9 Best Mystery Shopping Companies: Get Paid to eat Out and Shop

How would you like to get paid for shopping with the best mystery shopping companies? For the best mystery shopping companies that help you target those restaurant jobs, here are our top picks.

It is a job where a company pays you to pose as a frequent customer and then provide the company with input about items like how clean the store was or how well the workers communicated with you.

Secret shopping companies will pay you a fee in return for your reviews, and in most situations, they will ask you to make a transaction, and then refund you up to a set number of dollars.

Best Mystery Shopping Companies to Work For

1. Second to None

For a few specific jobs, Second to None looks for mystery shoppers. They are looking for others who are members of AARP right now or able to speak with insurance agents and organizations.

To see when they change their specifications, check in frequently.

How it works:

  1. Apply to be a Second to None mystery shopper.
  2. Fill in your contact information, and create your login.
  3. Submit your application.

2. Market Force

You will fill out mystery shop requests for banks, restaurants, and shops at Market Power. For topics such as cleanliness, product selection and customer service, you can have reviews.

Market Force has been awarded the MSPA Shopper’s Choice Award four years in a row, voted on by actual mystery shoppers.

How it works:

  1. Create a Shopper Force Account.
  2. Answer several questions about your criminal background.
  3. Sign and date the Terms of the Agreement.

3. Ath Power Consulting

The focus of Ath Power Consulting is on the finance and banking industry. When you finish a mystery-shopping gig for them, you are probably going to have to go to a bank and explain your experience.

They also have some positions that include going to an airport; these are only available if you have safety clearance already.

How it works:

  1. Sign up to work for Ath.
  2. Create an account using your email address.
  3. Fill in your personal information such as your name, address, and demographic details (i.e. race, income, level of education).
  4. Read their privacy policy.

4. A Closer Look

A Closer Look has received multiple MSPA awards, including the 2018 ‘Elite Business’ award and the 2019 Shopper’s Choice Award.

returning baby items to store

They specialize in sectors like restaurants, retail specialties, senior living, hotels, and entertainment.

How it works:

  1. Click the red button that says Become a Mystery Shopper.
  2. Provide a current email address.
  3. Once your email has been approved, you’ll receive a link to the application page (the link expires within 48 hours).
  4. You’ll have to fill out personal and demographic information, and write a sample essay with “a minimum of two full paragraphs describing your last casual or fine dining restaurant experience.” This essay will be partially used to determine your eligibility, so try to do a good job on this.
  5. Submit and wait for a response.


BARE hires mystery shoppers to do in-person, internet, video visits or customer talk. In 2019, the company was awarded a Shopper’s Choice award from the MSPA.

This award is voted for by individuals who complete shopping jobs with mystery, and it indicates that BARE was one of their favorite companies to work for.

You will be able to mention five area codes in which you want to shop in mystery when you sign up to work for BARE. If you operate and live in various area codes and want to optimize your earnings, this is beneficial.

How it works:

  1. Sign up to be a mystery shopper.
  2. Choose your language.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. Pick your country.
  5. Enter your demographic information.
  6. Read the privacy policy and contract.

Read: 9 Best Sites and Apps Like Wish for Online Shopping in 2020

6. Pinnacle

For 20 years, Pinnacle has been around. They support financial institutions by helping them boost the quality of service and revenue.

Their secret shoppers work with credit unions and banks exclusively, making it a perfect choice for those interested in finance. Becoming a mystery shopper with Pinnacle is very free.

How it works:

  1. Click the button that says New Shopper Sign Up.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. Add your basic personal information, including bank account details (so you can get paid).
  4. Answer demographic questions to help Pinnacle find the best jobs for you.
  5. Agree to the terms.

7. Quest for Best

In over 40 states in the US, mainly concentrated in the Midwest and Southwest states, Search for Best offers mystery-shopping opportunities.

Here you can see their complete map. Stuff like dining at a restaurant, bowling, and going to a movie theater are their opportunities.

How it works:

  1. Click the Become a Shopper link.
  2. Read the Independent Contractor agreement.
  3. Fill out the Online Shopper Profile, including contact and demographic information such as gender, which languages you speak fluently, if you have camera access to do hidden video shops, and if you have airport security clearance.
  4. If there’s a job in your area, Quest for Best will give you the info for the shop. If not, they’ll store your profile until a shopping opportunity is available for you.

8. Secret Shopper

Secret Shopper is a well-established business that lets consumers use mystery shoppers to collect data to better their companies.

They have been around since 1993, and with several awards, including the 2018 MSPA Elite title, they are very credible. Signing up is easy, and you choose your own hours.

How it works:

  1. Sign up to shop on their website.
  2. Choose your country.
  3. Read and agree to their Shopper Basics rules and guidelines.
  4. Complete the basic certification test that verifies that you read all the rules.
  5. Fill out your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, etc.
  6. After entering your personal information, you’ll receive your shopper ID and password. Use your ID and password to log in, then view and schedule available shops to complete.

9. BestMark

BestMark is one of the leading companies for mystery shoppers and has been around since 1986. They are a member of the MSPA and sell restaurants, hotels, and resorts with 10,000-plus mystery shop assignments every month.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Food

Based on the task that you want, the payment will differ.

How it works:

  1. Click the “Sign Up Now” button on the right-hand side of their become a shopper page.
  2. Fill in your basic personal information, demographic questions, work history, ethnicity, and create a password.
  3. Read and agree to the independent contractor agreement, guidelines, and policies.
  4. Once you submit this information, you’ll be able to see which in-person or phone/web mystery shopping gigs are available.

Be Careful of Mystery Shopping Scams

Only pick from a trusted list of mystery shopping companies

When searching for reputable mystery shopping companies, make sure you sign up for companies recommended by trusted sources.

Never wire money

If you are asked to deposit a check into your personal account by a mystery shopping company, withdraw the sum in cash, and wire it to a third party, do not do it. There is a fake check, and it is a scam.

The check through look like it has gone through and the money in your account has appeared, but it has not been officially cleared. A fake check will take bank weeks to uncover.

Once the fake check is discovered, for the amount you deposited and withdrew, you will possibly be held responsible for paying back the bank.

Play it safe and never pay someone you do not know if you’re going to wire the money back with a check.

Never pay to become a mystery shopper in advance

It is free to sign up for all the mystery-shopping companies mentioned above, and that is for a reason. If you ever encounter a mysterious shopping organization asking you to pay money to enter it, it is a scam.

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