How our Process Works

  1. Basic Certification Test

    All shoppers are required to complete our Basic Certification Test.

    • The purpose of this course is to ensure that you are well-versed in the basic requirements of mystery shopping and to acquaint you with the policies and procedures of Secret Shopper®.

  2. Personal Information

    You will need to complete a form with information about yourself, such as your name, address, date of birth, etc.

    • All pages on our site that transmit personal information are encrypted. This can be verified by the ‘https’ at the beginning of our web page address as well as the closed lock icon at the bottom of your browser.

  3. Secret Shopper® Agreements

    In order to complete the Shopper Registration process, you will need to read and agree to the following agreements: Secret Shopper Privacy Statement; Agreement for Accessing Client Opportunities and Agreement to Arbitrate Disputes; Administrative Procedures: Doing Business with Secret Shopper

  4. Shopper ID 

    • Upon successful completion of your Shopper Profile, you will be assigned a Shopper ID number. 

    • Please save your Shopper ID  in a safe place. You will need these each time you are booked.

    • Please add our domain name to your address book and safe list to ensure you receive our emails. We communicate primarily via email so it is imperative that you are able to receive them

Ethics and Conduct Policy

Understand How Humans Interact With Your Brand

  • I am at least 18 years old and understand that I must be 18 years of age or older to be a Mystery Shopper.

  • I will not fill out an application for anyone other than myself. I understand that each person must fill out their own application to become a secret shopper.

  • I agree to provide true and accurate personal information to Secret Shopper.

  • I agree to honor all confidentiality agreements and policies of Secret Shopper and their clients.

  • To avoid any possibility of bias, I will not accept any assignment to shop a business that has employed myself, a member of my household, a member of my immediate family, or any close friends.

  • I will not share information with others about which clients are shopped by Secret Shopper.

  • I will not share information with others about shopping fees and payments for specific clients.

  • In order to protect the client’s confidentiality, I will not share the results of a shop with others.

  • I will not contact a client directly.


  • A good mystery shopper is always anonymous. A shopper should be able to visit the same location more than once without being detected by the staff. Unless specifically asked to by the client, a shopper should never announce him/herself as a mystery shopper when on a shopping engagement; however, there are other ways a shopper can compromise his/her identity during a shop.

    In order to maintain anonymity during a shop assignment:

    • Make an effort to appear like any other shopper in the store.

    • Do not take any of the paperwork associated with the shop onto the premises.

    • Do not take notes while you may be in sight of employees.

    • If you need to take notes to help you remember details, go to a place where you will be out of sight, such as the restroom or your car.

    • Do not ask employees questions that a typical shopper would not ask.

    • Do not stare at nametags.

    Occasionally, clients report that a shopper was identified by store personnel. In such cases, the client does not allow the shopper to shop there again and the client might not accept a report for that engagement. If a report is not accepted, the client will not pay the shopper for the shop.


  • After completing shops, reliable shoppers submit their reports before the deadline. Of course, situations occasionally arise that prevent shoppers from completing engagements on time. Reliable shoppers contact us immediately to inform us of the situation.

    A reliable shopper will:

    • Complete the shops the shopper committed to complete.

    • Visit the correct location on the scheduled date at the correct time.

    • Carefully follow the client objectives for the shop.

    • Submit the client deliverable on time (by 12:00 pm CST on the day following the shop, unless otherwise specified).

    • Submit a complete, accurate and detailed report/client deliverable.

    • Respond to any follow-up contact within 24 hours during the normal work week.

Honesty, Integrity, and Ethics

  • The shoppers using our platform are the best in the world. They consistently submit shop results that are objective, honest, and unbiased. That’s why our client list continues to grow. These shoppers provide clients with superior actionable market intelligence (Client Deliverables). Shoppers are expected to fulfill their duties honestly and ethically. The best shoppers consistently:

    • Will not perform shops under anyone else’s name or SSN.

    • To avoid any possibility of bias, will not accept any opportunities to shop a business that has employed the shopper, a member of the shopper’s household or immediate family, or any close friends.

    • Will contact a Shop Coordinator immediately if experiencing a problem completing a shop.

    • Will not submit inaccurate information, including but not limited to falsifying or guessing information regarding something they are unsure about.

    • Understand that some companies may utilize surveillance tapes from their stores and attempt to match shopping reports with taped interactions and that a shopper’s shop behavior can be challenged if not reported correctly.

    • Will not share information with others about the results of shops.

    • Will not enlist the help of others when making observations or filling out shop forms.

    • Will not cite Secret Shopper® as an employer on official forms, such as unemployment forms. (Shoppers are independent contractors.)

    • Will not share information with others about which clients do business with Secret Shopper®.


    • Each mystery shopping engagement has a specific payment amount. The payment is clearly listed and made available to view prior to scheduling the shop. Your final payment can be a combination of any of the following:

      • Flat payment: Base payment for completing the shop.

      • Reimbursement payment: Payment for money required to be spent to complete the shop.

      • Bonus payment: An additional flat payment applied to shops as an incentive to complete them.

      • Penalty payment: Reduced payment for the shop, caused by making large errors but the shop is still acceptable by our client. It is very rare to receive a penalty for a shop.

    • When a shop requires a purchase, the client requires that you pay for the purchase at the time of the shop.

    • You may choose to spend more than the allowance noted, but clients will not reimburse you for amounts above the allowance.

      • For example, if the shop has a reimbursement for dinner for two up to $50, and you spend $58, you will only receive the $50.

      • Unless specifically stated, there is no additional payment for parking fees, tips, mileage, etc.

    • Clients will not pay for a shop when the shop report is canceled as overdue, is completed at the wrong time, or rated unsatisfactory.

    • Payments may be reduced due to late submission, poor spelling or grammar, or failure to respond to contact from Secret Shopper® in a timely manner.

    • ACH (Direct Deposit) is deposited using a staggered date based on Shopper status for the previous month’s shops.

    • If the staggered date lands on a weekend or holiday, ACH will be deposited the first business day after that date.

    • Checks are mailed out for the previous month’s shops on the 20th of every month.

    • If the 20th lands on a weekend or holiday, checks will be mailed on the first business day after that date.

    • The checks are valid for 60 days and should be cashed within this period.

    • Annual payments exceeding $600.00 must be reported to the IRS and to you on a 1099 form. This is why we must keep your Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) on file.

    • Checks are mailed to the address listed on your account on the 20th of each month for shops done the previous month. For example, a shop done in October would be mailed on November 20th. If the 20th lands on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the checks will be mailed on the first business day after the 20th.

Submitting Client Deliverables

After you have completed a shop, log in and submit your report/client deliverable by 12:00 pm CST on the day following your shop, unless otherwise specified.

        • Submitting shops after the deadline may result in a reduction in payment, the shop being cancelled without pay, and/or your account being put on Probation.

      • If you expect a problem with completing a shop on time, contact your shop coordinator before the date of the shop.

      • Excessive rescheduling or cancellations may result in your account being put on Probation.

      • After you complete your shop report/client deliverable, it is submitted to an Editor for review. The Editor reviews it for completeness, detail, and accuracy, to be certain that it meets the client’s high standards.

      • Editors work on short timeframes and would appreciate a response to their comments within 24 hours. Editors may contact you by email or telephone, so it is important that you check both your email and voicemail regularly for messages.

        • Failing to respond to contact from Secret Shopper® in a timely manner may result in your account being put on Probation.

        • You are responsible to keep your address and contact information updated in your shopper profile.

        • It is recommended that you save receipts and notes from your shops for 120 days.

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