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Mystery Shopping Information - FREE


Here's the trick - you should sign up with as many of these scheduling sites as you can....maybe doing one or two per day if the task seems too large for one sitting. Once you are signed up with them, they will start e-mailing you regularly with jobs you may qualify for and want to perform....and they won't ask you for money to see the available work! Just be aware that not all companies have shops at any one given time, and that you must be able to shop on THEIR schedule - not yours!




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Just to put your mind at ease - this information is being provided by BLT Marketing as a service to our customers. We do NOT charge for this information in any way nor do we endorse any particular Mystery Shopping site or program. All we ask is that you let others know about our website www.bltmarketing.com Thanks!


***Scam Alert***

There are legitimate mystery shopper jobs. So how do you tell if the one you are looking at is real or a scam? The Attorney General's Office advises that you should be skeptical of any secret shopper, mystery shopper, or investigative shopper companies that:

  • Advertise jobs for shoppers on the radio, in a newspaper's classified or "help wanted" section or through unsolicited email. Legitimate secret shopper companies generally do not advertise for jobs in this manner.

  • "Guarantee" a job as a mystery, secret, or investigative shopper.

  • Charge a fee just for applying or charge a fee for access to secret shopping job opportunities. You should not pay any fee to apply or to obtain job information.

  • Appear to be located in places outside the country, such as Canada. If the company does not have an established office nearby that you can visit in person, be very cautious.

  • It is always a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau and investigate any business offering this sort of employment.

Fake cashiers check scams come in many forms. Generally,

  • Do not depend on the funds from a cashier's check from a source you do not know.

  • There is usually no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask for money to be wired back or wired to a third party. Don't do it.

  • Do not rely on the fact that the check was accepted for deposit by their financial institution as evidence of the check's authenticity. It can take up to a week or much longer for a financial institution to determine whether a check is good, especially if the check is from an institution located outside the United States.

  • Consumers are responsible for the deposited fake check, even if it was a cashier's check. When the check bounces, the bank deducts from the consumer's account the amount that was credited with the fake check--often with charges added. The bank will not take the loss.

***End of Scam Alert Section***


VIEW an EXTENSIVE List of mystery shopping companies

from the jobs database at Mystery Shopping Solutions!

What is a Mystery Shopper?

A mystery shopper is like an undercover agent. You might receive assignments to evaluate restaurants, grocery stores, automobile dealers, retail stores, or amusement parks. Just about any type of business you can think of could benefit from the services of a mystery shopper.

You receive a specific assignment for your shop. For example, you may be asked to describe the cleanliness, friendliness of the staff, and your total wait time at a restaurant, among other items. BLT Marketing - Abstract man with cart


Your job is not to spy on employees, or try to find things wrong or right. Your job is simply to follow the script that comes with your assignment and provide an impartial evaluation.

You are the link that keeps the owners of these firms informed. For a business to be successful, it must maintain customer satisfaction. Businesses can better please their customers if they understand how the customer is really being treated and if their product is being sold as they intended it to be.

You will be able to work around your schedule, which can be beneficial for a housewife, mother or part time worker. Some places may want you to go to their establishment only during certain hours, i.e. happy hour, early bird specials, moonlight madness sales, etc. You may be able to request certain hours of the day that are best for you, such as early mornings for mom’s with small children in preschool or late afternoons-early evenings for those who already hold down a part time job.


Mystery shopping is big business, so don't limit yourself by applying only to companies that are physically located near you. Remember, most mystery shopping companies are nationwide. Their clients and stores are nationwide. Just because a company has its offices in New York does not mean you can not work for them because you live in Texas. These Mystery Shopping companies contract with retail and restaurant chains all over the country.


Never feel pressured into a job. It will not be held against you if you are unable or unwilling to take a particular assignment. Just don't accept one and then not complete it!



Should I pay for mystery shopping information?

Mystery shopping jobs offer short hours, and a fun and interesting work environment. The work usually consists of visiting a store, restaurant or other facility, making predetermined purchases, and evaluating the customer service received. You normally then fill out a report on this information, usually online.


Beware though - You are likely to find hundreds of websites claiming to help you get daily work ...... but they want to charge you for this information. Many of these websites have only one intention - making money for themselves by taking your hard-earned cash. Be aware of what you are getting for your money, and ask questions if you don't know!

There are plenty of legitimate companies who don't want to TAKE your money - they will PAY you money instead!

We've assembled a list of some of these companies on this page. Please peruse them and sign up with the ones you find most appealing. Be aware that some of these companies are area-specific, so please check before you apply.





Top 10 Tips for Mystery Shoppers


1. Maintain Anonymity.

You should remain anonymous at all times during a mystery shop. Do not take any forms or papers with you (especially reports you need to fill out for the company!). Try not to take notes or do anything that would identify you as a mystery shopper. Pretend that you are an ordinary shopper, just as you would if you were actually shopping or dining for yourself.


2. Read your instructions.

Read all of the instructions AND the report form that you will fill out later. Know ahead of time exactly where you are going and what kinds of things to keep an eye out for.


3. Fill out ALL paper work in a timely manner.

Complete and return any reports, audits or forms within 24 hours of performing the mystery shop. This way things are fresh in your mind. Also many companies do have a time limit for shoppers to fill out their reports.

4. Details, details, details...

As a mystery shopper you should try to remember and relate as many details and facts of the shop as you can. Being observant is very important.

Names of managers and employees are also especially important. Look at badges, sales receipts, etc. for names of employees. If you cannot get a name try to provide a good physical description such as sex, age, height, weight, and hair / eye color. For example: "we were served by a young man in his 20's with bright red hair and wearing glasses."

5. Report, don't comment.

Your job as a mystery shopper is to report facts and details, not offer suggestions on fixing or improving company policies. Companies will use your reports to examine their own internal policies and work systems. It's very important to let them draw their own conclusions on such.

6. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Try to give balance observations. You should try to approach every mystery shop with a sense of neutrality. Try to offer your observations not your opinions. Providing an excessively negative or positive report may imply that you did not carefully observe everything during your mystery shopping experience. Although this does not mean that you should not report a very positive or negative report, rather that your report should not be completely positive or completely negative.

7. Neatness counts.

Always try to neatly print or type your reports so that they are legible. Be sure to read the instructions as some mystery shops may REQUIRE that you attach a typed sheet to the report.

8. Be committed.

Remember when you accept an assignment to mystery shop you are committing yourself to the job. Do not miss your shop date or perform it late. Fill out your report as soon as possible after the mystery shop.

9. Enjoy yourself.

Remember it may be work, but it can be fun too! Try to pretend that you are doing your mystery shop just as you would had you walked into the establishment to shop or dine for yourself.

10. Shop 'till you drop!

Mystery shopping can be a great way to make a second income or just provide a little extra spending cash. Have fun with it. Perform as many mystery shops as you can to make the most of this exciting job field!

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is an excellent way to make extra money. In fact, some people make a full time living doing it. There are many mystery shopping companies that will pay you to shop, eat at restaurants and take part in focus groups.

A mystery shop consists of getting paid to go into a business without the employee's knowledge and reporting back to the mystery shopping company.

A focus group is when you get paid to sit down with other people who are also getting paid and discuss new products or services.

Mystery shopping jobs and focus groups are easier to find if you live in or near a large metropolitan area.

After you do a mystery shop you answer some questions and file your report with the mystery shopping company. These reports are usually set up as a series of questions and often can be completed quickly.

The reason they have mystery shops and focus groups is so that companies can get feedback on their employees, products and services. That way they can see where there might be problems and make the necessary changes to improve things.

A few years ago I had some free time and I wanted to make some extra money. I took a course, How to Become a Mystery Shopper, at a local community college. After completing the course I registered with a few mystery shopping companies online.

You can do a search on Google for "mystery shopping." Bypass the mystery shopping websites that are trying to sell something. You want to find the mystery shopping websites for the actual mystery shopping companies. These mystery shopping companies will never charge you any type of fee to register or to do mystery shops or focus groups.

Be sure to read all the free mystery shopping information you come across. There is an art to being a good mystery shopper. Basically you are like a reporter. You will never add your feelings or what you think to a mystery shopping report. Your job is to just answer the questions, report the facts and describe what actually happened during your shop.

You never want to give your own recommendations. That is not why you are hired. If the mystery shopping company wants a consultant, they will hire one. All they want you to do is to answer questions with just the facts of your mystery shopping assignment.

Once you find a few mystery shopping companies you can then register with them. They'll contact you by email whenever they have a mystery shopping job in your area. You'll only respond to the emails when you want to do the shop. Otherwise you can just delete the email. You get to pick and choose the shops you want to do.

A couple of years ago I did some apartment shops for the Jancyn Evaluation Company that took me about half an hour to complete. Since they paid $25, I was basically being paid $50 an hour.

You can register with the Jancyn Evaluation Shops Company. They may pay more than $25 today for apartment shops since it has been about two years since I've done an apartment shop for them.

Jancyn also does a lot of shops and surveys for the Ross Dress for Less retail stores. I'm not sure if Jancyn still has a business relationship with Ross, but I once handed out survey forms in one of the local Ross stores here in the Seattle area and made $500 for about 30 hours of work.

Here's the URL for Jancyn if you'd like to register with them to do some shops. http://www.jancyn.com/

Another mystery shopping company that I get a lot of email requests for shops for is the Secret Shopper Company. They seem to specialize in shops for Veterinary Clinics. They pay $15 plus up to $100 payment NOT including tip + $10. The only catch is that you have to own a cat or dog, which I don't, but maybe you do. Here's their URL http://www.secretshopper.com

OK, I've saved the best for last. Fieldwork specializes in setting up focus groups for some of the biggest companies in the US. They pay $50 to $75 for a focus group meeting that usually lasts about an hour.

The last one I did with them was for some research for eBay. They were trying to come up with a name for a new category on their website.

Fieldwork is located throughout the US in major metropolitan areas. You'll have to visit their website to see if they are located near where you live.

It's great if you have children since Fieldwork does a lot of focus groups involving children. Perhaps you can talk your kids into splitting the fee with you. Again, the pay usually works out to be about $50 to $75 an hour.

Unfortunately I have no children, but the next time I get an email for a focus group for children I'll borrow a couple of my neighbor's children.

Here's the link for Fieldwork. http://www.fieldwork.com/

Now you have a basic idea of how the mystery shopping and focus groups work. Start searching for more mystery shopping websites and get paid to shop, eat and taking part in focus groups. It's easy money!

Barry Stein is the owner of aWebBiz.com where he offers cutting-edge tips on all aspects of business. To find more advice, tools and resources to help you succeed in your business, visit: http://www.aWebBiz.com.

Webmasters may republish this article for free if you include the articles credits and maintain all hyperlinks in the article and agree not to change to content of the article in anyway. These articles are great free content for you e-zine, website or newsletter.

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Alphabetical Listing

(please contact us to advise us if any links below are broken)


A top

About Face

A Closer Look Mystery Shopping

A Step Above

Ann Michaels & Associates Mystery Shopping

ACE National Mystery Shopping

Amusement Advantage

Anonymous Insights

Apartment Shoppe

At Your Service Marketing

B top

Bare Associates International

Barry Leeds & Associates

Best Mark Mystery Shopping

Beyond Marketing

BMA Mystery Shopping

Business Evaluation Services

Byers Choice

C top

Certified Reports

Check Mark Mystery Shopping

Check Up Marketing

Cirrus Marketing Consultants

Consumer Connection

Consumer Knowledge Analysis

Consumer Research Group

Corporate Research International

Count On Us

Customer 1st Mystery Shopping

Customer Perspectives

Customer Service Experts


D top

Data Quest

E top

Ellis Property Management Services - EPMS

F top

Focus on Service

Full Scope Mystery Shopping

G top

Graymark Security Group

Green & Associates

Greet America

H top

Hill Dunlap Enterprises

Howard Services

I top

ICC/Decision Services



Instant Reply


J top

JC & Associates

JM Ridgway

K top

Ken-Rich Retail Group

L top

Le Blanc & Associates

M top

Maritz Research

Market Viewpoint

Melinda Brody and Company

Michelson & Associates

Mosaic Info Force

Mystery Guest, Inc.

Mystique Shopper

N top

National Shopping Service Network

Northwest Loss Prevention Consultants

P top

Pacific Research Group

Pat Henry Group

Performance Edge

Premier Service Consulting

Promotion Network, Inc.


Q top

Quality Assurance Consulting

Quality Service Inspections Specialists

Quality Works Associates

Quest for Best

R top

Reality Check Mystery Shoppers

Restaurant Evaluators

Rickie Kruh Research and Marketing Group

Rocky Mountain Merchandising

S top

Satisfaction Services

Second to None


Secret Shopping Services

Service Check

Service Evaluations Concepts

Service Impressions

Service Intelligence

Service Performance Group

Service Probe

Service Quality Department

Service Research Corporation

SG Marketing

Shop N' Chek

Shoppers, Inc.

Shoppers' Critique International

Sinclair Service Assessments

Spies in Disguise

The Solomon Group

T top

Texas Shoppers Network

V top

Video Eyes

W top






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