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Mystery Shopper Jobs

Mystery Shopper Jobs

If you’re looking for flexible and fun ways to make extra money and get free stuff, mystery shopping could be a great side hustle for you! Mystery shoppers shop and dine “undercover”, collecting information on customer service and other quality issues that companies can use to improve their services. 

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We’ve rounded up some of the most popular mystery shopper jobs out there, including information on how to apply, how much money you can potentially make, and what the jobs entail. 

We’ve also included some information at the end of this article about the benefits and drawbacks of working as a mystery shopper. 

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Mystery Shopper Jobs: Bestmark

Bestmark is one of the most well-known and reputable companies offering mystery shopper jobs. Bestmark hires four types of what they call “field representatives”:

  • Mystery shoppers: Mystery shoppers shop as “undercover” customers and report back on the quality of customer service they receive.
  • Intercept interviewers: Intercept interviewers interview customers as they exit a store, and the information gathered is used to improve the shopping experience for the store’s customers. 
  • Compliance auditors: Compliance auditors check to see if businesses are obeying company policy and legal guidelines. That could include product pricing and placement, employee procedures, data security, and other requirements. 
  • Panelists: Panelists participate in focus groups and discussions with companies that are interested in learning how to improve their products and/or services. 

Bestmark shoppers might be compensated in the form of cash or by being reimbursed for meals or products purchased during a mystery shop. The Bestmark website is vague about how much money or free stuff you can actually earn, but they mention in a blog article that, “pay for secret shops generally fall between $7-$20 for those just starting out.” Further, it’s important to note that you are expected to pay tax on your earnings as an independent contractor. 

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Apply here for mystery shopper jobs with Bestmark!

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Mystery Shopper Jobs: Market Force

Like Bestmark, Market Force is a well-known company hiring mystery shoppers to help them evaluate the cleanliness, service, and products. While the Market Force website does not provide highly detailed information about the various mystery shopper jobs that are available, they do offer some hints. 

Testimonials from some of their mystery shoppers allude to earning extra spending money, as well as free meals, and even gas. They even mention the added benefit of gaining insight into how businesses operate. 

For more information about Market Force mystery shopper jobs, you can submit a request on their website. To apply for mystery shopper jobs at Market Force, you can apply here.  

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Mystery Shopper Jobs: Secret Shopper

Secret Shopper offers mystery shopper jobs similar to those offered by Market Force and Bestmark. Secret Shopper works with mystery shoppers who visit businesses and provide evaluations of their customer service, cleanliness, and products. 

The Secret Shopper website asserts that  their mystery shopping jobs pay an average of $15 – $25 per assignment. They also note that this payment is sometimes meant to cover a product that the mystery shopper purchases during the shop, or a meal for up to two people. 

You can sign up to shop for Secret Shopper on their website.

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There are some great benefits of taking on mystery shopper jobs to pad your income, but there are also some drawbacks and common pitfalls to look out for. 

Benefits of mystery shopper jobs include:

  • Flexibility and low commitment level 
  • Extra spending money
  • Free meals and other products
  • Fun and interesting assignments 

Drawbacks of mystery shopper jobs include:

  • Low pay 
  • Inconsistent work 
  • Impersonal relationship with mystery shopper companies

Tips for mystery shoppers and things to look out for: 

  • As a mystery shopper, you are an independent contractor, not an “employee”. Employees have certain legal protections that independent contractors do not.
  • You are required to report the income earned from mystery shopper jobs on your tax return.
  • It is common that when you first start out mystery shopping, you will receive the less desirable assignments. As time goes on, shoppers tend to receive higher paying or more interesting assignments. 
  • Beware of scams. Legitimate companies hiring mystery shoppers do not ask shoppers to pay fees to sign up as a shopper. However, many legitimate companies still have shoppers purchase products or meals with their own money and will reimburse them later if the job is completed successfully. 
  • Some companies prefer to hire “certified” mystery shoppers. A certification can be obtained through the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association

Mystery shopper jobs are just one way to make a little extra money and get free stuff. Just be sure to look out for the common pitfalls to make the most of your experience. 

Save Money and Get Free Stuff!

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Catherine Hall, LMSW is a therapist at a small group practice in New York City. She earned her master of social work degree at New York University.