Get paid to shop! Who wouldn’t like that?
But is mystery shopping true?
I’m sure you’ve noticed those advertisements somewhere online promising easy cash and free products simply for shopping.

Can you really receive a commission to shop?…
We will answer these and several other questions concerning this hot topic, plus demonstrate how to avoid scams, in addition to giving you a huge set of free and legitimate businesses that may actually pay you to look.
History
Mystery shopping as a robust tool for businesses became a regular practice in the past in the 1940s, when it had been used to measure the integrity of employees. Such shopping evaluations use a variety of tools ranging from basic questionnaires to even complete video and sound recordings.
Secret shopping may also be used across many industries, with common examples being hotels, shops, movie theaters, junk food joints, restaurants, gasoline stations, banks, apartments, car dealerships, healthcare facilities, and health clubs even.
Since 2010, mystery buying has been widely adopted in the medical tourism sector. Countless health care companies and various other providers use this device to evaluate and enhance the overall customer service experience.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Before we reach the list, let’s find out a bit more concerning this idea and how it functions…
Mystery shopping, aka mystery customer, is one of the methods externally utilized by companies conducting market research or watchdog organizations.
The tactic can even be used by a company to measure its own quality of service internally, or regulation compliance, or even to gather certain information regarding products/services.
Usually, the precise identity and intent of the mystery shopper aren’t released to the establishment that’s beneath the scanner. Such people perform specific tasks like investing in a product, putting up queries, registering their complaints or actually behaving in a specific manner.
Later, they provide an in-depth feedback and reviews of their experiences.
It is basically want paid surveys or focus organizations, but instead of going for a survey online or likely to a focus group service and discussing the subject of the analysis, you truly go to the store, act as a standard shopper, you then report back your experience.
In a way, it’s nearly the same as those item testing surveys you might receive from a few of the survey sites, where the product is used by you for a few days or so, then complete a survey answering queries about your experience.

How Does it Work?

When a company that delivers mystery purchasing services is hired by a customer company, a survey model is first used and arranged by both parties predicated on which the parameters (that your client desires measured) to be assessed are decided.
Later, these are sectioned off into certain study assignments and instruments, which are then directed at people signed-up with the said mystery buying services providing company.

A few of the information and information that shoppers usually observe include:
The worker count of the store noticeable upon entering
Enough time is taken before someone greets the mystery shopper
The employees’ name
If the greeting is ideal and friendly, as per objective measures
The types of products displayed
The sales pitch accompanied by an employee

The questions set up by the mystery shopper to be able to locate a product
If the worker extended a visit-again invitation to the shopper

If and how the worker strived to close the offer
Cleanliness of shop and that of the shop associates
If the worker suggested extra add-on sales

How Much Money IS IT POSSIBLE TO Make?

Every shopping assignment differs and as such, takes a different amount of time as the pay is varying as well.
However, normally, a shopping assignment usually takes between 10-120 minutes as the purchase the same can range between $10 to $150.
I have heard of buyers getting paid up to $300 for an assignment. Again, everything is dependent on the assignment and its own requirement. Plus, in some instances (where applicable) you can keep the product free of charge.

Quickness of service

Compliance with standards collection by the business regarding service, grooming/presentation, and store appearance
Usually, the shoppers are created alert to procedures or instructions to create their transactions unusual compared to the rest to be able to test the service skills and understanding of the employees regarding a far more specific or stringent service issue (aka scenarios).
For example, a mystery shopper at a cafe might pretend to be lactose-intolerant, or in a clothing shop the shopper could require gift wrapping service.
In fact, a purchase isn’t mandatory for each shopping assignment.
While gathering this given information, the shopper typically blends in with the standard consumers at the establishment undergoing evaluation.
He or she might be asked to click pictures or take measurements also, return a purchase, or even count the quantity seats, products, and the individuals who visited during that time. The utilization of a stopwatch or timer is fairly common in such a setting.
Once the visit has ended, the shopper submits the collected data to the mystery purchasing service providing company, whose job is to examine and analyze this information.
The business further completes a qualitative or quantitative analysis of the stats involved and forwards a written report predicated on the same to the said client company. Such a written report allows the comparison of what sort of restaurant or store does vis-à-vis previously set criteria.

HOW ABOUT the Scam Rumors?

The answer is no. It’s not really a scam and in truth, is a business worthy of billions of dollars.
However, don’t eliminate running right into a mystery shopping rip-off here or there. As may be the case with whatever becomes productive and popular, scammers constantly try to create a quick buck by scamming mystery consumers in countless ways.
What helps this further may be the reality that the mystery shopping market is not one to overload with the advertisement (they are extremely choosy about their shoppers).
This has enabled scammers to reach your goals at scamming those who are interested and who don’t have in any manner of obtaining reliable information about the industry. Such people can’t tell the true from the scam!
However, you can you shouldn’t be a victim of being alert to the following things:
1.If it Sounds as well Good to be True, It’s likely that it Probably is!
This pertains to most truly unbelievable offers! For example, there may be the sense in a business rewarding you with a $2000 flat Television or perhaps a solitaire ring for a buying evaluation assignment that hardly lasted 20 minutes!
Remember that mystery shopping companies run a business and if they’re throwing money about such handouts, they’d be deep in losses neck.
Put simply, keep your distances from such companies.

2. Do Not Payout to become Secret Shopper
One of the good stuff about secret buying is that genuine and legit businesses never require any money/costs for signing-up with them; not a single cent.
If you encounter an organization claiming to provide genuine providers asking for any kind of upfront payment/fees to supply you with assignments, change without a seconds’ hesitation and leave!
3. Avoid Mystery Shopper Rip-off Western Union
The “secret shopper scams western union” is among the most famous such scams on offer.
The individual is then asked to deposit the same into his/her bank-account and wire some amount of this money through wire transfer services like Western Union while keeping the rest of the money for themselves as a reward for the shopping assignment he/she didn’t even do.
Of course, the individual discovers that the said check he/she deposited is poor, where the time it’s already a few days because the wire transfer via Western Union was done by him/her. Aside from making money, the individual actually went on to reduce money here!
Always remember a legit mystery shopping company never ever supplies you with a check prior to the actual shopping is performed with at your end.
You are required to shop with your money first and then report the whole experience through phone, email or even in-person, which is completely dependent on the company you’re working for.
Once that is done over with, the whole quantity you spent for the purchasing session is reimbursed.
FTC’s Warning
Also, the FTC advises consumers to stay away from companies who:
Put up their advertisements for mystery buyers in the “help wanted” portion of papers or in email messages. Although they may be genuine in their intent indeed, chances are pretty high they are more thinking about pitching unwarranted, and fraudulent probably, secret shopping “services”.
Sell “certification”. A company that uses mystery shoppers does not need any certification normally.
Assure you employment as a secret shopper.
Charge fees to allow usage of secret shopping assignments
Sell directories which contain names of companies offering mystery shopping services.

Reporting Scammers
In case of you being scammed by a company, file your complaint with…
The Federal government Trade Commission (FTC)
Your State’s Attorney General
Where to find Legit Mystery Shopper Jobs?
You may become a mystery shopper for a legit company without paying hardly any money.
Here’s how you may do that:
Search Online
Search the net for organizations that are available to new applications.
Legit companies do not charge any application fees even. Most accept registrations through their websites also.
Check with the MSPA
Additionally, there is the MSPA (Mystery Shop Provider’s Association), which may be the governing body for the trick shopping industry.
From the information on their site, you can choose for yourself concern which companies are reliable and that are not.
Check with the BBB
The BBB contains a history of near about every business you can name.
Apart from learning more in regards to a company’s history, you may also see if any issues were filed through the preceding 36 weeks and the way the BBB rates it overall.
Note: You ought not to turn from a company because it doesn’t bring BBB accreditation. All of this means is that the business doesn’t pay the fee that’s mandatory to be outlined as a certified business. However, it is still recognized as the best business by the BBB.
Read Related Online Forums
Forums related to MS have a tendency to end up being informal, but even they are quite informational given that they provide an online community where active mystery shoppers talk about their experiences.
This makes forums an excellent place to assess the firms that are good to work for and the ones that are not so excellent.
Ask Around
Consider carefully and pay out heed to the term going around. Ask around to observe if any of your friends and relations know or have a connection with mystery shopping for any business.
Most people can let you know about the secret shopping businesses that are legit within their experience.

100 Paying and Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies

In the event that you don’t want to waste your time and effort weeding through a huge selection of forums and weblog posts to look for a few legit companies, this is a set of 100 confirmed secret buying companies that can be done paid shopping assignments for:

  1. A&A Merchandising
  2. ALCOPS – Allied Corporate Protection Services
  3. A Top Shop
  4. A Closer Look
  5. A Customer’s Point of View
  6. ABA Quality Merchandising
  7. Anonymous Insights
  8. Ann Michaels & Assoc
  9. Apartment Shoppe
  10. Ardent Services Inc.
  11. At Random Communications
  12. At Your Service Marketing
  13. Associate Consumer Evaluations, LLC
  14. Ath Power Consulting Corporation
  15. BestMark
  16. Beyond Hello Inc
  17. BMA Mystery Shopping & Incentive Programs
  18. Bare Associates International Inc
  19. Barry Leads & Associates Inc.
  20. Business Evaluation Services
  21. Campus Consulting
  22. Certified Reports
  23. CheckMark Inc
  24. Capstone Research
  25. Cirrus Marketing Consultants
  26. Commercial Service Systems
  27. Comsumer Critique
  28. Consumer Impressions
  29. Confero Inc.
  30. Consumer Research Group
  31. Count On Us
  32. Coyle Hospitality Group
  33. Corporate Research International
  34. Creative Picture Consultants (CIA), Inc.
  35. Customer Perspectives
  36. Customer Service Experts, Inc
  37. Cross Financial Group
  38. Customer Service Profiles
  39. David Sparks & Associates
  40. Devon Hill Associates
  41. Data Quest Ltd.
  42. Douglas Stafford THE UNITED STATES, Inc.
  43. Ellis Property Management Services
  44. Evaluation Systems for Staff (ESP)
  45. DSG Associates
  46. Excel Shopping & Consulting
  47. Franchise Compliance Inc.
  48. Graymark Security Group
  49. Focus on Service
  50. Greet America Inc.
  51. HR & Associates
  52. Hilli Dunlap Enterprises, Inc.
  53. Hindsight
  54. Imaginus Inc.
  55. Infotel Inc
  56. IAG Infinity Assurance Group
  57. ICC/Decision Services
  58. J.M. Ridgway Co. Inc.
  59. Jancyn
  60. Kern Scheduling Services
  61. Instant Reply Inc
  62. IntelliShop
  63. Kinesis
  64. LeBlanc & Associates
  65. Maritz Research
  66. Management Consultant Group, LLC
  67. Market Viewpoint, LLC
  68. Mars Research
  69. Melinda Brody & Company
  70. Merchandise Concepts
  71. Marketing Endeavors
  72. Marketing Systems Unlimited
  73. MarketWise Consulting Group, Inc.
  74. Mystery Shoppers
  75. Mystery Shopping Solutions
  76. Michelson & Associates, Inc.
  77. Mintel International Group Ltd
  78. Mystery Guest, Inc
  79. Mystique Shopper
  80. Northwest Mystery Shopping Service
  81. National Shopping Service Network, LLC
  82. Nationwide Services Group
  83. Pacific Research Group
  84. Premier Service Consulting
  85. Promotional Network, Inc.
  86. Pat Henry Group
  87. Patron Edge
  88. Person To Person Quality
  89. PulseBack, Inc.
  90. Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers, LLC
  91. QSI Specialists
  92. Ritter & Associates, Inc.
  93. The Search for Best Mystery Shoppers
  94. Reality Check Mystery Shoppers
  95. Restaurant Evaluators
  96. Satisfaction Services, Inc.
  97. Second To non-e, Inc.
  98. Secret Shopper
  99. Service Impressions
  100. Service Intelligence
  101. Sensors Quality Management Inc.
  102. ServiceCheck.com
  103. Service Alliance, Inc
  104. Service Evaluation Concepts
  105. Service Excellence Group, Inc.
  106. Shoppers, Inc
  107. Shoppers’ View
  108. Service Performance Group Inc.
  109. Service ProbeServiceSense
  110. Sinclair Service Assessments
  111. Spies in Disguise
  112. SG Marketing Group, Inc
  113. The Shadow Agency
  114. Shoppers’ Critique International, LLC

Ideas to Find Success as a Key Shopper

Like any other side income activity, if you would like to reach your goals and make decent money, you need to take this seriously.
Here are some ideas to help you succeed in earning money as a secret shopper.
Be Mindful of What’s Needed
Be sure you are fully alert to all instructions regarding every assignment and the items required from you, whose examples include analyzing the prices, inventories, or even noting down the names of 1 or all employees.
Accept LAST SECOND Shopping Assignments
Try and accept assignments which come in at the last second; regardless of how large or small the chance is.
Don’t Ignore Smaller Assignments
Also, treat little assignments with the same importance mainly because of large ones. And as may be the case with most careers, do not expect to property a large assignment at the outset. Just keep carrying out to your best, which tells the company that you are reliable and reliable as a shopper.
Also, assignments can be found in varying examples of simplicity. Some are  fundamental as seated in a clinic’s waiting around the room for 30 minutes although some are as hard (or enjoyable) as a completely paid vacation for two weeks to a distant vacation resort!
Be Prepared
Most mystery shopping companies consider the usage of the web and email, cell phones, and even fax devices as an advantage for individuals working as their shoppers. This is so since it allows the companies to immediately communicate with their shoppers.
For example, to evaluate the cleanliness of a cafe, access a digital camera is a far greater method of recording that aspect instead of writing a complete page’s report on a single.
Shop On Time
When you complete a purchasing assignment on time, the business considers you to be reliable. Such an image will certainly assist you to earn bigger and even more rewarding shopping assignments in potential.
Bottom Line
In my honest opinion, this is simply not something I could make a living out of.
Yes, there are specific shopping businesses that do compensate rather perfectly, but with the caveat that purchasing assignments won’t come each day of the week. This means that sometimes, it may be weeks before you have any meaningful and well-paying work.
In a nutshell, keep your expectations real.
Nevertheless, if shopping (and complaining) can be something you love, then signing-up with these mystery shopping companies will be a good way to create some extra cash privately!