Shadow Shopper 2020 Review: Is It A Scam?

Welcome to my Shadow Shopper 2020 Review!

If you get paid just for just shopping or dining, then we’d all be financially okay, right?

Actually, some companies will indeed pay you to shop in their outlets or dine in their restaurants, as long as you provide them an honest review of their services.

However, big companies won’t be hiring people directly, and most often, they will contact a market research firm to do this task.

One of those firms is called Shadow Shopper.

Maybe you’ve heard about them but unsure of whether you should give them a shot.

If you’re looking for recommendations on whether you should give Shadow Shopper a try, then you’re in the right place.

Is Shadow a scam? Is it a legitimate way to earn income?

Without further ado, let’s begin my Shadow Shopper 2020 Review.


  • Product name: Shadow Shopper
  • Founder: David Nienberg and Christopher Valeri
  • Price: Membership fee for the Bronze account is Free. If you upgrade to Gold account, you have to pay $6.95 per month.
  • Product/Service type: Mystery Shopping
  • Recommended?: If you’re aiming to earn high income, then I say NO!


my recommandation

What is Mystery Shopping?

Before I discuss what shadow shopper is, we have to understand what mystery shopping is.

The idea of mystery shopping is relatively simple.

Business owners wanted to have honest feedback from their customers, guest, or clients. So what they usually do is outsource or hire someone to visit their stores or restaurants, and experience what it’s like shopping or dining with them.

This is an excellent way for businesses to determine certain factors and ensure customer satisfaction. Some examples of these factors are as follows:

  • Waiting time
  • Greetings
  • Product displays
  • Customer assistance
  • The temperature of the establishment

As mentioned, businesses hire people to visit their establishment to help them gather such information.

However, they don’t employ people directly.

Most businesses like department stores, restaurants, hotels, or home depots may not have the time to do so. They certainly have more important things at hand than doing customer research.

Now, this is where mystery shopping comes in.

Mystery shopping is a method used by market research firms to measure the quality of service provided by companies and organizations. Results from this study are then employed to improve customer satisfaction in the future.

Individuals working with mystery shopping, as you might guess, are called mystery shoppers. Their identities are conceived to employees working directly with the establishments to evaluate genuine customer experiences.

You could also imagine mystery shoppers as a sort of undercover agent that reports back the status of the business to companies.

Companies also do provide reimbursements when expenses are involved.

Mystery shopping is not a full-time job, and people working with them are usually freelancers.

What is Shadow Shopper?

Shadow Shopper is not exactly a mystery shopping company or market research firm. They are the middleman between the company and potential mystery shopper.

It was founded in 2003 in Carson City, Nevada, as Shadow Shopper LLC, by co-founders David Nienberg and Christopher Valeri.

According to their website, they are a member of the World Alliance for Retail Excellence and Standards and the Market Research Association.

It is a platform that helps market research firms to find a mystery shopper through job postings. They offer free memberships, but you have to pay for the premium to be able to access the service entirely.

As of now, the Shadow Shopper is only available in certain areas like the US, Canada, and Australia.

They are the largest company that provides this type of business, with accounts of over 6 million members. The company claims that they have between 120,000 to 160,000 new job postings monthly.

They also claim to be in partnership with over 250 business establishments, mystery shopping services, and several market research firms in North America.

How does Shadow Shopper Works?

Mystery Shopping is an excellent source of extra income for anybody, especially for those who love to shop or eat at restaurants.

It’s also useful for companies to gain insights on how well their establishments or outlets performing in terms of overall customer experience. This includes customer service and ambiance to name a few

Knowing these factors gives businesses an advantage of improving products or services, which may help them to improve their profits as well.

As you see, mystery shoppers are also a vital element in increasing profitability.

However, do not expect a reliable income. As I mentioned, this job is ideally for part-time only because the demand is not that great. I will explain this further in the following sections.

It’s a win-win nonetheless for both parties because the company gains valuable information and you earn some extra cash. You can’t really complain.

But do you want a more legitimate way to earn money? Do you want a more stable online gig?

Then, might I recommend you Affiliate Marketing.

I choose Affiliate Marketing over any online gigs for a few apparent reasons:

  • No membership fees!
  • No monthly or annual cash-outs—EVER!
  • There’s no queue! You can promote as many businesses as you want.
  • High Paying Clients!

But if you’re a total newbie and don’t know what to do… I got your back.

Wealthy Affiliates is a training program that will provide you valuable guidelines on how to earn reliable income online.

The registration fee is very affordable and a one-time payment only!

my recommendation for newbies

How to become a member and how much will it cost me?

As explained earlier, Shadow Shopper offers free accounts. However, you have to upgrade to premium if you want to fully benefit from the platform

Their membership program is categorized into two—the bronze (free) and gold membership.

But right off the bat, it’s clear that they’re pushing premium accounts. Although there’s a free account, it’s tough to find jobs that you like because of the limitations.

For me, the free account is sort of allowing you to peek through the window of what you’re missing out.

There are a lot of complaints I am seeing regarding the limitation of viewing job posting. But it doesn’t really bother me because they have to make profits, right?

And the free account is okay for me if you’re not a hardcore mystery shopper.

shadow shopper 2020 review
Source: Shadow Shopper website

We have different opinions about prices, but the membership fee for me is okay.

They also offer discounts such as follows:

shadow shopper 2020 review
Source: Shadow Shopper website

The membership goes up to $47.95 a year, which is a red flag to others. They say not to pay for jobs you can find for free.

As I mentioned, we have different opinions when it comes to prices. But I think the price is reasonable. If they can help you save time in searching for high paying customers and gain more clients, then it’s all good.

If you’re in a tight budget and you feel you can find better ones online, then by all means.

If you know how to find free and high paying clients, I say, do it.

But before joining and providing your credit information, take note that payment is set to auto-renewal by default. It means that your membership fee is deducted automatically from your bank account monthly.

If you’re not sure with Shadow Shopper, you can turn this setting off manually. 

Is Shadow Shopper a reliable source of income?

Could you achieve financial freedom by just doing mystery shopping? Let’s check in this section of my Shadow Shopper 2020 review.

As I repeatedly emphasize, Mystery Shopping is suitable for part-time only. Going full-time with this type of job is not ideal for obvious reasons—it is low income and unstable.

You’ll even earn less income if you’re a bronze member.

Mystery shoppers, in general, are paid by the job and not hours. A typical assignment can give you anywhere from $8 to $10.

But it’ll still depend on your clients. The figures above are just an estimate. There are cases when it could reach $20, $50, $100 or more.

In events that you incur expenses, the company will reimburse you in advance or after your assignment.

Again, this job is not stable, and you may have to wait again for long periods before you get another gig.

Negative Notes

You might’ve decided to join Shadow Shopper, but before you do, let’s consider some few points:

Joining the platform isn’t really free

They may have a free account, but with its limitations, it’ll force you to go for a premium account.  

Low income

If you think you can make it as a mystery shopper and become financially independent, then you’re dead wrong.

Although a mystery shopper may potentially earn $100 or more, it will still depend on the client. And the reality is that they can approximately make from $8 to $10. 

Privacy concerns

As it turns out, Shadow Shopper also provides your email to third parties that eventually lead to an avalanche of spam. 

Not accredited by the BBB

Although BBB accreditation is optional, it still raises a few concerns because the company opted not to disclose some information.

Although it is their prerogative to share details, if you have nothing to hide, then why not provide the necessary information.

Plus, the BBB will not ask for details that may compromise a business.

Positive Notes

Legitimate mystery shopper’s site

The job postings you see from their website are legitimate.

Membership and regular fees are not that high

The membership and monthly payments of $7 aren’t that expensive if you think about it.

Is Shadow Shopper a Scam? No, but they are definitely a spam

No. Shadow Shopper is not a scam. But is it a legitimate way to earn income? I’d say no.

The gig is low paying and you have to wait in line have another gig.

One of the primary complaints received by Shadow Shopper is spam emails. This happens because, in most cases, some online sites sell your email address and other contact information to third parties.

It is not necessarily a security concern, but it will lead to annoying spam emails.

If you are a bronze member, Shadow Shopper will bombard you with spam emails, suggesting you have to upgrade to their premium account.

Final Thoughts plus a much better alternative on how you can earn money online

Although they provide income and as I mentioned, the income is significantly low and you have to go through the application process again, once previous assignment is finished.

Also, low paying as it is, the opportunity becomes hard to come by if you’re a bronze member.

I hope my Shadow Shopper 2020 review helped you with your decisions.

But if you want better ways to earn income online, there is a better way.

And one of the easiest and most profitable ways to do so is through Affiliate Marketing.

All you have to do is promote a relevant business website or product on your site. And if someone clicks the site, and ends up paying for the products or services, then you earn a commission.

It’s a far better option than any online money-making scheme around.

  • Free to start!
  • Very profitable.
  • You can promote as many businesses as you want.

Wait, you don’t have a site? And you don’t know how to start?

Wealthy Affiliates is a training program that will help you to achieve your full potential as an online marketer.

The program will teach you how to build online sites from scratch and create a reliable source of income.

Once you’re done with the training, you no longer have to worry about expensive membership or subscriptions.

this is why i recommend affiliate marketing

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