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Can I make a living working as a Mystery Shopper | Secret Shopper?

The question, ‘Can I make a living working as a Mystery Shopper?’ is one we are asked all the time.

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not straight forward, however, the answer to this question in some cases is yes.

Secret Shopper writing up a report

Firstly you have to take into account where you live, and if that happens to be 100 km from the nearest big town and you only go there once a fortnight, then it is very unlikely you will ever make a living as a Mystery Shopper.

But do not be discouraged as many Mystery Shopping companies offer telephone Mystery Shops and email Mystery Shops which can be carried out from anywhere, we will go into more detail about this in later posts.

However, if you live near a big city and are willing to travel to other areas then there is every chance you could make good money working as a Mystery Shopper / Secret Shopper.

Secret Shopper holding a telephone

If you are just starting out as a Mystery Shopper and want to start working towards making a living in this field, then you will need to sign up for multiple Mystery Shopping companies, you will never make a living working for one or two Mystery Shopping companies, you need to be registered with as many Mystery Shopping companies as possible.

It is a good idea that when you are starting out that you do not waste to much time putting in applications for Mystery Shopping companies who may not have work in your area at the moment.

There are a few ways to avoid this, the first would be to send the Mystery Shopping company a quick email asking if they have Mystery Shopping assignments available in or near your current location at the moment, and also ask what their pay range is for these assignments.

If they get back to you and say that at the moment they do not have any assignments available in your area, just put them to the bottom of the list and apply when you have a spare moment, concentrate your efforts on Mystery Shopping / Secret Shopping companies that have work available now.

The reason I say this is that just because they do not have assignments available now, does not mean they will not have some assignments available in a week or two. They also may have telephone and email shops available from time to time as well, so make sure you do get an application in at some stage.

Secret Shopper walking through a shopping centre

OK, so you have decided to give this a go! My advice would be to sign up for one or two Mystery Shopping companies first. This is because you really need to see if this type of work suits you, and you enjoy it, if not, do not waste your time signing up for twenty companies. You should know after five to ten assignments if you are enjoying this type of work.

Let’s jump to the next thing you need to know if you are going to make a success of this new career venture. Firstly, you need to be reliable, if you take on your first assignment with a Mystery Shopping / Secret Shopper company and then decline it with a weak excuse it is highly likely you will never be offered another assignment, reliability is everything.

Secret Shopper Diary

Secondly you need to be organised. If you are signed up with twenty Mystery Shopping companies you will need to check their online jobs boards at least once every couple of days, if not more often.

The reason for this is if you are travelling to an area on Friday for instance to carry out a Mystery Shopping assignment it would obviously be better for you if you had ten assignments to do whilst there.

The best way to achieve this is, as mentioned, to check the online jobs boards of every Mystery Shopping Company you work for and apply for any assignments in or near the area you will be travelling to. Therefore reducing the amount you spend on petrol etc.

Normally when you make an application for an assignment you will be asked to make a comment about why you would be well placed to carry out this assignment, in this comments box let the Mystery Shopping company know you will be travelling to that area on Friday and let them know that is maybe the only day you can visit that location this month and why you would be the best candidate for that assignment.

The point I am trying to get across here is to make good money as a Mystery Shopper you need to be organised. Your goal should be to make sure if you drive to an area that there are several assignments to be carried out when you get there.

Secret Shopper on an escalator

My view on this is if you want to earn $700 per week and don’t want to work weekends, you need to earn about $140 per day, so travel to the areas that give you the best chance of earning that sort of money.

You will probably need to carry out between four and six assignments per day to achieve that goal.

Just in closing, don’t quit your day job just yet, it could take a while to build a good working relationship with a number of Mystery Shopping companies.

We will be doing a Blog on building relationships with Mystery Shopping companies in the near future, so stay tuned.


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