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Answers To Common Questions From Our Members  

Here you will find answers to some of the most common questions people ask us. Questions like how does this whole thing work? Or how to reset your password. Everything you need to get started should be in here. If you do not see a question that you have then please contact us and let us know. We want to help you in any way we can! See the list of questions below and click to expand and show the answer.

General Questions

      ShadowShopper is unique in the mystery shopping industry. We are not the company that's shopped, a mystery shopping company or a mystery shopping scheduler. Instead, we are an impartial and independent company, serving the best interests of the mystery shopper AND mystery shopping companies. The best way to think of us is as the "" of mystery shopping.

      We simply, quickly and easily put shoppers and mystery shopping job schedulers together online. Here's how it works.

      All of these questions and more are answered in our Mystery Shopping 101 article. Click here to learn all about mystery shopping.

      We agree that you shouldn't have to pay a company to work for them; and that's not why we charge a membership fee. We are not schedulers nor are we a mystery shopping company looking to contract your services. We are a service provider. Our membership fees cover the costs involved with maintaining your account and providing you with our services.

      We search for the jobs you want, from thousands of companies, in your area, and deliver those jobs straight to your email inbox. You concentrate on enjoying the opportunities available, and leave the searching to us. You can spend a large amount of your free time searching for jobs or, for the monthly equivalent of a meal at McDonald's, you can pay ShadowShopper to do all the time-consuming work for you.

      ShadowShopper provides customer support via our Contact Us page, and live chat available through our website, 7 days per week. In an effort to keep our costs down to ensure the lowest membership prices, and so that we have an accurate record of all correspondence, we do not offer phone support of any kind at this time.

      Please note that these were NOT sent out by ShadowShopper, but by a criminal gang fraudulently claiming to be a legitimate enterprise by representing themselves as real companies.

      Please take a moment to read our Public Service Announcement regarding check scams.

      UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU DEPOSIT THE MONIES THAT WERE SENT. The checks/money orders come back as insufficient funds a number of days later, and your bank will consider you responsible for paying it back.

      All contact from will come from an email address. If you receive an email using our name, but from a free email address such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, you can be assured that the email is NOT from us. Remember, if it sounds way too good to be true, it probably is. Please contact us to verify any offers that you think may be suspicious before responding!

      We will always contact you via email. If you do receive a letter in the postal mail claiming to be from ShadowShopper (with a realistic looking logo), and asking you to mystery shop by cashing a large check - THROW THAT OFFER AWAY. It is a Nigerian check scam ring pretending to be ShadowShopper.

      Click here to learn more.

      Our website uses the latest 128-bit encryption technology to protect your personal information from hackers and identity thieves.

      Prior to allowing any scheduler or company access to our member database they must first be verified and approved as being a valid, and reputable, company. If a company has not passed the verification process, or if we find them to be soliciting for jobs which do not fit our criteria, they will not be able to post jobs or contact our members.

      Our pricing for is as follows:

      BASIC BRONZE MEMBERSHIP - Our limited "look before you buy" educational package :
            ALWAYS 100% FREE. No credit card required.

      Register as a Bronze member now!

      PREMIUM GOLD MEMBERSHIP - Our complete package :
            Existing members - Please log in to your account and visit the Upgrade page to view the current pricing and promotions available to you.

      Register as a Gold member now!

      Benefits of a FREE Basic Bronze membership -

  • Second priority listing for schedulers to contact directly with available work
  • Full access to our University articles
  • Access to the Mystery Shopping certification test
  • Upload a photo, and fill out your Mystery Shopping Biography for employers to view
  • Emailed summaries of jobs posted in real time, or once daily, depending on your preferences so that you can get an idea of what is available in your area.
  • Refer a Friend program. Earn a $5 company credit for each eligible referral.
  • Apply for a limited selection of jobs.

      Benefits of a FULL Gold membership -

  • All of the benefits of the Bronze membership, PLUS
  • First priority listing for employers to contact directly to offer work
  • Access to the Merchandising, Demonstrating, and Interviewing certifications
  • Fill out your Merchandising Biography
  • Emailed FULL job notifications of actual jobs posted in real time, or once daily, depending on your preferences.
  • Apply instantly to ANY job posted on the Job Board or from your email Inbox.

      We currently accept all major credit and debit cards, PayPal, Checks, and Money Orders.

      IMPORTANT! If you are not already registered, you must Sign Up as a free member before mailing us a check so that you're in our system when we receive it.

      Paying by Check or Money Order
      Mail your payment to the following address and include your name and email address. We process all checks and money orders the day we receive them and notify you immediately. Please allow 10-15 business days for your payment to reach us.

      1894 E. William Street, Suite 4-215
      Carson City, NV 89701-3202

NOTE FOR CANADIAN MEMBERS: Unfortunately we CANNOT accept Canadian checks or money orders made out in CAD. Credit cards, PayPal, or USD money orders only. Sorry!

      Almost every question we regularly hear from shoppers has been answered on our Common Questions page.

      For mystery shopping specific questions, see our guide Mystery Shopping 101.

      1894 E. William Street, Suite 4-215
      Carson City, NV 89701-3202

      Please feel free to Contact Us for assistance with registering or locating an old account!

      Make sure that you are using the most recent version of your internet browser, and that you have performed all available updates for your browser and computer.

      If you are still having trouble, please feel free to Contact Us for assistance!

      Our system sends job notifications which are specifically targeted for the area you reside. Entering your address allows us to ensure that we send you jobs that are pertinent to your location, and also helps us to verify your identity should you ever need assistance in locating your account log in information.

      You can view available job assignment opportunities prior to joining as a member by going to the Available Jobs page.

      NOTE: Members will need to log in to their account, and visit the Job Board to locate and apply for assignments.

      It is NOT necessary for mystery shoppers to become a private investigator in order to receive assignments. If a shopper wants to complete assignments in Nevada, it is necessary to register with a firm that is associated with the Private Investigative Licensing Board. Any mystery shopper who conducts assignments in Nevada must be an employee of a private investigator. Fees can range from $100 - $120, depending on the company. Nevada is strictly regulated and mystery shopping companies that do not follow correct procedure can be fined thousands of dollars.

      At this time only services the US and Canada.

      Absolutely! Just visit our employer signup page by clicking here.

Our Terms of Service can be found by clicking here, and our Privacy Policy by clicking here.

      Typically membership dues are not refundable once services have begun, but please contact with any billing concerns you have.


Account Questions

      Your username will always be your email address.

  • If you have changed emails since the last time you used the website, but still remember your password, you can log in with the old email address and your password. You can then update your information by visiting the My Account page.
  • If you have changed emails, but do not remember your password, please Contact Us for assistance in changing the login information on your account to your new address.

      If you have forgotten your password, you may have a copy emailed to you by clicking here. Make sure to check your spam folders if you are not receiving the reminder email.

      If you have not registered with us before you need to do so prior to being able to use the Member Login area of the site.

      Register Now!

      If you are already a ShadowShopper member -

      Make sure that you have typed in your email address and password correctly. Passwords are case sensitive so 'PASSWORD' is not the same as 'PassWord' or 'password.' If in doubt, use the Forgot Password link to have it sent to you.

      If you are still having trouble, please feel free to Contact Us for assistance!

      If at any time you wish to cancel or adjust the settings of your membership, including your billing, card information, and other preferences –

  1. Log in to your account on the Member Login page
  2. Click on the My Account & Help link in the upper right corner of the page
  3. Click the Edit button beneath the Account Renewal section of the page
  4. Choose the preference you want
  5. Make sure to click the SAVE CHANGES button in order for your selection to be logged and saved in your membership profile.

      A confirmation email will be sent to you for your records to confirm the change.

      NOTE: You must be logged into the site with your username and password for this to work.

      Activation emails are sent out immediately after an account is created.

      If you are not receiving the activation email this means that something on your end is blocking our emails from reaching you. This can be due to spam blocking software or your Internet Service Provider.

      Please make sure to add the following addresses to your email clients Contacts List and any spam blocking software that you may use. Then click the link to resend the activation email.


      If you are still unable to receive the email please Contact Us for assistance.

      Please feel free to use our Contact Us form or visit us on live chat. A service representative will respond to you ASAP; typically within a few hours during business hours for emailed requests.

      It is very easy to change any information on your account. You can change your name, phone number, email address, password, mailing address; any changes can be made by following the steps below.

  1. Log in to your account on the Member Login page
  2. Click on the My Account & Help link in the upper right corner of the page
  3. Click the Edit button beneath the Your Information section of the page
  4. Fill out any fields you wish to change on the window that pops up
  5. Make sure to click the "Save Changes" button to ensure that your information is updated

      If you are still having trouble, please feel free to Contact Us for assistance.

      Tell a friend about us and how they can find out more about mystery shopping. When they join as a Gold member, we'll give you $5.00 in ShadowShopper dollars. These dollars are applied toward your membership renewal or upgrade.

      NOTE: You must be an existing member of our site to refer your friends and family. Register Now!

      After logging in to your account visit our Refer a Friend page located in the menu at the top of the page. From here you will be able to send referral emails to your friends directly through our system. The email will come from your registered email address so they will know it is from you. In order to respect and protect their privacy we do NOT save the email addresses of the friends you refer.


Shopping Questions

      We do not currently offer formal training, but we do provide a wide variety of educational articles for all of our Bronze and Gold members, for both newcomers and experienced shoppers alike!

      Register now by clicking here to gain access to these educational materials free of charge.

      Remember that ShadowShopper provides you with leads for available assignments. It is entirely up to you to apply for the ones you wish to do. We are not schedulers, and play no role in picking or scheduling for assignments.

      You are under no obligation to apply for every job that is offered to you! If a posted assignment does not fit your schedule, travel preferences, or you simply are not interested in that assignment, do not apply!

      This could be for one of a few reasons.

  1. You do not have cookies enabled on your computer
  2. You've recently deleted cookies
  3. You've recently clicked on the "Log Out" button at the top of the page at

      Without our login cookie on your computer the site has no way of knowing exactly which member is attempting to apply for a job. If you do have cookies enabled then you can easily fix the problem by going to Member Login and logging in with your username and password. After you've logged in you can close your internet browser and apply normally through the job notifications.

      Typically you would be required to make any necessary purchases with your own money, and then are reimbursed for the items after you have successfully completed the work. The employers will not send out money in advance of the work being completed. It is all too common for shoppers to accept assignments, but cancel at the last minute, or never respond to follow ups regarding missing reports without returning any fees paid out in advance.

      The items are usually something small such as a pack of gum, or items you would normally buy for everyday life such as groceries, gas, or food. There are also many that do not have a purchase requirement at all such as banks, apartments, or car dealerships.

      Please visit our Mystery Shopping 101 article. This article provides some great basic information for newcomers. Click here to go there now!

      Absolutely! Mystery shoppers are able to apply just for the assignments they wish to complete. We have many members who choose to apply for jobs that are available in the evenings, or just on weekends. It is entirely up to you!

      Remember that ShadowShopper provides you with leads for available assignments. You are under no obligation to apply for every job that is offered to you! If a posted assignment does not fit your schedule, travel preferences, or you simply are not interested in that assignment, do not apply!

      Gas expenses are not typically reimbursed unless you have to go to an out-of-the-way location, and have worked out reimbursement with the job scheduler. However, since mystery shoppers act as independent contractors you can get a great deduction by claiming all your mystery shopping mileage when you file your taxes. You can also deduct your home office, your computer, auto insurance & maintenance, postage, office supplies and hundreds of other expenses. Check with a tax professional to find out more.

      Typically shoppers, merchandisers, and demonstrators are considered independent contractors. Unless you are an employee of the mystery shopping company you won't ever receive a W-2. In almost every case you'll receive a 1099 from the companies you complete assignments for. Companies are required to send 1099's to contractors who are paid $600 or more a year. Some companies, however, will send you a 1099 regardless of the amount they actually paid you.

      If you are a ShadowShopper member, please take a moment to read our Tax Time Tips article located in the Shopper Education section for some great information regarding taxes as a contractor, and possible deductions that you may be eligible for that you might not have realized!