Get Paid For Mystery Shopping

It’s a question I am asked a lot, can you get paid for mystery shopping?

And where can you apply to do this?

This guide should help you weigh up the pros and cons of mystery shopping and help you decide if it is worth you doing it…



You are paid to be a customer by a business to rate their customer service and/or products

It is a great way to top up your income

You can earn up to £30 plus expenses 

The perks of the job are free meals, free products, free overnight hotel stays and much more

It is flexible work and you can easily manage it to fit around your family

It is an easy way to earn money

You can usually take a friend, the kids or even your partner with you

Most assignments can be done within 30 minutes

Anything you buy when on a mystery shopping trip is yours to keep and you’re reimbursed

When reviewing restaurants, you normally have pick of the menu and you can choose anything you like – again, you will be reimbursed

You can sign up to as many mystery shopping websites as you like, that way you are more often to have regular jobs

Most mystery shopping websites reward their most active, longest serving members with the best, highest paying assignments

If you live in a large city, you are more likely to have a higher number of assignments

Also think about taking part in market research with companies like Saros. You can earn over £100 an hour for your time!


You have to be very discreet and not make it public knowledge you are a mystery shopper. The industry is surrounded with confidentiality and you may lose your membership if the company find out you have been sharing the information.

You may not get picked for many assignments, so don’t pin all your hope on hoping this industry will make you a quick buck

You need a good memory and write long reviews making sure you don’t miss any detail

You have to have very good English and be able to write up your experience pretty fast – most of the time it is within 24 hours

A printer and scanner is needed so you can print and scan any reports you do for the mystery assignment

All receipts and paperwork must be kept and stored safely and securely by yourself incase the company need to refer back to it at any point

Taxing your earnings

You will need to register with HMRC as self employed and do your own tax reports

You can make up to £10,600 before you have to pay tax on any earning – this includes any other job you may do

You may also have to pay National Insurance contributions, speak to HMRC about this

Who are best to sign up with for mystery shopping jobs?

Grass Roots


Payment usually within 4 weeks

You will receive a detailed brief before any job

You can choose the jobs you would like to do


There is a big difference in pay for some jobs – you have to be fast to get the well paid jobs

This could be a pro or con – assignments are listed by postcodes near you – so you won’t be able to travel too far for a job or you may not be able to turn your hotel mystery stay into a little getaway

Assignments need to be completed within 24 hours

Gap Buster


You write your report online so it is easy to use

You are paid monthly directly into your bank account

Choose your own jobs

Gap Buster work with big, well known brands so you get the chance to work with these brands too


You aren’t always paid for an assignment with Gap Buster, your expenses are only covered

You have to choose your own jobs

You have a tight 8 hour deadline to complete assignments 

Retail Maxim


Jobs are allocated to you via email and text message

You are paid monthly, you can be paid sooner if expenses are over £18

You can do other tasks such as carry out customer surveys


Most of their assignments are to be done in ‘office hours’

Again, there is a big difference in pay rates per assignment

You must be outgoing for your role with Retail Maxim as a lot of their assignments are ‘complaints’ so you can see rate their complaints procedure and how it is handled

Market Force


You are reimbursed for anything you spend plus a payment per assignment, usually between £5-£10

You get to choose your own jobs

Get paid twice monthly directly into you bank account


You need to keep an eye on the website so you can choose the best assignments

You often need a professional email address rather than your bog standard hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc



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