With rising inflation and increasing living costs in Canada, looking for a side hustle is the new normal. If you’re looking for exciting ways to make extra income in Canada, consider mystery shopping.
Mystery shopping Canada is a way to earn extra income by acting as a secret customer to help businesses improve their products or services. Some say that mystery shopping is a scam and you can’t make a single dollar.
This is not true. Those people rush into mystery shopping without learning the basics and make the worst mistakes of their lives. However, following the right steps can earn extra income while gaining exposure as a mystery shopper in Canada.
As a former secret shopper, I will work you through the best companies and jobs to apply for if you want to gain extra money with mystery shopping Canada. At the end of this post, you should understand the pros and cons, job opportunities, and the application process of becoming a mystery shopper in Canada.
What is a Mystery Shopper?
A mystery shopper or secret shopper is a person that disguises his/herself as a consumer to evaluate the quality of products or services on behalf of a company. After visiting a store, a mystery shopper reports their findings to the company upon which they receive payment or reimbursement.
Your findings and report as a secret shopper help businesses see what they are doing right and what they must improve.
What I like about mystery shopping is that it’s a flexible and exciting job. Even though it can’t replace your primary income, it supplements your income and helps you achieve your financial objectives fast.
However, your success in this job depends on your steps to get there. I don’t want you to make the mistakes many have made. I present to you the 12 best companies and jobs for mystery shopping Canada.
12 Best Mystery Shopping Companies in Canada
Where can you find mystery shopping jobs in Canada? At a mystery shopping company. Unfortunately, with many scams or fake mystery shopping companies in Canada, it’s easy to get confused about which mystery shopper jobs to apply for.
But you don’t have to worry! Here are some of the legit mystery shopping jobs in Canada:
1. Secret Shopper
This is one of the best online mystery shopping companies with an online presence. As a result, you can apply for the mystery shopping job online or through the Secret Shopper App on Google Play Store or App Store.
Furthermore, Secret Shopper is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) member. As such, you have nothing to worry about working here.
2. A Closer Look Mystery Shopper
A Closer Look was established in 1994 as a mystery shopping shop with coverage for restaurants, motels, and retail stores. A Closer Look has a 10-question test on its application. But the questions are simple, and you can take up to 30 minutes to answer them.
Moreover, the company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Hence, you have nothing to worry about. They have worked with over 200,000 mystery shoppers and continue to help businesses get better at their operations.
3. Premier Service
Premier Service is a leading mystery shopping Canada. The company was founded in 1991 and focuses on Canada’s service, retail (clothing, furniture, stores, car stores, gas stations), manufacturing, and distribution industries.
Furthermore, Premier Service is a member of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA). Thus, you have nothing to lose working here.
Premier Service tests sales associates’ ability, response to customers, efficiency, and knowledgeability. They rate the services offered to customers by sales associates.
Premier Service doesn’t require any signup fee, and you can apply for assignments immediately after you are approved. If approved, you are paid monthly using PayPal. You can apply for a mystery shop, merchandising, brand ambassador, or price and data collection.
4. Mystery Shopping Canada
Mystery Shopping Canada Inc has been around since 1996. The company has over 58,000 shoppers across Canada. They are based in Vancouver.
With Mystery Shopping Canada, you earn extra income, free meals, and merchandise through secret shopping. They offer mystery shopping assignments like price comparison, competitor, integrity, and telephone and email mystery shopping.
Although Mystery Shopping has no BBB rating, shoppers’ reviews paint it excellent.
5. Sensors Quality Management (SQM)
Sensors Quality Management (SQM) is a multi-national mystery shopping company founded in 1993 with a major focus in Canada. Accordingly, SQM covers transportation, accommodation, retail, and entertainment industries.
Unlike other companies, this company reimbursed your services instead of paying cash. Their pay varies with the assignment. While some assignments do not require you to purchase anything but pay you a flat rate, some may pay a flat rate and other benefits like meals at a restaurant.
Some assignments do not pay you but allow you to save 50% off items like train fare, airfare, or bus fare when you complete travel inspection assignments.
6. We Check
Based in Ontario, We Check was founded in 1997 and focuses on Canada’s financial, restaurant, government, retail, and automotive sectors. What we like about We Check is its wide range of missions far beyond other mystery shopping companies in Canada.
Also, We Check is a member of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), so you have nothing to lose. They provide customer experience and satisfaction measurement services to organizations and companies worldwide.
Their clients include Ford, Health Canada, and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). When approved, you will receive emails when mystery shopping assignments are available in your area.
7. Field Agent
Field Agent was founded in 2010 and uses shoppers’ smartphones to help brands, retailers, and agencies grow and improve their services. They serve over 2,000 brands and organizations worldwide and operate in seven international markets.
You can download and apply through the Field Agent app. Through the app, you can answer questions, take photos and share your opinions on assignments.
8. iSHopFor Ipsos
iShopFor Ipsos is a branch of the globally recognized market research leader, Ipsos, where it offers mystery shopping services. Ipsos offers Ipsos Mystery Shopping App and portal, where shoppers can view tasks and assignments available in their area.
To apply, you must be at least 18 years and have a PayPal account to receive payments. Your assignments will require receiving calls, emails, chats, and audits. You may also need to do mystery store visits to banks, hotels, and retail stores.
9. PerformaLogics (iSecretShop)
PerformaLogics joined the Intouch Insight family in 2020 to form the iSecretShop brand. Intouch Insight is a Canadian and US mystery shopping company founded in 1992 and headquartered in Ontario.
They have consistently been rated A+ on the BBB. The company provides mystery shopping services to retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, and hospitality.
Intouch Insight makes payments through PayPal every second Friday of the month. However, the payment schedule varies for each client.
Based in Quebec, Lanla is a market research company founded in 2002 with over 200,000 mystery shoppers in Canada. They offer mystery shopping services to brands from transportation, finance, retail, and real estate.
With Lanla, you can earn between $10 and $40 for every assignment. Payments are made using direct deposit. Sometimes, your assignments are online surveys with no payments, but your name will be listed in the draw to win cash, gift baskets, and many more.
BestMark is one of Canada’s largest mystery shopping and customer experience measurement companies with an A+ rating from BBB. The company was founded in 1986 and is a member of the MSPA.
BestMark offers mystery shopping, intercept interviewing, and compliance auditing. They are based in Minnesota and hire shoppers in Canada.
To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old. You receive your payments via PayPal, gift cards, or direct deposit when approved. Also, you are paid twice every month.
12. Market Force
Market Force is a mystery shopping company founded in 2005 and operates in the US, Canada, France, Spain, and the UK. It is a member of MSPA with an A+ from the BBB.
They offer a mobile app on iOS and Android, which shoppers can use to complete assignments. Their assignments include movie theatres, grocery stores, retailers, gas stations, restaurants, etc.
Benefits of Mystery Shopping Canada
Here are some of the advantages of secret shoppers for business:
- Customer Feedback: Any business that wants to succeed must hear from its customers. Secret shoppers evaluate a company’s product or service on behalf of its real customers. Thus, with critical observation and detailed analysis of secret shoppers, businesses can quickly identify areas where their customers need improvement.
- Evaluate Staff Performance: Mystery shoppers improve customer satisfaction and help businesses identify areas they need to improve the performance of their staff. Furthermore, secret shopper evaluations could help a business determine which staff to promote, demote, or fire.
- Watch Competitors: Secret shoppers help businesses observe the performance of their competitors with a major focus on strengths and weaknesses. Businesses can improve their services or product to gain a competitive advantage in the market by doing so.
Downsides of Mystery Shopping Canada
On the other hand, here are some of the disadvantages of secret shoppers for businesses:
- Insufficient Data: One of the biggest disadvantages of secret shoppers is that their data are often insufficient for businesses to conclude. As a result, businesses need to perform additional research to find solutions to particular problems, thus, spending more time and resources.
- Subjective Analysis: Not all secret shoppers’ findings are objective. Some findings conflict with facts because the observation and evaluation processes were dominated by personal bias. As a result, businesses could make costly decisions by implementing secret shopper findings without further research.
How to Be a Mystery Shopper in Canada?
So how do you become a real mystery shopper in Canada? It’s so simple! If you are 18 years or older and have a smartphone or computer with internet access, you can become a secret shopper in Canada.
Once you meet all these requirements, you can follow these steps to join the league of secret Canadian shoppers:
Step 1: Apply
First, you need to identify a mystery shopping company currently accepting applications. There are many mystery shopping companies in Canada, and every mystery shopping company has different requirements and roles. So you want to apply for a company that suits your qualifications.
Step 2: Go Shopping
Once your application is approved, you can start shopping based on the missions assigned to you. Depending on your location and the mystery shopping company you’re working with, you may have more or fewer shopping missions at a time.
However, ensure that you understand the mission instructions before starting any shopping. Else, your observations will be different from what is expected of you.
Step 3: Report Your Findings
After observing and evaluating the product or service you’re assigned to inspect, you can now report your findings to the mystery shopping company. As a result, you want to ensure that your report is always objective and detailed to guarantee your future shopping missions.
Step 4: Get Paid
Once you submit your mystery shopping findings, you’re entitled to payment or reimbursement. Depending on the mystery shopping company, you may receive your payment through direct bank deposit, check, gift card, or PayPal within two to four weeks after mission completion.
Final Thoughts on Mystery Shopping Canada
Mystery shopping is one of the growing industries in Canada. As a mystery shopper in Canada, you can earn extra income by doing what you like. However, your success in this position depends on your commitment and output on the assigned shopping missions.
Providing subjective analysis and not being punctual will limit your chances of earning extra income in the long run. So before joining this industry, ensure you’re equal to the requirements and roles.
But if you’re unsure if mystery shopping is perfect for you, refer to these means of earning extra income from home and online.
All the best!
FAQs on Mystery Shopping Canada
Is Mystery Shopper a Good job?
Yes, this is a good job because you can earn extra income by practicing your hobby. However, mystery shopping is only a means of earning extra income. It’s not a replacement for your primary income.
How Do I Become a Mystery Shopper in Canada
You must have the required skills and apply them to a mystery shopping company to become a mystery shopper in Canada. Some required skills for becoming a secret shopper include excellent communication skills, objective analysis, detailed-oriented, flexibility, and punctuality. Above are the step-by-step processes of becoming a secret shopper in Canada.
Are Mystery Shopping Jobs Legitimate?
It depends. Some mystery shopping jobs are legitimate, while others are scams. However, you can determine a scam and a legitimate mystery shopping job through reviews and accreditation by top bodies such as the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA).
How Much Do Mystery Shoppers Make?
It depends on the mystery shopping company and the mission accomplished. However, you can earn up to $100 for each mission and up to $32,175 annually.
Do Mystery Shoppers Pay Tax?
Yes, mystery shoppers are categorized as independent contractors. Thus, their earnings must be included when filing their tax returns.
If you have more questions on mystery shopping in Canada, let me know in the comment section.
Hi, I'm Adeola Adegoke. I am a licensed Insurance Broker in Manitoba, and I hold a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (with a major in Financial Modeling) from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Tanzania.
Also, I have a second master's degree in Statistics from the University of Regina, and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Manitoba.
The primary purpose of Money Reverie is to help everyday Canadians make better financial decisions by providing up-to-date financial news and information, reports, product reviews, and government programs.