24 Best & Legit Mystery Shopping Companies (2021)

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Who wouldn’t want to be compensated for their shopping, dining, and movie watching? Indeed, having a flexible schedule can earn you money. Most people don’t believe it, but thousands of mystery shoppers are paid to do just that across the United States.

Since management isn’t there, mystery shopping organizations rely on experienced shoppers to objectively tell them how their business is doing. Businesses want to know if the food is made properly, and the retailer is following company instruction.

Why do companies use mystery shoppers?

Contents

Undercover shopping helps businesses to swiftly get high-quality, candid feedback from customers.

  • Businesses aim to give customers a voice by telling them about their experiences in order to reduce turnover and discontent.
  • Team performance Are the teams performing up to the corporate standards? Businesses want to know how their frontline employees perform on a day-to-day basis.
  • Evaluate the store’s and brand’s condition, compliance, and cleanliness to ensure that they are up to par.
  • Competitors’ Performance Gives you an idea of how your competitors are doing in comparison to your organization.
  • Employee Integrity Maintain your employees’ integrity by informing them on what matters to customers.

What do mystery shoppers look for?

Here’s a list of what a shopper looks for while on the job:

  • Is your store well-organized?
  • Is it sanitary? What’s the difference between inside and outside?
  • Did they say hello to you?
  • Was the personnel pleasant?
  • Are they able to answer questions about the product you were told to purchase?
  • Were they attempting to upsell or sell add-ons such as a warranty?
  • Did they make an attempt to close the deal?
  • Did they express gratitude to the shopper for his or her purchase?
  • Was the outside of the building and the parking lot spotless?

Different types of mystery shopping jobs

Pick a specialization that suits your interests and time constraints. The following are examples of the types of experiences:

  • Airline
  • Apartment
  • Experiences
  • Hotel
  • Phone
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • Secret diner
  • Telephone
  • Travel
  • Video

Which mystery shopping companies are legitimate?

There are no application or membership fees for legitimate mystery shopper jobs. Finding a reputable organization that isn’t seeking to defraud you is the most difficult part.

Any company that asks for an upfront charge to become a mystery shopper should be avoided. If you notice any red signals, move ahead and look for a legitimate business.

The payment rate will most likely vary depending on the job. Expect no one-size-fits-all charge for all job tasks.

Based on the client’s assignment, you may be required to purchase a little item or meal for some chores. If you work as a mystery shopper in a restaurant, you should get reimbursed for your meal, tax, and tip. Study the job instructions carefully, but you will most likely be compensated for any items necessary to perform your task.

To obtain money, you’ll need to write a very full and accurate written report after you’ve completed the shopping job. The company will occasionally send a follow-up query for clarification. Any extra inquiries should be answered quickly so that your payment can be processed.

Independent contractor requirements of a mystery shopper

You’ll be classified as an independent contractor by the majority of shopper companies. They are self-employed assessors who work on projects for third-party clients at their leisure.

It denotes that you are an entrepreneur rather than an employee. Any tax obligations and reporting are your responsibility.

If you make enough money from a company, they’ll send you a 1099 form that you can use to file your taxes. If you reach that barrier, you’ll have to furnish your social security number.

Some businesses will ask for your social security number up front. If you are hesitant to provide your SSN up front, find another company to work for.

Companies are prohibited by IRS laws from requiring independent contractors to fulfill a minimum number of employment opportunities. On the other hand, each client may be limited to a certain number of transactions per month.

Benefits of mystery shopping – Side Hustle

Mystery shopping is a great a way to supplement your income in your spare time It’s an excellent side-hustle, but it’s not meant to be a full-time job.  The available opportunities are unreliable and inconsistent, depending on where you live.

If you have the time and want to supplement your income for vacations, groceries, or other expenses, it’s a terrific part-time job.

To say the least, the work is intriguing. Do you know of any other employment where you may get paid to shop? Of course, there are some rules and regulations to follow, but other than that, a mystery shopper job does not necessitate any special expertise.

Another benefit of surprise shopping is that it is constantly changing, which means you will never be bored. A mystery shopper job will allow you to switch duties every day, from different shops to different products, if you are easily bored and do not want to work in a repetitive environment. A typical day will never be completely predictable.

Aside from the actual quality of the work, mystery shopping offers material benefits in the shape of freebies! While you will be required to follow a set of standards for each product that you buy and test, the firm that you are shopping for will cover the entire cost of your purchases.

You may acquire a lot of things for free, including food and services, that you would never buy with your own money. It’ll be a fantastic way to pass the time!

Another significant advantage of mystery shopping is the independence of the work. While being your own boss may be an overused cliché, you do have a lot of control over your working hours, the time of day you work, and the amount of money you make.

Signing up with multiple companies and completing multiple job applications is the best way to make money quickly and increase your earning potential. You can work as a secret shopper for as many companies as you choose.

Independent contractors are not required to accept employment advertised on job boards. If you apply and are authorized for a specific position, you are expected to take it.

Disadvantages of Mystery Shopping

While mystery shopping may appear to be too wonderful to be true, it may have some drawbacks for both employers and employees:

  • No secure income: How many possibilities are available and which ones you are eligible for determines your work and income. You can’t rely on mystery shopping to support you full-time.
  • Low rates: As detailed later in the text, your hourly wage could be as low as $5, which is significantly less than the minimum wage. Mystery shopping should be viewed as a side hustle rather than a primary source of revenue.
  • Bias: You can’t ignore the bias that comes with everyone’s personal opinions, even if mystery shoppers are chosen from a large demographic.  

How much can mystery shoppers get paid?

The salary for each work varies, but most locations pay between $5 and $25 or more. Any goods or food you purchase will be reimbursed. Furthermore, some firms may compensate you for tolls and parking.

Individual companies, like Market Force, allow you to negotiate the price for shopping.  You don’t have to accept the offer price, and you can click the “Make An Offer” button if you think you should be paid more money.  In the end, an average paying job may turn out to be the highest paying mystery job on the platform.  You never know.

When estimating your hourly rate, remember to factor in the extra 30-60 minutes it will take you to write your report and complete the hiring company’s questionnaire.

Mystery shopper hourly rate

There are two methods for calculating and viewing hourly pay:

  • You are paid $10 to have lunch on an hourly basis. Driving back and forth, as well as eating your food, takes 90 minutes. The report takes another 30 minutes to write. You were paid $5 per hour.
  • You are paid $10 to eat lunch at an hourly rate plus reimbursement cost. Driving back and forth, as well as eating your food, takes 90 minutes. You’ll also receive a $20 lunch reimbursement and a $10 parking reimbursement. The report takes another 30 minutes to write. You were given $20 an hour to go to a new restaurant for lunch and write a 30-minute summary. That doesn’t appear to be a bad offer!

What makes a good mystery shopper?

  • Follow instructions The client will give you specific instructions. You’ll be OK if you follow their instructions to the letter. Please arrive on time. If they want you to eat lunch between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., don’t show there at 4 p.m. Purchase and spend the appropriate amount. On time, turn in your shopping report and questionnaire.
  • Because you won’t be able to carry a notepad with you, you’ll need a strong memory to retain the details of your encounter. Keep an eye out and make mental notes.
  • You are being compensated for writing an accurate report. Because you aren’t inventing anything, writing a clear report should be simple and quick.
  • Writing abilities Your client report should be well-organized, clear, and brief. Reread the report for grammar and spelling problems before mailing it in.
  • Don’t let anyone see you. Your task is to remain unnoticed and act normally. Stores are sometimes on the lookout for corporate spies, so don’t act suspiciously and draw their attention to yourself.
  • Savings – To make money, you need money.  As we learned from , in most cases, the mystery shopper is required to shop and spend their own money upfront.   It can take anywhere from thirty days to as long as ninety days to get reimbursed.  Many wouldn’t consider this fast money, but it’s a fun side-hustle. 

Mystery Shopper Hours

Depending on the employment, the undercover shopping hours will vary. In most cases, the hours will be during normal business hours or in the evening for supper.

Night owls are generally not a good fit for this career.

Key to get paid to shop

Customers that supply a lot of information and make thorough notes of their experiences are compensated. The following are some examples of detailed reports:

  • Confirm business hours You can confirm business hours in person or over the phone. Customers are irritated when stores open late and close early, therefore corporate wants to ensure that this does not happen. That’s exactly what happened to me!
  • Try the service or dinner to see how important the small elements are. Summarize your experience as objectively as possible while meeting the assignment’s goals.
  • Take photographs Some professions will require you to photograph signs or restrooms. Businesses want to see sales signs that are properly placed and restrooms that are cleaned on a regular basis.

Highest paying mystery shopping jobs

A newbie secret shopper will be on the lower end of the wage spectrum, ordering quick food. The higher-paying assignments will be awarded to the more experienced contractors.

I suggest taking the and becoming at least a silver status certification.  Yes, you have to pay for the course, but it’s like buying your way to the front of the line.  This way, you don’t have to slog along and work the minimum wage jobs longer than necessary.

For such jobs, several companies will only hire certified secret shoppers. Silver and Gold MSPA certified members receive preferential treatment at Pinnacle.

Mystery Shopper Tips

We’ve come up with some fantastic recommendations based on our research to help you acquire a job and earn more money.

  • Login frequently Depending on the website, some job openings are released on a monthly basis, while others are posted as they become available. Do not rely on the company’s weekly or monthly mailings to alert you about part-time job chances. Be proactive and check for local experiences on a regular basis.
  • MSPA certification Many companies may give an independent contractor who has earned an MSPA certification more options than one who does not. You may potentially be eligible for better pay as a result of your performance.
  • Don’t limit yourself to working for just one company. You are free to apply to as many legitimate mystery shopper jobs as you desire. You are not obligated to accept a job that you do not want.
  • Purchase discounted gift cards and use them to pay for your dining, shopping, or entertainment experience. Raise is where we get our discounted gift cards. Before you go secret dining, discover if you can obtain a discount on your dinner and boost your profit by buying cheap gift cards.

Best Mystery Shopping Companies to work for

We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled a list of 24 options! Almost every business on our list is a member of MSPA and has been in operation for more than 20 years. Apply to a few reputable secret shopper firms that make you feel at ease or provide employment in areas that you enjoy.

The Better Business Bureau has given nearly all of the best mystery shopping companies on this list an A+ rating. Despite the fact that a handful of them did not receive a perfect score, the majority of them received positive consumer feedback.

1. BestMark

BestMark is one of the largest mystery shopping companies that works with Fortune 500, 100, and 50 companies.  They have an A+ . 

About 600,000 independent contractors work with BestMark in more than 13,000 communities across the United States and Canada.

Best Mark is a member of the MSPA and American Marketing Association.  They are rated A+ from the . 

Benefits include

  • Checking out new products and services
  • Make money fast
  • Meals and services are provided for free.
  • Referral bonuses for family and friends
  • Help businesses enhance their customer service and experience while remaining anonymous.

BestMark jobs offered

  • Mystery shopper
  • Panel member
  • Intercept interviewer
  • Compliance auditor

Industry clients

  • Dealerships and auto service
  • Financial services include banking.
  • Casinos – Entertainment
  • Grocery
  • Fitness, attractiveness, medical, and long-term care are all aspects of health.
  • Hardware for home improvement and construction
  • Hotels
  • Apartment and property management in real estate
  • Restaurants
  • Service stations and convenience stores are examples of retail establishments.
  • Airlines and travel transportation

Requirements to work at BestMark

  • 18 years of age and up
  • Good internet access
  • A computer, tablet, or smartphone is required.
  • Modern Internet browser
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing
  • Reliable transportation

Process

  1. No fee required
  2. Applications are approved either automatically or manually. After you’ve been contacted, manual activation will be activated within 5-10 business days.
  3. Email will be used to send login and password information.
  4. Check out the My Assignments page to see what new assignments have been introduced this month. BestMark will not reimburse you for travel expenses, such as gas for your car, if you take jobs outside of your local area.
  5. Do the survey online, usually within 24 hours of receiving the assignment or as directed by the customer.

Payment

Independent contractors are compensated on a project-by-project basis. One of the following methods will be used to pay and refund you:

  • Direct deposit
  • PayPal
  • Gift card

After each completed assignment, BestMark shoppers are typically paid 3-4 weeks later. Payments are handled twice a month and mailed out.

Individuals are responsible for calculating and paying their own taxes.

2.  Second to None

For over 30 years, Second To None is a legit mystery shopping company that serves the United States and Canada.  The Second To None secret shopper company has an A+ . 

Types of Second To None Jobs

  • Mystery shopper
  • Brand compliance
  • Customer feedback

Process

  1. There is no cost to join; it is absolutely free.
  2. Complete application – Takes less than a minute to  
  3. On the Employment Board, you can find national mystery shopping assignments.
  4. Make requests for jobs that interest you and fit within your schedule.
  5. Junior shopper Newer customers must first go via a scheduler to be approved.
  6. Second To None will offer you a list of local jobs in your neighborhood on occasion.
  7. Check in frequently You may not receive emails for every potential job in your area, so it’s a good idea to log in and check for openings on a regular basis. If you are authorized, the roles will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Industry clients

  • AARP, BP, Expedia, FedEx, minted, Xfinity, and YETI are examples of consumer products and services.
  • Citi, Safeco Insurance, SelectQuote, USAA, and other financial services,
  • Concentra, CVSHealth, EyeMed, Humana, and Quest Diagnostics are among the healthcare companies.
  • California Pizza Kitchen, Krispy Kreme, MOD, PotBelly, and Starbucks are some of the restaurants in the area.
  • BP, Staples, T-Mobile, Under Armour, and Whole Foods are among the retail and eCommerce giants.
  • Automotive
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Non-profits
  • Real estate
  • Travel

Payment

Second To None rewards their customers via direct deposit into their bank accounts or through PayPal. Receiving direct payment into your bank account is completely free. There is a $1 fee deducted from your total payment if you use PayPal.

3. GAPbuster

GBW, also known as Gapbuster Worldwide, has completed over 14 million undercover shopper jobs in over 50 countries worldwide.  They’ve been in business for over 25 years and have a C+ as of this writing. 

Gapbuster is a member of the MSPA, with over 200,000 secret shoppers.

Requirements to work at GBW

  • Quick enough to log in and access assignments over the internet
  • e-mail address A personal e-mail address for communication.
  • Access to a printer for printing documents
  • To create JPEG files of receipts, use a scanner, digital camera, or smartphone.

Process

  1. There is no cost to join; it is absolutely free.
  2. becoming a shopper
  3. Acceptance Processing of the application approval can take up to 72 hours.
  4. Once you’ve been authorized, you’ll receive an email.

Industry clients

  • Automotive
  • Convenience stores
  • Entertainment and theatres
  • Banking and financial services
  • Grocery
  • Stations that sell gasoline and petroleum
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications

Payment

At the conclusion of each month, GAPbuster sends funds to your personal bank account via Electronic Money Transfer. Payments are typically made a month late.

If you earn more than $600 through Gapbuster in a year, you will receive a 1099 tax form.

4. A Customer’s Point of View (ACPView)

ACPView has been providing secret shopper services, telephone and customer service evaluations, and service discrimination testing for over 20 years. They serve over 100,000 stores and have over 200 clientele.

A Customer’s Point of View, Inc has an A+ with no complaints filed as of this writing. 

MSPA, the American Public Transportation Association, and the International Association of Service Evaluators are both members of ACPView.

Mystery experiences company

ACPView is also a North American mystery experiences provider with a focus on transit.

The following are some examples of transit experiences:

  • Airport ground transportation
  • Bus services
  • Parking services
  • Subway
  • Taxi rides

Requirements to work at ACPView

  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Take pleasure in interacting with others.
  • Observant
  • Recall small details
  • A computer, smartphone, or tablet is an electronic device.
  • Dependable Internet connection
  • Meet deadlines

Application process

  1. Apply –
  2. Study the Independent Contract Agreement for details. To become a secret shopper, you must agree to the rules once you are comfortable.
  3. Personal information, such as your social security number, should be provided. It’s required for independent contractor payment verification.
  4. We’re ready to go!

Industry clients

  • Financial
  • Foodservice
  • Government agencies
  • Housing industries
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Transportation
  • Utility companies

Payment

ACPView will show you the pre-determined payment and any reimbursement required to finish the assignment before you accept it.

Shoppers will receive payment and reimbursement via PayPal about 45 days from the end of the month.  They do not Money orders should be used for payments. nor checks.

5. AboutFace

About Face mystery shopping is a reputable organization with over 21 years of experience. Around 200,000 evaluators, inspectors, and auditors work for them. For B2B or consumer organizations, the independent contractors will conduct research by phone, onsite, and online.

Workers are paid 15% more than the industry average, according to their website. As a result, they are one of the highest-paying mystery shopping companies. They have openings in all 50 states as well as Canada.

.. On other review websites, the About Face reviews are positive.

They are MSPA Elite members.

Types of AboutFace Jobs

  • Field researcher
  • Focus group participant
  • Product demonstrator
  • Survey panelist

Application process

jobs as an independent contractor.

Industry clients

  • Dealers, service providers, and manufacturers of automobiles
  • Education
  • Food and beverage
  • Pharma
  • High-end and luxury goods
  • Petroleum, gasoline, and convenience
  • Pet healthcare
  • Property management and real estate
  • Technology
  • Trades and installers
  • Air, bus, taxi, and ride-sharing are all options for transportation.
  • Women’s way of life

Payment

The amount you will be paid will be determined on your previous performance and the difficulty of the task. They are, on average, one of the highest paying secret shopper professions, according to AboutFace.

After you’ve completed your shopping task, you’ll be paid by PayPal in roughly 45 days.

6. A Closer Look

A Closer Look has specialized in mystery shopping and evaluation specialists for over 25 years.

They have over 500 clients and over 200,000 evaluators.  A Closer Look has an A+ . 

Types of A Closer Look Jobs

  • Movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert halls, and family centers all provide entertainment.
  • Health and hygiene
  • Full-service hotels, extended-stay hotels, luxury properties, and resorts are all available.
  • Restaurants include fast casual, upscale dining, full service, bars and nightclubs, and quick service restaurants (QSR).
  • Assisted living, independent living, and memory care are all options for seniors.
  • Brick-and-mortar specialty retail and e-commerce services and products

Requirements to work at A Closer Look

  • Minimum of 18 years old
  • Only jobs in North America are available.
  • Valid email address

Application process

Apply for A Closer Look . 

Before you can shop, you’ll have to pass a exam on grammar, spelling, and other fundamentals. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete the test.

To assess your writing talents, you’ll also be asked to narrate a story about a recent restaurant or store visit.

The entire application procedure should take no more than 30 minutes.

Payment

Before accepting an assignment, A Closer Look will tell you how much you’ll be paid and how much reimbursement you can expect.

Every third Friday of the month, you will get compensated to shop in the form of a check.

7. Amusement Advantage

Amusement Advantage was started in 1997 and focuses on niche mystery shopping experiences in entertainment, customer service, and amusement park management.  They have an A+ .   

They have jobs in almost all 50 states, and there are particular limitations in Nevada.  See . 

MSPA has AA as a member.

Requirements to work at Amusement Advantage

  • High-speed internet access
  • Private email address
  • Ability to print
  • To send receipts, use a scanner, digital camera, or smartphone. When shopping, several occupations demand the capacity to capture a digital photo.
  • Recall recall and a keen eye for detail are also important skills.
  • Good communication skills in writing

Process

They assign jobs in the afternoon on the Friday closest to the 15th of each month.  Use the Amusement Advantage login continuously over the following week to see if you were scheduled for any jobs you requested. 

Industry clients

  • Amusement parks
  • Aquariums
  • Bowling centers
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Museums
  • Science centers
  • Skating centers
  • Theme parks
  • Waterparks
  • Zoos

Payment

The total pay and reimbursement are included in the job postings. In some situations, you will be reimbursed with a number of complimentary tickets to the venue. While theme parks are pricey, complimentary tickets will outweigh the pay compared to many other occupations.

In general, you’ll get a few free tickets before the task and more once you finish the report.

Amusement Advantage lets you earn money quickly by paying its independent contractors in 30-45 days.  You get paid to shop and get reimbursed via PayPal.  Per the company, most clients offer a $5 early return bonus for quick execution. 

Members can earn $20 for each new referral who completes a job through Amusement Advantage’s Referral Program.

8. Pinnacle Financial Strategies

Pinnacle Mystery Shopping has been in business for more than 20 years. They aid in customer service, facility cleanliness, consumer experience, and sales attempts evaluation.

The Pinnacle platform will soon feature video mystery shopping.

Pinnacle Financial Strategies receives an A+ and is a longtime member of MSPA. 

Requirements to work at Pinnacle Financial Strategies

After your undercover experience is completed, you must submit the report within 12 hours.

After each assignment is completed, you will receive a grade ranging from 1 to 10. The higher your overall score, the more purchasing possibilities you’ll get from contractors. Your correctness, dependability, detail, and writing skills are used to calculate your score.

MSPA Silver and Gold certified secret shoppers are given priority by Pinnacle account managers.

Application process

  1. Start the application process at the . 
  2. Finish your shopper profile.
  3. Sign up for email updates.
  4. In the Employment Board, you may apply for Pinnacle shopper assignments.
  5. Confirmations will be sent to you through email.
  6. Keep an eye out for fresh job postings on the Job Board.

Payment

Pinnacle jobs pay from $4 and $75 each assignment on average. An onsite job pays more than labor done over the phone or on the internet.

All jobs completed and submitted by the 20th of the month will be paid on the 10th of the following month.  Shoppers will get paid via PayPal and be notified by email once payment has been made.  A PayPal account is required to get paid to shop.  

If you earned more than $600 in a calendar year, PayPal would send you a 1099.

9. Quest For Best

Started in 1990, Quest For Best mystery shopping has clients in 40 states, but the jobs tend to focus on the Midwest and the Southwest United States.  Find the list of . 

Quest For Best receives an A+ and is a longtime member of MSPA.

Types of Quest For Best Jobs

  • In-store
  • Audio recorded telephone
  • Internet/online
  • Hidden video shopping

Application process

Start the application process at the .

Industry clients

  • Casual dining
  • Lawn and garden
  • Mobile home communities
  • Movie and cinema
  • Restaurants, family restaurants, fine dining restaurants, and sandwich shops

10. Sentry Marketing Group

Sentry Marketing Group has been undertaking mystery shopping, consumer surveys, audits, and inspections for over a decade.

,MSPA, the International Association of Service Evaluators, and the Customer Experience Association are all members of.

Types of Sentry Marketing Group jobs

  • Brick-and-mortar stores
  • Online
  • Phone mystery shopping

Application process

Start the field evaluators application process at the . 

Industry clients

  • Smashburger
  • The Ritz Carlton
  • Cowboy Chicken
  • Marriott
  • The Pancake House that Started It All
  • Massage Envy Spa
  • Quaker Steak and Lube (Quaker Steak and Lube)

11. SIS International Research

SIS International Research is a legitimate global mystery shopping organization that provides services like as customer service experience research, product research, competitive pricing research, and retail audits and analyses.

SIS has worked on projects in over 120 countries and with over 70% of Fortune 500 firms in the last 35 years.

a list of existing and future educational opportunities

Several studies are paying $25, $150, and even $200 as of this writing.

12. TrendSource

TrendSource is a reputable mystery shopper firm that was founded in 1989.

,MSPA, the International Organization for Standardization, the National Association of Professional Background Professionals, the National Consumer Reporting Association, and the Security Standards Council are all members of the organization.

Types of TrendSource Jobs

  • On-site inspection Inspect and photograph the establishment.
  • Customers are being interviewed and surveyed in the store.
  • Store inspections Verify that products are displayed correctly.
  • Undercover shopper: Go to the stores, buy the products you’ve been assigned, and report back on your findings.

Requirements to work at TrendSource

  • To upload your photo ID, project-related information, and receipts, you’ll need a digital camera or scanner.
  • Reports on consistent Internet connectivity are time-sensitive and must be completed and submitted by the timeframes specified.

Application process

Start the application process at the . 

Payment

TrendSource pays its Field Agents, or independent contractors, twice a month for all completed and validated work.

Their field agents are paid by paper check or direct deposit (in the United States). PayPal is used to pay agents in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Video Mystery Shopping

Companies can use video mystery shopping to capture real-time customer interactions.

The following are some of the advantages of employing video mystery shopping:

  • At underperforming stores, look into the issues more thoroughly.
  • Assist associates and management in resolving conflicts.
  • Displays associates’ quirks and mannerisms
  • In the future, it will be used as a training tool.
  • Settle any disagreements about the assessments.
  • Employees who are dedicated are rewarded.

13. Sinclair Customer Metrics

Sinclair Consumer Metrics has been conducting mystery shopping and service measuring programs for over 30 years. By delivering video shopping, they differentiated themselves apart from many of its competitors.

.. They are also MSPA members.

Types of Sinclair Customer Metrics Jobs

  • The hidden camera records staff attitudes, processes, and facial expressions during video mystery shopping.
  • Evaluate the organization’s ability to communicate over the phone.
  • Evaluate behaviors, processes, circumstances, and procedures on-site based on consumer feedback.
  • Competitor compares their performance to that of a director competitor.

Application process

  1. Study the Mystery Shoppers Information Document.
  2. Examine the Independent Contractor Agreement and sign it.
  3. Fill out the safe online application.
  4. Try the New Shopper Challenge and see how far you can get.
  5. Fill out the New Customer Survey.

Start

Industry clients

  • Banking
  • Convenience stores
  • Grocery stores
  • QSR
  • Restaurant
  • Retail

Payment

Sinclair does not pay out money as quickly as other of the greatest mystery shopping businesses. Payment is made through check 60 days after the job is completed.

14. Intelli-shop

Intelli-Shop offers a variety of services, including mystery shopping, onsite, online, video, and phone calls. In 2018, they were named winners of the MSPA Shopper Choice Awards.

Application process

Start the   

Industry clients

  • Automotive services
  • Car maintenance
  • Education
  • Electronics – Computer
  • Fast food
  • Financial and banking
  • Grocery
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Real estate
  • Transportation
  • Travel

Payment

Intelli-Shop pays between $5 and $10 every shopping assignment, with payment for any necessary expenses.

Independent contractors get paid to shop the month after on the 20th via PayPal. 

15. Coyle Hospitality

Coyle Hospitality was founded in 1996 and now employs 30,000 professional evaluators who service over 600 companies worldwide. They provide services such as covert shopping, quality measurement, and customized market research.

The MSPA is a member of Coyle Hospitality.

Application process

Before approving you as an independent contractor, they require an extensive writing sample with a lot of detail.

Start the   

Industry clients

  • Cruises
  • Hotels, bars, and resorts are all available.
  • Restaurants
  • Spas
  • timeshares

Mystery Shopper Phone Jobs

The majority of individuals believe that mystery shopping can only be done at restaurants and grocery stores. No way!

You may not feel comfortable leaving your house to eat and buy to supplement your income during COVID-19. Many firms provide remote work options, allowing you to work from the comfort of your own home.

Phone mystery shopper jobs are identical to in-person tasks, only you’ll be conducting the interviews from your own home. You’ll be given a task to ask particular questions and acquire certain information, following which you’ll be required to write a report about your experience and be paid once it’s completed.

The assignment may include recording all calls to ensure that corporate policies and standards are followed consistently, depending on the firm and the customer. For management to evaluate performance, implementation, missed sales opportunities, and inconsistencies, the mystery phone shopper will ask the same question to multiple associates.

16. Yardi Matrix

Yardi Matrix, which was founded in 2000, specializes in making phone calls to property rental managers to gather and update information. Its purpose is to aggregate research data for investment professionals and property managers to utilize in competitive analysis and underwriting.

Yardi has work-from-home seasonal rent survey assignments about three times a year. Each one lasts around six weeks. You’ll be making phone calls to property brokers and owners to confirm that the information is correct.

It’s a part-time job, and surveyors are only employed when they’re needed.

Yardi Matrix is a legitimate corporation with a slew of well-known national clientele who rely on its products.

Requirements to work at Yardi Matrix

Because you’ll be pretending to be a potential apartment renter, any background noise, such as noisy children or pets, is fine when working from home.

You’ll ask the community leaders questions such as:

  • Pricing
  • Special offers & discounts
  • Rules
  • Is it possible to bring your pet?

You’ll need to come across as a convincing buyer who’s serious about the house.

Application process

Go to the to see the job detail and application process. 

Applicants were asked to email a copy of their current résumé to Sean.Tilton at Yardi.com as of Spring 2020.

Payment

Surveyors are paid $6 per hour plus an extra fee for each completed rent survey. For all hours worked, each worker will be paid at least the minimum wage set by your local authority.

Depending on your efficiency and quickness in finishing each property survey, you can earn more.

17. ARC Call Performance

ARC provides call center and telephone mystery shopping performance monitoring. This is accomplished through phone, email, and chat reviews.

and is a MSPA member.

Types of ARC Jobs

  • Competitor analysis
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Individual coaching and onsite training sessions are available.
  • Telephone mystery shopper

English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Thai are among the languages that the services can be translated into.

Requirements to work at ARC

Independent contractors have the flexibility to work a range of hours. You can work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or you can perform evaluations on weekends or evenings if you want. Finding consistent weekend jobs is more difficult.

Application process

Contractors must attend a training session to learn the company’s fundamentals and how to be effective at their jobs.

The includes the application midway down the page.

Payment

Once a month, you’ll be paid to shop via direct deposit.

18. Call Center QA

Call Center QA hires phone callers to assess call center performance across the United States. Phone callers are assigned to contact call centers and document the reports exchanges, similar to undercover shopping.

QA has an A+ .

Requirements to work at Call Center QA

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Currently residing in the United States
  • No prior experience is required.
  • There is no requirement for a background check.

Before you can start getting paid for undercover calls, you must pass two unpaid test calls. You must write a summary of your call center experience after each phone call.

Application process

The includes payment details and job requirements.

Payment

You must initially pass two test calls before being paid $5 each phone call in Call Center QA. Each call should take between 5 and 10 minutes on average, plus an additional five minutes to complete your evaluation report.

They pay via PayPal, according to reviewers. Their rewards are made within seven business days or less, allowing you to generate money quickly! You can get compensated in as little as 24 hours in some cases.

19. Perception Strategies

For more than two decades, Perception Strategies has had over 500,000 contracted evaluators mystery shop at over 250,000 healthcare services and doctors’ offices.

Types of Perception Strategies Jobs

  • Obtain pricing information on specific services from rivals by calling them.
  • A simulated real-life patient customer call is made by a telephone mystery shopper.
  • In-person stores provide extensive feedback on the overall experience, such as eye contact, helpfulness, and information provided.
  • Employee interactions, wait times, and customer service are all measured in observation shops.
  • Pricing transparency calls Verify that the organization is providing consumers with accurate pricing information.
  • Process shops By scheduling, arriving, and finishing a new patient visit, the independent contractor will serve as a covert customer and go to a real appointment.

Application process

The also features local job openings by the city. 

Payment

Perception Strategies pays between $12 and $17 per phone contact, according to reports.

Once you’ve completed your task, they’ll send you a business check at the beginning of the next month.

20. Confero

Confero is one of the oldest secret shopper companies, having been founded in 1986. They have more than 130,000 customers. In the United States, Canada, South America, and Mexico, jobs are available.

They provide taped or unrecorded calls with employees of the hiring organization. It enables businesses to listen to the full phone call and assess how it was handled.

Types of Confero Jobs

  • Compliance audits
  • Undercover mystery shopper
  • Onsite audits
  • Price checks

Depending on the assignment, mystery shopping can be done in-store or over the phone.

Requirements to work at Confero

  • a minimum of 21 years old
  • Good observation skills

Industry clients

  • Jiffy Lube for Automobiles
  • Coca-Cola and Aramark are two examples of consumer goods and services.
  • AMC Theatres and MovieTickets.com are two of the most popular movie theater chains in the United States.
  • Ameritrade, Financial Capital One Bank, and Trust Atlantic Bank
  • Foodservice Fast food, casual dining, and quick service
  • Circle K and Shell are two petroleum companies.
  • Technology – Lenovo
  • Services in travel and entertainment

Payment

You’ll be paid to shop on the 20th of every month via PayPal.

Best Mystery Shopping Companies for Restaurants

One of the most popular job types is that of a restaurant secret shopper. It’s a delightful pastime and a way to supplement your income by working as a covert diner.

21. Reality Based Group

Reality Based Group has been assisting businesses in monitoring and improving customer experience for over two decades.

RBG receives an A+ and is a member of MSPA.   

Types of Reality Based Group jobs

  • Video
  • Written

Application process

To get paid to shop, applicants can choose up to five area codes.

To begin your side business, aspirants must first take a test and pass with an 80% or above. If you don’t pass the first time, you’ll have to wait 24 hours before trying again. The exam is open-book, and RBG provides a manual for study.

Start the application process at the . 

Industry clients

  • Allstate
  • Amazon
  • Bridgestone Firestone
  • California Closets
  • Charming Charlie
  • Golds Gym is a gym in Goldsboro, North Carolina
  • Goodwill
  • Hilton
  • Marriott
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Whole Foods Market

Best Secret Shopper Apps That Pay You For Shopping

We found three of the greatest secret shopper applications, two of which have received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Independent contractors can snap photos of the venue, displays, and particular items, review services online, check-in at the store, submit your survey report, and more using the apps that pay you to shop.

22. Market Force

Market Force mystery shopper company has an .  They are legit and have been in business for almost 50 years.  Each month, they complete over 100,000 mystery shops worldwide and manages 300,000 independent contractors. 

Market Force theatre hires checkers to gather information about the latest movie releases. . 

The MSPA Americas Consumers Choice Award was given to Market Force in 2018.

Types of Market Force Jobs

  • Financial services and banking
  • Convenience stores
  • Grocery & drug
  • Studios and movie theaters
  • Petroleum
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • Wireless service providers

Process

  • There is no cost to join; it is absolutely free.
  • Apply here 
  • They’ll ask for some personal information, including payment details.
  • Once you’ve been approved, enter your zip code to start looking for undercover shopper jobs.

Requirements to work at Market Force

  • 18 years of age and up
  • A high school diploma is required.

Payment

You get paid for shopping at Market Force once a month via direct deposit or business check.  They pay on the 15th of each month.  If you shop in the first week of the month, you won’t get your payment until the next month, i.e., 28+ days later.  

Market Force hidden shoppers will be compensated for their purchases and expenses such as parking and tolls.

Market Force app

Market Force secret shoppers have their own app that works on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones. You can use the app to look for nearby shopping jobs, schedule a task, take photos of your experience, and submit a report.

To get started with mystery shopping, Market Force has apps for both iTunes and Google Play.

23. iShopFor Ipsos

iShopFor Ipsos employs mystery shopping to evaluate and report on the quality of services provided by local retailers. The freelancer will evaluate the signage, customer service, inside and outside impressions, and even make some purchases.

( It has a BBB grade and is a MSPA member.

Types of iShopFor Ipsos Jobs

  • Telephone
  • Online via websites
  • Chat services

Requirements to work at XYZ

  • 18 years of age and up
  • To complete all tasks, you’ll need reliable Internet access.
  • To process your payments, you’ll need your social security number or your TIN/EIN tax identification number.
  • To receive payment, you must have a PayPal account.
  • Receipts can be taken using a smartphone or a digital camera.

Application process

Start the application process at the  

Payment

The pay rates will differ depending on the task. Each work opportunity’s payment details will be visible to the contractor in the description.

In general, iShopFor Ipsos will pay you via PayPal 7-10 business days after the team has reviewed and approved your survey report. They do not pay by check or direct deposit.

iShopFor Ipsos app

Both the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores are available in the iShopFor Ipsos app.

 

24. Secret Shopper

Since 1990, Secret Shopper has provided a mystery shopping service to millions of customers, evaluators, and merchandisers.

They are also an MSPA member in the United States and Europe.  . 

Requirements to work at Secret Shopper

  • There is no requirement for prior experience.
  • To register, you must be at least 18 years old.
  • To file online reports, you’ll need access to a computer.
  • To send receipts and maybe business cards, use a scanner or digital camera.
  • The day after you finish your shopping, you must submit your report by noon Central Time.
  • Detail-oriented, dependable, and solid writing skills are all desirable qualities.

Application process

  1. There is no cost to join; it is absolutely free.
  2. After you’ve been accepted, you’ll be able to search for available shopping jobs in your area.
  3. More shops are added to the internet on a regular basis, so keep an eye on it.

Industry clients

  • Apartment
  • Automotive
  • Dining and restaurants
  • Education
  • Entertainment and casinos
  • Finance and banking
  • Fitness
  • Grocery
  • Government services
  • Healthcare and medical
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Museums and galleries
  • Real estate
  • Salons
  • Retail

Payment

According to Secret Shopper, payouts often range from $15 to $25. Each job’s payment information is made public ahead of time.

The checks are mailed on the 20th of the following month after completing a job.  For example, a task was done in November, and you will get paid to shop in December.  The business checks are valid for 90 days from the printed date on the check.  Don’t let your check expire.  

Secret Shopper app

The Secret Shopper apps allow registered shoppers to acquire directions, self-assign work, and submit reports.

To begin mystery shopping, download the Secret Shopper app from iTunes or Google Play.

 

Best Mystery Shopping Companies Summary

Becoming a secret shopper is a simple way to supplement your income. You can have a good time and possibly even get a free lunch.

You should get paid to shop and not pay to join a mystery shopper program.  Use our list of mystery shopping companies to avoid scams.  provides a helpful list of scam examples from the industry. 

Please let us know your experiences below and any reputable companies we missed. We hope that our list of the greatest and legitimate mystery shopping organizations has helped you form a more solid plan if you’re seeking for an extra source of income with an intriguing job and a flexible schedule.

Please see our other FrugalReality blogs for more information!

FAQs

Is MSPA certification worth it?

The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) is the industry’s professional trade group. Independent contractors can use their certification programs to make better decisions and advance their careers.

There are almost 60,000 evaluators on the MSPA Americas database.

You can search . 

MSPA certification classes tend to cost less than $100, especially for specialized courses like dining or retail.  See the . 

Because many organizations will provide the best secret shopper assignments to independent contractors who are accredited or have a long track record of outstanding performance, the certification is worthwhile. Many companies will give you preferential treatment if you are accredited.

MSPA membership increases the likelihood that they are legitimate mystery shopper firms.

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