How to Become a Mystery Shopper in  | Full Step Guide

Although it may sound unlikely, mystery shopping is real, and it involves getting paid to buy and write about your experience is truly as simple as that. You can become one by studying our complete guide on how to become a mystery shopper in 2023.

Mystery shoppers’ data on customer service encounters give businesses crucial marketing insight, and these businesses are happy to pay for it.

Mystery shopping is convenient for students, independent contractors, delivery drivers, and other people with erratic work schedules who want to make a little extra money.

This article explores and provides everything you need about mystery shopping and how to become a mystery shopper.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping refers to when a person employed by top-tier businesses visits a retail establishment, eatery, bank branch, or any other site to gauge the caliber of the client experience.

The information then enables businesses to modify training and grant bonuses that aid in realizing their service objective. We all gain from providing good customer service.

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Who is a Mystery Shopper?

Mystery shoppers, also known as secret shoppers, are paid to shop at stores and gather information for marketing purposes.

A mystery shopper can enter a place of business and examine specific details that may be cause for concern, such as whether or not advertising displays are accurately set up, the standard of customer service, or even whether or not the staff is asking the right questions.

As a secret shopper, your responsibilities will be outlined in assignments, and you must travel to the site to execute them.

Most tasks require you to read the fine print before accepting the position. The task will specify how much you’ll be paid for purchases and how much you’ll earn, and you might need to pick a date or time range.

Numerous businesses contract with mystery-shopping firms to visit specific sites and provide feedback on factors like orderliness, customer satisfaction, and product quality.

These agencies use average individuals to go incognito to shop at stores, visit companies, or dine at restaurants to do the real investigation.

Although it may sound highly cloak-and-dagger, it’s a terrific method to get a little extra money by performing regular tasks.

What Do Mystery Shoppers Do?

Undercover mystery shoppers enter businesses to make purchases and evaluate the general customer experience. Usually, the company that hires a mystery shopper gives them a task.

The mystery shopper often receives a list of things they need to buy from certain retail sections, such as apparel, electronics, grocery, etc. They inform the client whether those things were offered appropriately once they have finished the transaction.

You’ll often work for a corporation that deals with the retailer. Being hired directly by a store as a mystery shopper is uncommon.

Why are Mystery Shoppers Important?

Mystery shoppers are helpful because they may give companies information they can employ to create and assess plans for enhancing customer satisfaction and retention.

The outcomes may also be used by businesses to honor outstanding workers. See a few companies that could use mystery shoppers:

  • A hotel may utilize mystery shoppers to find and record potential reasons why guests may be unsatisfied if it has gotten several similar complaints.
  •  A clothes retail business can use mystery shoppers to determine if its stores follow brand guidelines or corporate standards.
  •  A bank can engage mystery shoppers to ensure that its staff adheres to financial rules.
  •  A restaurant can use mystery shoppers to evaluate the consistency and caliber of their food across days, hours, and staff members.

What Do You Need to Be a Mystery Shopper?

Here are the things and skills you need to be a mystery shopper:

  • You must be 18 years old and have completed high school.
  •  You must have a keen eye for detail and possess good observational abilities.
  •  Most stores demand either a stopwatch or a digital watch that shows seconds to time the store’s service.
  •  It is necessary to have access to a computer, and fast access is strongly advised.
  •  For more lucrative audit-type work, a digital camera is required.

What are the Requirements to Become a Mystery Shopper?

Here are some fundamentals you could require to work as a secret shopper.

  • A car. You’ll need a means of transportation. This does not necessarily imply that you require a personal vehicle. You can still complete the task by accessing dependable public transit, especially in major cities.
  •  A laptop or computer. While some businesses allow you to fill out assessment forms via an app, many only accept paper or PDF submissions. You’ll need a computer to print and scan receipts and assessment forms.
  •  A smartphone. The very minimum required for the majority of businesses is a smartphone. You will use this to capture images and complete fieldwork opportunities. Depending on your business, you might also need to use a specific app.
  •  A Paypal account. A few businesses utilize checks or direct deposits to traditional banks for making payments, while most use online financial transfer services like Paypal. In such an instance, the company will request your PayPal username when you apply.

How Many Hours Do Mystery Shoppers Work?

Depending on the task, it changes. You can often finish your shopping in an hour. Depending on the task, it may simply take an afternoon, or it may take numerous visits and several hours.

You should visit a business at a specific time as part of some employment. You could have to go to a store, for instance, between 3-5 pm. Also, you will need to provide evidence of your visit.

When you enter the business, you could be required to snap a picture outside, and if you make a purchase, you’ll need to maintain the receipt.

How Much Do Mystery Shoppers Get Paid?

If you find consistent employment, mystery shoppers may earn $24 per hour or $4,200 per month, according to ZipRecruiter.

Most mystery shopping gigs pay by direct transfer, PayPal, or Tipalti. A few businesses also make monthly or bimonthly check payments.

As a secret shopper, there usually are three methods to get paid.

  • Reimbursement: Normally, you won’t be paid a charge for your effort, but you will be given money back for certain purchases. For instance, you can have a restaurant assignment where you are compensated for the cost of your lunch.
  • Cash payment: You get paid for this kind of work, which usually doesn’t need you to make a purchase. You may need to verify a store display or phone a hotline.
  • Cash & Reimbursement: This option combines the two; you’ll get compensated for the mystery shopping assignment and receive a free product or service in exchange.

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Are Mystery Shopper Jobs Worth It?

Being a mystery shopper is not a proven method to becoming wealthy. It is a fantastic method to earn additional money while you are idle.

A terrific experience is mystery shopping. You are doing something that most people will never have the opportunity to do, even if you merely utilize it to supplement your income. Working as a mystery shopper is an exciting and enjoyable way to get money.

One of the best things about mystery shopping is that you can choose when and what assignments you do.

You select the jobs you wish to do since you work for yourself. The option to plan your time around your requirements is a significant plus for independent-thinking people who have other interests or even have regular employment.

You are not required to work on the weekends if you don’t want to. On the other hand, if the only free time in your packed schedule is Sunday morning, you can still find time to work then.

How to Become a Mystery Shopper

To work as a mystery shopper, you must conduct preliminary research to ward off fraud, locate employment with one of the numerous trustworthy mystery shopping firms, finish your task, and then collect your payment.

Being a secret shopper is simple, especially if you adhere to the four principles listed below. Let’s get started by explaining the process of becoming a secret shopper.

Carry out your research

Researching the position, comprehending how all will be established, and avoid being duped by shady businesses are the first steps to being a secret shopper.

Be Wary of Scams

Numerous fake mystery shopping businesses exist. Any company that requests payment in advance should be avoided.

Your social security number should be optional before you earn a sum. Your task would be to sort through them all to determine which ones are legitimate and which could be mystery shopping frauds.

Fortunately, we’ve done much research for you and selected several trustworthy mystery shopping firms you may apply to in the following area.

Maintain Your Day’s Job

Mystery shopping will only suddenly make you wealthy. If we’re being honest, it won’t even make you wealthy in the long term. You must continue doing your regular job and consider this a side business.

Only about $10 will be paid for each project you finish. These tasks can be completed in as few minutes or as long as many hours.

You will need more than this to support you full-time, but if you can do projects fast in your spare time, it will be an excellent addition to your weekly income.

Find a Job as a Mystery Shopper

The next step is registering with mystery shopping firms and maintaining organization throughout your employment hunt. The moment has come to begin applying for as many mystery shopper positions as possible.

Furthermore, you want to stay away from any dubious businesses that could be attempting to con you.

Utilize the Proper Tools

The right tools and equipment should be in your possession before you start your first work.

You’ll need a computer with dependable internet connectivity to search for and handle your mystery shopping gigs.

You’ll also need a camera to shoot any required images for your current task. You may do this immediately on your mobile device.

Along with a dependable car to bring you to and from tasks, a notepad will come in handy for taking notes. Suitable clothing is also necessary, especially if you buy at a high-end store. However, most of your projects will be in a calm retail setting.

Acknowledge Your Duties

This can entail posing specific queries to store employees or snapping photos of particular goods. Ensure that you adhere to the guidelines and cross everything off the list, whatever it may be.

You should present a professional image when shopping for clothing and behave appropriately. Your goal will be to blend in so that store employees won’t notice you. Try to avoid dressing in too much flamboyant attire.

Additionally, you must try to appear normal and hide that you’re a secret shopper. Your cover will be blown if store personnel figure out you’re a mystery shopper, and they can start acting differently.

Send Your Completed Tasks in

Finally, you’ll have to write a thorough account of your shopping experience, send it in, and then be rewarded. When offering specific criticism concerning your mystery shopping job, you should be as descriptive as possible.

Additionally, ensure your response is free of typos, spelling, and grammar mistakes. Your likelihood of receiving repeat work from businesses increases with professionalism.

Also, regardless of whether you had a good or bad experience, you should be forthright and honest in your response.

Once you’ve submitted thorough, genuine criticism, it’s time to submit your assignment and collect your payment.

Depending on the firm you work for, this procedure step will vary. While some businesses may mail you a check, others immediately pay you via PayPal or directly into your bank account.

If you can secure a full-time position with repeating tasks, you might anticipate getting paid up to twice a month.

What Kinds of Businesses Use Mystery Shoppers?

Many people may think that mystery shopping is as murky as the narrative of a well-known crime book. Most people don’t know which firms use it or why, while some assume private investigators exclusively use it, and others think it sounds criminal.

Tons of companies and businesses use mystery shopping. Some of them include the following:

  • Rental companies
  •  Restaurant and bars
  •  Grocery, liquor, and convenience stores
  •  Healthcare providers
  •  Departments and specialty stores
  •  Residential and commercial renting, leasing, and sales
  •  Hotels
  •  Florists and gift shops
  •  Gym and fitness centers
  •  Banks and investment groups
  •  Parking garages
  •  Automotive sales and service
  •  Hair salon

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What Questions Do Mystery Shoppers Ask?

Undoubtedly, the secret shoppers will have many questions. An inquisitive consumer could inquire about your company’s policies, specifics about your goods and services, and your company’s history, among other things.

Make sure your team is equipped to respond to any questions.


What is a mystery Shopping Checklist?

Checklists for mystery shoppers are crucial tools for firms looking to boost customer satisfaction. These checklists make it easier for assessors to covertly watch workers and gauge their compliance with the company’s norms.

What skills do mystery shoppers need?

Excellent communication skills, oral and written
 Detail oriented
 Persuasive skills
 Confident and friendly
 Physically capable of standing and walking around
 Time management skills

Can mystery shopping be a full time job?

Some mystery shopping companies assert that you may become a secret shopper full-time. Even while this is occasionally the case, most mystery shoppers work part-time jobs and earn extra money. However, certain occupations could sometimes call for full-time hours while others might not.


Working as a mystery shopper is a wonderful method to get some additional money. The jobs that are available for mystery shoppers range widely.

Some only need you to browse websites; others demand that you make in-store purchases, and others require you to go to particular areas.


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