Market research to services are also looking for "shoppers" for merchandising and auditing jobs. Mystery, secret and shadow shopping jobs are quick easy jobs where you will evaluate service and product and offer feedback for a pay.
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Mystery Shopping 101 - How to Make Extra Cash in a Slow Economy

Mystery Shopping is also called secret shopping or shadow shopping. Companies offering market research to services are also looking for "shoppers" for merchandising and auditing jobs. Mystery, secret and shadow shopping jobs are quick easy jobs where you will evaluate service and product and offer feedback in exchange for a payment of a fee and reimbursement for your purchase.

Merchandising and auditing jobs are jobs requiring you to stock arrange or assemble products or displays. All of these jobs offer a great work from home opportunity. Mystery shopping, in all of its forms, can be a legitimate entrepreneurial opportunity for a working mom, student or retiree. Mystery shopping can also provide a little extra spending money to anyone in exchange for a few hours or their time in the evenings or on the weekend.

The mystery shopping opportunity provides a part-time "job" or a fun money making hobby. Secret shopping could be a full time job for the right person, in the right geographic location.


Secret shopping is a market research tool that allows companies to maintain consistent quality and evaluate their training needs. Companies can also use secret shoppers to insure the cleanliness of their facilities and the courtesy of employees. The companies that are looking for mystery shoppers are in many different businesses ranging from banks and dollar stores to theaters and grocery chains to fast food chains to auto dealerships.

Jobs or Shops

There are hundreds of companies offering mystery shopping services. Major companies contract with a mystery shopper company as they would contract with an advertising agency or public relations company. The company then works to develop a survey or questionnaire to give the information needed for good business decisions, training development and overall improvement.

Mystery shopping companies can be found by a doing a simple Internet search. There are forums and bulletin boards where shoppers share information. There is a Mystery Shopping Association offering leads, education and advice. You must be 18 yrs old and have a computer and Internet access. Most mystery shopping jobs and reporting is handled online. It helps to be organized. Companies will expect you to complete assignments and report in the time frame stated.


When you access a job board, the pay will be stated along with information and limits on reimbursement. Mystery, secret and shadow shopping jobs will generally pay $10-$15 per job. These jobs take 30-45 minutes to complete. Some will pay more, some will pay less. I have seen jobs paying up to $75 and reimbursing up to $45. Merchandising jobs offer a bit more as a basic fee and sometimes offer you several hours of work with a per hour fee. I recently saw a merchandising job offering $45 for four hours of work stocking toys on shelves.

The pay for mystery shopping is processed monthly. There will be about a month between completing the job and receiving the pay. If you complete a job before the 15th of one month, the pay will be processed around the 20th of the following month.

You will need a fax or scanner in order to submit receipts. As a mystery shopping you are an independent employee and all of your expenses to do the job are tax deductible. Possible tax deductions include mileage, postage, cost of internet service and office supplies. Your accountant can give you specifics and clarification. If you decide to give mystery shopping a try, you will provide a valuable service for companies while getting paid to shop. Enjoy.

Make sure to visit my blog Mystery Shopping Income for helpful tips and advice on how I made $75 in one day and how to find the right company for you!

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