Mystery shopping is a great way to earn a little extra cash on the side. It’s also a good way to experience things you wouldn’t perhaps treat yourself to, such as meals in restaurants and day trips out. Over the years I have signed up with many mystery shopping companies and done a fair few jobs with some of them. Here are the four main companies I use to find my mystery shopper jobs.
I’ve completed far more mystery shopper jobs with GFK than with any other company to date. They have a really easy to use online system, plenty of jobs added on a weekly basis, and are reliable payers. You could expect to find days out to cultural sites, telephone calls to major brands, and sending parcels cropping up in your ‘available’ jobs. The pay is not much (often £8 – £10 per job) but every little helps as we all know.
In the past I worked with Grass Roots a lot. Their jobs don’t seem to come in as much as they used to. However when they do they are usually well paid (£10 – £15 per job). When you get an email from them advising you of a job in your area, my advice is to jump on it quickly. I have missed out on several jobs that others have snapped up before me.
I have been getting lots of emails from Red WigWam lately with supermarket shops. Often these involve picking up one particular item from that shop. You are them reimbursed for it and of course paid for your time and effort. Average payment amounts but regular work. Red WigWam also offer other part-time jobs aside from mystery shopping.
I find the Bare International online job board a little confusing, but they do have good, regular mystery shopper jobs available and they pay fairly well.
I’m signed up to lots of other mystery shopping companies too, but the above four are the ones I use most regularly. Mystery shopper jobs are not guaranteed income. However they can be a useful source of extra cash when you need it.
Some things to bear in mind:
- Extra income from mystery shopping must be declared to the HMRC.
- There are usually very quick turnarounds to enter your details after you complete a job (usually within 24 hours at the most). Always keep this in mind before accepting any job. If you don’t upload your information within the deadline you won’t get paid, and may therefore be out of pocket if you’ve incurred expenses.
- The availability of mystery shopper jobs varies by region. Those in large cities will inevitably get more opportunities than those in rural areas.
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I’ll post again about mystery shopping. For now, I’d love to know if you’re a mystery shopper. And if so, which are your favourite kind of jobs?