5 reasons to start mystery shopping now

5 reasons to start mystery shopping now


If you’re new to the concept of mystery shopping, you may be wondering “what is it?” and “why bother?” 

Mystery shopping is also known as secret shopping, phantom shopping, being a shadow shopper or mystery guest, and can be defined as any number of activities where you get paid to shop.  It involves pretending to be a customer with a pre-determined scenario (which you are given) then reporting on your experiences afterwards.

In terms of “why bother?”, this article covers 5 key reasons you really should look more closely at what mystery shopping has to offer you.

1. Flexibility

One of the great things about mystery shopping is the incredible flexibility.  The most restrictive mystery shopping jobs require you to do the work within a window of a few hours on a particular day.  Much more common is the ability to do the job during business hours on a particular day, eg. anytime between 9am and 5pm. 

Also common are jobs that can be done virtually any time during a period of a week or more.  This means you can easily fit your mystery shopping jobs around the rest of your life whether that is your other job, family, study or sporting commitments.  Where else can you find work with that type of flexibility?

2. Extra income

Who doesn’t need extra income these days?  There are so many businesses using mystery shopping programs that your options for earning extra income (if you know where to look) are extensive. 

The extent of the income you earn from mystery shopping is really up to you and the time you’re prepared to put in. Some people use mystery shopping for extra pocket money such as to fund a particular hobby or just for general life.  Other people use mystery shopping as a significant source of additional income. 

I’ve even heard of a retiree doing mystery shopping effectively full time and earning a basic yearly income, earning over $10,000 a year.  How much do you want to earn from mystery shopping?

3. Fringe benefits

Many mystery shopping jobs give you the opportunity to receive a range of fringe benefits; that is various goods and services you get to keep for free.  The way that it works is some jobs will require you to pay for something for which you are reimbursed. 

The fringe benefits you can receive from mystery shopping are many and varied.  The most common options are food and drink and various retail items.  You can be reimbursed for buying hardware items or even receiving a pest treatment at your house.  An added benefit of this approach is that you’re not having to declare income.

4. Fun

I’m not sure what your idea of fun is but I’ve found a lot of mystery shopping jobs to be good fun.  For example, there are a number of mystery shopping jobs where you get paid to test drive cars – I’ve been paid to test drive a Holden, Toyota, BMW and a Porsche.  I’d call that fun.

Similarly, I’ve eaten at various restaurants and cafes and been paid for it.  Isn’t it true that food tastes better when it’s free : ) What’s not to love about being paid to eat?

5. Variety

As well as mystery shopping being very flexible in when you can do the work, there is also the great potential for variety of mystery shopping jobs.  Many industries are covered by mystery shopping including grocery, retail, automotive, entertainment, hospitality, travel and so on.

On the one hand, you can build your efficiency by doing the same kind of job over and over.  The more you do it generally the faster you get.  On the other hand, if you get bored and want more variety, the opportunities are there.  Along the way, you may get to discover all sorts of businesses and experiences you’d never have otherwise come across.


If you’ve never experienced mystery shopping before then you really should consider it.  It’s fun and flexible with good variety, and can provide good fringe benefits along the way. Finally, you get paid for it – perhaps the best benefit of all.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to get paid to shop, enter your details below to receive the free report that should get you started.

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