Why Secret Shopping is Better Than a Part-Time Job

Are you looking for a flexible way to make extra cash? Read why we think secret shopping is better than a part-time job! And it makes MUCH MORE money!

Last year, I brought home an extra $570 by secret shopping.

Although that may not sound like much, that was for about 15 hours of my time. If you have an extra hour a month, you too can reap the awesome benefits of secret shopping. And, if you have more than an hour to commit, you can bring home way more money than I did!

What is Secret Shopping?

Secret shopping is the act of performing tasks “secretly” as a means of rating companies on certain predefined areas. Often, you’re performing everyday tasks, buying common items, and partaking in normal transactions. You stay anonymous, make mental notes, and report back on how the shop went.

I’ve tried several secret shopping companies and in my two years of secret shopping, and there’s only one I would recommend to others. BestMark Mystery Shopping is a reputable secret shopping company that pays you to shop undercover at retailers, car dealerships, banks, and many other businesses.

The best part? Any purchase you make is reimbursed!

I’ve recently heard of secret shopping companies that don’t live up to their claims but trust me, you don’t have to worry about that with BestMark. BestMark has an A+ rating with the BBB so you know it’s legit.

Here are the top 5 reasons why secret shopping is better than a part-time job.

Secret Shopping Pays up to $40 an Hour

I completed a total of 15 shops last year. I spent about an hour of total time for each secret shop. That includes reviewing the materials prior to the shop, completing the shop, and filling out the survey afterward.

Some shops may take a little more time and some shops may take a little less time. But I can confidently say I’m spending an hour max on average for my shopping.

(Note: For my first few shops, it took me a little extra time to understand what I needed to look for and how the shops were evaluated. After your first couple, you’ll easily be averaging an hour per shop as well!)

If you do the math, $570/15 hours equates to $38+ an hour! Very few full-time jobs pay that kind of money.

The types of purchases you make during your shop are oftentimes things you already have to buy, like oil changes or makeup, but these purchases are reimbursed.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Make Extra Money that you Probably Haven’t Tried

Secret Shopping Offers More Variety than a Part-Time Job

Normal part-time jobs have a specific set of responsibilities every day. Whether you work in retail or the financial services industry, your daily job probably won’t change that much. That’s not the case with secret shopping.

Sure, you’re still shopping, but every opportunity is very different. One day you might be a customer at a bank and the next day you might be getting an oil change. You might test out a new tablet at a computer store or have a free dinner while you evaluate your experience.

I’ve done a variety of activities for secret shops – which are often fun! In addition to what I’ve said above, I’ve also test driven brand new cars, tried out new makeup, looked at TVs, computers, cameras, and speakers.

I never get bored because each experience is so different!

Secret Shopping is more Flexible than a Part-Time Job

One of the best benefits of secret shopping is that you can do it on your own time. If you don’t have any time one week or month, then you don’t have to schedule any shops. If you are someone with a little more free time in your schedule, you can do as many shops as they offer. It’s completely up to you!

Oftentimes, you have a large window to complete your shop in as well. So you really can cater your schedule to allow time for a secret shop. In fact, I’ve completed many shops on Saturdays. So it really is the best of both worlds.

Lastly, several different shops allow you to bring the entire family along. So, if you’re doing an oil change as part of a day of errands with the family, this allows you to fit it right in. If you already wanted to eat out as a family and there’s a restaurant shop, it can help subsidize your overall bill. So, not only are you making money without time away from the family, you can help pay for what you’re doing.

Sign up for BestMark Mystery Shopping today to see what shops are available!

Secret Shopping is Super Easy

Secret shopping pays you for tasks that you probably already do.

Do you get your oil changed and perform regular maintenance on your vehicle? There are secret shops for that.

Do you go out to eat? There’s a secret shop for that.

BestMark stands out from other secret shopping companies because does a great job of preparing you for your shops. It provides you with detailed instructions for your shop and a sample survey of exactly what questions you will be asked so there are no surprises. What could be easier than that?!

Secret Shopping Allows you to Make a Difference in the Industry

I can attest first hand that your secret shopping makes a difference for those companies you shop at.

I once shopped at a technology chain that was notoriously known for poor customer service. My secret shop was no different – it felt like they were doing everything wrong during my shop. I waited a long time to be noticed by a salesperson and once I was recognized, he didn’t answer my question and went back to what he was doing. The worst part – there were at least 5 salespeople chatting together within 10 feet of me. It was a HORRIBLE experience.

I wasn’t surprised – this was a common experience for this chain.

I ended up electing a secret shop at that same location 8 months later and I had a completely different experience. Several salespeople approached me within minutes of walking in the door. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

I’ve since shopped there two more times and each time has been an amazing experience. To say it feels like a completely different store would be an understatement.

I can’t help but think my feedback from my first experience (along with the feedback of other secret shoppers) altered the way they approached business. Your feedback is taken seriously and impacts the company’s focus on customer service. It’s incredibly rewarding.

If you’re looking for a way to make extra money on a flexible schedule, sign up for BestMark Mystery Shopping today!


Have you tried secret shopping? Share your favorite things about secret shopping below!


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Are you looking for a flexible way to make extra cash? Read why we think secret shopping is better than a part-time job! And it makes MUCH MORE money!

Kaila is a working mom, blogger, and self-help enthusiast. In her free time, you will find her crafting or playing board games with friends. She loves spending time with her hubby, Matt, and baby boy, Cooper.
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  • How many shopping opportunities did you find in your area? I signed up for BestMark a couple of years ago and I never did any assignments because they all seemed to be for oil changes (and you can only get so many) and most of the locations were fairly far from where I live. I just wondered if maybe I was just looking at the wrong times or maybe if there just aren’t that many opportunities in my area.

    • Hi Ashleigh! I’ve noticed it ebbs and flows. Sometimes there will be 5 shops available, other times there will be 45. I live about 15 minutes north of a mid-sized metro. It might be a regional thing? Glad to get this feedback from someone else who has tried BestMark!

  • I have a friend in San Diego that always had bad experiences mystery shopping, but maybe that was just the company she worked with. I may give it a try. Besides, my car needs an oil change.

    • Hi Linda! I’ve heard of many horror stories as well! Thankfully, anyone I’ve heard who uses BestMark hasn’t had bad experiences like that! If you try it out, we’d love to hear about your experience!

  • I used to secret shop and I liked it a lot, but I did get burned out on it. Now that I have noved, I think I may start again since there will be different opportunities.

    • Hi Trish! That’s also why we shop sparingly so we don’t get burned out as quickly. I’m sure you’ll have new opportunities in your new location!

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