Is Shadow Shopper a Scam? (Updated!)

Watch this episode on YouTube:

Listen to this episode on SoundCloud:


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?

Updated for 2020:
Sadly, due to COVID-19, Shadow Shopper has closed its doors. Read on for more information about Shadow Shopper and the difference between Mystery Shopping Companies and Assignment Services.
Don’t forget to check out the video above!


Shadow Shopper is not a mystery shopping company.  No legitimate mystery shopping company would ever charge you the joy and privilege 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!

Sign up for the Work at Home FAQ newsletter and enter to win monthly giveaways like free books, classes, or telephone/Skype consultations!

Disclaimer: Links to products and services throughout the website, videos, and blog may or may not contain affiliate links. This means, we may or may not earn a small commission from sales originating through this website. We would not recommend any product that we wouldn’t use ourselves, regardless of whether we earn commission or not.

Additionally, while we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence, the content provided is a means to educate and inform and should not be a substitution for professional advice for your specific situation.


Leave a Reply