I mentioned Mystery Shopping already in my post “Is Mystery Shopping a Scam?”. I wanted to come back and let you know which were the Best Mystery Shopping Companies. This information is hard to find all in one place. In fact this took me time over two years to find all these companies. I won’t promise by any means that this is a comprehensive list. I’ll just give you information on which Companies I dealt with and liked the most.
There was so much information and even though that post was a little lengthy….. I didn’t actually cover everything there is to know. I left off with my opinion that Mystery Shopping is 50/50 in my books. That isn’t to say I don’t recommend it. I myself have done it for over 4 years, and have even been searching again for any shops in my area that might be worth the time and effort for some extra cash.
The main Con for me was the fact that a lot of shops require a purchase, so anyone on a strict budget really can’t afford to be out-of-pocket for a month waiting for reimbursement and payment. I wanted to make sure you knew that. The 2nd negative for me was simply location. Which makes sense. If you are from a smaller town….less shopping opportunities. Although sometimes I did book a lot of shops on the same day in a town an hour away from me. So even with fuel and travel I could make it worth my while. It’s still something you should consider.
The Best Mystery Shopping Companies
iSecretShop- (US & Canada)
Companies they represent: A&W, Walmart, Denny’s, Petro Canada, Beer Store, SAQ, metro
Pay Method: PayPal
I like In Touch-they are very up to date with their system and it’s very easy to use. I just preferred them because their interface was just really good and it was easy to book and complete shops. All the information was in one place.
Performalogics (US & Canada)
Companies they represent: Husky, Flight Center, 7-11, Edo Japan
Payment Method: Direct Deposit
Performalogics I used probably the most because I performed a lot of fuel shops for them. The pay wasn’t much, you have to purchase fuel and get reimbursed for it. You could complete more than one shop so if I did 3 or 4 I would get a full tank of gas. A small in store purchase may be required, but again you get to keep that product. The reports weren’t long and the shop was not difficult to perform.
Mystery Shopping Canada (Canada Only)
Companies they represent: Famosa Pizza, CIBC, FatBurger, Club-Sport Center & Fitness, Jysk, Crepe, Shopping Malls
Payment Method: Direct Deposit
Mystery Shopping Canada was a great company to work for. I gave it a 4/5 just for the interface. Other websites were just a bit more easy to navigate and user-friendly. Compared to the above two companies the web reporting and finding job listings is just a little more involved. Still a great company for you to do business with!
Market Force: (US & Canada)
Companies they represent: Five Guys, AT&T, Panda Express, Jewelry Stores, Airports
Payment Method: Check or Direct Deposit
I don’t have any specific reason, but I really like Market Force. I mostly just did 5 Guys or McDonald’s with them but I like their website setup and they were really easy to use for selecting and reporting assignments. A great company to start with. I’m sure you’ll like this one!!!
Spot Check Services (US & Canada)
Companies they represent: Chatters, Shark Club, Vision Electronics
Payment Method: Direct Deposit
I liked Spot Check Services, especially the Chatters shops. Get my hair washed, cut and styled for free (after reimbursement), I’m totally happy with that! The Visions Electronics paid $30 per shop which was nice. The report was a bit long as in lots of questions, but didn’t need long answers so it was maybe 1 hour and a bit of work for $30.
Sometimes they were a bit finicky with the reports, more than the other companies. So the report would get sent back and I’d have to rewrite a bit or clarify something with further detail. Again, though, a great company to work with.
This is still by no means a comprehensive review, but I wanted to highlight the best Mystery Shopping Companies. A lot of them also have more Companies that they represent than I have listed. That’s just the information I could find easily for my area. You will probably find more opportunities than I have listed.
Other Companies Worth Mentioning that are worth your while to look into are:
- Consumer Connections -I used Consumer Connections a lot and highly recommend them.
- A Closer Look
- Best Mark-I never did any shops for Best Mark as they were mostly available in the US.
- Shoppers Confidential
- We Check Services
This Video from The List TV Show is a fun little watch to let you know a little more about Mystery Shopping!
If you are in America, then this resource can be very useful to you. You’ll be able to search for Mystery Shopping in your area and it will tell you which Companies are available. This could potentially save you a lot of time as you might not want to spend time signing up for these companies only to find out they only offer shops in California or Florida.
I live in Canada so there were quite a few companies that only operated in the States. All the ones I worked with, obviously, have shops available in Canada as well. Click the link below to start a search!
How to Make more $$$
To start with I recommend just choosing 1 company to sign up with. Sign up, get your profile and payment method set up. Select a shop. Read the shop information and get familiar with ALL the requirements. I usually read the shop requirements over a couple of times to make sure I’m familiar with all the information I need to get.
You do need to be observant because sometimes you’ll require the physical description and or name of the person who serves you. Sometimes you’ll be asked about the location and which shops are next to them. (ie. in a strip mall, which store is to the left and right of the location you visit) For the first few shops you are learning about how it works and what is all required.
Once you are feeling like you’ve got the hang of it, one of the best money making strategies for Mystery Shopping is joining multiple companies. I think at the height of my Shopping days I was with 8 different companies and making up to $1500 per month. That’s not bad for a little extra cash in your pocket. Keeping a binder or dayplanner is very helpful to keep track of which assignments are with what companies and the date and time to complete them and get your report in.
I said in my other article that each company has a different amount of time in which you can get your reports completed. Most common is within 24 hours of completing the shop with some companies requiring you to do it within 12 hours and some allowing up to 48 hours.
Make a Route
If you work for Multiple companies this can really work out well. You can choose shops from different companies that are to be completed in the same geographical area and make a day of it. Doing it this was can potentially be rewarding as you complete 4 or more shops in one day you could be making upwards of $100 for that day of work. Make sure you calculate how much time you’ll have to do your reporting as that’s where the bulk of the work really is.
Most of the Mystery Shopping Companies are hiring you for QUALITY feedback. Most of the reports are rather condensed to get very specific, Quality information off of you. Reports need to be well written, with proper punctuation. The more quality your work, the better your relationship will be with the company.
Most of the companies give their shoppers ratings and those with higher ratings get the better shops or can self-assign their shops because you’ve earned the company’s trust. Remember the Client is paying for this information from the Mystery Shopping company and they want to keep a good reputation of delivering quality service.
Poorly done shops or missing information can result in a rejected shop. Rejected shops result in no pay! I never had a rejected shop because I took the time to give a proper report. Information can’t be conflicting. So make sure you follow the instructions and then write a proper report. You’ll do just fine!
Mystery Shoppers Make Money
Mystery Shopping can and does make money. It’s not an if. It is a guaranteed income. I’ve listed the things to consider before starting, and given you a lot of Companies that are really quality to work with. Realistically you could make $1000 a month or more. Depending on how you do it can be $15-$20 an hour, but that depends on a lot of factors. Most regularly I think $10 an hour is a reasonable expectation.
My favorite things about Mystery Shopping were getting paid to shop or eat out or get fuel, which I would do anyway. I liked the flexibility to do shops when it suited me. It was a good excuse to go into the city and make the trip worth my time by doing shops along the way. As long as I performed shops properly I got paid, the companies always paid on time and a lot of them used PayPal or Direct Deposit.
Just a reminder that when you join it can take up to 2 months to receive your first pay. After that payments are monthly, usually on the 15th or 30th of the following month.
I hope you found this information useful.
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Let me know what your experience was, any thoughts and if you have any questions that I can help out with.