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Mystery Shopping

by Nicole on February 14, 2009

I started mystery shopping last year and have been fairly sucessful with it. Mystery shopping is when you sign up with a reuptable and free company and receive an assignment to be a “secret shopper” at a location such as a restaurant, retail store, bank, gas station, etc. There are literally hundreds of mystery shopping companies and they do not release the names of their “clients” (i.e. Cheesecake Factory, Capital Grille, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sonic, etc.) until you have signed up and signed their confidentiality agreement. Because of this confidentiality agreement I won’t be able to tell you which companies shop which stores but I can recommend companies I have shopped for in the past and let you know the categories of shops I see most often. It takes some organization to do mystery shopping and you have to follow the rules or risk not being paid. Recently I have done a fine dining restaurant where I received a $125 reimbursement and a retail store where I received a $12 reimbursement. Look for my posts under the “mystery shopping” label where I highlight the various reputable companies in the field and give tips on how to be a successful mystery shopper.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous February 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm

So what is the secret shopping website that you are with?

2 Nicole @ Nicole's Nickels February 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I shop for several companies and plan to post more about it in the near future. Do you mystery shop?

3 Texas Coupon Cutie April 26, 2009 at 8:32 am

Thanks for the links for mystery shopping! I’ve signed up for several that you’ve listed, however, I’m finding that there aren’t as many opportunites in my area as I thought there would be. I’m in the Houston area. Do you know of any one shopper compnay that may offer more opportunity for me. THanks!

4 Nicole @ Nicole's Nickels April 26, 2009 at 9:35 am

Hi Texas Coupon Cutie! I am signed up with MANY mystery shopping companies as their clients come and go and while there may be no assignments in your area on 1 company for right now that could change tomorrow! I recommend signing up with as many as possible (in the beginning, I did 3 per day) and you’ll get to know the ones in your area. By the way, on some sites you have to log on every day to see the shops – there many be some in your area that get assigned very quickly!

5 JusFrugal June 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm

One thing to point out to your readers is to make sure if you are mystery shopping that you keep good track of how much you EARN from each company so you can report the amount come tax time! It may seem like a little here and there but it adds up. The first year I did mystery shopping was 2006 and I did not report my shopping income correctly and recently ended up having to pay back taxes on it! So everyone please make sure that you keep good records and claim your earnings so you don't get bit like I did!

6 Don Wagner August 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I was a secret shopper many years ago. I did a lot of winn dixie and publix but i have no information from where I got these leads. I would like to do this some more again so if you could refer me to a reputable site or 2 to get started I would appreciate it very much.

7 Nicole August 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Feel free to read my posts on the companies I have worked with and sign up with any of them!

8 Cindy Vido August 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hi there can I get the list of secret shops?

9 Marcia D March 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm

I have been doing it for 2 months but am having trouble finding shops in my area. What general area are you located?

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