Get paid to shop, dine out or stay in a hotel – Money tip #211

1 min Read Published: 27 Feb 2013
mystery shopper
Earn money while you enjoy yourself

Believe it or not it is possible to get paid to dine in a restaurant or shop in your favourite store.  Companies, ranging from restaurants to retailers, pay mystery shoppers to try out their services and products and report back on their experiences.

Most of this work is contracted through mystery shopping agencies, although some companies (John Lewis for example) run their own mystery shopper programmes. While some agencies will pay you to visit a restaurant, shop or stay overnight in a hotel other assignments may be telephone or postal based. Obviously the aim of a mystery shopper is to appear like any other customer so that staff are blissfully unaware that you are assessing them. While it may seem strange that a company would pay you to mystery shop the insights they receive are invaluable.

How to get involved

There are lots of mystery shopping agencies which you can sign up to. Some are generalists others specialise in individual industries.

To get started, you can register with mystery shopping agencies such as

But there are plenty of others out there.

How much can you earn?

There is no standard rate as it depends entirely on the assignment. But generally you can expect to earn between £5 and £30 per task plus expenses. Although it is possible to earn a couple of hundred pounds for assignments (such as hotel stays) that lasts a few days. But remember that any income must be declared to HMRC.

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /