MSE News

'I made over £3,000 in a year from mystery-shopping and survey apps'

A mobile-toting MoneySaver made over £3,000 last year using various survey and mystery-shopping apps on his phone – and he's given his tips to help you make money too.

Telecoms worker Simon, who lives in Leeds, has already made over £1,000 in 2019, and found out about most of the apps he uses on the MSE Forum's Boost Your Income board.

Just shy of £2,900 of the cash Simon made in 2018 came from mystery-shopping apps – which pay you to visit a specific shop, restaurant or other business and rate the customer service or the quality of their goods. But he also made an extra £400 using survey apps as well. 

The mystery-shopping apps he uses are Roamler, BeMyEye and Shepper, and his survey apps include AttaPoll, OnePulse and Vypr.

Want to make money from your mobile like Simon? See our Make Money Online and Top 23 Online Survey Sites guides.

'With minimal effort you could make £50 per month'

Speaking of his success, Simon said: "I started finding out about the apps I use on MSE's forum and have found others through researching online and other money-making forums. 

"To earn the amounts I have requires a decent amount of effort, but it can be done around and in addition to a full-time job. With minimal effort I reckon someone would be able to make £50 per month easily enough.  

"In 2019 to date I have added £922 from mystery-shopping apps and £139 from survey apps – so well over another grand on top of last year's earnings."

Simon's top tips for maxing the money you make on your mobile

We asked Simon for his main tips for people looking to make money on their mobile, and here's what he told us:

  • Be confident going into shops and taking photos and/or video. This applies to those looking to use mystery-shopping apps, as it's the main task you're getting paid for. Simon says while it may be slow at first, once you've done a few, you get a feel for what's required and are able to complete jobs quickly, efficiently and discreetly.

  • If you're using survey apps, turn on notifications on your phone. This is so you are alerted when there are new surveys to complete. Simon adds that it’s always worth checking apps regularly as well.

  • Make sure you keep track of any earnings. Simon says it's important to do this to ensure you comply with income tax rules. For full guidance, see the tax tip in our Boost Your Income guide.

  • Have as many of each kind of app as possible. Simon says the more you have, the more opportunities you have to earn money. So don't restrict yourself to one mystery-shopping or survey app – try the lot. 

How does mystery-shopping work?

Essentially, high-street retailers and other businesses want to check the goods and service they're offering is up  to scratch, and employ mystery-shopping agencies to do so.

These agencies pay people to visit a specific shop, restaurant, pub etc, to rate service standards or the quality of the goods.

Three of the most popular sites in addition to the ones mentioned by Simon are Grass Roots, GBW (formerly Gapbuster) and Retail Maxim. You can also read other MoneySavers' top suggestions in the mystery-shopping discussion on our forum.

Payment for this type of work varies hugely between agencies. Some pay in gift vouchers, others simply give free items. Some will pay you cash too, sometimes as much as £30 a day. Jobs generally pay a few pounds, but some pay over £10 – these could involve taking photos of products or items from lots of different angles.

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