Mystery Shopping

Mystery Shopping is when a company will pay you to pose as a customer for their business and carry out some sort of task. You can register with the sites listed below that allow you to browse mystery shopping jobs available. Once you have signed up, jobs are posted with instructions explaining the requirements that you need to carry out in store. The jobs you can carry out are wide ranging, depending on what the business provides, but can include:

  • Taking photographs in store.
  • Making a purchase.
  • Interacting with staff.
  • Eating a meal.
  • Taking out a loan.
  • Making a phone call.
  • Going on holiday.
  • Even gambling!

Once you have read the instructions and completed the job for the business then you go back online and usually write a report which can include evidence such as documentation, photographs, videos, sound recording or a receipt to show that you have carried out the mystery shop correctly. This report will then be sent to the management of that business so they can assess the customer experience and the quality of their staff.

Mystery shopping is a great way to earn some extra cash not only when you are out shopping or on your lunch break but some people do make a full time living from it. It’s also not just high street shops that offer mystery shopping, there are also travel companies, restaurants, casinos, websites, banks and entertainment venues among others that have some sort of mystery shopping program.

Top Tip

Almost every legitimate mystery shopping company is free to sign up with so don’t pay a fee to sign up as a mystery shopper.

Sites to use

Market Force – Previously known as Retail Eyes. The largest mystery shopping company in the UK.

GBW – Previously known as GapBuster. Deal with mystery shoppers for a lot of large chain fast food restaurants including McDonalds, Pizza Hut, etc etc

Retail Maxim – Very popular agency. Can send out payment in advance.

GFK – Reputable company covers the whole of the UK. No lengthy sign up process

Grass Roots – Smaller company that focuses on the larger cities in the UK

Esa Retail – Smaller but established company. Deals with mystery shopping mainly in banks and call centres.