Your Mystery Shopping Experience

Hi Deborah,
Go to it is a free site that lists over 100 mystery shopping companies. You might also want to try shopn'chek at


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Hi, I have been with mystery shopping since September 2006. I have done thirty-eight mystery shops. I have applied with ten companies. I actually do mystery shops for three of them that are worth for the money. I would like to know why some shops do not pay enough? I have had good and bad experiences with some of my shops. The experience was the associate that was shopping. Some associates can be rude, and some as nice as can be. When doing a mystery shop with an associate whom is being rude for nothing, keep your cool and just do the job and get out.
Haven't had any shoping exp because every one I went to wanted money

i'm not giving any money to any one for a job.
I have heard back from one company. I do small mystery shops for $8-$10. They take 15minutes to complete. So, far I have shopped for Staples, WaWa, and Dunkin Donuts. Being a full-time employee and mother, I do not have much time to do mystery shopping, so this works for me. They offer training courses on how to shop each shop and you have to do them in order to do the shop. They reinburse you for the expenses made and you can pick which shops you want to do. Each shop has a due date, so you can set up shops around your schedule. Oh, I almost forgot. This website is the I do all my searches through the (once you are signed up). You also get emails when jobs are close to their due dates and added incentives for shops that need to be done in a hurry and nobody has signed up for them yet.
I also have been working for VindaleResearch. they send you surveys in the mail. the only catch is you go to a website and have to sign up for that program in order to assess it. Vindale research reimbursses you the sign up fees and also pays you extra for doing the survey. You just have to remember to cancel your subscriptions for the program. I made a good $150 in 3 weeks with them. but after that they don't send too many surveys, instead they encourage you to sign up with some of their associate sites. Well, I tried that and didn't get any surveys just a bunch of offers you have to sign up for.
I originally applied to shadow shoppers on the cheapest plan and quit after 30 days as I had so many jobs directly from the companies. I now do at least 60 jobs a month and of course some companies are better than others,. I have a weekly and bi-weekly income and it surely supplements my ss. I find it to be enjoyable and have met a lot of nice people who still don't know what I do for a living. The Shadow shopper cost of 4.95 was the best investment I ever made.
I don't seem to have been lucky enough to receive anything, even though I did register maybe you could help me please. I live in Israel and don't know how to go about finding out who I can register with. Is there a Sassie or another international company.

Please answer me.

Susan Berman
I was only signed up to be a mystery shopper for a couple of months. I only got one job as many weren't in my area. To top it off, the only job I had and completed thoroughly as instructed, the job didn't ever pay me for the job. One thing that also made me nervous is how many of the companies want your social security number and I just don't like handing that kind of information out constantly, especially to people whom I don't really know. Unfortunately, I didn't have any positive experience that made me want to continue.
I haven't actually done any mystery shopping.Every site I have checked out just seems to be a scam! Is all they want me to do is either send them money or buy products to try out! If this is actually a legitimate site then please get back to me at (510)779-6101. Thank-You, Christina Zivney P.S.(You can also reach me at
I have been a mystery shopper for about 5 months.I am currently registered with about 15 different companies, I would like to register with a few more but it takes time filling out the applications and some companies would like for you to complete a small 10 minute test or certification for each shop being done. I usually do about 3-4 shops a day from different companies.I think what seems to slow me down is...first of all I enjoy going out and completing my shops and what I usually do is set them up according to what my personal schedule is like ie. if I'm out paying bills downtown, then I will look for shops somewhere in that area where I'll be so I am not spending alot of money on gas and sometimes I'll work in a lunch or breakfast shop to start off or complete my day out in the world. But what slows me down is having several shops and a deadline due on the same day of the shop(s) makes it difficult to have completed.Downloading your scans, having your computer working when you need it. Lets face it computers are great I am on mine about 5 hours a day but when they crash or get locked up forget it. I think if a shop is to be completed by on 4/1/07 we should be given atleast an extra day to submit reports. But overall I am enjoying myself and find it rewarding to help companies improve customer satisfaction.
I have been shopping for two years and have had good results. I have found some companies that you do not mess with, such as,They do not pay enough for me to waste my time and they accuse you of altering receipts to keep for paying you the little that they owe you. I have others that I love working for such as Business Evaluations. I also do merchandising, audits and demonstrations. I live in a rural area, but make at least $2000.00 a month. I have never paid a fee of any kind to do my shopping.
I signed up with Shadow Shopper, but never paid, I just got the job teasers emailed to me. One company contacted me, and the rest is history. I discovered that Shadow Shopper sometimes puts the name of the shopping company in the teaser heading, so I started doing internet searches for the company name, and registered directly with them. I found Volition, and MSRP. I signed up with every company I came across. At first I did everything that was offered to me, and made sure I followed the instructions to the letter and wrote excellent narratives. Some of the jobs took an hour and the narrative even longer for $5.00. I think of that as paying my dues to learn. After I became an experienced shopper, I stopped accepting things that were not profitable. I now will take jobs at stores I normally shop in and would spend money in anyway even if they pay less because it makes sense to get paid even a little for something I would do anyway. I will also sometimes take a job for less than I would normally from a scheduler that has been really good to me.

I have a full time job in a city that is 60 miles from the city I live in, so I shop in both cities, and rural areas in between which keeps me from using extra gas to go out of town. I sign up for restaurants that reimburse the price of the meal even if they do not pay extra, if they do not require you to jump through too many hoops or order things I do not wish to order so that my husband and I eat out for free several times per month. I do some fast food shops on my lunch hour which pays for my lunch a few times a month. The key is keeping a calendar and doing things you can fit into your normal routine. At first this takes a little practice, but after you are used to it, it becomes second nature.

My favorite audits are the revealed ones. The most fun I have ever had was a Sears shop where I went to several departments to evaluate customer service first before the revealed part of the shop. A couple of associates were helpful and did exactly what they were supposed to do, but a three of the associates were so nice and went so far out of their way that I almost felt guilty for wasting their time. In fact I purchased the item I was inquiring about in electronics because the sales persons (there were 2) were so incredibly good. As I was completing the sale the manager had to be called to approve an extra discount because the store was out of the original item and they were substituting a much better item for the same price. I said "Do not let the manager leave I need to speak to her". The sales people and the manager had this "OH God, she is going to complain about something" look on their faces. I pulled my paperwork out of my tote bag and said "Hi, I am your mystery shopper, and I need to take some pictures, and have you fill out a form for me." We are not supposed to let the company know how the audit is going, but it was hard to try to pretend that they did not know what I was going to say. The two associates who helped me were brand new, and I feel like the feedback that they got that day for the exceptional job they did may have reinforced their excellent customer service skills. The manager was grinning from ear to ear, and I took a picture of the team as an example of something I found that was exceptionally good. The store had no faults that I could find. So I took several pictures of things that were just wonderful. There was a display that an associate had thought up and put together at the entrance of the store that had items from several departments that would make great Mothers Day gifts. It was beautiful, and not something sent down from corporate. I did not know that it was something that a regular associate was responsible for, until I took a picture of it because it was such a good display. The manager told me about the associate asking her if she could do it, and she approved it. This report went to the corporate office, and hopefully the company realized what a great group they have in this store, and rewarded accordingly.

I have only been shopping for about 4 months, but have done well over 75 shops. I am making between 300 and 400 per month.

I have only been "warned" by one company for doing 5 shops in one day. I am signed up with so many companies that I did not realize they had a rule about doing more than 4 shops on one day. (Little did they know that I was on vacation that day and in total I did 7--5 for them and 2 for another company) I got 10/10 on all of the reports, and they said that due to the quality of the work they would make an exception and pay me anyway, but for future reference I needed to get approval before taking more than 4 shops on one day.

So far I have been paid by everyone including one shop that I made a mistake and shopped the day before the day I had scheduled it on. (the day I shopped was in the window of scheduling time). This one paid $29.00, and I figured I would have to just eat that $29.00, but the company emailed me and said they sent it to quality control, and if the quality of the report was good enough they would consider paying me anyway. Two weeks later I received an email from paypal telling me I had a payment.

One thing I try to always do is thank the schedulers or companies when I send an email by signing my emails with "Thank you for the opportunity to work with you!"

I have noticed a couple of schedulers sort of have an attitude with shoppers that reflects that they are expecting the shoppers to be rude or unintelligent. For example the company that always says do not email the scheduler and complain if you do not get the shops you request. (tell me that people do not really do things like this then expect to be assigned in the future duhhhhhh!) These very schedulers with an "attitude" become the very ones that email and offer bonuses and ask for help once they find out you are an intelligent positive person. So don't always be put off by a gruff response at first. Remember that these people obviously deal with some real idiots.

The best advice I have received was sign up with as many companies as you can find. It works!
Jan, I have been shopping since Feburary 2007 so I'm a beginner sort of. I love it to begin with. I was in a car accident in 2004 which messed up my hip. This has given me something to do besides sit around and put on weight. I have completed over 200 assignments since I started. It gets me out of the house and pays my way around to go to places in my state that I probably would not see if not for the assignments. I mainly work for three companies but am in the data base of well over 150 companies. I have shopped gas station, fast food, convience stores, cell companies, department stores, wholesale clubs, casual dining and a couple of fine dining experiences. Which I well enjoyed. The only negative experience I've had is when I go to an assignment and the address isn't right on the assignment. Other than that I've had a blast and plan on keeping it up. I haven't had to cook in over three weeks. LOL
I've been mystery shopping for almost 8 months and I've done approx 60 since the beginning of the year. I've applied to about 20 or so companies. I've done work for about 9 companies and I do most of my work through 3 companies. Like everyone, I'd like to know the companies that pay the most! I've done lots of different shops and have gotten great expensive dinners, car washes, fast food, food at the grocery store, a tire rotation, etc. So far I've had really good experiences. I haven't registered with any companies that charge a fee and I do most of my shops while my daughter is in school (6 hours a week.) If I had more time to do it, I think I'd make even more money. For people who aren't getting shops, keep looking on the internet for companies that don't charge a fee and look at regularly to find the names of more companies.
My story is a bit complicated. I read and copies the info you were sending me. Then I had a problem with my computer. I had it looked at, fixed and added wireless. Things should have been great?? Well, not so. I was not able to access the internet for almost a week. I am back up and running, but am not sure if what I'm getting from you is new or a rerun. I have also spent a lot of time looking at websites you have sent and found them to be most interesting. I think that now I'm back on line I will be able to review all of your info as well as the info on others. Please let me know about original and rerun e-mails. I really appreciate your time and help.
I am sorry so far I have not taken a Mystery Shopping assignment. I have been sick, then out of town. However, I am now available and ready to get started. I am really looking forward to get busy.
Hi Guys
I'm from Western Australia. I started shopping in February 2007 and have applied to about 16 companies. I refuse to pay for lists. I am currently doing work for 10 and am nearing the 100 jobs mark.

I have a compliance and fraud investigation background and am recently retired. I'm into this as an interest. Heaven knows you won't get rich and it can be fun.

I am finding that there are politics in this game also. Some firms want detailed honest reports others want yes no tick a box and others want only positive reporting. Sorry, I have had 40+ years of telling it like it is and am too old to change now.

The other thing I have noticed that many so called international companies say they have offices across the world but in reality they don't. A list of coy based in Australia and those internationals that do feally service Australia would be a great help.
I have been called for the same shop many times. It is not worth my time and gas to drive to them. I did not get reimbursed! I still look at the boards when I can. I have applied for a lot of them, but only a few have contacted me. I will continue to do this, so I can get out of the factory I work in.
Hello Everyone,
In reading some of your horror stories, I guess I better count my lucky stars. I have had an incredible, awesome response to my applications to Mystery Shopper sites. When I was a teenager a few decades ago I did Mystery shops, and I had a lot of fun. Because the managers and owners would never guess a teenager as a mystery shopper. As I am sure you all know, when do you pay any attention to teenagers, yea right! I have raised my family, and decided I wanted some pocket money each month. So I started at the end of February 2007, signing up when I ran across a Mystery Shop site. By the middle of March I had done about 25 shops. I also had signed up at about 35 Mystery Shop sites. Now at this point I have not paid any money to any Shopper sites. I did this on my own. By the end of March 2007 I had done 75 Mystery Shops of all kinds. And I was up to 95 sites I had put my application into. Even if they said they didn't have jobs in the state I was in, I still signed up. You never know if they might get a stray shop, and they look in their files and low and behold there you are. Sorry I guess I am getting wordy, can tell I have done a few shops, huh!
Anyway as of now, from the first of March to the first of May I have done over 100+ shops, and I am still going strong. It's been incredible.

My Advice for what it's worth:
1-Sign-up with every site you can find, and they are not hard to find. Yes, you will have a lot of testing to do, and a ton of reading, but it's worth it.
2-Learn the names of the people that send you job prospects from each company. Call them, send e-mails, stay real close to them, you will end up at the top of the pile to be called.
3-Make a name for your self, these companies and schedulers talk among themselves, they trade names, who does the best surveys, etc.
4-Complete your jobs when you say you will, and get it in early,they will love you for it.
5-Make sure your debriefing is par excellence, the best of the best. Your ratings will be perfect everytime, if you take the time and do it right.
6-Stay close to the computer, check your e-mails every couple of hours, or you will miss some of the shops that were just posted. Respond quickly to them, first come, first served.
7-I have learned, unfortunately, I don't sleep much at night, but a lot of postings happen in the middle of the night, and you can snag the good ones then. Usually between 2 AM and 5 AM, is the best times.
8-Have fun, don't ignore your family responsibilities, and take time for yourself, and then you won't get burn out. If you do you will start to resent doing it, then you will know it's time to get out of doing Mystery Shops.

Take Care One and All, Pamela
I have had good experiences with, and am well paid because I will do several in one locations, so as to save on gas, and wear and tear on my vehicle.

I have been shoppping for one company since December 2003, and the rest since February 2004, and I have recently signed up for new companies, and yes they do call me, and E-mailed me about assignments. I keep a calendar on my file cabinet with where I have to go, and on what day.

I stopped at the libraries in my areas to look for jobs, and have picked up several that way. I am normally up around 2 am to 5 am, but due to E-mails and fanasty teams; I cannot always check all of my sites for jobs at that time.

I love to do reveal shops too. Also, I like to do audits, so that companies can tell where to put their money to fix, or not to fix.
I have been mystery shopping since February 2007 and have completed about 40 shops. I've applied to about 20 companies and have worked for 11. I'm about to get out of it now. Here are the pros and cons:

1. Some of the schedulers are really nice and helpful. They will do just about anything to help you work their websites and get your reports completed accurately, and they're encouraging and flexible if you have problems and need to reschedule assignments.

2. The jobs are challenging and often interesting...something I needed in retirement.

3. If you use deductions on income tax and keep good records, deductible costs will add up and be helpful at filing time.

4. If you like fast food and are on a tight budget, you get to eat out a lot (You also have to remember a lot of details while you're eating, sometimes making meals stressful, particularly in the beginning).

5. You can make a little more money on digital assignments, but there's an added layer of work in completing these assignments and in submitting reports.

6. Pay is absolutely awful for the amount of time you have to spend printing instructions and forms, driving, doing the shops, and completing and submitting reports. Even working smart and fast, after I discounted for gasoline I made very very little money.

7. There hasn't been enough variety in jobs available in my area, and I'm very very tired of fast food assignments.

8. Record keeping is essential, tedious, and demands more time.

Overall, mystery shopping has been an interesting experience, and doing it for 4 months satisfied my curiosity about it. I'm compulsive about any responsibility I accept so I spent a tremendous amount of time on it, and the glamour wore off quickly! I began to dread the days when I had shops scheduled. Then I developed a painful case of tendonitis that made typing and driving difficult, and I am bowing out. I'm glad I did it, but no more. Too much time; too much gasoline; too much paperwork; and much too little money!
I havent any experience I have trouble getting through to the web sights I would love to do it but nothing seems to come my way maureen dunford
This may sound dumb, I am very new to this. How do I use paypal to get paid. I have an account from ebay, but I don't know how to get paid. I have done 3 shops and have enjoyed them.

I started as a mystery shopper about 3 months ago. I signed up with Market Trends Pacific and Second To None.Between the 2, I have done 12 shops altogether. I like it because I sign up for the ones that I want to do because it fits my schedule. I've been asked to do last minute shops and they compensated me for it.
I have been a mystery shopper for 2 months only. It doesn't seem that there are that many jobs available in this area. I seem to get beat out when there are some, which is frustrating. I wish the companies would equally disburse the jobs even if you are new at it. How does a person get more experience if they are not assigned more opportunities. The 5 shops that I have done have been enjoyable. I hope they use the feedback to correct the errors, and take the positive feedback and grow. I will not join a company to become a gold, or silver member, they say those companies are scams. I dont pay my current full-time employeer to work there, so why would I pay a mystery company to work for them.
I have done many shops but can find only fast food restaurants in the food industry. Anyone know which companies do Red Lobster, Chilli's, Logan's Roadhouse etc?
I'm a mystery shopper for over a year now. No more corporate issues, it's just me, shopping, getting paid for it and enjoying it. I've signed up with approximately 40 companies and receive emails daily posting work available. I try to shop at least 6-8 shops a week and make approximately $300 - $400 a month. I've dined out, shopped retail, supermarkets, jewelry, financial institutes, medical evaluations, local grocery stores, UPS stores telephone surveys, Oil changes, Lenscrafter, and I've stayed at hotels in Atlantic City and evaluated several employees on gaming tables in the casinos. This is a most rewarding and entertaining job for me. I'm semi-retired and look forward to mystery shopping as my new little career. To all of you out there getting started do not pay to sign up with a mystery shop company. There are so many companies out there that offer free registration. I have only positive experiences to share, nothing negative as far as my shopping todate. It's fun, it fills my time inbetween chores and I make a few dollars.
Hi, persistance is something that pays off in mystery shopping. Shadow shopper is a great way to find companies. There are lots of reputable companies out there that you do not have to pay to join, try to stay away from those unless they are BBB. It is not something that you can make tons of money but it is a little something extra. If one is needing lots of extra money then demostrating is a good way to go or if one has merchandising experience that too is a good way to make a lot of money quick. If you have a retail background mystery shopping will be very easy because you have been trained they way a company would like for you to work for them, you hear well that is what our company wants us to do and the mystery shoppers look for that. If you have never worked in retail it could be tricky unless you are very detail orientated.
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