Does It Pay to Be a Mystery Shopper?

If you love to shop, it might be time to get paid for it. Mystery shopping is a legitimate and high-paying job that will allow you to enjoy all the retail therapy your heart desires. As you might expect, a few qualifications need to be met before you can join the team of mystery shoppers. But don't worry – they're not hard! And once you've done the research and earned the certification (which can take anywhere from six months to a year), you'll be ready to go shopping.


What Does a Mystery Shopper Do?

Mystery shopping is used by businesses worldwide to gauge customer satisfaction. Businesses hire professional shoppers (mystery shoppers) to 'secretly' study how their employees treat customers. There are different mystery shopping services; for example, a general mystery shopper will just go to the store they are being paid to shop at and conduct a few surveys. This is called an open-ended survey. The survey requires the shopper to pay close attention, ask questions and make detailed notes on how their impressions of the employees and service meet their expectations.


How Do You Get Paid?

A mystery shopping company will pay you a flat fee per assignment. Some companies have very low minimums, and others require much more. There are also many options within each category and stipulations and requirements that vary depending on the specific company. Some firms even have a minimum amount that you have to make before they start sending you jobs. Also, remember that some companies do not pay their mystery shoppers until they reach a certain point, like $50.00 or more.

Other mystery shoppers will go into a store and pretend to shop, but they are there to test a cashier's patience. These are called specific surveys. A specific survey requires the shopper to insert themselves into the situation. During this time, the mystery shopper must pretend to be a customer who has made a large purchase (or several small ones) while the cashier is stacking shelves or helping another customer at the front counter. The cashier will then ask the shopper for their payment information, usually their credit card. The shopper must portray impatience by telling the cashier it's already been provided (pretending to pull it from their purse or wallet), but then the shopper must act hesitant and confused when asked again for their payment method.


Is It Worth It to Be a Mystery Shopper?

Yes! Mystery Shopping can be a great way to earn money and have fun at the same time. Most people who work as mystery shoppers can earn at least $1000 a month. However, it depends on how much time you are willing to put into it.

The best way to make money as a mystery shopper is by referring other people to jobs. You get paid a percentage of whatever the shopper earns.

Another great way to make some money is through surveys. Mystery shopping companies will pay you to look at their surveys and provide feedback on them. This can be as low as $2-$3 per survey or as high as $20-$40 per survey.

Before you go out and sign up as a mystery shopper, you should consider a few things. First, to be a successful mystery shopper must be dedicated. In order to test companies properly, mystery shoppers must attend large stores or malls where they can monitor employees on many levels. Mystery shopping full-time requires you to dedicate at least twenty hours per week to 'testing' companies.

Mystery shoppers are also required to travel a lot to test different companies. This is a good thing since you will get a good idea of how different companies are run through the travel and get paid for it. More so, you can have another job that you do during the day or in the evenings, and you'll only be able to test companies on weekends or at night.



People who want to be mystery shoppers must decide what kind of mystery they want. Mystery shoppers can work in various settings, but their pay is based on the company that hires them. Some mystery shoppers can earn as much as $80 per hour. Mystery shoppers should be patient as they start and take all opportunities they can get. Mystery shopping is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but you can make a decent supplemental income as you continue.

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Stephanie Snyder
profile sara 16th November 2022

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