“What are the best mystery shopping companies to work for?”
This was a question asked by a MoneyPantry fan on Facebook.
People love mystery shopping.
And who wouldn’t?
Wouldn’t you love it if someone offered you a job that paid you to shop and dine?
The interesting thing is…
there are companies that pay you to do just that!
We have covered Mystery shopping many times here on MP. We talked about video game mystery shopping.
We’ve also shared a complete list of over 200 companies that offer mystery shopping jobs.
Today, we’re going to narrow it down and give a list of my favorite companies.
These are known as some of the best mystery shopping companies.
But before we get to the list, for those of you unfamiliar with this whole thing, let’s do a quick introduction.
What is Mystery Shopping anyway?
It’s a lot like online surveys and focus groups.
The goal is to gather data that can help companies improve their customer service, store display, and whatever else that impacts their bottom line.
These companies can be restaurants, hotels, department stores, movie theaters…
As an “agent,” you are assigned shopping jobs where your goal is to pose as a real customer and experience what a normal customer would.
You may be assigned to stay at a hotel, dine in a restaurant, shop at a mall…
Your assignment will have all the details.
Some assignments may require you to ask certain questions, buy certain products, talk with the customer service, etc.
Some may require you to observe the interaction between staff and other customers.
Whatever the assignment, the ultimate goal is to report back your experience so they can use that information to improve customer service, store’s appearance, product pricing/placement, etc.
How much money can you make?
The amount of money you are paid depends on many factors – the company you’re working with, the assignment itself, how long it takes, etc.
Normally, all expenses are paid by the research firm conducting the study. In some cases, they may have you pay the bill, but they reimburse you afterward.
Sometimes, your reward comes in the form of free stuff.
For example, if your assignment was to shop at a clothing store and spend $100, you get to keep what you bought without having to pay for it.
Or if you were assigned to stay at a hotel for 2 nights, the company pays for the hotel, meals, and all your travel expenses.
But in most cases, there is a monetary reward.
You get paid anywhere from $20 to $200 or more for your work.
Best secret shopping companies to shop for
Ok, now on to the list of my top 5 favorite companies that offer mystery shopping jobs.
These are all legitimate and trusted market research companies that offer shopping assignment spanning various industries, from hotel and hospitality to restaurants, clothing, entertainment, automobile, and more.
1. Best Mark
3. Market Force
Look out for scams
If you’re new to secret shopping, be very careful when joining a company/website claiming to be a legit mystery shopping company.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there.
The most famous of it all being the “western union mystery shopping” or “mystery shopping check” scam.
This is how it works:
Someone sends you a check pretending to be a legit market research firm wanting to hire you to do a secret shopping assignment for them.
They ask you to deposit the check in your bank account and immediately send back a small portion of it to them (or another person/company) via the Western Union.
You are told that the rest of the money is yours to keep as the payment for the assignment, the details of which will be emailed to you in a few days.
You happily deposit the check, withdraw the amount requested and send it to the person/company mentioned via western union.
Days go by and you don’t hear from them again.
But you do hear from your bank alerting you that the check you deposited a few days ago has bounced!
All of a sudden you realize what happened!
The check was bad, but that’s not the worst part!
The worst part is that you lost your own money.
The money that you wired via the Western Union came out of your own account.
Not only did you waste your time and had your hopes crushed, you also lost money.
That’s how a mystery shopping scam works. So please be careful.
Do not ever send money (especially wire it where it’s hard to trace and get it back) to anyone who pretends to be a representative of a mystery shopping company.
Don’t fall for legit-sounding names either. These scammers actually use the names of trusted companies to further lure you into trusting them.
Remember, legitimate secret shopping companies will never ever send you a check before you even start the assignment.
They will never ask you to wire money to them.
Be smart and use common sense.
Don’t get scammed!
Again, there are many other legitimate and trusted companies that offer paid shopping assignments.
These are some of the best mystery shopping companies particularly because they seem to have more opportunities across a diverse range of industries.