Mystery Shopping – How do you Become a Mystery Shopper in the UK?

Mystery Shopping – How do you Become a Mystery Shopper in the UK?

Mystery shopping is one of the fastest rising side hustle jobs for people looking to earn extra money in the UK. It’s also a method used by many companies and businesses to help them improve customer experience.

Customer satisfaction is the leading factor influencing the growth of companies in the UK. Research has indicated that most customers are willing to spend more to get good customer services. Thus, if any business is good at customer services, the customers will keep coming back and attract even new ones.

In this regard, companies are always looking to hire people who can secretly give accurate and factual feedback on products and services they offer- typically, this is what you do as a mystery shopper.

This article is a beginner guide aimed to introduce you to mystery shopping in the UK.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is a method used by marketing research companies where people are employed to go undercover as typical customers. They secretly evaluate the quality of the entire shopping experience and report back to the company managers.

In return, the company can know how the business is operating normally without owners’ supervision and evaluate areas to improve on to attain high customer satisfaction. On the other hand, the mystery shopper can make a few pounds and get free goods in exchange for the feedback.

What does a Mystery Shopper do?

Mystery shopping is a straightforward process. Once you’re accepted for an assignment, you’ll get a brief on the expectations and time frame for the project.

When you’re ready, you appear in the designated place, such as a restaurant, if you’re an undercover eater. You order your meal and eat as you observe and take mental notes with the main aspects of the brief in the back of your mind. Inspect certain areas such as customer reception, serving time, the deliciousness of the food, wonkiness of the table, cleanliness and sanitation.

After the visit and evaluation, you must write a detailed report based on facts and not opinions covering all the aspects you’ve examined. Don’t shy off to include any comments in your review, be it positive or negative.

The last step is claiming back your expenses by simply uploading a photo of the receipt on the company’s website. Within a few weeks, you’ll get the money credited to your bank account.

How to become a Mystery Shopper?

The first step is to get a legit company to work for. You can get one through online research or from friends’ recommendations. The common way to determine if the company is legit or not is to establish if there’re any sign-up fees charged. Genuine companies don’t ask for any registration fee and hence if they’re for the cash, go back and make sure that it’s legit.

The second step is to sign-up; the registration process may vary from one company to the other. But basically, you’ll be required to provide your personal information and financial details. You’ll also be required to fill in a questionnaire about yourself.

The third step is doing an English reading/ writing test, which you’re required to pass. It would help if you were focused when doing this since the questions can be a little bit tricky.

The last step is applying for assignments. Apply for projects that are enjoyable to make this process fun. Since you’ll not be getting significant compensation, you need to do things that you need or like doing. If you like eating, apply for restaurant assignments and if you need specific items at a store, apply for such.

How much do Mystery Shoppers get paid in the UK?

Mystery shoppers are paid depending on the job they handle, not hourly payments. The amount of money they make dramatically varies from one assignment to another depending on frequency, company and location.

Mystery shoppers can get between £ 8-£10 for simple assignments and up to £100 for complicated tasks.

Can Mystery Shoppers keep their purchases?

Yes, many companies allow mystery shoppers to keep what they buy and in most cases, this acts as compensation for the assignment. Therefore, it’s necessary to purchase items you need so that you’ll save the money intended to buy them if you’re to keep them as your compensation.

What are the best Mystery Shopping companies to work for in the UK?

The following are our top picks for the best mystery shoppers companies to work for in the UK.

iShopFor Ipsos

It has very wealthy assignments covering the whole of UK both in suburbs and bigger cities. It has an easy-to-follow registration process with generous payments for completed projects. The only downside of this site is that they require detailed well-written reports, which might consume much of your time.

Market force

This is one of the most well-known UK mystery shopping sites with over 300,000 registered members. It has a variety of assignments ranging from restaurants to visiting an optician. The payment is low and in most cases, you only get reimbursement for items you buy.


It’s a well-established micro-tasking company whose most assignments involve going to shops in your location and taking photos of the product on shelves. The advantage of working for this company is that you’re not required to travel much as you can select any store within your locality from the chains provided. No purchase is required and the payment is usually around £8- £10 and may also add bonuses.


This is perfect for anyone looking for online mystery shopping tasks. It has a variety of online tasks for shoppers, including testing apps and purchasing items online. The payment is made monthly and you’re required to send an invoice once your balance has reached the payment threshold.

Top tips for Mystery Shoppers

  • Start with a reputable company that has a built solid reputation.
  • Have reasonable expectations when it comes to earning and compensation.
  • Before proceeding, first establish if the fee and reimbursement is worth your time investment.
  • Before committing to a specific assignment, determine how much time you have to accomplish each task and select one that fits into your schedule and meets your needs and desires.


Mystery shopping is a great way to make extra income. The steps involved in signing up are easy and within minutes, you’ll see yourself getting recruited. Note that Mystery shopping shouldn’t be your primary source of income as the compensation is relatively little. If you want to increase your income from mystery shopping, though, you should register with several companies. Also, being punctual, attentive and dedicated will effortlessly turn you into a successful and good earning mystery shopper.