and Free Dinners.
By Melissa Cid
I have mystery shopped for over 5 years, worked for many
companies, and thoroughly enjoy the adventure! I have
shopped restaurants, amusement parks, retail stores,
grocery stores, movie theaters and hair salons. There are
an abundance of businesses that need to be mystery
I only shop places I go to anyways or want to go to. I
only choose to shop businesses nearby, or near an area I
will be by anyways. I dont mystery shop to make
money, but to keep money in my pocket while enjoying a
nice dinner out. I like that I am able to help a business
improve by sharing the likes and dislikes of my
experience, and in return I get reimbursed for my
purchases/meals and sometimes make a little extra money
Just a few weeks ago my family and I shopped an amusement
park and were reimbursed for everything including
tickets, food, and gift shop purchases. This is why I
love mystery shopping!
What is mystery shopping?
A mystery shopper is a person who visits a business for
the purpose of observing and measuring customer service,
product quality and the environment of the establishment.
As a shopper, you can pick and choose which assignments
to take. Some shops reimburse you, some pay you a fee,
and others reimburse you AND pay you for your time.
Myth: Mystery shopping is a SCAM!
Truth: While it is true that there are a lot of scammers
out there, there are twice as many legitimate companies
looking for people to mystery shop for them. To make sure
a company is legit always check with the MSPA (Mystery
Shopping Providers Association).
Myth: Mystery shopping is easy, anyone can do it.
Truth: Actually, it takes a special type of person,
someone with a good eye for detail and a good memory. You
have to be able to write a detailed report so good
English and spelling is a must. Many companies have a
hiring process that includes testing grammar, knowledge
and comprehension skills. Youll also need a phone,
camera or scanner to send in your receipt for
Myth: Im going to make A LOT of money
Truth: Mystery shopping can help supplement your income,
but dont quit your day job. However, if you are
looking to get dinners, movies, and a haircut reimbursed
youll be pleasantly surprised at what mystery
shopping can offer you.
- Factor in your gas cost for mystery shop jobs.
Companies do not reimburse gas.
- Be aware that you will have be put up money upfront for
many shops and it can take 2-4 weeks to be
- Be extremely cautious about the shop details. If you do
not complete jobs exactly to company specifications, you
will not be paid or reimbursed.
- Create a separate email just for mystery shopping.
- Not all mystery shops are worth your time. Read the
shop details carefully and see what is reimbursed and is
asked of your time before committing to a shop. I refuse
to do any shop that is not going to reimburse me 100%.
How to get started:
Find legitimate mystery shopping companies through MSPA.
The more companies you sign-up with the more assignments
you will have to choose from. Once you sign up with a
company you will need to check your emails regularly for
new shop opportunities.
Interested in becoming a secret shopper?
MysteryShoppersAmerica.com can get you started today. We
specialize in connecting new shoppers with mystery
shopping jobs throughout the country. Through our
extensive network of hundreds of mystery shopping
companies, youll have plenty of great shopping jobs
to choose from every day!
To become a secret shopper, visit our registration page.
You'll learn about our secret shopping companies, what
kind of shopping jobs are available and how much you can
make. No previous experience is required.
Click here to Become a