What Is Mystery Shopping

Get paid £40-50 for 1.5 Hours' Work Mystery Shopping

We research some of the UK's largest companies. We don't ask you to buy anything, just to test products and services out to see what they are like and then report back to us.

You will get paid for each assignment that you complete, or for helping us find new mystery customers.

A typical assignment would involve looking at different motor insurance providers' web sites or maybe calling their call centres (just to get a price).  You report back to us how the experience was, but you are not required to actually buy the insurance. We then pay you £40-£50 for about 1.5 hours' work.

Think this might be for you? Or think you may have friends who might be interested? Then Sign-up today!

Click Here to Sign Up as a Mystery Shopper Free


What Is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is something a lot of people do to make extra money.   Put simply, companies pay a lot of money to train their staff to treat customers properly - and the job of a mystery shopper is to act like a spy and report back if they're doing their job properly.

Mystery shopping companies provide mystery shoppers to companies, then they analyse the data and provide them with a report.  From the report the company will know if their training is working, or if their staff need different training.  It's all anonymous too - the staff never know you are a mystery shopper.

A typical assignment will require you to turn up  between certain times, time how long it takes you to be served, buy certain items or ask certain question - and note down the responses.  If you are asked to buy anything then the cost of this is reimbursed and you get to keep what you bought usually.

Many large companies use mystery shoppers.  I've had many a KFC or MacDonalds burger - all free!  I've also done mystery shopping of estate agents, where I had to register to be sent property details and then report back what details were sent to me and when.  Another popular one is to make an appointment at a bank to ask about savings accounts and report back what advice you were given and which savings accounts you were offered.

Mystery shopping can be done by 1000s of companies though - I've even turned down free drink and food in pubs before where the mystery shopping assignment was to go and buy a drink and order food and report back how promptly it arrived and if it was hot and tasty. 

There are no fees to join the market research companies listed below in our free mystery shopping companies list, so why not join a few.

Where Are Mystery Shopping Jobs?

Mostly, mystery shopping jobs will be in towns.  As it is shops, pubs and restaurants that want the mystery shopping to be done, it stands to reason that there will be more assignments where there are more shops. 

Are There Any Age Restrictions for Mystery Shopping Companies?

Most will want you to be 18 to register, but then each assignment will have different criteria.  Some will require you to do the mystery shopping alone, others will want you to take a friend.  If an assignment says you need to go between 2-4pm on a Tuesday to do it and you have to be dressed smartly and be alone, then you can't turn up at 3pm on a Wednesday with 4 kids in tow... they're looking for specific situations to be reported on.   There will be something for everyone though!

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Free Mystery Shopping Companies List

Free List of Mystery Shopping Companies - UK

Here is a free list of legit UK Mystery Shopping Companies. I have spent many hours researching these and compiling this list of mystery shopping companies for you. 

There are companies  online who have much larger lists than this, they make you pay for access to their list.  However, why not try the free (legit) companies on my list - they are major companies within the UK.  See how you get on before you 'invest' in buying a list (even if it does have 200-400 mystery shopping companies). 

Any list of mystery shopping companies can change at any time, so some of these might not be accepting new people right now and 2-3 of them might have changed their website so the page has moved. But it's free, so that's good, right!

Which Mystery Shopping Companies Are Best?

If you are looking for mystery shopping jobs, then nobody can tell you which companies will have the most jobs for you.  Mystery shopping jobs are done based on your area and demographics. e.g. they might have a job for somebody who is female and aged 18-30 today, but tomorrow be looking for people who are male and aged 30-50.  Mystery shopping companies respond directly to their customers' requirements, so you might also find there are seasonal trends for some products or in some areas.

Apply to all the mystery shopping companies and see what they have got!  I've had many a free meal out, with friends and alone, on mystery shopping jobs - and I've eaten more than my fair share of High Street burgers too!  I've taken cars for test drives, bought shampoo at chemists ... and the list goes on.  It can be fun!


ABa Quality Monitoring Ltd

ABA: Research Counter Intelligence

Ace Field Work - no longer operating

Amber Arch. Amber Arch mystery shopping pay you monthly by cheque. They will notify you of jobs by email.  To get paid, you request a payment when you're logged into your account.

Assosia Ltd. Payment by Assosia is direct into your bank account by BACS.

BAI / Bare International. Bare pay you the month following when you've undertaken your mystery shopping assignment.  You need to log onto their website and pick your own jobs.  Note: Bare pay in Euros.

http://www.theblueapple.co.uk/ Blue Apple - no longer operating - You'll receive notification by email when there are mystery shopping jobs available.  You're paid by BACS, direct to your bank, within 4 weeks of doing the assignment.

Blue Star

Brand Driver

Business Blueprints . Business Blueprints mystery shoppers are paid the month following their mystery shopping assignment. Most mystery shopping jobs are in retail and restaurants - ideal if you're looking for a free lunch!  Most of the time you'll be notified of mystery shopping jobs by email - but if they're up against a deadline, or short of people, they will phone you.   Payment is by BACS, direct into your bank account.

Carousel Marketing

Catalyst - You'll need to log into their website to find out what mystery shopping jobs need doing.  Rates of pay will show in Euros, but you'll usually be paid in £s, by cheque, at the end of the month following the month in which you did the mystery shopping assignment.

http://www.ccauk.co.uk/ - Centre for Customer Awareness (CCA) - do not seem to be operating

Checkout UK Mystery Shopping - mostly telephone mystery shopping jobs.

Coyle Hospitality Group (CHG) - This is for the London area only.  Mystery shoppers are required for hotels, bars, restaurants - and even spas and cruises.  Once you've been to one venue as a mystery shopper, you cannot do another mystery shop assignment there again.  The report requirements are quite stringent, with exceptionally long and detailed reports being required within very short timescales - only advisable if you've got the time and experience of less arduous mystery shopping assignments beforehand or you'll be over-whelmed.

Corporate Research International


Customer Perspectives Ltd - They will telephone you when they have a mystery shopping assignment in your area.  You're usually paid within 2-3 weeks.

http://www.directexcellence.co.uk/ - Direct Excellence - no longer operating

DQM Group/Data2

edigitalresearch.com/ - eDigital Research - no longer operating. With eDigital, you'll be mystery shopping online - so checking and testing websites for usability.  The mystery shopping assignment will require you to visit a website, buy an item - and then give feedback on how good/back, complex/easy it was for you.  Mystery shoppers are paid monthly by cheque.   You'll need to log onto their website and check your emails there for any jobs.  Payment is monthly, by cheque.

http://www.enigmashopping.co.uk - Enigma Mystery Shopping - no longer appear to be operating.

www.esa.co.uk - ESA - no longer operating.. Mystery shoppers are paid directly into their banks via BACS monthly.  To get the mystery shopping assignments, you'll need to log onto their website, although you will receive an email when there are assignments to be had. 

www.fieldfacts.com - Field Facts Worldwide - not operating.


www.frontlinefocus.com/ - Frontline Focus - longer operating. Frontline focus is an international company, with mystery shoppers required across the world, including the UK.  When they have a mystery shopping assignment, they'll send you a text and/or email.  Payment is monthly.

FS Marketing UK

GAPbuster - probably one of the biggest and top mystery shopping companies in the UK.  To get a mystery shopping job, you'll need to log onto their website and grab yourself one. Payment is monthly, by BACS, directly into your bank account.

GFK NOP. Mystery shoppers are paid monthly. You'll need to log onto their website and allocate yourself to any mystery shopping assignments you want to do.  Payments are issued twice a month.

www.grgresearch.com - Grass Roots Group - not operating. Mystery shoppers are paid 3-4 weeks after each assignment, by BACS. You'll need to log onto their website and allocate yourself the jobs you want to do. 


Helion Research - This is a fairly new entrant to the world of mystery shopping.

Infinite Dreamz

Infinite Field Marketing

Insight Market Research

Insight Retail Consulting Ltd

Intelligent Marketing Solutions (IMS) Ltd

International Service Check

JKS Mystery Shopping & Training

JRA Research

http://www.lorienresearch.co.uk - dp not seem to be operating

www.logobrand.com - Logobrand - not operating.

Maritz - UK and US applicants. Fill out a profile to get your username/login.

Market Checker - Founded in 1993, their clients are located throughout the UK, including City Councils, Government Agencies, Blue Chip organisations and companies large and small.

Marketing Sciences

MBA Field Marketing

Mintel Services

www.mystery-shoppers.co.uk - Mystery Shoppers UK - not operating - You can undertake their web-based mystery shopper training programme then take a test based on that programme, which, if you are successful, leads to the award of a Certificate and priority in being offered assignments in your area.


MSS Research

Mystery Customer Evaluations. Mystery shoppers are paid between £6-20 to visit hospitality, retail and leisure outlets. Costs are also reimbursed. Mystery shoppers are paid directly into their bank via BACS on the 30th of each month (you're paid the same month you do the assignment in).

Last updated: February 2013E&OE

MSList: Part2
http://www.navigatorcm.com/ - Navigator Customer Management. No longer appear to be operating.

Network UK

http://www.cybershoppers.nop.co.uk/ - NOP Research Group. No longer operating.

http://www.oldenough2drink.co.uk/ - Old Enough 2 Drink - aged 18-20 only, alochol buying related assignments. Do not seem to be operating any more.

On-Site Research

Optimum Contact Mystery Shopping Jobs. Optimum Contact also use Telephone Researchers. Mystery shoppers are paid directly into their bank account about two weeks after each assignment.  You'll be notified by email when there are mystery shopping assignments to be done, then you need to log into their website to allocate one for yourself.


http://www.pcha.org.uk - PCHA - are now Genesisha *ONLY for tenants to PCHA, to mystery shop their tenant services


Performance in People - recruiting visual, home-visit and telephone mystery shoppers. Also, mailing list adressees required (you are a 'seed' on a mailing list, usually to check it's not been sold/re-used by somebody who bought a mailing list to use once.  You'll need to log onto their website and allocate jobs to yourself.  Payment is by BACS, into your account, in the month after you did the assignment.  This one's best for people equipped to do video work.

www.phoenixmarketresearch.co.uk - Phoenix Research - not operating

PMI FM now Fieldsmart.

Precision Research

www.quaestor.co.uk - Quaestor - not operating

React Surveys - You'll receive an email when there are mystery shopping assignments.  To get paid, you'll need to log into their website and request payment; payment is usually a fortnight after you did the assignment.

http://www.theredagency.co.uk/ - Red Agency. No longer appear to be operating.

REL Field Marketing

Retail Active - these work solely in the premium brand and prestige business sector.  They require mystery shoppers for restaurants and top quality services.  You'll need to log onto their website and allocate the jobs to yourself. To get paid, you'll need to produce an invoice and email it to them, they'll then send you a cheque in the post within the month.

Retail Eyes, now Marketforce - You'll need to log into their website and allocate the jobs to yourself.  They pay twice a month, by BACS, direct into your bank account.

Retail Maxim - You'll receive an email or text when there are mystery shopping assignments available.  Payment is monthly.  If an assignment requires you to spend more than about £20, then they'll send you money for that before the payment date, so you're not out of pocket too long.

Retail Rapport Ltd


www.segreto.co.uk - Segreto - not operating

Service Measure - pubs/hotels/restaurants - mostly in Scotland. Get paid to mystery shop pubs, restaurants and hotels. Preference is given to people with industry experience/management experience, but it only takes 2 minutes to apply, so if it appeals... go for it (I did). You'll receive an email when there's an assignment available.  Payment is by cheque.

Service Science

Spot Check NI - Northern Ireland

Stratagem MarketChecker

www.surefm.co.uk - Sure Field Marketing - not operating

Survey Solutions


Tern: Become a Mystery Shopper - Tern will email you when there are mystery shopping jobs, you'll then need to log onto their website and choose what you want to do.  They pay monthly by BACS, direct into your bank account.

TNS Global. Mystery shoppers are paid at the end of the month following the month when the mystery shopping assignment was undertaken. You'll need to keep logging onto their website to check for mystery shopping jobs, then allocate the ones you want for yourself.  TNS pay by BACS, direct into your bank account.

UK Field Marketing

Zoo People

The mystery shopping companies above are only the tip of the iceberg as more and more mystery shopping jobs are requested by companies keen to keep up their competitive edge and ensure their staff are doing their job properly!

Mystery shopping is a great way to get free things

When you shop, you're sometimes buying food, drink, goods in shops - AND - legitimately be paid to receive them.  Myster Shopping Companies will always reimburse you the cost of any purchases they ask you to make on the assignment, plus you get paid.

Note: Where links have been removed, the original page has been removed which might indicate they rewrote their website, so some are still active, you'll just have to see which mystery shopping companies have simply moved their sign up page.



Last checked/updated: February 2013


Mystery Shopping Definitions

Like any industry, the terminology used with mystery shopping companies and market research companies is specific, so firstly you need to know what the terms mean:

Mystery Shopping

You are paid to follow a specific brief they send you, then report back on the service you received in shops, food places, leisure services and even on telephone helplines or websites.


The brief might include how you are to dress (smart or casual) and will usually specify the time of day and day of the week they want you to go.


You are paid to go to stores on behalf of a specific manufacturer, to promote their product range. You might have to move other products out of the way, to increase the shelf space they're getting, or set up additional displays. You might be asked to add new point of sale material, or check the existing POS material is still out, of good quality and being used. Sometimes you might be there to set up a new promotional stand.



You are paid to go to a store on behalf of the manufacturer and report what is there. Typically, you'd be asked to look at stock levels, signage quality, measure the space the product takes up, measure the shelves, compare how much space a particular competitor has. You will be given a detailed list of things to check - and a form to fill in.


Market Research

You are paid to speak with members of the public that meet a set criteria (e.g. women with children, men aged 30-50, couples) and ask their opinions on various things. Often, market research jobs mean you will be standing outside in the street, but there are a number of in-store market research jobs too, or it could even mean knocking on doors in residential areas. Each job is different.



You're paid to give away free samples in shops or show people how products work. There are even demonstrators who attend festivals and shows to demonstrate products or give away freebies.


So you can see that overall mystery shopping work and market research work are different parts of the same need: to find customers, find what they want, show them what we have - and then check that the customer is being treated properly and having a good customer experience. It's all essential work for a company that wants to have a good reputation.
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