How To Become a Mystery Shopper
How To Become a Mystery Shopper
Student Life

Did you know that you can make money to shop?! Yeah, you heard right.  You can earn money and get all sorts of free stuff by going into shops and restaurants and reviewing your experience.

So if you know what it’s like to be treated like royalty by customer service teams, and to get your thoughts and reviews heard, mystery shopping or secret shopping is definitely for you. Is it really worth it? Read on to figure out if it’s worth your time getting stuck in, and find out how it all works and what you can actually get from a mystery shop.

What Is Mystery Shopping?

If you’re still wondering what a mystery shopper does, it’s time to go undercover. Huge corporations and companies, with high street shops, restaurants or coffee shops, need to make sure every single store is running as smoothly as they hope. But head office can’t just send somebody dressed in a suit carrying a clipboard around. They need to find out what it’s like from a genuine customer’s point of view.

This is where a mystery shopper comes in. Secret shoppers are tasked with anonymously visiting stores to check if specific standards are being met, like good customer service or cleanliness.

Most of the highstreet stores up and down the country are signed up to mystery shopping schemes, so there’s always something u for offer. Naturally, it’s a super popular thing to get involved in, so you might have a battle on your hands, against all the other shoppers battling for a free haul.

You might be wondering what sort of things you can get involved in, and yes the obvious one many people have heard about is being a secret shopper in high street clothing stores. But you’ll also have so many more opportunities, like mystery dining where you can get a completely free meal! You might also find yourself making an enquiry about financial services, visiting a health club, or even going to a holiday resort!

How Does Mystery Shopping Work?

Sadly mystery shopping isn’t just about living the high life, shopping and eating 24/7. You’ll be expected to make specific observations, to then prepare detailed reports on your experience and what you noticed during your interaction.

Mystery shopping is a lot of fun, but the tasks and information you acquire are used to make important business decisions, so they will be quite specific and information in your reports need to be accurate.

What Jobs Does A Mystery Shopper Do?

Mystery shoppers will typically have to write up reports on their experiences after completing some of the following jobs.

  • Buy goods or services

  • Talk to staff & ask questions

  • Take pictures of the store or of items

  • A checklist of observations to make

  • Report on customer service phone call interactions

How Much Does Mystery Shopping Pay?

Everyone loves a freebie! Free food, clothes, beauty, whatever it is, if it’s free we’ll take it thanks. It all sounds too good to be true, but mystery shopping provides thousands of people in the UK with a supplementary income and provides many people with a full time income.

Mystery shoppers are paid for each assignment, while the amount depends on the assignment you work on. You can earn anywhere from £5 to £100 per assignment depending on what’s involved. Lots of secret shopping companies might only offer you a budget to spend in store, and you get to keep what you buy, for free!

The good thing about secret shopping is that you get to pick and choose what you want to engage in. There’s no pressure to work full time on it, especially if you can’t afford to. But have fun, see what you can get involved in, and enjoy the freebies!

Definitely bear in mind that some agencies pay better than others. Look through each of our picks below and see which pay structure works best for your lifestyle and financial situation.

The Best Mystery Shopper Jobs

So now you know what it is to be a secret shopper, now you want to know how to become one. It’s actually quite easy to get the ball rolling. Signing up to a mystery shopping scheme is super easy, simply create an account and entering your details. You then might be asked to complete one or two small tests, so they can find the best mystery shopper job for you.

We pulled out some of the most popular mystery shopper agencies for you. Have a look through, get a feel for what’s involved, and find something that fits you.



    has a mission to improve customer service and employee experiences. Provide feedback on your shopping experiences. Working with both small and big businesses, your feedback can help each business grow. This is a great opportunity for you to earn some money, especially if you love to shop! 

    Visit here


  • Tern

    : with over 20,000 mystery shoppers, they are always looking for more people, so there is always opportunity to join. From social media monitoring, to mystery shopping and more, Tern has a range of services that you can get involved in.

    Visit Tern here


  • MCE Secret Shopping

    : be rewarded for sharing your opinion! It is a great way to earn some extra money and there are no entry requirements for this. Just contact them through their website.

    Visit MCE Shopping here


  • Serve Legal

    : You can get paid to be a pub tester. So if you want to get free drinks (who doesn’t) then this is for you. This is mainly aimed at people aged 18-19, as this is aimed to make sure that people are being correctly ID’d.

    Visit Serve Legal here


  • Mystery Dining

    : If you love eating out, you can earn some free meals! This also means that you can get free food. Many restaurants value secret shoppers as you can help them improve their food, and quality of service (something that hospitality thrives on). There are a range of different restaurants that you can visit.

    Visit Mystery Dining here


  • Red Wigwam

    : this is one of the most popular websites where you will get paid for your mystery shopping. They offer their shoppers flexible hours and look after all the admin and payments for you. RedWigwam deal with hospitality, cleaning, retail and logistics, so there will be something there for you. Another side to their business, is a temp agency. So if you’re looking to earn a bit more money, and fancy some quick cash, consider finding a temp role here.

    Visit Red Wigwam here


  • GBW

    : is great to get involved with as you often get repeat jobs, so you can track the progress of the company you were the secret shopper for. You are paid for your time, and also reimbursed for if a payment is made. You can be paid between £5- £35 with GBW for each job.

    Visit GBW here


Other Ways to Make Money as a Student

So now you know how to become a mystery shopper and get yourself some easy cash and freebie bonuses! Fancy finding out some other ways on how to earn some quick money,

There are so many more options for students wanting to earn some extra cash. Have a look at the

Student Saviour Jobs Finder

to find the perfect job for you at your university or city. Or if you're stuck for ideas on how to get yourself a job, click here to learn

How to Get a Job Guide For Students


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