One of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding becoming a mystery shopper is, “am I going to make money doing this?” The short answer is yes, you can make money being a mystery shopper. However, how much money is dependent on the types of shops you do, and the volume at which you do them at.
One of the first misconceptions we want to address is that you should not be under the impression that by becoming a mystery shopper, you are going to be able to quit your day job. Mystery shopping is best looked at as something to supplement your income. If you are someone who likes going out to eat or finds themselves grabbing take-out for lunch every day, mystery shopping is a way to cover those expenses. Our shop payments are set up to cover your required purchases, and to provide you with a small fee for the time it takes you to fill out your report.
We do offer a variety of shops that offer a straight profit, meaning, you are not required to make a purchase, and you are paid a set fee for completing the shop. These shops include phone, web/online inquiries, retail customer service checks, merchandising, campus tour evaluations, fitness facility tours, banking inquiries, and reservation shops, among others. These shops are our most popular offerings and the shops that get picked up first every month. If this is the kind of shop you are interested in, we recommend requesting them as early on in the month as you can. We also recommend doing the more traditional shops when you can, as it enhances your shopper rating thus making you more likely to be selected for the shops that are a straight fee.
Another way that shoppers have found to boost their income when mystery shopping is by doing ‘route shops’. Shoppers will map out a route of shops they can do on a given day, thus saving on gas money and making the most of their time.
There are also specific shops to look out for that are going to pay more because of a specific demographic or requirements attached to the shop that makes scheduling the shops more of a challenge. Because the shops are restricted in some way, schedulers can offer more compensation to entice shoppers to complete them. This includes shops that need to be done at odd hours, shops that are focused on carding and therefore require a specific age range, or any other shop which limits their shopper pool and focuses on a specific demographic.
So yes, you can make money being a mystery shopper, depending on the number of shops you can do, and the types of shops you are choosing. However, mystery shopping should be primarily considered as a convenient way to eat for free or to at least obtain a considerable discount on purchases you would be making anyway.