Mystery Shopping Pay
Payment is an important aspect of any job search and for mystery shoppers the subject of pay is no different.
What can you expect to make as a mystery shopper? How many hours will you work? Should you expect salary or hourly pay? When and how are mystery shoppers paid? Are there benefits? In the following section we discuss payment and the issues surrounding payment for mystery shoppers in the industry.
Hourly vs. Salary Mystery Shopper Pay
The amount of money you can make as a mystery shopper greatly depends on the type of mystery shopping job you employ. Most mystery shoppers work part time for mystery consumer providers who supply workers with assignments based on their availability. Thus, because most shoppers work on a flexible schedule they aren't employed full time to jobs where they report to an office each day. As such, most mystery shoppers work for hourly wages which change based on the amount of time they spend working on an assignment as well as the time they have available.
There are some instances however where mystery shoppers can be paid on salary or a flat rate depending on the assignment. This is usually the case when mystery shoppers are experienced in the industry, have been working for a period of time for the same company or work for independent companies rather than providers. The difference between making hourly wages and salary as a mystery shopper greatly depends on the relationship between the shopper and the company they work for. As such, if you are a shopper who has been working in the industry for years you are more likely to find a salaried job versus one that pays hourly.
Some providers pay their shoppers on assignment. In this instance regardless the amount of hours you work, you will simply be paid per assignment. This fee varies and will be discussed in your contract upon accepting a position or assignment.
There is far less information on how much a mystery shopper makes under a salaried position than for one where they work hourly; mostly in part because it is more common for mystery shoppers to work hourly. Salaried mystery shoppers are usually highly trained market research professionals or long standing employees with a company. As such, salaries for professionals can range extensively anywhere from $40,000 - $70,000 annually.
Beginning mystery shoppers can expect to be paid minimum hourly wages, or roughly $10/hr. However, once a mystery shopper is employed for a longer period of time or is asked to shop more complex assignments payment can be as high as $25/hr. Thus, the longer you are a mystery shopper, the better payment you can expect.
For those mystery shoppers who work on assignment, they can be expected to be paid anywhere from $15 - $100 on an assignment.
Mystery Shopper Benefits
Most mystery shoppers will not receive benefits for their work. It is more common for mystery shoppers who work on salary to receive benefits from the company than for hourly workers. In fact, most shoppers are considered private contractors and will not receive any benefits. Benefits such as 401K, health and dental will be discussed with your employer upon hiring and is an area of your employment you should thoroughly discuss before you begin working.
How Mystery Shoppers are Paid
Mystery shoppers are commonly paid via check or Paypal. Again the payment relationship depends greatly on your provider. Most providers are used to a variety of payment methods and shoppers are commonly offered a choice in terms of payment methods. Since mystery shopping is commonly off-site and shoppers don't report to an office daily, the most common methods of payment are usually Paypal or check.
There are popular scams involving cashiers checks and mystery shopping. Never accept money for assignments you haven't worked on or wire money to locations outside of the country to companies you know very little about.