Do you love shopping? Do you want to do something you enjoy while earning extra income? If so, becoming a mystery shopper is perfect for you.
Businesses hire mystery shoppers to check their customer service, products, and operations. They visit businesses undercover and complete a checklist of tasks.
There are many different mystery shopping companies, and they offer a variety of jobs. Some companies offer mystery shopping jobs from home, while others offer both online and in-person jobs.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 12 mystery shopping companies and jobs in the US for your reference.
- Mystery shopping offers a unique opportunity to make extra income while doing something you love.
- Mystery shoppers evaluate the quality of products, services, and customer experiences for businesses.
- Earnings from mystery shopping vary based on assignment complexity, duration, and the specific company.
- While mystery shopping can provide extra income, it’s unlikely to replace a full-time job.
- Factors to consider when choosing mystery shopping companies include payment rates, assignment availability, and personal preferences.
A mystery shopper, also known as a secret shopper, is an individual who is hired by companies to evaluate the quality of their products, services, and customer experiences.
Mystery shoppers visit stores, restaurants, or websites anonymously, observing and reporting on various aspects based on specific guidelines provided by the company.
They play a crucial role in helping businesses gain valuable insights into their operations. They also provide unbiased evaluations that can uncover areas for improvement by blending seamlessly into the customer base.
Whether it’s assessing the friendliness of staff, the cleanliness of facilities, or the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, mystery shoppers provide valuable feedback that companies can use to enhance their overall customer experience and drive positive change.
Becoming a mystery shopper is a relatively simple process.
Start by researching reputable mystery shopper companies that operate in the US. Ensure that the companies you choose are still active and accepting new shoppers.
Once you have identified potential establishments, visit their websites and follow their registration processes. Typically, you will need to provide some personal information and complete a brief application.
Some companies may require a sample evaluation to assess your attention to detail and writing skills.
One of the usual questions aspiring mystery shoppers ask is, “How much can I make?” The answer depends on several factors. These include the complexity and duration of assignments, location, and the specific company you work for.
Mystery shopping can provide a valuable source of additional income, even if it may not replace your full-time job. On average, mystery shoppers can earn anywhere from $10 to $50 per assignment. But some high-paying assignments reach $100 or more.
Keeping your expectations in check is key when it comes to the potential earnings of mystery shopping. The availability of assignments may fluctuate. It depends on where you reside and the demand for shops in your location.
Bear in mind that the frequency of these assignments may also vary. This means that a steady and guaranteed income from mystery shopping may not always be possible.
Let’s take a closer look at the 12 best mystery shopper companies and jobs available in the US. These establishments have gained good reputations and offer a wide range of opportunities for both online and in-person mystery shopping.
BestMark is one of the largest and well-known mystery shopping companies in the United States. They have been in business for over 30 years and have a network of mystery shoppers in all 50 states.
They offer a variety of mystery shopping assignments. These include in-store visits, online shopping, and phone calls.
- With over 600,000 mystery shoppers, compliance auditors, mall intercept interviewers
- Offers a variety of payment options, including cash, check, and gift cards.
- Hourly pay range of $7-$21
Known for their professionalism and attention to detail, IntelliShop offers a variety of assignments across industries such as retail, hospitality, and healthcare.
- Headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio
- Over 1 million mystery shoppers in the United States
- Offers a variety of mystery shopping assignments, including in-store visits, online shopping, and phone calls
- Pays mystery shoppers in cash, check, or gift cards
- Average rating of 1.9 stars out of 5 on Glassdoor.com
3. Market Force
Market Force is a leading provider of customer intelligence solutions. They offer mystery shopping assignments in various industries and emphasize quality and accuracy in their evaluations.
Here are some additional details about Market Force:
- Headquartered in Peach Tree, Georgia
- Over 100,000 mystery shops in the United States
- Is also present in Winnipeg, Canada and the United Kingdom
- Pays mystery shoppers in cash, check, or gift cards
- Average rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 on Indeed.com
4. Secret Shopper
As one of the pioneers in the mystery shopping industry, Secret Shopper offers a wide range of assignments, including restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. They have a user-friendly platform and a prompt payment system.
- Headquarters is in Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Over 100,000 mystery shoppers in the United States
- Has been in business for over 25 years
- Global reach with partners in 12 other countries
- Average rating of 2.4 stars out of 5 on Glassdoor.com
5. Sinclair Customer Metrics
Sinclair Customer Metrics provides the following services: mystery shopping, video mystery shopping, customer satisfaction programs, compliance audits and inspections, employee surveys, ad hoc programs, and advanced analytics.
- Headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas and operating since 1987
- Owns proprietary tools and applications under the name of Sinclair Advantage that sets them apart
- Serves over 1,000 clients in the banking, convenience store, grocery, quick service restaurant, restaurant, and retail industries
- Attained a 3.5 stars out of 5 average rating at Indeed.com
6. Elite CXS
Elite CXS is a smaller mystery shopping company that is owned by an industry veteran. Its past clients include industry giants like GMC, Porsche, Gold’s Gym, Burger King, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and more.
Here is some more information about Elite CXS:
- Headquarters is in Hudson, Florida
- Founded in 2014
- Offers higher paying jobs than competitors
- Has a wide range of mystery shopping opportunities in the fields of Real Estate, Senior Living, New Homes, Packing and Moving, Self Storage, Restaurants, Car Wash, Automotive, Education, Hotels, Cruise Lines, and Senior Living
7. Mystery Shopping Service
Established in 1999, Mystery Shopping Service offers a wide range of assignments in various industries, including senior living, healthcare, real estate, retail, and hospitality.
- Has its headquarters in Mesa, Arizona
- Owned by an industry veteran
- Has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Payments via Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, or check
8. Amusement Advantage
If you have a passion for theme parks, theatres, and other entertainment venues, Amusement Advantage is the company for you. They specialize in evaluating guest experiences at amusement parks and provide exciting assignments for mystery shoppers.
- Headquarters is in Arvada, Colorado
- Exclusively serving the amusements and attraction industry for 27 years
- Up to 1200 attractions are examined yearly, and 50,000+ contractors in its network
- Don’t make any compensation other than the agreed-upon refund or payment for expenditures.
9. About Face
About Face offers assignments to 14 business categories, which include women’s lifestyle, retail, health, and pharmacy, among others. Mystery shoppers get to explore these industries while providing valuable feedback to enhance customer experiences.
- Established 22 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia
- One of the groundbreaking, female-led mystery shopping companies
- Has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- Offers jobs for both shop scheduling and mystery shopping
- Average rating of 1.4 stars out of 5 on Sitejabber.com
10. A Closer Look
A Closer Look offers a wide range of assignments in industries such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and health & wellness. They prioritize building strong relationships with their shoppers and provide comprehensive support throughout the process.
- Headquarters is located in Norcross, Georgia
- Established in 1994
- Pay typically ranges from $10-$25, although it may pay more on certain occasions.
- Garnered a 2.4 stars out of 5 average score on Glassdoor.com
11. Signature Worldwide
Signature Worldwide specializes in evaluating customer service in the hospitality industry. Mystery shoppers have the opportunity to assess hotel experiences, interact with staff, and contribute to enhancing customer satisfaction.
- Headquarters is located in Dublin, Ohio
- Offers courses and training solutions to various industries aside from mystery shopping services
- Garnered a 3.8 stars out 5 average score on Glassdoor.com
- According to Indeed.com, the average hourly rate for a Mystery Shopper is $13.27.
12. Service Evaluation Concepts
Service Evaluation Concepts (SEC) is based in New York City and has over 30 years of experience in the mystery shopping industry. They refer to their Mystery Shoppers as “Brand Agents” and have a total of 650,000 of them.
- In order to become a Brand Agent, applicants need to undergo a two-step process
- According to Indeed.com, the average daily earning of a Brand Agent is $120 per day on average.
It’s important to check each company’s website to confirm their current availability in the US when examining the best mystery shopper companies and jobs.
This ensures that you have the most up-to-date information regarding their operations and job openings.
You can access valuable details about the specific assignments they offer by visiting their websites, including their application process and any additional requirements they may have.
Take the time to research and verify the availability of these reputable companies. It will help you make the right decision and maximize your opportunities in the world of mystery shopping.
Is It Worth It Being a Mystery Shopper?
Now that we have explored the best mystery shopper companies and jobs available, you may be wondering if it’s worth pursuing this line of work. Mystery shopping offers unique experiences and an opportunity to earn extra income. Yet, it’s important to consider some potential disadvantages.
Mystery shoppers often need to invest time and effort in applying, completing assignments, and providing detailed reports. Additionally, assignments may not always be available in your preferred location or industry.
But if you enjoy evaluating customer experiences, exploring new places, and being part of improving service quality, being a mystery shopper can be a rewarding and enjoyable endeavour.
Which mystery shopping company pays the most?
The payment structure varies among mystery shopping companies, and the amount you can earn will depend on factors such as assignment complexity and duration. Some companies, like BestMark and IntelliShop, are known for offering competitive compensation rates. It’s recommended to explore multiple companies and assignments to maximize your earnings.
How do you get into mystery shopping?
To get started in mystery shopping, research reputable companies operating in the US, complete their application processes and provide the required information. Be prepared to demonstrate your attention to detail, writing skills, and reliability. Once accepted, you’ll receive assignments based on your availability and preferences.
Can you make a living off mystery shopping?
While mystery shopping can provide a valuable source of additional income, it’s unlikely to replace a full-time job. The number of available assignments and payment rates may vary. It’s advisable to view mystery shopping as a way to earn extra money and enjoy unique experiences rather than relying on it as a sole source of income.
What are the disadvantages of mystery shopping?
Some potential disadvantages of mystery shopping include the need for thorough reporting, investing time in applying and completing assignments, and potential limitations in location or industry availability. Additionally, mystery shopping may not be suitable for individuals who prefer a consistent and predictable income stream.