Alternative Income: Mystery Shopping

by Andy Hough on March 17, 2007

One of my alternative streams of income is mystery shopping. This is not a very lucrative job. Many of my mystery shops amount to little more than a free meal. I mainly do these mystery shops as a diversion not as a way to seriously make money.

As an example I did a mystery shop earlier this month that paid $11 but I had to pay about $7 for my meal out of the $11 leaving me with only about $4 actual profit. When you add in the time spent entering the report and faxing the receipt you’re really not making much money for the time invested. This is why I only do mystery shops at places that are close to me and where I would normally conduct business anyway. There are exceptions, I’ve been paid $100 for mystery shops but the high-paying shops are very rare.

If you are interested in doing mystery shops do not pay for information. The way I got started is by reading the mystery shop page at Look at their list of mystery shop companies and read their mystery shop forums and sign up with the companies that interest you. That is how I signed up with the 3 different mystery shopping companies that I do work for presently.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mystery shopping company February 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Thanks for your great article. I love the Volition site as well! I agree you should not have to pay for information.

2 dielle-blairturner April 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm

my name is dielleturner

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