How to Become a Secret Shopper

How to Become a Secret Shopper

I have a secret. I’m a secret shopper. I get paid $18 – $170 each time I shop at certain businesses. I started doing this years ago for the extra money to help pay down debt but still do it just because its nice to get a free meal or service that I was going to get anyways.

Last week I went out to lunch 3 times and was paid ~$22-$35 each time. For example with one, $10 was pay for going and the other $12 was to cover my food. I do these usually 1-3 times a week depending on my schedule and then occasionally do high end restaurant shops where I’m paid $50+ and given $150+ worth of food monthly.

You aren’t limited to just doing secret shopping at restaurants, you can also secret shop places like electronic stores, car dealerships, grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and more.

Is Secret Shopping for You?

Secret Shopping works great if you have a flexible schedule, are part-time, can take a long lunch, or have time after work to do a shop.

You will either need a car to get to the shop, or you might be able to find shops within walking distance depending on where you live. Some companys even have shops you can do through your phone.

Why Companies Pay Secret Shoppers

Businesses are always adding in new products or instructing their staff to do and say new things. Secret Shoppers are there to be the eyes and ears of the business. Each job is different but you are usually just seeing how clean the business is, if staff are wearing the appropriate work attire, if they are promoting certain products, and how friendly they are.

They need to make sure that customers are receiving a consistent positive experience.

How to Avoid Secret Shopper Scams

No secret shopping company has ever asked me to pay to join.

You will never have to pay to join any secret shopping company. When you start your first job, you may only have to pay out of pocket ~$5-$10 if you have to make a small purchase at a business/restaurant. For instance my first job I did was a fast food place. I went in, ordered the menu item, reviewed it,  and they paid me the following week.

No secret shopping company will start you off with a job that requires a lot of out of pocket money. At most they would ask you to purchase a menu item at a restaurant or a $1 item at a store just so you have a receipt showing you were there.

No secret shopping company will start off by mailing you a check. This is a a scam if a company tries to pay you before you do a job. All the legit companys will pay you after the job is completed.

Legitimate Secret Shopping Companys

These are the companys I am currently shopping with and have had no issues with. You should join all of these if you are interested in secret shopping, each company only works with certain stores in certain areas. This is why you have to join as many legit secret shopping companys as possible until you can find which ones work best in your area.

BestMark – This one has lots of restaurants and car dealerships.

ACE Mystery Shopping – Their site may look a bit outdated, but they are another legit secret shopping company that has been around since 2001.

Market Force – This is one of the biggest secret shopping services.

My Thoughts

I plan on continuing to do 1-3 shops per week. I honestly really enjoy the restaurant/food shops. It’s like a treat to have a free meal out and be paid for doing it. You just have to have the time and be willing to fill out their survey afterwards.


Thank you for reading!

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