Details on How to be a Mystery Shopper

I recently wrote this post (Mad $ Tip #2) about how I’ve made some extra pocket money by being a mystery shopper.   I had a number of responses asking for more details about the specific companies I work with since so many of the advertisements seem to be scams.    So here are the details:

Companies I use to be a Mystery Shopper

  1. The first site I recommend is Mystery Shopping Providers Association.  It is a international organization that lists legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies.  I searched for the ones in the US and 136 companies were returned by the query.   When I saw an ad to be a mystery shopper, I went to this list to make sure they were on it before I applied.
  2. Goodwin & Associates and have completed a couple of shops with them.  I haven’t actually been reimbursed for our expenses yet though because they have a 90 day turn around time.
  3.  Sassie Mystery Shopping Systems
  4. Market Force.  
  5. Quality Assessments Mystery Shopping.  I haven’t shopped with them yet.  Don’t seem to have a lot of open shops near me.
  6. Certified Field Associate (a division of Market Force).   

Some things I’ve learned:

  • I’ve decided that I really like the fast food shops.  You will need a phone or stopwatch for these because they are very interested in food delivery time (to the second).
  • I don’t like to do audits (price checking food items at grocery stores).  It is very time consuming.
  • I love getting reimbursed to go have dinner with my hubby.  Plus we get the whole “secret shopper” adrenaline rush feeling like we’re playing at secret service agent or something.
  • It is against MSPA guidelines to reveal which companies work with which clients (or how much they pay).  I didn’t know that until this post actually – after I broke both of those rules!  Jackie at pointed it out to me and I am so glad she did! 

There are tons of other companies out there.  What is your experience?  Have you found a legitimate mystery shopping company that pays more money?  Or has really fun opportunities?

7 Responses to Details on How to be a Mystery Shopper

  1. Hi. I just want to start with I LOVE YOUR BLOG! And I read it often! You have some great tips above, but I just wanted to let you know it’s against MSPA shopper ethics for you to share information with others on which company shops which clients. You can read more about it here:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I wouldn’t want you to lose your shopping privileges with these companies because of one post.

    I hope I’ve helped,

    Jackie ~

    • Oh No! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. It certainly wasn’t my intention to disregard the ethics section. SO very much appreciate your comment and am changing the post right now.

      For those that read this afterwards – I listed which stores I shopped for which company – that is against the MSPA guidelines as Jackie pointed out. Oops!!

      • OK, I had a bff in like 7th and 8th grade named Daria R. She also did our wedding photos. Is this the same Daria by chance? I’ve never heard that name before or since.

  2. Thanks for your great comments Daria! “Maybe we could collaborate and do it again on something else…” That sounds like a great idea! Just let me know when you want to collaborate and what subject!


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