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How to Become a Mystery Shopper After 60

By Sandra Roussy March 24, 2023 Managing Money

Do you enjoy walking the store aisles for hours, trying out new restaurants, and relishing in hotel stays? Do you like interacting socially? Are you physically fit?

Have you ever considered becoming a mystery shopper?

What Is a Mystery Shopper

A mystery shopper (also known as a secret shopper) is a person who is hired to pose as a regular customer and visit a business, such as a store, restaurant, or hotel, to evaluate and report on their experiences. Mystery shopping is typically done by companies to assess the quality of their products, services, and customer interactions, as well as to identify areas for improvement.

Mystery shoppers are given specific instructions on what to look for and report on during their visit, which may include aspects such as the cleanliness of the location, the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, the quality of the products or services offered, and the overall customer experience.

Mystery shopping is often conducted anonymously, and the shopper is usually compensated for their time and any purchases made during the visit. The information gathered by mystery shoppers can help businesses improve their operations and better understand the needs and expectations of their customers.

How Do You Become a Mystery Shopper

There are several ways you can become a mystery shopper.

Sign Up with a Mystery Shopping Company

Many companies specialize in providing mystery shopping services to businesses. You can find these companies online and sign up to become a mystery shopper.

Apply Directly with Businesses

Some businesses may hire mystery shoppers directly instead of going through a third-party company. You can check with businesses in your area to see if they offer this type of opportunity.

Check Job Boards

You can also find mystery shopping opportunities on job boards such as Indeed, FlexJobs, and Glassdoor.

Once you find a mystery shopping opportunity, you will need to apply and go through a screening process, which may include filling out an application form, taking a test, or completing a sample mystery shopping assignment.

If you are selected, you will be given instructions on how to conduct the mystery shopping assignment and what information to report back to the company. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully and provide accurate and detailed feedback to ensure the success of the mystery shopping program.

What You Should Consider Before Becoming a Mystery Shopper

Before becoming a mystery shopper, there are several important factors to consider.

Assure the Legitimacy of the Business

Ensure that the mystery shopping company or business you’re considering is legitimate. Unfortunately, there are scams that pose as legitimate mystery shopping opportunities, so do your research and verify the company’s credentials and reputation.

Make Sure Compensation Is Worth Your Time

Consider the compensation for the mystery shopping assignments. While compensation can vary depending on the company and the assignment, it’s important to ensure that the pay is fair and worth your time and effort. It’s definitely not a get-rich type of opportunity with assignments ranging from a few dollars to around $20 or more per assignment.

Validate Your Time Commitments

Determine whether the time commitment required for the assignments fits with your schedule and lifestyle. Some mystery shopping assignments may require you to visit a location during specific hours, which may not be convenient for everyone.

Make Sure You Meet the Requirements

Be aware of the specific requirements for each mystery shopping assignment, including the skills or knowledge required, any necessary qualifications or certifications, and the equipment or tools needed to complete the assignment.

Also, you will be asked to be on your feet for several hours while on assignments so being physically capable is required.

Understand the Confidentiality Agreement

As a mystery shopper, you may be required to keep certain aspects of the assignment confidential. Be sure to understand the confidentiality requirements and agree to comply with them.

Becoming a mystery shopper can be a fun and rewarding way to earn extra income and provide valuable feedback to businesses. However, it’s important to carefully consider these factors before deciding whether to pursue this opportunity.

Why Become a Mystery Shopper

Here are the perks of becoming a mystery shopper.

Offers Flexibility

Mystery shopping can offer flexibility in terms of the schedule and location of assignments, which can be especially beneficial if you have other commitments or health considerations.

Generates Extra Income

If you are on a fixed income and you want to supplement your retirement savings, mystery shopping can be a way to earn extra income on a part-time or occasional basis.

Provides Social Interaction

Mystery shopping assignments can provide opportunities for you to interact with others and engage in activities outside of the home, which can be important for maintaining social connections and mental health.

Let’s You Stay Mentally Active

Mystery shopping can provide opportunities to develop or maintain skills such as observation, attention to detail, and communication, which can be beneficial for those who want to stay mentally active.

Mystery shopping may not be suitable for everyone, as it does require certain physical abilities or skills depending on the type of assignments available.

If mystery shopping isn’t up your alley, but you’d like to explore other opportunities, read 60 CREATIVE WAYS TO MAKE MONEY IN RETIREMENT.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What do you think about mystery shopping? Have you ever been a mystery shopper? Do you think mystery shopping can help improve customer services, and perhaps even ageism?

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I’ve done it. Its fun but definitely dont do it for the money. Quite timeconsuming to do the writeup after the visit.


Nice idea, but unless you have an inside contact it may not be worth your effort. I tried this once and was signed up with a company. What I found out was these companies have “regulars” who are contacted for the higher paying gigs. So you will be vying for the less paid, less interesting gigs. I was contacted once or twice over several years. At first they’re vague about the gig description to get you to respond getting you excited and then you’re rejected after you go through answering questions. They seem to find ways to weed out people by asking indirect questions that perhaps won’t pin them for ageism or familial status discrimination. Then they easily drop you. You use your own car and gas. Unless you plan on establishing a long term relationship over a very long time, this is not worth attempting. If you can somehow find the brick & mortar company and pop in or somehow get an online interview that showcases your personality or looks, I say good luck. Someone should start a mystery shopping company specifically geared for senior related products( if they haven’t already). We’re a huge and historically buying-powered group after all. If you find one, shoot for reaching out to them!


Also, location…where you live can make opportunities almost non-existent.


So true! You have to know someone. They still don’t want older women!

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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