I usually make around $150 to $200 a month from mystery shopping.
Side note: If you are interested in the many other ways I earn extra money, check out my Extra Income page on my blog.
I use mainly Bestmark for my mystery secret shops. I’m not sure what other companies are good and reputable mystery shopping websites, but I know for a FACT that Bestmark is a legitimate mystery shopping website, so you can trust me when I say that.
Last month I didn’t make too much because not a lot of “good” shops were offered in my area. Lately, I’ve been a little more picky with the shops that I sign up for also.
What I consider a worthwhile shop for ME:
Either an online shop or phone call shop
If I have to drive, it’s close to somewhere I’ll be
Something I’ll use. I love doing Estee Lauder shops because I always love free makeup.
Restaurant shops, because I have to eat, of course.
Of course, what’s worthwhile to you and me might be different. When I first signed up for mystery shopping (sometime last summer I think), I literally signed up for everything. I made decent money, but it wore me out. The amount of surveys that you have to do is so repetitive that it makes you want to throw your computer at the wall.
Sometimes surveys take just a minute, but sometimes they literally take an hour. Restaurant shops usually take a little longer than others because usually you are grading every little detail.
Some examples of mystery shops I’ve done include:
Restaurants. This ranges from cheaper restaurants where I’m reimbursed for around $30 worth of food, all the way up to nice steakhouses where I get $100.
Dealerships. Bestmark has a ton of dealership shops available, but I only have done the phone call and scheduling services online secret shops.
I usually do about 4-5 of these a week and these are the easiest shops. You don’t have to drive anywhere and the surveys literally take one minute. And you get paid around $5 for them. Although recently they’ve lowered the payment to only $3, and there’s a ton more work involved. I had to cancel around 3 or 4 shops because they didn’t make it clear enough about the amount of work that I signed up for. And for $3, I’m not really willing to do too much.
They also have dealership secret shops where you go in and pretend you want a car. These usually pay around $20. This is something I’ve never done, and they have plenty of these available for everyone to do. I’ve never done this because car salesmen scare me. I’m not ready for thousands of annoying phone calls and I’m afraid that I’d be stuck in a dealership for an hour while trying to run away from the salesperson.
Retail. I mainly do Estee Lauder. I’ve done a lot of these. I’ve gotten foundation, lotion, toner, face wash, concealer, lip gloss and so on, all for FREE! And these aren’t sample sizes, I’ve probably gotten over $200 in stuff, plus gotten paid around $10 on top for each shop as well.
I’ve also done a couple of Best Buy shops. These are easy too. You just survey a certain department (takes like a minute), and then you can just buy something small like a candy bar so that they have your receipt for proof that you were actually there and performed it. Best Buy shops usually pay around $13. Not a ton, but the Best Buy is along the way home from my work so I just pop in.
This is a mystery shopping check from one week’s of mystery shopping.
The highest paid shops I do are usually for restaurants. I’ve done a couple of nice restaurants where I had to eat over $100 worth of food. Crazy! I’ve also seen Hotel mystery shops, but they’ve never been on a good day for me, so I’ve never been able to sign up.
Also, if you find that you cannot do a shop that you sign up for, all you do usually is contact your scheduler and say you need to reschedule or cancel. Try not to do this too often though. These schedulers will remember you, and if you’re good to them, they will give you good shops, so remember that!
Mystery shopping money will NOT make you rich. I want to make that clear. It’s just a nice form of side income, where I can get things I want for free! What I make from mystery shopping, I add to my vacation fund. So it’s a nice little addition every month.
If I want to eat at a nice restaurant that I would usually go to, then YES I would love to do a secret shop there. Those are always the greatest shops because you are paid to have fun.
Do you secret shop such as through Bestmark? Any tips?
Also, if you join Bestmark, please say I referred you! My ID is MO4999. You can join Bestmark by clicking here.
If you are new to my blog, I am all about finding ways to make and save more money. Here are some of my favorite sites and products that may help you out:
Cut your TV bill. Cut your cable, satellite, etc. Even go as far to go without Netflix or Hulu as well. Buy a digital antenna (this is the one we have) and enjoy free TV for life.
Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I earn over $30,000 a month online through my blog and you can read more about this in my monthly online income reports. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
If you are still in college, I recommend you check out Campus Book Rentals. This website allows you to get your textbooks for cheap. I almost ALWAYS rented my textbooks and it saved me a ton of money!
Lower your cell phone bill. Instead of paying the $150 or more that you spend on your cell phone bill, there are companies out there like Republic Wireless that offer cell phone service starting at $5. YES, I SAID $5! If you use my Republic Wireless affiliate link, you can change your life and start saving thousands of dollars a year on your cell phone service. I created a full review on Republic Wireless as well if you are interested in hearing more. I’ve been using them for over a year and they are great.
Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 gift card bonus to Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls!
Save money on food. I recently joined $5 Meal Plan in order to help me eat at home more and cut my food spending. It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free too) and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well!
Look for coupon codes. I search for coupon codes for everything. Today, I have two for you. I have a $20 Airbnb coupon code and a free taxi ride with Uber. Both are great services that I have personally used.
I highly recommend SoFi for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using SoFi which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include American Consumer Opinion, ProOpinion, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
Invest. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission. Plus, you will receive up to $150 for FREE when you use Motif Investing when you sign up under my link.
Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is something I don’t use as much, but I do occasionally earn Amazon gift cards with very little work. Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up today!
Try Digital Voice. Another one you may be interested in related to Swagbucks is Nielsen Digital Voice. Digital Voice is a part of Nielsen, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. All you have to do is surf the web and you may be able to start earning money.
Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
Find a part-time job. There are many part-time jobs that you may be able to find. You can find a job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), Monster, and so on.