Mystery shopping services allow average everyday people the opportunity to do something that they love while being paid for it. Not only can one get paid to shop, but for the more altruistic sorts, improving how companies work with consumers has its own appeals.

Finding secret shopper opportunities can prove daunting for potential mystery shoppers. Many companies want to be paid a finder’s fee to connect potential secret shoppers with legitimate companies that provide mystery shopping opportunities.

Rather than paying a fee to a middleman, finding secret shopping services is really rather simple and can potentially be less time-consuming, and definitely less costly, with a few resources. Here are a couple of legitimate mystery shopping companies that specialize in connecting qualified mystery shoppers with companies that are looking to improve their companies’ overall customer experiences.

GapBuster Mystery Shopping Opportunities

GapBuster is a legitimate mystery shopper company that does not charge any fees for joining. As a matter of fact, GapBuster works with potential shoppers and matches them with appropriate companies looking to improve customer satisfaction.

Registering for GapBuster is simple and quick. After being qualified as a secret shopper, the mystery shopper will be provided a log-in number and password. Then the mystery shopper is matched with potential companies: for example, one can become a restaurant mystery shopper at McDonalds. After a certification test is passed, the mystery shopper can proceed with the assignment.

BestMark Secret Shopping Employment

BestMark, another legitimate secret shopper company, has over 80,000 mystery shoppers and auditors and completes 500,000 field visits yearly. There is no fee for joining BestMark as a secret shopper, and BestMark works with a wide variety of companies, from restaurants to hotels to banks.

The application process is a bit more involved with BestMark than it is with GapBuster, although it still is fairly simple and non-invasive. After applying with this company, potential shoppers are notified via email that their application is being processed.

Unlike GapBuster, BestMark does not send a log-in code and password that allows users to search for available jobs. Rather, BestMark notifies the applicant when a job is available for them in their desired area.

Distinguish Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies from Mystery Shopping Scams

First and foremost, legitimate mystery shopping companies should not charge for the services that they provide. After determining that no fee is required, a prospective mystery shopper should look for an authentic MSPA logo, which declares that the company is a chartered member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

Each job should be investigated thoroughly by the prospective shopper before agreeing to take the assignment. Some assignments will cover expenses and pay a fee as well, and in return may require a detailed report on the experience to be delivered in a short period of time. It is the duty of the prospective shopper to understand all aspects of compensation and responsibilities to avoid disappointment.

Mystery shopping can be fun, profitable, and a great way to help companies improve future experiences with consumers. Making a difference in the world of retail coupled with personal gain can lead to personal enrichment on many levels.