Like to Shop?  Looking for Extra Income? Consider Being a Mystery Shopper!

mystery shopper

There’s a large and growing number of side hustles and gigs to make some extra cash. Whether you want something for serious cash, or just fun, just a little job sleuthing will find the perfect fit for your personal situation. But if you like to shop AND you’re looking for way to add some money to your bank account, you should consider being a mystery shopper. Here’s some of the pros and cons of mystery shopping.

What’s Great About Being a Mystery Shopper

There’s plenty to like about mystery shopping. Here’s three of our favorites.


When you’re a mystery shopper, there’s no 9 to 5 schedule. No timeclock. No set breaks or lunchtime. It’s up to you, within the specifications of the assignment, when you’ll get your work done. You’re in charge of your time and work.


Shopping . . . and getting paid for it. Seriously? What could be easier?!


“Mystery shopping” is more that just shopping. Mystery shoppers purchase items, eat at restaurants, make inquiries, do returns, interact with store workers, and more. In person, or online, or on the phone. So every assignment might be a little different.

e-commerce business Extra Cash Flow

What’s Not So Great About Being a Mystery Shopper

Nothing is perfect in this world, and mystery shopping is no exception. So while there’s plenty of upside, be aware of these potential downsides, too.

Variable Income

You’re not on a salary. Each work assignment is offered with a set fee, but there’s no guarantee how many assignments you’ll receive, or how many will fit with your own personal schedule. So while it’s great for extra income from your extra time, it’s probably not a full-time career.


Yup, there’s paperwork. You’re being paid for your opinions and for information gathering that helps businesses improve their products and services. So they require that you do all the paperwork associated with the assignment.


Be aware that there are scammers out there who pretend to be mystery shopping firms. They usually want a “signup fee” or “membership processing fee” before you’ll be “put on the active list.” Do a Google search on any company you’re considering, including any published reviews, the Better Business Bureau, or social media.

How to Get Started

You’ll want to find a reputable firm to get started in mystery shopping. As mentioned above, there are some “companies” out there who are not legitimate mystery shopping firms. So do a little homework, and be fully informed before signing on with a company.

Being a mystery shopper can be a fun side gig! Happy shopping!