Is Shadow Shopper a scam?

Shadow Shopper Scam

Image courtesy of Shadow Shopper

Hey Queenie!

I found a company called Shadow Shopper and they said that they could get me started in mystery shopping, but they charge a fee.  I remember that you said that you should never pay to shop, so I just wanted to know if they’re legit or not. 

Help me out?

-Shoppin’ Sandra

Hi Sandra,

Shadow Shopper is not a mystery shopping company.  No legitimate mystery shopping company would ever charge you the joy and priviledge of working for them.  Shadow Shopper is an assignment service for mystery shopping companies.  How it works is that mystery shopping companies will post their jobs on Shadow Shopper for free, and then Shadow Shopper passes those shops onto the mystery shoppers who have signed up for their services.

Shadow Shopper is not a scam.  They provide a service to mystery shoppers and for mystery shopping companies.  They do not actually have clients, send out assignments or pay you.  Think of them as a Craigslist job board specifically for mystery shopping…that charges you.

Now, people argue back and forth whether or not Shadow Shopper is worth the fees they charge.  I do personally know Mystery Shopping company owners who use the service, in addition to the free industry message boards.  So, you may get a few assignments that may have slipped through the cracks.  But, in my opinion, you can get plenty of assignments through the free message boards…plus once you’re signed on with a company, they’ll start sending you emails as well.

Some mystery shopping job boards charge, but also just scrape the listings from our free industry job boards, so you’re getting second hand information. By the time you receive the notice of an assignment, chances are it’s already been filled.  Shadow Shopper is not one of those scraping sites.  (Although I’m sure they do still pull assignments from other places)

The fee for SS is pretty nominal, so if you wanted to try it out and see if it’s worth it to you, you certainly can go for it! Remember, because it’s a business expense, it is tax deductible. :)

Good luck and happy shopping!

 Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company.  Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!

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I have been mystery shopping for a while and that isn't the case at all. I sign up and a bunch of different sites all free. I either self assign or ask to be assigned to the shop I chose. I do the job get approved and get paid. I don't pay for job listing or any or that. I work from home full time and mystery shop part time its the best decision I could have ever made. There are also a lot of legit companies hiring for at home people to do customer service jobs like arise and skyes just to mention a few. Im just saying I just wanted you to know whats out there 

Queen Buzzy
Queen Buzzy moderator

@felicia524 Hi Felicia, I'm not sure where you think I'm incorrect. Shadow Shopper does indeed charge for mystery shopping assignment listings, and you don't have to sign on with them to get assignments from other companies. You can certainly sign on with mystery shopping companies themselves to be put into their databases. (I've been a mystery shopper, scheduler, editor, trainer, and company owner since 1999!)

And yes, there are a TON of other companies that hire people to work at home and do flexible types of work. Thanks for giving a shout-out to Arise and Skyes! They're just two of over 300 companies I list in my book, "I Got Scammed so You Don't have to!"

Thanks for your comment!