Becoming a Mystery Shopper


Have you ever wondered how to be a mystery shopper or a secret shopper? Mystery Shopping (sometimes called secret shopping) is something I have been doing for years and it’s a lot of fun. It’s not going to make you a lot of money, but it does provide some fun and free experiences and adds a little bit of extra money to the family budget.

I often get asked how to be a mystery shopper and the process is really easy (and free).


Sign up to a mystery shopping agency.

There are many of these around, and you can find some of our favorites listed here. (Note: you should never have to pay to join a mystery shopping company. There are a few scam sites out there who try to get you to pay for a list of companies – avoid them!).

Fill in all of the required information.

This can take quite a bit of time as their customers will be looking for very specific shoppers depending on their store. The more information you fill in, the more chances you will have of being selected for a job.
Apply for jobs! Some sites have a job board where you can register your interest or select jobs to shop. For these kind of sites you will need to check in regularly to make sure that you are not missing out on jobs in your area. Other sites will contact you when there are jobs available in your area, which is why it is important to keep your details updated.

Accept the job

You will rarely be assigned a job without first requesting and accepting it. Before accepting it, make sure that you read through all of the details first, especially the location, date and time that the shop needs to take place. Some mystery shops will give you a window of days to complete the assignment and others are very specific. It is important to make sure that you can meet all of the requirements of the shop before you accept.

Read the briefing documents

Most mystery shops have very specific criteria and instructions that you need to follow. It is important that you read over and familiarize yourself with the instructions (as you can’t take the instructions with you).

Complete the shop<.h4>
Before you enter the store, have a quick look over your briefing notes to make sure you don’t forget anything. Once you have completed the shop (make sure you request a receipt if you need one) go somewhere discreet where you can write down your notes. I like to go to a food court or café and jot notes down on my phone (I use the free evernote app) or fill in your paperwork. Don’t wait until you get home as often you will have forgotten some of the key details.

Complete your report

Most agencies like you to complete your report as soon as possible after the shop. Prompt reporting will mean that you will have a much better chance of being selected for future shops. Fill in the reports with as much detail as possible, and ensure that you use full sentences and correct spelling

Wait for pay day!

Most mystery shopping sites have a delay in payments, and you will normally get paid about a month later. Make sure that you keep track of any money owed and double check the amounts when you get paid. Check with your accountant about whether or not you need to declare your income as all states and countries are different.