Mystery Shopping Tips

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1. You should never pay a fee to Mysteryshop. You can get the information about Mystery shopping jobs free on the internet anywhere.

2. You do not need to be certified to be a Mystery Shopper, but as a gold-certified Mystery Shopper, I can say that I do sometimes get preference on shops, AND I found the training to be interesting. I think the silver certification is great for a brand new Mystery Shopper.

3. Paid Mystery Shopping can be hard work. It is not as simple as walking in, buying something, and getting a check. You need to remember a lot of details, and you need to be able to write coherently. You have to be extremely organized, and reliable if you plan on making any money Mysteryshopping. Plan to do several Mystery Shopping assignments in one day to make the most of it.

4. This is not an easy way to get rich quick. Mystery Shoppings don't pay a lot. Some people do Mystery Shopping as a full-time job, but that's not the norm.

5. You can't always take your kids on Secret Shoppers trips, so keep that in mind.

6. We are not allowed to tell you which Mystery Shopping companies work with which clients. It's a breach of confidentiality, which sadly many Mysteryshoppers seem to forget.

7. You are considered an Independent Contractor with each company you work with. You will need to provide a social security number, and you will be responsible for reporting your income on your taxes. Mystery Shopping is a business.

8. Do yourself a favor, and get a distinct email address before signing up with any Mystery Shopping companies. You can receive all of your Mystery Shopping offers in one spot.

9. If you are not comfortable/willing/able to go out and research companies, sign up for them, check their boards/your email, etc. on your own, Mystery Shopping isn't for you. You are working for yourself, and need to be able to step it up.

10. WRITING IS VERY IMPORTANT, make sure you are spelling correctly, and using appropriate, and correct grammar when filling in your Mystery Shopping results.

11. Save any confirmations of requests for a payout as well as completion of any Mystery Shopping jobs.

12. Be sure when you sign up for Surveys, Focus Groups, Product Testing or Mystery Shopping, you confirm your email address. Many complain they aren't getting very much work. That might be why!

13. Mystery shops will never send you a check that you told to Western Union anywhere! This is a big scam going on right now. Should you get one report it to the proper authorities, and also to the company that is mentioned in the letter. Often they will fake real company's information upon their fake checks. Please warn your friends and family of this too.

14. If you are ever in question of a website, check them out here: Just know that the BBB & WOT can not be fully trusted anymore. Users have been paid to leave bad feedback.  and

15. Be sure to check out this page for further information.

P.S. ALWAYS answer any answers truthfully, even if it means you may not get a Mystery shopping job you want. Honest and objective work is one of the highest priorities for a mystery shopper (MS). (Other than reliability, confidentiality, and of course... anonymity!)

Adapted from a list by Christy Matte and added to by Amy Lynn

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