Coronavirus - Get the latest updates and resources from MyWalletHero - Find out more.
Advertiser Disclosure

How to become a mystery shopper

How to become a mystery shopper
Image source: Getty Images

If you enjoy shopping and you need some extra cash, then mystery shopper jobs might be the solution. You can satisfy your fix without feeling guilty.

You may have already heard about mystery shopping, but if you are uncertain about what it is or how to apply, then read on.

What is a mystery shopper?

Mystery shoppers are people that get paid to anonymously visit businesses. The idea is that they get the full shopping experience from a consumer point of view.

Businesses use mystery shoppers to check that specific standards are being met. Such businesses can include restaurant chains, clothes retailers or supermarkets.

What does a mystery shopper do?

While visiting a business, mystery shoppers are expected to check that standards are being met. These standards could include customer service, cleanliness and quality of product.

Mystery shopper jobs often include undertaking specific tasks. These could include buying specific products, asking staff specific questions and taking photographs.

Mystery shoppers are expected to write a report outlining their experience. Therefore, they are expected to have good memories so they can recall specific aspects of their shopping experience that may be important.

The report needs to be submitted by a specific time and could be up to 1,000 words long in some cases.

How much does it pay?

Due to the variation in the types of job, there is no set rate. In some cases, you may only receive the products purchased in exchange for your time. In others, you might get around £15 for a visit to a supermarket.

Unfortunately, competition for jobs is high and the earning potential is not as great as it once was. This is because there is a greater awareness about mystery shopper jobs.

Also, bear in mind that location is key. You are likely to earn more as a mystery shopper if you are based in a less densely populated area.

You need to be realistic about how much you can earn. Chances are you won’t earn a full-time wage, but you could earn enough for some Christmas or birthday presents.

How and where can I get mystery shopper jobs?

You will need to sign up with at least one mystery shopping agency. Major agencies include:

  • Market Force
  • Red Wig Wam
  • Serve Legal
  • Assosia
  • International Service Check
  • Tern
  • GWB Mystery Shopping
  • Grassroots

What other things to I need to consider?

You will need to be flexible. If you have responsibilities and very little free time, you may not be able to take on mystery shopper jobs as and when you are needed.

As well as visiting the business, you will need to spend time writing the report. Make sure you can make the deadline, since you will not get paid for a late report.

Think carefully before committing yourself to this line of work. If, for example, you are a stay-at-home parent, there may be other types of work that will better suit your lifestyle, such as side hustles you can do from home.


The agencies listed are the biggest ones based in the UK. You can find others by checking online.

You should never pay to sign up with a mystery shopper agency. If they ask for money, then it’s wise to refuse. Chances are it’s a scam.

What next?

If you’re looking for more ways to make your money work for you, why not sign up for MyWalletHero’s email newsletter? You’ll receive our team’s top money-saving tips, lifestyle hacks and handy personal finance ‘must-knows’ – delivered straight to your inbox…

Just enter your email address below to sign up now:

By checking this box and submitting your email address, you agree to MyWalletHero sending you emails with money tips, along with details of products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from future emails at any time. You also consent to us processing your personal data in line with our privacy policy, and our cookie statement. For more information, including how we collect, store, and handle personal data, please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.

Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.