How to Become a Mystery Shopper and Score Freebies

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vinyl-records-945396_1920Have you ever wanted to earn extra money while you were out running errands or score freebies like oil changes, free meals and other services? Of course you probably have.

Mystery shoppers obtain all those benefits and more while working a flexible schedule and picking up hours whenever they please.

What is a Mystery Shopper?

A mystery shopper or secret shopper is an individual who is hired to perform market research on several different businesses and retail stores by posing as a customer in order to critique the shopping experience and observe and assess other specific aspects of the business and its’ employees. Mystery shoppers generally visit a location and make a purchase or talk to an associate in order to report a clear assessment of the overall experience.

After each shop or job, mystery shoppers enter in data or submit a brief survey to the marketing company who hired them elaborating on specific details like how clean the establishment was, how the employees were dressed, how they responded to questions, whether the associates were friendly and compliant with all the rules, etc. Most times, no one can tell the difference between a mystery shopper and a regular customer.

Why Become a Mystery Shopper?

A lot of people like the idea of becoming a mystery shopper because it sounds like an easy job and perhaps a little fun. Shoppers get to visit all different kinds of stores, restaurants and other businesses and make purchases that they will be reimbursed for along with receiving payment for completing each shop.

Shop opportunities are available on a first-come-first-serve basis with most companies but there is usually plenty of work to go around. Thousands of businesses utilize secret shoppers for market research and to make sure employees are performing their jobs accurately.

As a mystery shopper, you can choose where you’d like to work and how much you’d like to be paid based on the selection of available shops.

If you don’t want to travel more than 10 miles to complete a shop, you can just work near your local area given that opportunities are available. If you want to do a shop during your lunch break, you can schedule it in.
How much shoppers can make varies depending on the job, but most can expect to receive opportunities paying anywhere from $15-60+ on average.

Most companies will mail you a check for the work completed or pay you via PayPal every 30 days.

How to Get Started

To become a mystery shopper, you just need to find a legitimate company to apply and sign up with an account so you can start receiving notifications about different opportunities. Below is a list of some legitimate companies to get started with. When in doubt, always search for reviews about the company along with their status with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they are legitimate.

Sinclair Consumer Metrics

Once you sign up with a company and fill out your interests and complete your profile, you’ll receive a Shopper ID and the company will send you email notifications when opportunities are available. You may want to sign up with a few different companies to maximize the results.

Most mystery shoppers work as independent contractors and are responsible for paying taxes on the income they earn. As an independent contractor, it will be your responsibility to keep up with all your receipts and paperwork and submit it by the deadline for each job in order to get paid.

Since you will always be reimbursed for anything you spend during shop assignments, all the required products and services you will be asked to obtain will all be free. That means free pizza, free coffee, free bowling, free auto inspections and much more.

If you’re looking for a low-stress way to earn extra money in your spare time, you might want to try our mystery shopping.


Have you ever been a mystery shopper? What tricks have you used to earn extra money doing so? What do you use your extra money from mystery shopping for?

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