a mystery shopper is $15 per hour.
Some experienced mystery shoppers have reported earning $30,000-40,000 per year after serving in this field for several years.
As many companies have started to offer less salary to mystery shoppers, the pay can be less or more than the average income mentioned above.
But, don’t worry about the less pay! The companies we have mentioned offer the salary you deserve for your hard work and time.
List of The 5 Best Mystery Shopping Companies to Work For
Secret Shopper is one of the most reliable and widespread mystery shopping companies, serving for the past 25 years.
As they don’t always require experienced mystery shoppers, this company is the best choice if you are starting your job as a mystery shopper.
The average pay rate will be $15-$25.
Most of the jobs on Secret Shopper include reimbursement or a free meal. So, it can be the right platform to start if you love going to restaurants and enjoy free food!
Started in 1986, BestMark is now known as the top mystery shopping company with satisfied customers throughout the US and Canada.
Becoming a mystery shopper and working for BestMark is a simple process if you have strong written communication skills. Besides, you should be 18+ years to get hired by BestMark.
Being the oldest and most reliable mystery shopping company, BestMark offers an average hourly rate of $12 to its mystery shoppers.
BestMark also offers different roles to its mystery shoppers, and the position you get hired for depends on your personal skills.
3. Market Force
Market Force is another mystery shopping company trusted by businesses in several countries. As signing up for Market Force is free and it assigns over 100,000 mystery shopping tasks every month, it can be the best platform for anyone struggling to make an income.
To work for Market Force, you have to download the Easy:On app and fill the form. The app is compatible with both iPhone and iOS.
Market Force contains several jobs that pay direct money or want you to enjoy a free meal. As many jobs are for restaurants, it’s the ideal place for food lovers!
4. Field Agent
Just like Market Force, Field Agent also has an app where mystery shoppers can find their jobs. It is widespread in over seven countries, and you see mystery shopping jobs flourishing your feed every few minutes!
As clients from different companies post their gigs, you cannot always get a flat rate for every job. However, most people report earning around $10 – $25 per hour while mystery shopping through Field Agent.
However, we have noticed a slight disadvantage of working with this company. You have to complete most of their jobs in two hours once the contract starts. Although it isn’t a deal-breaker, it will be more convenient while you are already shopping outside.
IntelliShop is also regarded as the best mystery shopping company to work for. As it hires mystery shoppers for many top brands, it is an excellent platform to make a good income every month.
Although IntelliShop offers job opportunities via email, we recommend using the app to make the task convenient.
Once you complete your mystery shopping job on IntelliShop, the client will rate you for the service, and the feedback will be displayed on your profile. An excellent rating will help you win more high-paying mystery shopping jobs.
As IntelliShop has clients from almost every industry, it is ideal for those who don’t want to equip themselves to one type of industry only.
What Kinds of Businesses Can You Mystery Shop?
Mystery shoppers enjoy their experience with a wide range of businesses. Here is a list of the top 10 kinds of businesses you can mystery shop:
- Shopping malls
- Phone call centers
- Medical offices
- Movie theatres
- Insurance companies
- Construction and rental
What are the Scams of Mystery Shopping Companies?
Unfortunately, you will find several mystery shopping companies that offer nothing but scams.
So, the best idea is to work with companies based on recommendations, as listed in this article.
Still, it is better to know about any scams while secret shopping and how to cope with them.
Here are some of the scams you may come across from mystery shopping companies.
· They ask for a fee:
The most common scam of mystery shopping companies is asking for a registration fee. Reliable secret shopping companies will hire you for free and won’t even ask for a single penny to hire you!
· They promise you more money:
Some mystery shopping companies may also offer a few hundred dollars per hour. If you face any such company, it would most probably be a scam. Secret shopping companies only pay a few dollars per hour, making it a side income instead of a full-time job.
· They aren’t associated with MSPA:
You can also check whether the company is a member of MSPA. It is an international organization that manages several mystery shopping companies.
As reputable secret shopping companies make sure their customers trust their services, many are associated with MSPA.
Mystery shopping is a fun way of making money and a flexible alternative for busy people. It is ideal for people who don’t want fixed working hours.
Mystery shoppers enjoy their tasks while working like detectives and also get free products and meals. For anyone who likes shopping and going to restaurants, working with mystery shopping companies is the best way of making a side income.
Our list of the best mystery shopping companies to work for will also help you avoid scams and earn a respectable income to clear out your debts!