Get Mystery Shopping Jobs through Mystery Shopper Scheduling Companies

One way to get more mystery shopper jobs is to work with independent scheduling companies. These services often make assignments for many mystery shopping providers, and can be a great source of shopping opportunities. Here are some common questions about mystery shopping scheduling companies.

What is a scheduling company, and how is it different from a mystery shopping company?

Scheduling companies, as the name implies, perform scheduling services for mystery shopping companies. That means that they assign shoppers on behalf of mystery shopping companies.

Why would a mystery shopping company use a scheduling service?

There are several reasons a company may choose to outsource scheduling. They may not have a staff of schedulers, the scheduling company may have a more extensive shopper data base, or their regular schedulers may not be able to handle a large special project.

A mystery shopping company may outsource all of their scheduling, or may use an outside scheduling service only for certain client accounts or certain geographic regions.

When a scheduling company assigns me, am I working for them or for the mystery shopping company?

Usually, you are actually working for the mystery shopping company. However, the scheduling company is responsible for assigning the shop and making sure it is completed so most or all of your interaction will be with the scheduler. (In some cases they may also edit the report, but that is not typical.)

You will probably enter the report on the mystery shopping company’s web site, and payment will almost always come from the mystery shopping company, not the scheduling company.

Should I apply directly to scheduling companies?

YES! Scheduling companies may recruit and schedule for many different mystery shopping companies, so being in their shopper data bases will make you eligible for many assignments. On more than one occasion, my first assignment for a company was obtained through a scheduling service, although I later did many jobs that were scheduled directly by the mystery shopping provider. Two of my favorite scheduling companies are:

Kern Scheduling Services/KSS International

Coast to Coast Scheduling Services

Cathy Stucker is the author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual.


  1. Joanne says

    Thank you so much for the information that you freely give. I signed up today with Beyond Hello and already received my first shop. I’m excited about this new beginning and looking forward it to it with lots of anticipation.

  2. Rosa Banks says

    I have found all of your information to be extremely helpful. I logged on to my computer to look up MSPA, hoping to find an online course? I decided to check my email first and found your email. Thank you for all the information you provide. I think purchasing your book would be a great idea. I have started shopping in March and to date I have done 11 shops and have 5 scheduled for April. I will also be working with a company starting at the end of April. They are hiring me on a Quarterly basis and will need me several times a week. I believe that getting MSPA certified is the way to go because even though I am getting work some of the companies do say that the best work is given to IC’s that are certified. Some of the job boards are not even available if you are not certified. Also, since you know lots of companies and their credibility what can you tell me about Palm Scheduling Company. Thank you so much!

  3. Cathleen Cole says

    I’d like to know what are the companies to register with to do mystery shopping in the Coeur D Alene Idaho, Spokane Washington area?

    • Cathy Stucker says

      Cathleen, it is difficult to impossible to determine which companies may have jobs in your area. Clients sometimes move around, so a company that has no jobs for you today may have many next month. The best advice is to apply to as many legitimate mystery shopping companies and scheduling companies as you can.

      Good luck!

  4. Lynn says

    Hi Cathy!
    Thanks for all the information you provide! I’m sure you are a lifesaver for many of us! Do you, or anyone else, know of any legit Mystery Shopping companies that specialize or have phone shops? I would like to do those initially, as I have extensive sales/customer service experience on phones and a very limited budget now.I haven’t done any shops yet, because A Closer Look wanted to start me with an expensive fine dining shop I couldn’t afford and they said it may well go over the fixed reimbursement. Also, will getting a silver certification enable me to start with a phone shop company? If you can suggest some, I’ll try. Thanks again!

    • says

      I don’t know offhand of companies that offer a lot of telephone-only shops, but there are lots of shops that do not require a purchase. You might want to focus on those to start with, if you do not want to lay out cash initially.

      Non-purchase shops would include banks, apartments and new home communities, car dealers and many others. Even some retail shops do not require a purchase, or they are purchase and return. You would have to pay for an item, but you would return it within a day or so and get a refund.

      Just apply to as many companies as you can (see this list of legitimate mystery shopping companies) and watch for shops that meet your criteria.

      Good luck!

  5. Jerome says

    Greetings; Many thanks for the useful advice in this challenging field. I am 70, energetic, and looking to work two or three days per week. I have been a shopper on and off for two years, and am taking the next step to broaden my skills. I especially enjoy doing audits at gas stations, property evaluations, auto and truck damage inspections, and want to learn more about video shops. I enjoy being on the road and meeting people of various backgrounds. However, I also enjoy being home with my wife and our mother, therefore being away for any length of time is not something I want to do. I appreciate any advice you have. You have already been a blessing with your expertise.

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