When you think of
mystery shopping, you probably imagine going to a restaurant
and quietly checking out the environment, service and food.
You’ll get a free meal, maybe a few bucks and that’s it.
But you might be surprised by many of the other niches in
mystery shopping, some of which are more interesting and
For example, I’ve reported on being a “mystery
worshipper” for $45 per church service. You secretly rate the
church, and it uses the information to improve its services and
attract new members.
11 Unusual Mystery Shopping Opportunities
Sometimes a mystery shopping company specializes in one niche,
while other times they have several departments. Here’s a look at
some of the more unusual mystery shopping opportunities.
1. Get Paid to Enjoy Spa Treatments
Coyle Hospitality evaluates companies in travel-related niches,
and one of its specialties is
spa mystery shopping. These assignments are all over the world,
so this could be a good gig if you want some freebies and extra
income while you travel.
The company also offers hotel and restaurant assignments, but if
you just want the spa treatments, don’t worry. The sign-up page says
evaluators “may request assignments at their discretion.”
As for potential earnings, the page says “All mystery shopping
assignments pay a fee plus reimbursable expenses as directed by the
2. Make Money Going to the Movies
As a “certified field
associate” for Market Force, you go to theaters to watch
movies and trailers, to count patrons and sometimes to set up movie
posters. Some visits are traditional mystery shopping assignments,
while at other times the management knows who you are and why
you’re there. In that case, your task might be something like,
“Watch and record all advertisements shown prior to the
The pay varies, but
getting to watch movies for free in exchange for counting ads
or patrons isn’t such a bad deal.
3. Get Free Beer
specializes in mystery shopping at breweries. The company states on
its site that its goal is to “help craft beer businesses maximize
their customer experience, find new areas of opportunity, monitor
changes in their customers’ habits, and learn to grow from it.”
Secret Hoppers help in this process by providing feedback about not
about the beer they drink about the overall tasting room
To sign up, you must be 21 years or older, but you do not need
any prior experience. The FAQ section says specifics about pay will
be discussed once you are selected to be a Secret Hopper.
Read about one writer’s
experience as a Secret Hopper here.
4. Get Paid to Go to the Doctor
The Baird Group does medical mystery
As a medical mystery shopper, you’ll “pose as patients on
the phone to hospitals and clinics, or observe on-site interactions
to help us create more positive patient experiences and stronger
provider/patient relationships,” according to their careers page.
Sometimes, “mystery patients will present as patients with
symptoms of a non-threatening matter.”. The website does not
mention what you’ll be paid, but as with many mystery shopping
companies, you’ll need a PayPal account to collect.
5. Make Money Test Driving Cars
As with most mystery shopping gigs, the pay varies and can be
made as a cash payment and/or reimbursement for money spent.
6. Mystery Shop Banks
Customer Impact does financial
institution mystery shopping. As a shopper, you evaluate banks,
credit unions, and investment companies for their service,
facilities and more. Assignments are both for in-person visits and
phone call shops.
7. Evaluate Apartments
Jancyn has a division focused on apartment mystery
shopping. You pose as a potential tenant and go through the
process of looking at apartments.
Don’t be sloppy filling out the shopper
application. Jancyn says, “Mystery shoppers we engage are
evaluated for their integrity, writing skills and attention to
detail before becoming independent contractors with us.”
8. Mystery Shop Real Estate Agents
pays you to look at houses and rate the agent who shows them to
You might do phone call shops or become an “Advanced
Undercover Video Specialist” and work in the field. The latter
position requires you to get a couple of certifications first, and
page notes that you must own your own equipment to apply.
9. Get Paid to Gamble
OK, they’re not really going to cover your losses if you
gamble, but both Imyst
have casino mystery shopping opportunities. You might be evaluating
the slot attendants, the table games or the casino’s restaurants
10. Mystery Shop the Government
Shopper Confidential does mystery
shopping of government agencies and services. As a shopper, you
might use websites, make phone calls and visit offices of
municipal, provincial and federal governments in Canada and the
website says, “Typically, Shoppers receive payments of
$15-$20 per assignment, plus any expenses incurred are
11. Get Paid to Go to Concerts
“If you’re fortunate enough to snag an assignment where you
get to cover a concert, football game or another public event,
you’ll be tasked with making note of how facilities are operated
from the perspective of a patron,” the company says.
Have Fun But Be Careful
Mystery shopping scams do exist, so be careful. It’s usually a
good idea to stick with companies that are members of the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers
In any case, here are some simple rules you can follow to avoid
- Never pay to become a mystery shopper.
- Never pay to see a list of mystery shopping jobs.
- Never agree to cash a check and send money back.
You generally don’t make much money as a mystery shopper. For
most shoppers, it’s not a way to pay the bills, but a fun way to
generate some extra income and get some freebies.
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make
Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a
repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house
flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette
croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is
his favorite (so far).
This was originally published on
The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide
earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal
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Source: FS – All-News2-Economy
11 Unusual Mystery Shopping Gigs: Go to Spas, Casinos, Breweries and More