How You Can Make Extra Money & Get Free Groceries At The Store

Updated May 14, 2015

Becoming a mystery shopper can be a lot of fun if you’re a big fan of the mall. But what if that’s not really your scene?

Most people don’t know that mystery shopping actually extends far beyond clothing retailers and the mall. There are even companies out there that will pay for your feedback on grocery stores.

We all go grocery shopping (at least) on a weekly basis! So what if you could get paid to take a trip to the store—and get reimbursed for some of your groceries.

MSI Services runs mystery shopping projects in tons of local grocery stores, depending on regular people to provide real feedback for their shopping experiences.

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? If so, here’s how to get started:


How to Apply

The first step is to apply online through MSI’s website. After you read through the page, which briefly explains the role of being a “field agent” for MSI, you’ll want to click on the “Become An Agent” button. Once you fill out your profile, you’ll be able to see any open opportunities in your area and request jobs.

Your Responsibilities

As a mystery shopper, your goal is to pay attention to your surroundings and be an honest judge of the shop’s performance. How many associates do you see working in each department? Are they engaging and friendly? Can they answer your questions? It’s important to take note of these observations without giving yourself away. You’ll likely need to walk through each department in the store to get as many details as possible. In all, you’ll probably need to spend a solid 30-45 minutes interacting with the associates throughout the store before you take your groceries up to the cashier.

Writing the Report

It’s probably not a huge surprise that you need to write a detailed report for each shop you visit. The toughest part about this job is how soon you need to get your report done. In some cases, you may need to send it in by midnight the same day. Believe it or not, this is really to make everything easier for everybody involved. The details will still be fresh in your mind when you write the report, and the company will be able to relay any problems you had back to the store as soon as possible.

How’s the Pay?


Depending on how many jobs you’re able to take on and the amount of openings in your area, you should be able to supplement your income quite nicely. MSI Services will pay about $10-$20 for each store you visit. We recommend you schedule multiple visits in one day, so you don’t have to leave your house just for a few extra bucks. Unlike other mystery shopping companies, Trendsource (MSI’s parent company) pays bi-weekly. If you live in the U.S., you can either choose direct deposit or have a check mailed to your home. If you happen to live in the UK or Canada, you’ll need to set up a PayPal account. One quick note for U.S. participants: You’ll need to provide an EIN. An EIN is an IRS-issued number for businesses, and it just takes a few minutes to get one online.

Make Shopping Easier with the App

MSI has just recently released a mobile app to make mystery shopping easier for its field agents. You can use the app to submit your reports on the go, and even snap pictures of your shopping receipts for reimbursement. The app even helps you take notes in the store! The best part? No matter where you are, you can just plug in a zip code to find quick jobs near you.

Have you ever tried mystery shopping? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments!

(This post may contain affiliate links. We only partner with brands we trust.)

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