Mystery Shopping

mystery shopping

The vast majority of the ways I earn extra money are done online. However, you can also make extra cash whilst you’re out and about. One way in which you can make good money is through mystery shopping.

What is mystery shopping?

Mystery shoppers or secret shoppers are paid to pose as regular customers to test out shops, bars, pubs, restaurants etc. Usually, the company itself will ask mystery shoppers to check that high levels of customer service are maintained and that staff members are demonstrating a knowledge of their products and the company regulations.

Often, the tasks set by companies for mystery shoppers will be very detailed and specific. A mystery shopper may need to arrive at a specific time, ask particular questions and gather evidence.

How can you become a mystery shopper?

There are many companies out there advertising for mystery shoppers. My personal favourite is Market ForceYou sign up online and complete details about where you live and what other areas you’re available to work in.

Once you’ve completed your personal information, you can filter out any jobs you know you won’t want to complete using the Job Filter section.

Personally, I’ve got everything ticked so that I can see all the jobs and decide on a case-by-case whether I’ll be able to do the job or not.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll see your “Available Assignments”.

You simply click on the available assignments, scroll through and pick out the ones you might be available to complete. The jobs will be displayed to you as one long list. Each job will show brief details including the fee, expenses, location and dates that it must be completed. When you see a job you’re interested in, simply click on Assignment Notes to find out more, then if you’re happy you can apply for the assignment.

How much will you get paid?

This varies dramatically from job to job. You’ll receive a fee as payment for your time and effort, along with an expenses allowance. For example, one job I’ll be doing next week will pay me up to £19 for a meal and play for myself and my son in a play centre, plus £5 fee. The fees and expense allowance will always be displayed clearly.

Key point to being a successful mystery shopper:

  • Follow the specific job instructions TO THE LETTER.
  • Don’t be tempted to tell the store that you’re a mystery shopper to see what you can get out of them!
  • Make sure you file your report on time.
  • Be truthful, if something wasn’t as you’d expect then mention it in your report.
  • Keep your receipts, you’ll need these to claim any expenses.


Mystery shopping can be a fun way to earn extra cash. Obviously the more jobs you undertake, the more money you can earn. If you’re savvy about it, then you can get free meals & free stuff too, just be sure to read what your allowances are for each individual job!