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A Mystery Shopper Checklist to
Start Your Business

Here is a mystery shopper checklist to get you ready for the business.  Unlike most businesses, the mystery shopping business is one where you don't need a lot of money or a lot of tools to get started. 

Mystery shopping is a great opportunity to make extra money in your spare time.  You can work as often as you want and when you want to.  You don't have to quit your current job, drop out of school, or make any major adjustments to your normal living routine.  The majority of people who do this business do it part-time. 

You’re adding some income opportunities in your spare time.

Here are a items you should have on your mystery shopper checklist.  Some of these items will be pretty obvious and something many people have already.

Mystery Shopper Checklist

1.       You need a computer, cell phone, or some way to access the internet.  (It’s hard to do business of any kind without one.)    All mystery shopping assignments need to be entered online.  There will be a program to enter your information and write any narratives that are asked for. 

2.       You need a scanner for your receipts.    An all-in-one printer (Copy/FAX/Scan) is something mystery shoppers use for receipts and upload them in their reports.  The receipt usually shows the date, time, store number, and how much was spent on the mystery shop.  It’s essential for restaurant assignments. 

You can also print your assignments and have them with you if you’re unsure about some details.  Mystery shoppers who perform audits are many times required to bring their assignment information to the store.       

3.       You must have a vehicle.  Unless you want to do only phone call assignments, you’ll need a vehicle to get around to each location.  The type of car only matters when you are doing a mystery shop for a luxury home or hoity-toity hotel/restaurant.  A car that’s been banged up may be a dead giveaway that a mystery shopper is there instead of someone interested in buying a $500,000 home. 

The money that you need to have handy will be for buying a meal at a restaurant or a ream of paper from an office supply store.  Some retail clothing assignments may require you to purchase an item for $100 or more, but return that item an hour or so later.  This is something you can put on a credit card temporarily. 

Beware of the fake check scheme in mystery shopping.


Once you get rolling with the business, you'll want to make your own mystery shopper checklist to keep track of your assignments.  You must have a spread sheet program to keep track of all of your assignments. 

The spread sheet you see here is something I created on my own.  The mystery shopper checklist can be a simple table to show –

- location you shopped

- date you shopped

- how much money you spent

- how many miles you travelled

- amount you were paid

- date you were paid

Mystery Shopper Checklist

You can keep a running total at the top of the spread sheet.  This makes it easy to look at and great to have when doing your taxes the following year.  Keep all receipts and miles travelled in a large envelope. 

There are some smart phone apps that mystery shoppers use to verify their location during an assignment.  This works much better for an office supply store audit where you have to buy a soft drink or candy bar to verify that you went to the right location.  Many mystery shopping companies are allowing this in place of purchasing an item.  

Another important item for the mystery shopper checklist is your motivation and desire to do the work.  If you don’t have that, you probably should not get into this business.   

Learn about the legality of mystery shopping.

Learn more about the mystery shopping business from my book (and eBook) titled, "Take That Job And Mystery Shop It!"

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