Get Paid To Shop? – How I Do It

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How I Get Paid to Shop

get paid to shop

Do you want to know how I get paid to shop? I started mystery shopping a year ago and have really enjoyed it! Below is a synopsis of one of the companies that I currently perform mystery shops for.

BestMark Mystery Shopping offers a variety of “shops” that you can sign up to perform. Depending on your geography, they have shops available for restaurants, retail stores, casinos, financial institutions, hotels and resorts.

I have personally performed multiple mystery shops with BestMark and continue to be very happy with them.  I have done retail shops at Best Buy, restaurant shops, and even automotive shops that allowed me to have the oil changed in my vehicle.

Along with their mystery shopping program BestMark also offers Auditor positions. Once you are approved you will perform compliance audits such as pricing accuracy checks, signage checks, and ensuring that products are organized and available for customers at specific retail establishments.

In fact, I was personally approved to be an Auditor in Best Buy stores, but currently our local store already has the Auditor position filled.

Get Paid to Shop Around Your Zip Code

Different geographies offer different opportunities for both mystery shopping and/or compliance auditing.

To get started just visit BestMark’s website to sign up with them. The next step is waiting to receive an email that says they have accepted your application. This usually only takes about 24-48 hours.

Once you are approved, you can log into the website whenever you want to check the shops available in a radius of 1-100 miles from your preferred zip code. It will then give you a listing of current open shop opportunities to choose from. You can then click on the “view details” link to read the instructions for that shop. On the right hand side, it gives dates available. You then would select the date and time that is appropriate for you. These are not self-assign shops, so you will have to wait a day or two to see if you have been approved to do the shop. For example, if you chose a restaurant shop when you receive the approval email, it will give you the name of the restaurant and the complete shop instructions, including any paperwork that you will need to download and read.

Shop the Restaurants

You can get paid to shop in restaurants too! The restaurant only reimburse you for the amount spent for a meal, up to a specified limit.  This also means that you will be responsible for paying for the meal up front and then BestMark will reimburse you after the shop has been completed and your observations have been recorded, per their instructions. In most cases, the dollar amount allows enough for two people to eat a complete meal, beverages, (non-alcoholic in most cases) tax and a tip, as long as you calculate ahead of time and stay within the budget. Ordering beyond that is always an option, but just be aware that you will be paying for the additional expenses out of pocket. In addition, restaurant shops require a written narrative of your observations and you will be required to upload your receipt. Reading all the directions before submitting your observations is a must to ensure that you fill it out correctly. I find that their instructions and forms are clear and easy-to-use.

Once you complete a shop, you can expect to be paid in the following month. The compensation you receive for performing mystery shopping with BestMark varies, but it is generally in the $10-$15 range, with some restaurant reimbursements being higher, around the $20-$25 range.

On some occasions, a scheduler may contact you directly by phone if they have a job that needs to be done quickly, or if they have a deadline to meet.

Minimum Shopper & Auditor Criteria for BestMark
  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • Must have reliable transportation
  • Must have good written communication skills
  • Must be able to focus on details
  • Must have full internet access (at home or at work)

If you choose to get paid to shop, it should not cost you anything! There are multiple companies that will claim to pay big bucks for mystery shopping and a lot of those companies will charge YOU to supposedly shop for THEM. If you’re in doubt, look the company up on your local Better Business Bureau website. Legitimate mystery shopping companies will have the BBB (Better Business Bureau) logo on their website or you can look on the MSPA | Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

While mystery shopping likely will not provide you with a huge income, it can provide you with some extra cash or a night out to a restaurant without compromising your budget. Remember to add the estimated cost of the mystery shop to your budget as you will pay for the shop and then get reimbursed after meeting their observations and survey requirements.

Depending on your geography and companies that you work with, you can dive into mystery shopping full force and do a lot of shops or just splash around a make a little extra cash.

Happy Shopping! ~Angela

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  1. I have been mystery shopping for 10+ years! It’s especially great when I get to do shops at Kroger, Ingles & Publix….between mystery shopping and coupons, I am able to save bunches of$$…yay!!

  2. Thank you for the information. I just signed up for this.

  3. what site do you use for publix?? i love my mystery shops 🙂

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