We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Mystery Shopping Jobs?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Secret, or mystery, shopping is a process that involves patronizing various types of retail and other establishments on behalf of a client. The object of this type of activity is to supply the client with an honest critique of the general operation and the quality of the goods and services offered at the establishment. There are mystery shopping jobs that focus on specific settings, such as restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and even business services such as telecommunications. Mystery shoppers are usually reimbursed for any purchases they make in course of an assignment, as well as a fee for their services.

In the case of restaurant mystery shopping jobs, a client supplies the mystery or secret shopper with the name and location of a particular restaurant, with instructions to evaluate specific aspects of the business. The shopper may be asked to order specific menu items and rate them for freshness, taste, and presentation. It is not unusual for the shopper to also evaluate the general cleanliness of the establishment along with the efficiency of the staff. Many fast food restaurant chains contract with mystery shoppers to make sure franchise owners are complying with company standards and projecting a proper image for the company.

There are also retail mystery shopping jobs. With this application, secret shoppers are charged with the task of shopping at different retail establishments. As with the restaurant, the shoppers are sometimes asked to buy specific items, or to ask employees specific questions. This can make it possible to gauge such important aspects as the efficiency and product knowledge of the staff, as well as determine if the prices charged for goods are competitive with other stores in the area.

Hotel or hospitality mystery shopping jobs are also common today. Shoppers are responsible for evaluating various aspects of a hotel, such as the ease of checking in, room service, the various amenities offered, and quality and cleanliness of the rooms as well as other areas of the hotel and grounds. Often, the shopper is responsible for proactively making use of different hotel services, providing the client with feedback on how well those services function.

There are even business service mystery shopping jobs in which shoppers try services and rate them on behalf of a client. One example is with teleconferencing services. The mystery shopper establishes an account with the conference call provider and proceeds to use each of the telecommunication tools offered as part of the service. The results can be relayed to the mystery shopping client, with a recommendation to either do business with a particular provider, or to avoid using a given service at all costs.

Many people confuse mystery shopping jobs with personal shopping jobs. There is one significant difference between the two professions. A personal shopper is focused on securing specific goods and services for a client, and has full authority to establish accounts in the name of that client, if the client desires to establish an account with a given vendor. Mystery shopping is different, in that the client’s name is never mentioned to a vendor, and the shopper has no authority to establish accounts for or make purchases that are billed directly to the client.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.