20 Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies: Get Paid to Eat and Shop!


20 Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies: Get Paid to Eat and Shop!

“Mystery shopping? Is that even a real thing?” That is exactly what I asked when a friend suggested I look into becoming a mystery shopper when I was looking for a way to earn some extra money. He assured me that it was indeed a real thing. In fact, the company that he worked for was audited on a regular basis by mystery shoppers.

Ok…So How Does It Work?

Most companies have some type of method to evaluate customer service, satisfaction and quality. Mystery shoppers, also known as secret shoppers, pose as customers in order to gather specific information about products and services.  Mystery shoppers can are utilized in a wide variety of industries, with the most common venues being retail stores, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, fast food chains, banks, gas stations, car dealerships, apartments, health clubs and  even health care facilities.

Well that makes sense! How do I start?

Becoming a mystery shopper is not as simple as going to the store that you would like to be a mystery shopper at and signing up. Businesses typically contract with mystery shopping companies that specialize in developing quality assessments, hiring shoppers,  scheduling visits,  and analyzing reports. It is for these mystery shopping companies that secret shoppers work.

Here is the part that can be tricky. Finding legitimate mystery shopping companies. We have all received those emails that promise “Get free stuff!” or “Get paid to shop!” But every time I had opened one of those enticing emails it usually turned out that I could become a mystery shopper for only $29.95!

What??? I thought I was supposed to get paid to shop, not pay them.

That is one of the keys to finding legitimate mystery shopping companies. You should never have to pay a fee to sign up with a mystery shopping company! Some secret shopping visits may require the shopper to make a small purchase as part of the evaluation, for which they are usually reimbursed but that is not the same as paying a fee to sign up to work for a mystery shopping company.

The good news is there are a lot of good, legitimate mystery shopping companies out there.

Recommended Companies

About Face

Ace Mystery Shopping

A Closer Look

All Star Customer Service

Bare International

Best Mark

Coyle Hospitality

Customer Impact



Goodwin & Associates

ICU Associates



Kern Scheduling

Market Force

North Fork Research

Ritter & Associates


Stericycle Expert Solutions



Do you have a mystery shopping job to add to this list? Ran into a few mystery shopping scams? I’d love to hear your recommendations and experiences about Mystery Shopping work in the comments below!

Want to learn more about mystery shopping? Check out the Mystery Shopping Manual!

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