My Favorite Mystery Shopping Company

Mystery Shopping


I am grateful to have worked for some great mystery shopping companies. Although there are more out there who I haven’t worked for, either because I haven’t heard about them or they do not offer jobs in my area, I can personally vouch for the following companies I am about to tell you about. Additionally, there are many companies I have had a great experiences with, but are not making the list. The companies I am about to list here- I will return to time and time again to complete jobs for.

Do not forget about regions. Remember when we established that mystery shopping can change from region to region? Do not be discouraged if you sign up for one of the companies listed here only to find no jobs available in your area. You might have a fantastic company in your area that I won’t have the opportunity to work for and write about.

My Top Pick

My absolute favorite company to work for is Corporate Research International. This company stands out to me above the rest, and I complete 80% of my mystery shops for them. They have a large database of companies that sign up for mystery shops, and for the most part, they are stores and establishments I love to go to, anyway.

But, do you know why I really love corporate international? The pay is HIGH and the reports are EASY. Unless you have to upload photographs, which can more than double a report time, their reports often take me a few as twenty minutes to complete. If you take a look at this pay history here, all of these were completed for CRI.

An overview of the pros and cons-


  • Easy Reports
  • Many establishments to choose from
  • Self-Assign Option
  • Very flexible company (I’ve had to contact them on a number of occasions with questions and issues.)
  • High pay (toward the end of the month)
  • Fast pay
  • Easy shopper grade system and fast response time
  • Short rotation requirements
  • Easy to navigate website


  • Tight turn around time (12 hours OR midnight- it’s not uncommon, I just prefer companies that allow 12 hours period.)
  • Some jobs require photographs (I still complete these jobs, but photographs always make me a little nervous.)
  • Lower pay at the beginning of the month (you have to wait for the commission to increase as the month goes on)


One area of improvement I feel CRI, and many other mystery shopping companies, can benefit from is  a better referral system. They do offer a referral bonus which is an excellent opportunity to make a little extra money, but you have to give the company your friend’s email address and they send them an invitation to sign up. I would much rather be able to provide a link. However, since I have had a few people ask if they can give me the referral bonus for my recommendation, here’s how:

Email me at and give me your Mystery Shopping email address and by that same night I will send it to CRI as a referral. They should email you with a sign up sheet, and after you complete your first mystery shop, I will get a small bonus. If you would rather just go to the company itself and sign up, I won’t be offended, I just wanted to add this for those of you who were contacting me about doing this. Thanks for your thoughtfulness, friends!

mystery shopping blog

Tomorrow I will go over a few more companies that deserve an honorable mention. Check back if you’d like more information on those.




  1. Can you send me a referral? I emailed you the other day about the interview. Thanks, I don’t think I’ve heard of this company.
    Stephanie recently posted…Chloe Bear and Her “reading”My Profile

  2. Funny you should mention that CRI is your fav mystery shopping company b/c the pay is high and reports are easy–perhaps it depends what part of the country you’re in, or perhaps I’m missing something here. I signed up w/ them b/c of your recommendation, and I’m finding them to be cheap, cheap, cheap. You had also mentioned BARE–I’m finding them to offer the higher-paying mystery shops.

    • CRI always starts out with a very low rate, and they gradually increase pay each day- at least in my area. Even if it seems like “It’s late in October, rates should be high” that doesn’t mean that the particulars company’s shopping period starts on Oct. 1st. It might start on the 15th, which means it won’t start getting really high until after the 1st of November. They should send you an email each time it increases. Keep your eye on the rates, they should get higher.

      I really like BARE too. Just wish they had more work in my region! :-)

  3. The only thing I’m not liking in this one is having to finish the course and test before seeing the rates they pay. The rates seem low, but maybe it’s still early in the month?

    • That could be. Even if it seems like “It’s late in October, rates should be high” that doesn’t mean that the particulars company’s shopping period starts on Oct. 1st. Keep your eye on the rates, they should get higher.

      As far as the test go- I know they’re kind of pain when you simply want to view rates, but once you take them, they’re done. Also- a way to bypass that is to wait for CRI to send you and email. They’ll say “____ mystery shop for $12.50″ with a link. You’ll still have to take the test to accept the shop, but at least you know the price range.

  4. Signing up for BARE. Feeling nervous because it asks for a bank account number :S HOWEVER, it says I can enter all zeros until I get my first check and then give my account. So.. I feel /better/ about it.

  5. Tara Zuena says:

    Hi! I am interested in becoming a mystery shopper. I have signed up for a few companies and haven’t gotten anything yet. I clicked on the link for the company above but it took me to a different company. are they still in business?

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge