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Making Money with Mystery Shopping

March 22nd, 2009


With the economy officially in recession, many people are looking for an extra form of income. This article by T. Hillukka is a review of opportunities for making money with mystery shopping companies. It includes both the benefits and drawbacks of mystery shopping. Don’t forget to click on the image to the left to if you want to check out one of the most informative books on mystery shopping available through Amazon.


Mystery shoppers, secret shoppers, and secret consumers – they all have one thing in common. They make money by trying out various products. It is not all fun and games, though. Is mystery shopping more work than it is worth?

Mystery shopping can be a great money-making opportunity if you do it right. The most important thing to remember is that you should never have to pay to sign up with a mystery shopping company. They should be paying you, not the other way around.

Take Corporate Research International (CRI), for example. They work with businesses such as K-Mart, Papa John’s, and Sears to help find shoppers for their stores. To become a mystery shopper with CRI, you will need to sign up to become an auditor. Once you have been approved, you can begin the search for shops in your area.

A mystery shopper must have immaculate observation skills as well as a great memory. When you sign up for a shop, you will have to pretend to be a regular shopper, but you will need to remember information such as names and descriptions of associates. You will have to execute certain tasks, while observing the cleanliness of the store and parking lot, among any other bits of information they will ask you to remember. Some shops may require you to take pictures with a digital camera.

It is extremely important to look the assignment over before attempting to complete it. It may be helpful to make a fake, or real, shopping list to refer to while doing the shop. Take notes when there is no one around. Otherwise, write everything down once you get back to your car. In order to be reimbursed, you will need to keep the receipt so you can either scan it to a computer or take a digital picture. Depending on the company, you may be reimbursed up to a certain dollar amount, paid a commission, or both. Shops usually pay from $5 up to $30, and sometimes more. When they get really desperate for shoppers, they may increase the commission.

Mystery shopping is a great money-making opportunity for some people, but may not be for others. A mystery shopper has to have keen observation skills. The key points to remember are: never pay to sign up with a company, pay close attention to all of the assignment details, and never reveal your identity as a mystery shopper.



One Response to “Making Money with Mystery Shopping”

  1. comment number 1 by: Annie

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been seeing ads about becoming a mystery shopper and wondered just what the “skinny” was on it. Interesting.

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