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Can you really make money as a work from home mystery shopper?
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Can you really make money as a work from home mystery shopper?

You’ve seen the ads: “Make money as a work from home mystery shopper! No experience, easy money! Get paid to shop and eat!” So can you really make money as a work from home shopper? Well the short answer is both yes and no.

It’s true that you can make money from this work from home opportunity, but you probably shouldn’t plan on getting rich with this career. The ads will proclaim that you can work any hours you want, whenever you want and still make a considerable extra income. But they fail to tell the whole story.

You can make money, but most work from home, secret shopping companies only pay their shoppers about $10 to $20 per assignment. Some pay more and some pay less. Some companies let you keep the products you buy, some don’t. Some will reimburse you for extra expenses you incur such as gas and mileage to get you to the stores, some don’t. It really all depends on the company and the types of assignments you can get, but not many people can get rich from making $20 per shopping trip.

You can make money as a work from home shopper, but don’t plan on getting rich.

The ads tell you that you can work whenever you choose and still make easy money. Logically, however, you will only make money as a work from home shopper if you actually take on shopping assignments – there is no easy extra income if you never take on work. The time each job takes includes going to the store, completing your shopping assignment, getting home and then writing a very detailed report about your experience. You will only be paid if your report is on time and of acceptable quality. The ads fail to mention that you will actually have to do all these things for that “easy money.”

While you can pick and choose assignments, you are still limited by the number of assignments available. Can you really make money as a work from home secret shopper if you are only offered one assignment per month? Each company varies in the number of assignments they offer; some offer a lot and some only offer a few. Usually, the bigger the company and the longer they have been in the industry, the more assignments they will have available. But these companies are also the hardest to get into; they are very popular and set very high standards for their shoppers. This is something else the flashy ads fail to mention.

Last, but not least, realize that you can make money as a work from home shopper without having to pay membership fees to join. Just like any other regular job, you should never have to pay to be a mystery shopper, the companies should pay you. Shoppers are private contractors who provide a service to the testing company and legitimate companies will hire shoppers without charging them a fee. Watch out for the many opportunities advertised that charge you a fee to join their program. They are usually just listing houses for other companies offering jobs you could probably find on your own with just a little extra effort.

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