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How To Become a Mystery Shopper

If mystery shopping is new to you and you would like to know more about becoming a secret shopper, I will share with you how I went about becoming a mystery shopper.

I might be able to save you some time and trouble in the process.
I happened to stumble upon the mystery shopping field out of curiousity when I found a site with legitimate mystery shopping companies.

Until then, I did not realize that becoming a mystery shopper was so easy to come by. I thought, for some reason, that these secret shopping opportunities, were a "secret."

I had seen a lot of the fishy ads about becoming a mystery shopper and paying to learn how to become a secret shopper.
For those of you interested in really becoming a mystery shopper, I urge you to never fall for the mystery shopping scams.

I will explain to you as briefly as possible how to go about finding mystery shopping assignments step by step the way I did without the mistakes I made in doing so.
On my first assigment, I did not know much about mystery shopping, so I was really lucky not to have made a mistake.


I urge any newcomer to visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association official website.
They are also referred to as the MSPA. You can find the link here or the actual url is .

This is the the most recognized mystery shopping association available. There are a few others, but this is the association which offers MSPA Silver and MSPA Gold Certifications which are recognized by most mystery shopping companies as professional certifications.
Please keep the following points in mind:

-It is recommended to attain atleast the MSPA Silver Certification, but getting certified is not a requirement to start performing mystery shops.

-The MSPA Silver Certification costs $15.00 and I will say that even if you are wanting to just try a few shops and see if it is for you,

this silver certification quickly pays for itself, but if you are not looking to spend a dime to get started, which is totally understandable,

I urge you to read the "Code of Professional Standards and Ethics Agreement" on the MSPA website. You can go to that link here

-You will find a lot of information that you might not realize goes in to becoming a mystery shopper.

-There are different types of shops that mystery shopping companies have available. I had to learn by trial and error to choose these assignments carefully.

You have to see if the pay is worth the amount of detail to report, the pay period of the company, and whether or not you are required to make a purchase.

If you are required to make a purchase, do they reimburse you for the purchase? If they reimburse you for the purchase, is the pay period reasonable?


So that this page is easy to read, I am breaking this into numbered steps. At the top of this page and at the bottom of this page are links to go directly to the

mystery shopping companies directory. This is where you will find a huge list of mystery shopping companies to apply to. Note: I have screened these companies

as best I can and there are several which I have shopped for, but use your best judgement when applying. I personally never shop with anyone requiring a fee and you

should not find any of the companies listed on this site that do. Please contact me on the Contact Page if you do run into this and I will remove the link.

Please Read These Steps:

1.) Search Job Boards And Read The MSPA Code Of Ethics: Chances are if you are reading this, you are just wanting to find out if becoming a mystery shopper is for you. If you would like to try out a few shops, it may save you some time to just read the code of ethics so that you understand mystery shopping. You can find that here. It is very important to read this page. After reading the code of ethics, you can go to the mystery shopping job boards to see what shops are in your area instead of diving in head first and signing up for all of the companies listed, which is a project in itself.

The first job board is through is a great mystery shopping resource. To go to the volition job board, click here.

Simply enter your location and other information necessary and you will be given the results for mystery shopping company assignments in your area.

The other job board is through This is the direct link from the MSPA website, which is the site that the MSPA goes through to post jobs.

Jobslinger also has several tools for mystery shoppers. Through either of these links, you can gain access to available assignments in your area.

2.) Record companies you are applying to: If you have done this and found that mystery shopping is for you or if you are like I was and just want to go ahead and dive in, you might find it beneficial to set up a recording system for applying to and signing up with the secret shopping companies.

This can help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed in the process. After signing up with the companies, you will see which companies have many assignments available in your area and which may only have a few or periodic assignments.

3.) Card catalog companies you are signed up with: After I got signed up to the secret shopping companies, I created a card catalog system in alphabetical order.

I wrote the name of the company on the top of the card and my log in information on the card. This is a cheap way to organize mystery shopping companies you are contracting with. Simply purchase an index card box, a package of index cards, and some dividers.

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