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Mystery Shopper Jobs – 100+ Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies

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Mystery shopping (not mistery shopper!) or secret shopping has been portrayed on the web as a great way of making extra money on the side for those who love to shop and dine. There are hundreds of reviews about alleged legit mystery shopper companies out there, claiming that so many people are earning a decent income as panel members on these companies.

Are there really legitimate mystery shopper jobs offered by trusted research companies, or is this whole thing nothing but a giant scam and fraud?…


What Is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping or a mystery consumer is basically a tool that market research companies use to help companies and businesses learn about the quality of service provided by their employees, as well as their compliance to industry rules and regulation.

Mystery shopping is used by many different industries. However, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, fast food chains and banks are some of the industries that use mystery shoppers more than others.

Mystery Shopper

As a secret shopper, whose identity is obviously unknown (to the workers and employees where you shop), you will simply shop or dine at a specific store or restaurant, then report back your experience with the employees and their service by filling out questioners or by answering a few questions over the phone.

Remember that time you went to McDonald and the employee forgot to give you the straw for your soda, or was extremely rude to you when you asked for some extra napkins!?…And do you remember how badly you wanted to report them to a manager or their employer?…

Well, that’s one of the example scenarios that McDonald and other companies would like to avoid. So they are willing to pay you, yes pay you, to report those instances to them.

Of course, they are not doing this to annoy the workers or scare them, this is done so that the employers can come up with better plans to improve the quality of their customer service in general. It falls along the lines of paid surveys and focus groups. It’s a win win for all!


Some of the things that are in focus when it comes to mystery shopping jobs, are:

  • How many employees you saw when entered the store
  • How long it took before an employee greeted you.
  • What was the name of the employee who you interacted with
  • Whether or not the employee was friendly
  • How fast was the service
  • How clean were the store and the employees themselves
  • Whether or not you found everything you needed
  • Were you invited to come back again
  • Did an employee suggested other products

As you can see, these are things that we as consumers always talk/complain about. So, by conducting such studies, companies and businesses are hoping to improve these conditions to make the shopping experience a more pleasant experience for all of us.

Needless to say, you will be rewarded for your time and effort. In some cases, not only they cover your purchases and pay you for the assignment, they will also let you keep the items for free.  That is why there are many people who are talking about secret shopping jobs as a way of making a living.

 Mystery Shopper Companies

Secret Shopper Jobs Scam

Sadly, just like paid surveys and scams involved with it, scammers have found a way to rip off unsuspecting people who are interested in becoming a paid legitimate mystery shopper. That is why it is important to research and learn as much as you can before joining any company claiming to be a legit mystery shopping jobs provider, so you can avoid mystery shopper scams.

The most famous scam is known as the “mystery shopping wire transfer scam“. Here is how it works…

You get “Hired” to be mystery shopper. They tell you that as your first assignment, you will be evaluating a money transfer service, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. So, they will send you a check and ask you to deposit the check to your account, then withdraw it in cash, and wire some of that money to a third-party and keep the rest as your reward.

How great is that, you just earned some cash for a few minuets work, right?…

Well, unfortunately, in the next few days, you will realize that the check was fake. But it’s too late now, as you have just sent money from your own bank account to somebody who you don’t know!

And if you didn’t haven enough money to cover that wire transfer you did earlier, because the check has just bounced, by law, you are required to pay your bank back the amount they wired.

It’s an awful situation to be in, and one that many hundreds of people have found themselves in. I truly hope you never have to face that, but if you have ever been a victim of such a scam, or any other mystery shopping related scam, you should report it to either The Federal Trade Commission  or your state Attorney General.


How to Become a Mystery Shopper?

Well, to be a legitimate secret shopper, all you have to do is find legitimate mystery shopping companies and apply to become their panel member for free.

Now, finding legit and trusted companies is another story. With all the scams out there, it is kind of hard and time consuming to do that. That is why I have gathered a list of more than 100 companies, most of which are members of  MSPA, (Mystery Shopping Providers) Of North America.

 Secret Shopper Jobs

Mystery Shopper Jobs

A&A Merchandising
A Closer Look
A Customer’s Point of View
A Top Shop
ABA Quality Merchandising
ALCOPS – Allied Corporate Protection Services
Ann Michaels & Assoc
Anonymous Insights
Apartment Shoppe
Ardent Services Inc.
Associate Consumer Evaluations, LLC
At Random Communications
At Your Service Marketing
Ath Power Consulting Corporation
Bare Associates International Inc
Barry Leads & Associates Inc.
Beyond Hello Inc
BMA Mystery Shopping & Incentive Programs
Business Evaluation Services
Campus Consulting
Capstone Research
Certified Reports
CheckMark Inc
Cirrus Marketing Consultants
Commercial Service Systems
Confero Inc.
Comsumer Critique
Consumer Impressions
Consumer Research Group
Corporate Research International
Count On Us
Coyle Hospitality Group
Creative Image Consultants (CIA), Inc.
Cross Financial Group
Customer Perspectives
Customer Service Experts, Inc
Customer Service Profiles
Data Quest Ltd.
David Sparks & Associates
Devon Hill Associates
Douglas Stafford North America, Inc.
DSG Associates
Ellis Property Management Services
Evaluation Systems for Personnel (ESP)
Excel Shopping & Consulting
Focus on Service
Franchise Compliance Inc.
Graymark Security Group
Greet America Inc.
Hilli Dunlap Enterprises, Inc.
HR & Associates
IAG Infinity Assurance Group
ICC/Decision Services
Imaginus Inc.
Infotel Inc
Instant Reply Inc
J.M. Ridgway Co. Inc.
Kern Scheduling Services
LeBlanc & Associates
Management Consultant Group, LLC
Maritz Research
Market Viewpoint, LLC
Marketing Endeavors
Marketing Systems Unlimited
MarketWise Consulting Group, Inc.
Mars Research
Melinda Brody & Company
Merchandise Concepts
Michelson & Associates, Inc.
Mintel International Group Ltd
Mystery Guest, Inc
Mystery Shoppers
Mystery Shopping Solutions
Mystique Shopper
National Shopping Service Network, LLC
Nationwide Services Group
Northwest Mystery Shopping Service
Pacific Research Group
Pat Henry Group
Patron Edge
Person To Person Quality
Premier Service Consulting
Promotional Network, Inc.
PulseBack, Inc.
Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers, LLC
QSI Specialists
The Quest for Best Mystery Shoppers
Reality Check Mystery Shoppers
Restaurant Evaluators
Ritter & Associates, Inc.
Satisfaction Services, Inc.
Second To None, Inc.
Secret Shopper
Sensors Quality Management Inc.
Service Alliance, Inc
Service Evaluation Concepts
Service Excellence Group, Inc.
Service Impressions
Service Intelligence
Service Performance Group Inc.
Service Probe
SG Marketing Group, Inc
The Shadow Agency
Shoppers’ Critique International, LLC
Shoppers, Inc
Shoppers’ View
Sinclair Service Assessments
Spies in Disguise


Each assignment is unique, therefore requires specific amount of time, and pays according to the shopping assignment and its requirements. But on average, a secret shopping job takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours or so, and you can expect to get paid to shop anywhere from $10 to up to $150.

To be honest, I wouldn’t count on it as a way to make a living. Yes, some shopping jobs do pay a lot of money, but you won’t have shopping assignments to work on every single day. Some times you may go weeks without any mystery shopping job. So, be realistic about this.

Having said that, if you like to shop (and complain, lol), and wouldn’t mind earning some extra money on the side, I would sign up with some of these legitimate mystery shopping companies.

15 Comments So Far...

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  1. dorinda says:

    Hello, I just looked up Consumer Reports for the best legitimate Mystery Shopping company and they listed Elite Mystery Shopper as The best rated for 2012. They do charge $29.95 as a once in a lifetime fee to get acess to their jobs, websites ect… Wouldn’t this be worth the price for the Consumer Reports #1 choice for these companies and jobs? Thanks so much, Dorinda

    • satrap says:


      If you ask me, I say no. Why would you have to pay a company in order to work for them?…
      I mean, think about it, lets say you go to apply to work at walmart, what would you think if they say “hey, you have to pay us $50 first in order to work for us”?…
      To me it just doesn’t make sense.

      By the way, those so called “consumer reports” may seem like a big deal, but even they dont mind getting paid form certain companies to rank them higher.
      Either way, I wish you the best and thanks for your question Dorinda.

  2. rebecca says:

    I am looking into All-Star Mystery Shopping (also uses Do you know anything about them? They have a website and look legit, but some of the questions on the application are worded funny and seem suspicious to me. And I don’t see them on your list. Any info would be appreciated.

    • Satrap says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      I have listed this company in my other list of top 10 mystery shopping companies here.

      It is a legitimate and well-known mystery shopping service provider. They have been around for a long time and actually are considered as one of the biggest mystery shopping providers. So they are ok.

      About the application, It could simply be a case of typos.

      I hope I was able to provide the answers you were looking for. Best of luck to you Rebecca.

  3. Ice says:

    Have you heard of Farley Mart Company,Inc in Round Lake,MN ?

    • Satrap says:

      Ice, Farley Mart Company is a total scam. They are doing the famous wire money scam probably. Its where they send you a check, ask you to deposit, then they ask you to wire transfer some of that money back to them. You do that, and a few days later you find out their check has bounced, and you lost the money you wire transferred to them. Stay away from them Ice.

  4. Laura says:

    Some companies ask you for a sin number before you can get paid or your banking info (or a void cheque) for direct deposit. Is this legit?

    • Satrap says:

      Laura, yes some companies do have direct deposit, so obviously they would need your info to process it. However, please make sure you research the company and be sure of its legitimacy before you give up that info. Of course, you should practice that when giving such info to anyone.

  5. Jack Brannon says:

    I noticed you did not list A & A Marketing out of Toronto Canada. I sthere a reason for that?

    • Satrap says:

      Hi Jack,
      Sorry, I must have missed that one. It is actually listed in my other post. Thanks for the heads up, I have added it to the list.

  6. Bryan says:

    My wife just received a letter from Farley Mart Company, Inc. in Round lake MN. She is hoping this is indeed one of the good companies and may have been missed on your list. Their letter looks legit but I’m just checking to see if they are good or not.

  7. Bryan says:

    Sorry about this. I see you have already covered this company as being one of the scammers. Thank You for what you do to help protect people like my wife who are in need of part time employment of this type.

    • Satrap says:

      You are very welcome Bryan. From the bottom of my heart, I am really happy that I was able to help. I wish you and your wife the best.

  8. Holli says:

    Hi there,
    What companies are based in Canada? I find a lot of these out of the USA
    are not well connected with Canadian businesses and do not have a lot of Canadian jobs.
    Can you suggest any Canadian Mystery Shopping sites?

    • Satrap says:

      Thanks for your question Holli. I don’t know of any Canadian based mystery shopping companies. But I will keep an eye out and if I come across any, I will update this page. You can subscribe to the blog so you can be notified as soon as I do update this page.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.