Looking for the best mystery shopping companies? Then take a look at some of these suggestions and see how much you can earn.
I can’t think of a much better way of life – getting paid to shop. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
You may have heard mixed reports about mystery shopping. Some articles I have read over the years say it’s not worth bothering with. In fact, my wife signed up for a mystery shop site but failed to complete one job as she felt it wasn’t worth her time.
But I had also heard on various forums that there was an opportunity to make some good money.
So, in order to make my own mind, I joined several mystery shopping sites. Not only could I check they weren’t scams, I could also to see how much they pay.
Mystery shopping tips
The best starting point is to find a legitimate mystery shopping company. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous companies out there who will do anything to make a quick buck out of you. This case, although in the States, saw somebody lose $5000 when they applied for a mystery shopping job.
You should never have to pay to join a mystery shopping site. That’s not to say you don’t have to spend to complete some jobs. Some assignments will involve you making a small purchase, but not usually more than £20.
Be willing to travel. There are plenty of jobs out there, but you may have to visit neighbouring towns to complete them. With that said, you need to weigh up how much you will earn against the cost of travel. You don’t want to end up out of pocket! But not all jobs need you to leave your sofa and can be completed using the phone or computer.
The best mystery shopping companies:
GFK provides some surprisingly well-paid opportunities. You have to take a quick test before you’re allowed to take on assignments, but this isn’t complicated.
The majority of their jobs don’t involve you purchasing anything but trying out services or looking at taking out financial products. Because of this, they tend to pay the most. I have had several chances to earn between £100-200. One involved applying for a mortgage and another applying for finance from a high-street retailer. Although they sound daunting they aren’t too difficult and don’t worry, you don’t have to go through with the application.
They work with some of the most popular chains across the UK. This is good for us as secret shoppers, as it means there’s usually a job nearby. They do have quite a tough test you need to complete before they accept you as a mystery shopper, but most people should be able to get through it with a little effort.
On average, the jobs offered by GBW pay between £15-35. They will pay more when the deadline for a job gets closer. The jobs may not pay as well as GFK, but there are more available and take less work.
Slightly different from the other sites, this is an app based mystery shopping site. The jobs are very generally quick, although the pay isn’t great. Jobs on average pay about £3 and will take around 20 minutes.
What I really like about this company is that there aren’t loads of difficult tests you need to take before you join. You can more-or-less start earning as soon as you join.
Market Force offers a lot of opportunities to conduct mystery shops at restaurants and pub chains. Their pay isn’t great, sometimes as low as £3.25. However, they will also reimburse the cost of your food for anything up to £10. So the amounts aren’t great, but it does give you a cheap meal out. Market Force requires you to pass some spelling and grammar tests before they employ you for their tasks, but these aren’t too difficult.
Which company to choose?
It’s difficult to choose between the best mystery shopping companies, as it depends on what you’re after. If you have quite a bit of free time and want to make a decent income, I would choose GFK. However, GBW is good for earning smaller amounts without having to put in quite so much time.