If you love to shop, mystery shopping can be a good way to earn extra cash. Not only will you be able to earn, but you can actually help your favorite stores and brands improve their products and services. Plus, it’s a fun and interesting way to earn extra cash, in my opinion.
Now, I’ve tested quite a number of mystery shopping sites over the years, so let me tell you right now that you do have to dedicate time and exert a bit of effort for this kind of earning opportunity.
Through my testing, I’ve also come to identify which mystery shopping sites are really worth your time, and I will share these sites with you in this guide.
That way, you don’t have to go through the trial-and-error method to find out which are the best sites to join. I will include a brief description for each site so you’ll be able to figure out which ones will fit your needs.
All the sites I will include in the list below are legit and free to join, so you don’t have to spend a dime on becoming a member.
What are mystery shopping sites?
In case this is your first time hearing about mystery shopping sites, let me explain what these sites offer.
A mystery shopping site is a site that will allow you to earn by performing mystery shopping assignments.
Normally, if you take on an assignment, you’ll have to visit a physical store. Then, every assignment will ask you to perform a set of tasks like evaluating the service provided by the staff or noting the details of certain products. Sometimes, assignments will also ask you to purchase something.
If this is the case though, the site will reimburse you for the purchase you made. Then, after you’ve completed the assignment, you’ll have to submit your report to the site for approval. Once it is approved, you will receive the reward promised for the assignment.
But the most important thing you need to keep in mind when doing these assignments is to never let the staff of the store identify you as a secret shopper. Otherwise, your submission will be rejected. So, when you do mystery shopping assignments, it is important not to raise any suspicions. Just go about it like you normally would if you were an actual customer of the store.
How much money can you make?
Now that you know what you need to do to earn, let’s discuss what you can expect as compensation. The amount you can earn from mystery shopping sites will not compare to what you can earn from a full-time job. It is important that you keep that in mind, so you won’t get disappointed.
Realistically speaking, you can earn around $10 to $30 per assignment. There are sites that pay more, but that is the range you can usually expect. And remember, you have to make sure you have some spending money when you perform mystery shopping assignments because more often than not, you’ll have to buy something to complete the assignment.
If you want to maximize your earnings from these sites, I recommend you join around 5 to 7 sites so you can gain access to more mystery shopping assignments. However, I do have to warn you that the earning potential of mystery shopping sites will mostly depend on your location.
If you live in a big city, then chances are that there’ll be more opportunities to earn. This kind of earning opportunity isn’t really suitable for small cities because you will most likely not find any assignments. So, keep that in mind before you register.
8 best mystery shopping sites
The list below is not a prioritized list. Meaning, the site listed first doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best site to join as the best option will depend on your personal preferences. So, evaluate these sites according to your preferences.
I will keep updating this list if I find new mystery shopping sites that are really worth joining, so make sure to bookmark this page and check on it from time to time for new opportunities.
#1 – BestMark
BestMark has been in the mystery shopping business since 1986, so it’s a very established name in the mystery shopping industry. It has worked with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, so you’ll definitely find assignments from big brands and companies.
You can get paid via PayPal, or direct bank transfer or you can convert your earnings to Tango gift cards. However, the bank transfer option is only available if you have a US bank account. Payments will be processed automatically every 15th and 30th day of the month and you don’t have to reach a threshold to get paid.
BestMark is available in the US and Canada, so if you are a resident of either of those countries, you’ll be able to sign up as a mystery shopper.
#2 – Market Force
Another popular mystery shopping site is called Market Force. It has plenty of mystery shopping assignments in most major cities in North America and Europe.
You can get paid via check through postal mail, or you can withdraw your earnings via direct bank transfer. It processes payments every 15th day of the month and you don’t have to reach a threshold in order to withdraw your earnings. You’ll get paid as long as you’ve earned from mystery shopping assignments in the past month.
It has a mobile app you can download, and the app will work with both Android and iOS devices. Market Force is available in certain countries in Europe, and it is also available in North America. But they have different platforms for each country.
If you live in Europe, specifically in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and France, you have to register through the appropriate portal. You will find the link to their European shopper portal on their Shopper Force login page.
#3 – IntelliShop
IntelliShop, at its core, is an independent customer experience research and improvement firm. In order for them to help their clients, they conduct mystery shopping assignments. There are always a decent number of mystery shopping assignments available on any given day.
You’ll get paid via PayPal approximately 30 days after the last day of the month your assignments were completed. They usually pay on the 20th of the month (or the following business day). And you don’t need to reach a payout threshold to receive your earnings.
It is available globally so you can sign up as a member regardless of where you live. But you do have to take a test so that they can check how well you are able to retain information. Once you pass it, you will become a provisional shopper and you can start applying for mystery shopping assignments.
#4 – Secret Shopper
Secret Shopper is one of the premier mystery shopping sites that will reward you for completing mystery shopping assignments. It has been around for quite a while, and it does offer plenty of assignments, especially in big cities.
You will be paid via PayPal every 20th day of the next month, and the payment will be processed automatically, so you won’t have to keep requesting payment. It has a mobile app you can download and it will work with both Android and iOS devices.
Secret Shopper is available more or less worldwide. It is available in most African countries, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, the opportunities can usually be found in big cities.
#5 – Sinclair Customer Metrics
Sinclair Customer Metrics is mainly a market research company that also offers mystery shopping opportunities for its members. It has been around since 1987 and has rewarded thousands of mystery shoppers over the years.
There are always a decent number of opportunities to earn on any given day. You will be paid once per month and the payment will be mailed out in the form of a check during the last week of the following month in which your completed assignments took place.
So, you need to be a bit patient when receiving your earnings because this payment method will take quite some time. Sinclair Customer Metrics is only available in the US, UK, UAE, Kuwait, Australia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
#6 – Second to None
Second to None is a mystery shopping company that has been around since 1989, so it’s got a lot of mileage and has rewarded thousands of mystery shoppers over the years. It offers a decent number of mystery shopping assignments every day.
You can request payment either via direct bank transfer or PayPal once a month. Just be aware that for PayPal payments, there will be a $1 transaction fee that will be deducted from the payment you will receive.
It has a mobile app you can download, and it is called ShopperHub. The app will work with both Android and iOS devices, so you won’t have any issues with compatibility. It is only available in North America, specifically the US and Canada.
#7 – iSecretShop
iSecretShop is essentially a job board that offers mystery shopping opportunities. The good thing is that there are plenty of jobs available at any given time.
iSecretShop won’t be the one to pay you for completing a job. Instead, it will be the MSB (Mystery Shopping Broker – the company or brand that offered the job) who will pay you. Normally, you will get paid via PayPal and the amount you will receive will be the amount stated in the contract of the job.
Some MSBs will pay immediately, while some will only schedule payments at a certain time of the month. iSecretShop has a mobile app you can download so you can take on any mystery shopping job even if you are not in front of a computer. The app will work with both Android and iOS devices.
iSecretShop is available worldwide. You can sign up as a panelist regardless of where you live. But based on my testing, most of the opportunities to earn will come from major cities in the US, UK, and Canada, so you can’t expect the earning potential to be the same in all of the countries.
#8 – PrestoShopper
PrestoShopper is a unique mystery shopping platform because of the way it presents its mystery shopping assignments. There are three types of mystery shopping assignments you can take on – Insta-Shops, MysteryShops, and LiveShops.
Each type has its own set of mechanics you need to follow to complete the assignment, as well as a payment method. For LiveShops, you will receive a reward rather than being issued a payment. It is for customers who already patronize a business, so your reward comes in the form of a coupon that’s usable at that business, or in the form of an Amazon.com Gift Card.
For InstaShops and MysteryShops, you will be issued a payment, and you can either withdraw your earnings via PayPal or if you live in the US or Canada, you can convert your earnings to an Amazon gift card.
PrestoShopper has a mobile app as well as a web-based platform you can use. As for the app, it will work with both Android and iOS devices. Technically speaking, you will be able to join PrestoShopper regardless of where you live. But its jobs are more or less really available only in the US and Canada.
That concludes the list of the best mystery shopping sites you can join. As mentioned earlier, all of the sites on this list are free to join and they are all legit options. And if you want to maximize your earnings from this type of earning opportunity, you should join around 5 to 7 sites to gain access to more mystery shopping opportunities.
I will keep updating this list if I find new mystery shopping sites that are really worth it, so make sure to bookmark this page and check on it from time to time for new opportunities. B
Now, if you are just looking to earn extra cash without leaving the comfort of your home, I would recommend you check out the top survey and GPT sites in your country instead. The sites on this list all have good earning potential.
If you have any comments, questions, or experiences with mystery shopping sites that you think belong on this list, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.