Shop 'til you drop (and get paid!): The ultimate side hustle revealed

Published on: Tue, 01 Aug 2023
By: Claire, redwigwam

Do you have a side hustle?

Whether it's to supplement your existing income or something you do to pursue your passions, having a side hustle can be a great way to boost your bank account.

One side hustle which is incredibly popular amongst the redwigwam community mystery shopping.

Imagine getting paid to shop at your favourite stores, dine in restaurants, and try new products from your favourite brands. In this blog post, we will uncover the world of mystery shopping and explore how it can be the ultimate side hustle for anyone looking to earn some extra cash.

Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.

What is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is a form of market research where individuals are hired to act as regular customers and assess various aspects of a business.

These assessments are conducted to help companies understand their customer experience and identify areas for improvement.

As a mystery shopper, you'll be assigned specific tasks, such as purchasing a product, interacting with employees, or assessing the quality of service. In return for your time and effort, you'll receive payment and often also get to keep the products you purchase.

How does mystery shopping work?

The process of becoming a mystery shopper is relatively simple, and usually doesn’t require any specific experience.

There are numerous companies in the UK, including redwigwam, who specialise in connecting businesses with mystery shoppers.

To get started, simply sign up via the website and create a profile. Once your profile is complete, you'll be notified of available mystery shopping jobs in your area.

When you accept a job, you'll be sent detailed instructions outlining the requirements (we call this a brief), such as the location, date, and time of your visit.

It's essential to read these instructions carefully, as they often contain specific criteria you'll need to look at during your visit, including specific photographs you’ll need to take.

After completing the job, you'll need to submit a report answering a series of questions summarising your observations and experiences.

The benefits of mystery shopping

There are many benefits of working as a mystery shopper, including:


One of the biggest advantages of mystery shopping is its flexibility. You can choose jobs which fit around your lifestyle, making it an ideal side hustle for students, stay-at-home parents, or even if you have a full-time job.

You have the freedom to decide how often you want to work and which jobs to accept.


Mystery shopping offers a huge range of opportunities. From retail stores and restaurants to new products to try, you’ll be able to experience different industries and earn money while doing so.

This variety keeps the experience exciting and fresh, as you're constantly exploring new environments.

Perks and rewards

In addition to the payment you receive for completing the job, mystery shopping often comes with additional perks. Depending on the role you’ve booked, you may be reimbursed for your purchases or enjoy complimentary meals and services.

Improving customer service

As a mystery shopper, you play a crucial role in improving the customer experience. Your feedback helps companies identify areas where they can improve their services, ensuring future customers have a better experience.

Tips for success as a mystery shopper

Attention to detail: Pay close attention to the details provided in the job briefs and ensure you understand all the questions before you set off on the assignment. Being alert and thorough in your observations will help you provide accurate and valuable feedback.

Timely reporting

Jobs will come with a deadline which is the last date the company will accept your feedback. You should always submit your reports promptly after completing a job. This demonstrates professionalism and ensures that your insights are fresh in your mind. (And ensures you get paid for the work you’ve completed).


When conducting a mystery shop, it's essential to blend in and act like a normal customer. Be discreet and professional in your interactions, as you don't want to raise suspicion, especially if you are required to take photographs or video as part of the job.

Constant learning

Use each mystery shopping experience as an opportunity to improve your skills. Take note of exemplary customer service practices and apply them to your own life.

Mystery shopping is a fantastic way to earn extra income while indulging in your love for shopping and exploring new experiences.

With its flexibility, variety, and potential perks, it's no wonder it has become the ultimate side hustle for many individuals. Whether you're a student, a stay-at-home parent, or simply looking to supplement your income, mystery shopping offers a fun and rewarding way to make some extra cash.

So, why not give it a try? Shop 'til you drop and get paid while doing it!


Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.