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10 Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies to Make Money with

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Mystery shopper jobs that are real are very sought after kinds of jobs. You basically get paid to shop. The only problem with mystery shopping is finding a legitimate secret shopping company to work for.

Mystery shopping has been bombarded with scams of all kind, specially in the past few years. Many people have become victims of secret shopping scams, and instead of making money, lost money! Which is why so may people think of mystery shopping as a scam. But the fact is that secret shopping is not a scam, that said, there are scammers operating within the industry.

That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to do some research, and find a few real companies that offer secret shopper jobs. I have found the following 10 companies that are well-known and trusted research companies that many big businesses use for conducting market research.

To see my new list of more than 100 legitimate mystery shopping companies, please check out “Mystery Shopper Jobs: 100+ Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies”

 

  1. Beyond Hello: Beyond Hello specializes in mystery shopping and provides additional services that help clients measure their customers’ experiences.
  2. Certified Reports, Inc. (CRI): They evaluate theater and everything related to it, like Seating Capacity, Sneak Previews, Audience Reaction, Lobby and etc.
  3. A Closer Look, Inc.: A company that documents guest feedback and specializes in the hospitality industry like restaurant, hotel, health club, spa and healthcare industry, like dental, medical markets. Your assignments can be found on their website.
  4. A&A Merchandising Ltd: It is a marketing services company that specializes in retail merchandising, channel and back office corporate programs.
  5. AboutFace : Anyone over the age of 18 may become a shopper. Pays all shoppers via PayPal.
  6. Greet America, Inc.: If you are dependable and a hard worker, join the professional Greet America team as an independent contractor. They provide On-line training sessions for those who are new to mystery shopping or wish to learn more.
  7. All-Star Customer Service In: An award wining mystery shopping company. project includes Shops in retail, banking, sales, hospitality, apartments, restaurants and other industries. Online training too. Site has listing of available jobs.
  8. Ardent Services: Provides comprehensive evaluation services including Customer Service, Merchandise Integrity, Store Standards, Competitor Performance Comparison, Competitor Price Comparison, Associate Integrity and Associate Morale.
  9. A Top Shop: Most shops pay $10-20 per hour. Some shops include benefits such as reimbursement for meals, movie tickets, merchandise, hotel stays, etc.
  10. Confero The Service Resources Group: Focuses on Retail, grocery, and automotive shops.

 

Please be careful when looking for mystery shopping work, so you don’t become a victim of mystery shopper scams. The best tip I can give you to help you stay away from secret shopper scams is that no legitimate mystery shopping company will ever charge you a registration fee or ask you to send them money. All legit mystery shopping companies are 100% free to join.

If you know of any legitimate mystery shopping company, please feel free to leave a comment and I will add it to the list. Good luck in making money as a mystery shopper.

70 Comments So Far...

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  1. Pores says:

    Getting paid for shopping is very exciting. Its almost unbelievable. Although like you said, you might not make a lot of money, but still it’s fun to shop for free.

    • satrap says:

      @Pores,
      Absolutely, I have been doing them off and on for years and it truly is fun.

    • Joe says:

      Received a e-mail from AOMS. Do you know anything about them?

      • Satrap says:

        Hi joe,
        AOMS? Hmm… I can’t say I do. Do you know what the actual name of the company is?…

  2. We want to thank you for listing our company on your blog. I am a scheduler and recruiter for A Closer Look. We run a quarterly promotion that if you become a shopper and you refer someone else who refers a shopper, we enter you and your referral into our quarterly drawing for $50 each! We are also now on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! Please feel free to visit and comment. Thanks again!

    • satrap says:

      @Imogene Harris,
      You are very welcome Imogene. A Closer Look is a trusted legitimate mystery shopping site and that is why I included it in this list.

  3. Tara says:

    Thank you for listing these here. I have been doing mystery shopping for years and I know how hard it is to find legitimate mystery shopping companies. UI am sure this list will help lots of people looking for legit mystery shopping sites as there are s many mystery shopping scams out there. Thanks.

    • Liz says:

      @Tara,
      I was wondering which company you get your mystery shopping jobs through?
      Thanks!
      Liz

  4. John says:

    Now this is something I could see myself doing.

    • satrap says:

      @John,
      Yeah, its a fun and enjoyable way of making some extra money.

  5. liz nielsen says:

    do you have to use your own money,, to shop,, is there any company that will pay you to shop and take your earnings out of it,,

    • satrap says:

      @liz nielsen,
      Yes, with most of them , you use your own money, however, you will be reimbursed for what you spent.

  6. Jourdan says:

    is it safe to give them your social security number?

    • satrap says:

      @Jourdan,
      The companies I mentioned above are all legitimate. Howver, its totally up to you. You could always look around and maybe call them directly to ensure you are safe.

  7. joelle says:

    DO you know mystery companies in the middle east?Thanks

    • satrap says:

      @joelle,
      No, unfortunately I do not know of any. But, if I do come across any, I will be sure to update this page. So check back once in a while.

  8. johnchu says:

    how do i get started?

    • satrap says:

      Well, you pick a few of the companies mentioned above and register with them. From then on, they will email you whenever they have a shop assignment near where you live.

  9. Kristin says:

    I’m really curious if these places are for real, I’m a past assistant store manager who decided to return to school and need a job that works around my schedule but will pay me decently. I’ve 10 years customer service experience and believe I’d be good at a mystery shopper job as I know what to look for. But I do not wish to be scammed. I live in the Killeen/Austin area of Texas and hoping to find a real mystery shopper job near me. HELP!!

    • satrap says:

      These are real and legitimate research companies that help companies and manufactures conduct mystery shopping assignments. As I said, these are all free to join. So you dont have anything to lose. If you do come across one that you have to pay in order to become a member, stay away from it as it certainly is a scam.

      I hope this answered your question Kristin. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Sheena says:

      @Kristin, I am currently a mystery shopper and have worked for Intelli-Shop for a few years now. I have done shops with them in Pennsylvania and I currently do them in the Dallas/Ft Worth Texas area. They usually provide many opportunities for shops and many pay well. Hope that helps! I truly enjoy mystery shopping and am a former Retail Store manager as well as Restaurant manager, so the customer service aspect helped me when I first started. Good Luck

  10. dana says:

    ok look there is this place called interactive inc. they sennt me a check and wanted me to do a mystery shop which includes a western union to spain i cannot find any info on them the bank is legitimate i donot want to be scammed

    • satrap says:

      Dana,

      That is an absolute scam. Please STAY AWAY from it!

      Its a very famous scam. They send you a fake check, then they tell you to send some of that money by western union to a specific location (in your case its Spain), and report your experience to them. So, you send that money right away, then a few days latter when its time for the check (that they send you) to be clear, you find out its a fake check. You lose whatever amount you western union to Spain that easy!

      Remember, NO legitimate mystery shopping company will ask you to send them money or pay them a fee. They pay you not the other way around! Please be careful.

      I am going to publish a big list of legitimate Mystery shopping companies 9all free to work with) in a few days, so be sure to visit BlogStash in a few days.

  11. Poonam says:

    Are there any such companies in India?

    • satrap says:

      I am afraid there are no mystery shopping companies in India yet, or at least if there any, I dont know about them. Thanks for your question Poonam.

      • Poonam says:

        @satrap, Thanks for the information.

  12. Kathy says:

    Do you know any mystery sh0pping companies in the philippines? Please send me list. Thank you.

    • satrap says:

      Hi Kathy,

      I am sorry, I am afraid I don’t know of any mystery shopping companies in the Philippines. However, if I do come across one, I will make sure to let you know. Thanks for the question.

  13. Josh says:

    I work for statopex in Canada and its great, they keep me busy and also I used to work for Auditor Service in Mexico, I reached level 5 (which is the top) and my last evaluation was in hotels around the country, that was funny.

    By the way the payments goes between $10 and $50 dollars.

    • satrap says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Josh. Glad you are doing good.

  14. michael says:

    wait so i will get paid for shopping, and i dont spend any money? or how does this work.

    • satrap says:

      Basically, you get assigned to a shopping project where you go buy an specific product or just brows the store and ask workers question, the you come back and report your experience. Now, the money you spend will be given back to you plus your reward money. In some cases, they may even pay for your shopping before you go an your assignment.

      Thanks for your question and I hope that answered your question Michael.

  15. Al Williams says:

    Hello can you please tell me about NPD Group. is it a scam or legit

    • satrap says:

      Hi Al,
      NPD is not a scam. They have been around for a long time and are a legitimate market research company. Please feel free to ask any other question you may have. Thanks.

  16. ashley says:

    Hi..I was emailed from a mystery shopping company called Shopper’s Guide. They sent an email asking for my information..basic..and I sent it..they also ask for a confirmation email and I replied to that as well, then they sent me an email with my first assignment. He told me he would be sending 2 checks totalling $1,980. They wanted me to deposit this at my bank..keep 300 and then send the rest to another mystery shopper in the Philippines. Is this a scam?

    • satrap says:

      Ashley, DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY!

      As I told Dana ( another reader – below), That is an absolute scam. Please STAY AWAY from it!
      Its a very famous scam. They send you a fake check, then they tell you to send some of that money by western union to a specific location (in your case its the Philippines), and report your experience to them. So, you send that money right away, then a few days latter when its time for the check (that they send you) to be clear, you find out its a fake check. You lose whatever amount you western union to the Philippines that easy!

      No legit mystery shopping company will ever ask you to do that.

      • Rena C. says:

        WOW! THIS SAME THING IS HAPPENING TO ME RIGHT NOW! THEY TOLD ME TO DEPOSIT A $300 CHECK AT MY LOCAL BANK. THEY MADE SURE TO PUT EMPHASIS ON LOCAL BANK! AND TOLD ME TO SEND $50 via WESTERN UNION TO A GIRL IN THE PHILIPPINES. I HAD A FELLING IT WAS A SCAM THATS WHY I STARTED SERCHING FOR INFO. IM SUPPOSED TO DO THE ASSIGNMENT TODAY….NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

        • Satrap says:

          I am glad you were able to avoid this scam Rena. And thanks for the comment.

  17. Gjon says:

    Hey club mystery shoppers told me if I pay 2.90$ they will get me instruction how to make money Is this a scam?

    • satrap says:

      Hi Gjon,
      While I have never heard of “club mystery ” and dont knwo them, I wouldn’t pay for that. They may not be scam. the probably give you a list of mystery shopping companies you can work with. So its not scam, but I am giving you all that information here for free, so why pay for it. If you need more mystery shopping sites, visit my new list of 100+ legitmiate mystery shopping sites.
      Good luck.

    • Kathy says:

      They are probably a scam because legitimate mystery shopper would ever ask you to pay them in order to learn stuff. Don’t waste money on those scam!!!

      • satrap says:

        Kathy, for exactly the same reason you mentioned, these sites are legit and not scam. Non of these sites ask you to pay. They are all free to join. They pay you to shop as a mystery shopper, why would you have to pay them?…

  18. amber says:

    Hi has anyone heard of shoppers critique? Is it a scam?

  19. michelle says:

    Hi,
    I found an ad on craigslist advertising for mystery shoppers.
    I applied for it, and got a response. They said I will be paid 300 for each shop, and asked for all my info.
    It sounds too good to be true, and wondering if they can do anything funny with my info. So wanted to make sure its legit, before I give it to them.
    name: Mystery Shopper Inc®,
    4230 LBJ Freeway, Ste. 414,
    Dallas, Texas 75244

    • Satrap says:

      Michelle,

      I don’t know that particular company, but here are a few tips to keep in mind.

      If they send you a check and ask you to deposit and send part if it back to them, that’s a scam. A famous one in fact. You deposit the check, you transfer some money from your bank account, thinking its gonna come out of that check, a few days later the check bounces, mean while they have already got the money you transferred to them. It is a big scam. So, if you see anything like that going on, be sure to stay away.

      As far as your normal information, it’s up to you and how comfortable you are. I wouldn’t give out my SSN. Although with some companies you may have to in order for them to send you tax forms. But that’s if you make at least $600 with them in a 12 month period.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

  20. LaKiesha says:

    I also seen an ad on Craigslist for a secret shopper an I sent in my information to them. It just says evaluation service. Is it a scam? I wrote an asked them for their exact company name as well.

    • Satrap says:

      Hi Lakiesha,
      I am sorry, but I would need more detail to be able to answer that. Whatever you do, just dont send money to them. Also be careful not to fall for the famous wire transfer mystery shopping scam.

  21. Tina P says:

    I noticed Greet America, Inc. on your list. I just received an E-mail from Great America, Inc. & was wondering if this was a scam being so close to the name Greet America, Inc. I was curious about your thoughts on this. I am looking for something to do part time, & like most women, I love to shop. I also have 25+ years in Customer Service.

    • Satrap says:

      Hi Tina,

      This sounds fishy as it seems like they are trying to impose themselves as the “Greet America, Inc.” I have done some research and didn’t find any information or even a website associated with them. That doesn’t seem right to me. These days, all legit companies have some kind of web presence, or you can at least find some contact info.

      Another thing (As I mentioned in other comments), if you have never registered with a company, and one day all of a sudden they email you randomly, it probably is a scam. Legit secret shopping sites don’t email random people. You actually have to sign up with them first.

      So, based on these facts, I would stay away from this company. I personally have no doubt there is some kind of scam going on here. Good luck Tina.

  22. Marie says:

    What do you have to say about Certified Marketing Services, Inc.? I haven’t started yet and would like to know whether it’s a scam or not. Thanks

    • Satrap says:

      Hi Marie,

      Thanks for your question.

      Since I hadn’t heard of this one before, I did some digging and to be honest, I don’t like what I see. For one, they don’t even have a working website. I see lots of negative comments from people who apparently never got paid from them. So, my gut feeling tells me its a scam, or if it’s not, its just not a good paying company to work with.

      I would stay away from Certified Marketing Services, Inc. There are lots of legit companies you can use for mystery shopping jobs, like the ones in this post. You can also check out my other list of 100 legit secret shopper companies.

      Hope that answered your question. Good luck Marie.

  23. Lynne says:

    Is there listings for Canada? or these companies just for US? L.

  24. Johnathon Black says:

    I was contacted by a Robert Hays, Assistant HR Director. He sent me a check in the mail to deposit into my bank account. I received the check today via USPS, but I don’t know if this is legitimate or not. The check is from North Salt Lake Saw & Tool Inc, 3221 South Hwy 89 suit 2, Bountiful, UT 84010. Have you ever heard of this before? He hasn’t requested any money from me at all, even though I already have a check. He wants me to keep a portion of the check, and use the rest on the mystery shop jobs.

    Also, do most mystery shoppers sign contracts of any type? I haven’t signed anything or been officially employed.

    Thanks,
    John

    • Satrap says:

      Johnathon, read my reply to Pete and a few others. They will, sooner or later, ask you to send them part of that money.

      The fact is that legit mystery shopping companies do not send you a check before you even start the assignment. Plus, real mystery shopping companies don’t just randomly contact people. You have to apply to become a secret shopper.

      So, yes, I would throw away that check and stay away from any company that contacts you without you contacting them first, trying to give you money for so-called “mystery shopping job”.

      Good luck Johnathon.

  25. Pete Short says:

    I have never done this before, so I’m a little cautious: I received a money order for a rather large amount—was told to cash it at the bank, then take $100.00 for my services, and sent the rest to a person in Texas, through Moneygram (Wal-mart)—-Is this legitamate or a scam?

    • Satrap says:

      Pete, please do not send any money. Its a huge scam. If you read the comments, you will see that I have responded to many similar questions. Its a big scam. You send the money, few days latter their check will bounce. So, you wont get any money, but the money you sent them already came out of your bank account. So you lose money. please stay away.

      If you want to work with legit sites, the ones listed here are legit and they will never ask you to send money to them. Good luck Pete.

  26. Azhat says:

    Can you explain how does the trusted legitimate mystery shoppers pay us?

    • Satrap says:

      Basically the company will send you on shopping assignments and once the assignment is done you will get paid. Some companies may pay by check, others with PayPal, still others may eve pay you cash in person. It all depends on what company you work with.

  27. Laura says:

    I’m Canadian & just starting out with this. I just did a phone shop for lanla. I was wondering how long it usually takes to have a report looked at & approved? It’s been a few days & they are still looking at it. I didn’t put any money into it so it would only have wasted my time.

    • Satrap says:

      Laura, it depends on the company and the assignment. Some take longer and some are quicker to respond. If its a legit company you did the shopping assignment for, you will get paid sooner or later.

      Also, you can actually contact the company and ask them. They may even have a FAQ section on their website that you may want to check out. Good luck Laura.

  28. Jack Brannon says:

    One of the companies you mentioned on your list above (A & A Merchandiding, Ltd.) sent me this e-mail and made me question their legitimacy because of the article in List of 100 Mystery Shopping Jobs where it mentions Western Union. Here’s a portion of their e-mail that makes me question them: ” You have been accepted as our Secret Agent/Survey
    Agent/Evaluators. You will be evaluating WESTERN UNION SERVICES and
    WAL-MART STORES in your Neighborhood… Please remember that you are to
    act Cool, Calm and Confident through out the period in which you will
    be carrying out the survey. In order not to arouse any suspicion. We
    will furnish you with transfer details which you will send Funds to
    via Western Union. Also you will be shopping at Wal-Mart stores close
    by. After which you will write a report and send back to us via Email
    using the following pointers:

    I wanted to get your thoughts since they are on your list. Thanks.

    • Satrap says:

      Hi Jack,

      About the western union thing, it is not uncommon for mystery shopping companies to send you assignment for evaluating western union services or other financial related institutions. After all, that’s what secret shopping is all about.

      Now, what you saw about the western union scam is a completely different thing. Thats where scammers will send you a check, as for you to deposit it and then send part of that money immediately to someone they specify through western union. Of course, the check bounces in a few days, but the money you sent through WU comes out of your own bank account.

      a Few things you should pay attention to:
      Make sure the email you got did actually come from this company and not someone pretending to be them.
      Also, did you actually register with them before you gt this assignment email?… (scammmers contact people randomly, while legit companies don’t just contact people, you will have to sign up with them first).

      Another thing, if its legit, they will give you the actual money that they are asking you to send through western union, (usually in cash).

      I hope based on the above pointers you can make the decision. Let me know if you need further assistance. Thanks and good luck Jack.

      • Jack Brannon says:

        Why were my additional comments about A & A removed?

        • Satrap says:

          Jack, I am not sure which comment you are talking about. Perhaps you are talking about your previous longer comment. That is live now as you can see.

          Please do keep mind that comments are held in moderation which is why they don’t appear on the site instantly. I check comment manually and approve them every day or so. It’s a way to combat the scammers trying to drop links to drug and other sites we don’t want to be associated with here. I am sure you can understand that.

  29. Jack Brannon says:

    FRAUD ALERT – Invalid Routing Number On Check

    Contacted A&A Marketing. Received this e-mail: My name is Tracy Campbell Am a USA Representative and Marketing Manager to
    A&A Merchandising Ltd this is an awareness to let the public know
    that A&A Merchandising Ltd. is a marketing services company that
    specializes in retail merchandising, channel and back office corporate
    programs. Our mission is to implement our clients’ marketing programs
    in both the retail and business-to-business market segments We have a
    vacancy position of a Secret Agent in our company. , You will receive
    a sum of $150 on every assignment, that was given o
    you on a part time basis,and this is Flexible, it can be done any time
    of the Day also During the weekend you only work 2-3 hours twice in
    a week.

    If interested, send the information below to :

    I proceeded and was accepted.

    Received check for $1490.00 by USPS Priority Mail yesterday and text message from 612-564-8771 reminding me to follow instructions sent this morning. None have been received as yet. I’m sure it will be to deposit it in my account and transfer $1,340 to somewhere, which is amount minus my pay.

    Routing Number is invalid 000065179. Looked it up in Routing Number search and didn’t get a hit. It is interestin that it also uses first 3 digits of check number and then 79 after it. That possibly is a sequential number for them to keep up with how many they have issued. USPS Priority Mail came from Global Source USA, 36 9th Street, Hicksville, NY 11801 and check was supposed issued through JPMPORGANCHASEBANK in Dallas, TX for a company called TaxFree Shopping, Ltd., 14665 midway Rd. Ste 150, Addison, TX 75001

    I am fortunate enough to know about Routing Numbers and even though your bank would accept it initially, due to automated procedures, but IT WILL BE RETURNED because there is no legitimate bank to try to collect it from. The names on the check don’t mean anything. Anyone can choose a bank name & logo and company name to print on a check in today’s technology world of laser printing.

    I am going to turn it over to the Post Office Postal Inspector, since the fraud was perpetrated through the mails, and notify the FBI White Collar Crime Division (because it was sent across state lines).

    I hope this helps everyone. If you ever get a check, ALWAYS check the nine digit routing number on the bottom of the check.

    • Satrap says:

      Thanks for taking time to share this Jack. I am glad you are familiar with routing numbers and how they work. Sadly lots of folks don’t and that’s where some scammers get them.
      I am curios about what the A&A Merchandising Ltd has to say about this. If you do get an official response from them , I would appreciate it (and I am sure other readers would as well) if you could share it with us Jack.

      I am not really sure what to make of it at this point. To me it seems like somebody is trying to pretend as if they are with A&A Merchandising Ltd, so they can scam people looking like a legit company. But, I don’t know, maybe there is something else is going on there with the actual company. That is why I always express that you have to always do your own due diligence before you take the plunge with any of these companies.

      And yes jack, I would also report this to the authorities. I think too many times people just ignore this stuff and that’s why scammers get away with it, continuing to scam other people. But we all do actually report these things when we come across them, not only we save ourselves from their scams, but we also save other folks as well.

  30. T. L says:

    Hi I was looking at several companies and I was wondering if you have heard of Mystery Shoppers America they ask for a one time activation fee of $39, which is refundable if you don’t get a assignment within 30 days. Do you think asking for money for that purpose is legitimate?

    • Satrap says:

      No, its not legit. hat said, they are not scam either. What companies like the one you mention do is they give you a list of real mystery shopping companies. they themselves are not actual research companies. But why would you pay for a list when you can get it for free right here on this site and with a quick search online?…