Mystery Shopping  
Mystery Shopping Questions

Over the years I’ve worked a lot of “part-time” jobs to earn some extra money.  Mystery Shopping is one of the more interesting things I tried.  I’ve done shops for department stores, restaurants, fast food, pizza, apartments, hotels, banks, electronic stores, art supplies, movie theatres, the post office, flower shops, swimming pool supplies, grocery stores, and more.  Here’s a quick overview of what Mystery Shopping is all about.

What is mystery shopping?  There’s a lot of complicated descriptions of what mystery shopping is – but basically it is a way of checking to see if employees are providing the level of customer service that their company expects. 

You will see a lot of ads about mystery shopping that make it appear to be a fun way to get $100’s of dollars in free merchandise.  Most of those ads are for companies that want to sell you a mystery shopping course or a list of mystery shopping companies that are anxious to hire you.  Stay away from those companies. 

Mystery shopping can be fun but as a rule it’s a serious job.  When you get a shopping assignment you  will also receive specific instructions on how it is to be handled.  Always read everything carefully so you will be able to answer all the questions on the evaluation.  Your answers should be detailed, fair and objective.  Always remember that your report can have serious consequences for the business or employee that you are evaluating. 

My favorite part of mystery shopping is the variety of jobs and the flexible hours.  You can choose which jobs you want to apply for and work your assignments into your regular shopping schedule to save time and gas.  You won’t get rich but you will earn some extra cash and occasionally get a nice meal or a free oil change.  For more information go to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) web site at

Are YOU an experienced Mystery Shopper?
Please share your favorite shopping companies and resources
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How much money can I make?
Most assignments pay between $5-$20. Some restaurant jobs do not pay a fee but will either reimburse you for your meal or provide vouchers you can use like gift certificates.
Are there a lot of jobs available?
Nationwise there are a lot of shopping jobs. Naturally if you live in a large city you will see more postings than if you live in a rural area.
Is it harder for a new shopper to get assignments?
Yes and no. Jobs are often given to more experienced shoppers but new shoppers are always needed for recurring assignments. If you shop an apartment complex one month you are not going to be able to shop it again the next month. New shoppers can gain experience by taking the recurring and lower paying shops.
Can I shop for more than one company?
YES! This is one of the great things about mystery shopping - you can work for as many companies as you want as long as the companies do not ask you to be exclusive. You will be asked to NOT to share information between companies.
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