Mystery Shopper

Size up the customer experience at shops and restaurants.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $107,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Mystery Shoppers do?

Imagine being paid to shop or eat. Well, if you’re a Mystery Shopper, that’s what you do. Corporations, market research firms, or individual companies hire you to figure out how the customer experience is at different stores and restaurants.

Your job as a Mystery Shopper doesn’t work like a normal shopping trip though. That means you don’t just buy something and leave when you’re a Mystery Shopper. Instead, you get a feel for the way the store works.

You might ask a few workers some questions to see how knowledgeable they are about the product, or how friendly they are to customers. You might also check out the way they display merchandise to see whether it’s neat and presentable. You might even scrutinize the cleanliness of the store, from the floors to the bathrooms. Before you start, you usually get a checklist of things to look for, or specific items that your company wants to know more about.

The purpose of all this is to see if those in charge need to make changes. When you finish with a visit, you write up a report detailing everything you saw and experienced. With this information, owners of stores and restaurants can improve. They might increase the number of staff members to enhance customer service, enforce stricter rules on cleanliness, or change the way they advertise different deals.

The prospect of making money shopping or eating might seem like a dream job. But when looking for one of these jobs, keep an eye out for scams. Some of these scams make you pay to shop, or ask you to cash bad checks and forward the money.

Should I be a Mystery Shopper?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Secret Shopper, Setter-Up, Shop Steward

    How to become a Mystery Shopper

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Mystery Shopper-related education!
    Schools close to

    Careers Similar to Mystery Shopper