Legitimate Mystery Shopping

How to become a Legitimate Mystery Shopper


I know many people have heard of mystery shopping as a method for earning extra money while working from home. If you haven’t, let me explain: mystery shopping is utilized by companies to evaluate the service standards of their employees from the customer’s perspective. The companies hire outside companies to have shoppers evaluate and report on their experience.

Why would a company pay for this service, you may ask? It is important to gauge the quality of service as the customers experience it.

For a while scams were prevalent in this industry making it hard for people to believe this was a legitimate industry for earning opportunities. The truth is that mystery shopping is real. There are real companies that pay real money for you to complete evaluations for their clients.  Mystery shops are conducted in a variety of industries ranging from automotive to banking to hospitality.

As a person who has conducted mystery shops for an excess of 10 years, I have conducted a variety of mystery shops. Although I have never utilized mystery shopping as a means to earn a full time income, I have enjoyed the benefits of free services, meals and a moderate increase in my discretionary income. Additionally I also know that my feedback is used to refine the customer service experience.


I have attached a list of legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies:

  1. A Closer Look
  2. Bestmark
  3. Beyond Hello
  4. Customer Impact
  5. Feedback Plus
  6. Goodwin & Associates
  7. Intellishop
  8. Jancyn
  9. Jobslinger
  10. Kern Scheduling
  11. Market Force
  12. Mercantile Systems
  13. Pinnacle
  14. Ritter Associates
  15. Service Check
  16. Service with Style
  17. Service Sleuth
  18. Service X (Service Excellence Group)
  19. Sinclair Customer Metrics
  20. Summit Scheduling


I am sure there are more but if you are trying to determine if they are real, look out for the following warning signs:

  • Legitimate mystery shopping companies do not send you checks to cash unless it’s a reimbursement for services rendered. If someone is sending you a check and asking you to cash it and send them a portion back, IT’S A SCAM!
  • Legitimate mystery shopping companies will have an established business and corresponding website with a business address, phone numbers and email addresses. These days most also have social media pages as well.
  • Legitimate mystery shopping companies will make you complete an application which requires personal information (including your social security number) so they can issue a 10-99 for services rendered to you at the end of the year. Real companies will need to report your earnings to the IRS.


As you begin your applications to the aforementioned companies, you will find that they are all about the same. My suggestion is to compile one document with all of the answers to the questions you are being asked. You will definitely be glad you did because your application process will be much quicker with the use of this document and the following keys: Ctrl C & Crtl V. There may be some variations but overall the questions are consistent.

I hope that this will be a guide to assist you in becoming a bonafied mystery shopper. May your experiences and additional income help you to reach your financial goals. As always please share your successes and experiences in the comments below.  And of course if you find this information useful subscribe because there is more where this came from and you won’t want to miss it.



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  1. January 14, 2016 / 9:10 PM

    It’s so funny that a former colleague emailed me today re: mystery shopping + then I see this! This is info is super helpful, thank you! #blmgirl

    • Tia
      January 14, 2016 / 9:12 PM

      Glad it could help you. I was skeptical at first but finding legitimate companies changed my perspective. Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. January 15, 2016 / 10:50 AM

    I’ve considered this. I’d have to create a separate email address though so I don’t get overwhelmed. It would be nice to have extra money to put directly into a savings account!

    • Tia
      January 15, 2016 / 11:51 PM

      A seperate account is a great idea but make sure you check it regularly so you don’t miss out on opportunities.

  3. January 15, 2016 / 6:29 PM

    Wow I can’t believe that you have been doing mystery shops for over 10 years!!! I’m glad you explained the process, because I have heard about it so many times but never fully understood what it was. I always thought it was more of a “personal shopping” job you would do for someone else, not for companies. Very interesting, great post!

    • Tia
      January 15, 2016 / 11:54 PM

      Yes I can’t believe it either. I started when I was an undergrad so it’s been quite a while. I’m glad this post was useful to you.

  4. January 15, 2016 / 8:17 PM

    I have searched for mystery shopping opportunities in the past, and it’s so hard to weed out the fraudsters. Thanks so much for this list of legit companies.

    • Tia
      January 15, 2016 / 11:56 PM

      That’s exactly why I created this list, glad you find it useful.

  5. January 15, 2016 / 11:19 PM

    I surprisingly have never heard of mystery shopping! I’m always looking for little ways I can bring in money from home and this sounds like a great way to make a little extra money. Thanks for sharing.


    • Tia
      January 15, 2016 / 11:56 PM

      Its been a blessing for me, hope its the same for you.

  6. January 16, 2016 / 10:58 AM

    Yep, I used to work with one of the companies on your list. It’s fun but it’s a lot of work for a small amount of cash.

    • Tia
      January 16, 2016 / 11:03 AM

      As I mentioned in the post, I shop for the freebies the actual pay can be minimal but I enjoy it.

  7. January 17, 2016 / 12:18 AM

    Great information for sure, I’ve always heard of it but didn’t know if it was an organized type of deal. I will check this out for sure. I needs a new coin.

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:25 AM

      Yes! I need new coin too. This is definitely a way to add a few pennies to your pockets.

  8. January 17, 2016 / 12:22 AM

    Glad you wrote this because it really has just screamed scam whenever you hear about it. Good info.

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:26 AM

      My pleasure, glad you find it helpful.

  9. January 17, 2016 / 6:49 PM

    I’ve always wondered how being a mystery shopper worked. I might look into this as a way to just have another stream of income and hopefully have some great experiences.

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:24 AM

      Its a good option for both.

  10. January 17, 2016 / 8:00 PM

    Great list, I always wonder about mystery shopping. Is it real or a scam. Thank you for clearing up the difference for me.

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:29 AM

      My pleasure, I know it can be confusing.

  11. January 18, 2016 / 2:04 AM

    I swear when the mystery shopping option became available years ago I tried to hop on and it was lots of scams so I gave up. I would love to try it out as another disposable income option so thanks for the tips and suggestions since you been doing it for 10 years!

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:23 AM

      My pleasure, it’s a shame the scanners have run people off. This last is verified legit so it’s a good, place to get started.

  12. January 18, 2016 / 11:27 AM

    I have considered doing this in the past, but it was just so scamy. Thanks for providing solid contacts. I may have give it another chance.

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:22 AM

      Yes please do, it’s been fun for me.

  13. January 18, 2016 / 12:50 PM

    I’ve always wanted to try mystery shopping but finding a legit starting point is the hardest part. Thanks for compiling this list!

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:22 AM

      My pleasure, this list is a good starting point for those interested in getting started.

  14. January 19, 2016 / 3:37 PM

    I had always wondered if this was a real legite thing. I had no clue how to go about getting started. I think I just might apply this year.

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:28 AM

      I think you would be great at it!

  15. January 20, 2016 / 11:34 PM

    I actually would love to mystery shop for travel companies or restaurants. This is very interesting and seems like it would be fun!

    • Tia
      January 21, 2016 / 5:29 AM

      For me it has been both!

  16. December 20, 2016 / 12:13 AM

    Getting paid to shop…I’m fairly certain I could get behind that! Thanks for the list to get started!

  17. December 21, 2016 / 11:28 AM

    Oh wow! I didn’t know this was a legit thing! Sounds like this is right up my alley! Thanks so much for this post

  18. December 21, 2016 / 12:16 PM

    I have been a mystery shopper before. It is fun. lol

  19. December 21, 2016 / 2:18 PM

    I’ve never been a mystery shopper but have been shopped by one when I worked retail years ago. I’d love to try the other side of it!

  20. Crystal H
    May 9, 2017 / 4:53 AM

    Which are your favorite? I used to Mystery Shop all the time, but my favorite company closed down. I still get emails from one of them (Goodwin maybe?), but I have found the jobs are never there when I log in, so I gave up on that one. Thanks for the list of leads!

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