What Is Shadow Shopper? – Mystery Shopping Portal – Legit or Scam?

Welcome to my review on What Is Shadow Shopper

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I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review and using your due diligence to do your own research into any kind of program like this that claims you can make money online.

I am here to assure you I have nothing to do with or I am not affiliated with this product.

This is an independent review with my honest and open opinion. I have nothing to gain by writing this review.

I would also like to inform my readers in my Shadow Shopper review whether or not it is a legit product to buy and use.

And or if it worth your time and effort.


Name: Shadow Shopper

Website: Shadow Shopper Websiteshadow shopper logo image

Price: Free for Bronze Membership – $6.95 per Month for Gold Membership

Who is it for: Anyone that likes shopping and reviewing

Product Type: Mystery Shopping Portal

Scam: YES

Money Back Guarantee: NO


What Is Shadow Shopper?

shadow shopper homepage image

Shadow Shopper has been in business since 2002.  They claim they service over 1,200 companies in the mystery shopping, merchandising, demonstrating, and market research industries, and have over 6,000,000 shoppers all across the US and Canada.

They are also members of the MRA (Market Research Association) and WARES (World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards).

They claim to be one of the largest companies offering legit mystery shopping gigs for members of their site.

They also claim to have the largest database of mystery shoppers and merchandising / demonstrations field agents in the industry with 6+ million double opted-in accounts.

With 120,000 – 160,000 new jobs posted on our job board every month. And working with 250+ mystery shopping, merchandising, demonstrating and market research companies in North America.

What Is Mystery Shopping?

A Mystery Shopper is a person who is paid by acting like a normal, everyday shopper or customer who then provides feedback on their experience.

Mystery Shopping companies give these secret shoppers a list of tasks to complete, such as asking specific questions about a product or receiving a service, for example, a beauty treatment.

Following the completion of the tasks, the mystery shopper reports feedback on the employees and other details as asked by the company.

Companies pay secret shoppers for providing this information. They should also reimburse shoppers for any expenses incurred. (You are meant to keep all receipts for any expenses you incur).

How Much Does It Cost To Join Shadow Shopper?

Shadow Shopper is available in the US and Canada. There are 2 membership options.

  1. Bronze – Free
  2. Gold – $6.95 per month

shadow shopper pricing structure image

Bronze Membership (Free)

With the bronze membership, you will only be able to apply for jobs that were posted more than 7 days ago on the Job board and puts you onto a list for employers to contact directly if they search the database.

You can also apply for Promoted Jobs (the ones posted on top of the list due to the immediate need of shoppers. In addition, you have full access to educational articles.

*NOTE* You will only be able to read about jobs available but will not be able to apply until your upgrade.

Gold Membership ($6.95)

As a Gold Member, you get all of the benefits of the Bronze membership, plus access to the most recent jobs posted in their system. You also get first priority listing, so the employers would see you in the top positions of the shopper’s list and can contact you directly to offer you work.

*NOTE* When signing up to any membership site be aware that the monthly fee will be taken straight from your bank account automatically.

To stop it you will have to do it manually by going to your bank account and manually removing the automatic payment. Or go to your profile page settings on Shadow Shopper and manually turn the auto-renew off. (I have read complaints that turning off the auto-renew option on their website does not work). (See complaints below).

So I personally think going to your bank account is the best way to cancel a membership fee.

It is not necessary to pay a fee to obtain a job be it a mystery shopping job or otherwise. You would never pay to get a job offline so why pay a company online. So my advice would be never to pay Mystery Shopper.

Many of the jobs that Shadow Shopper have on their database can be found free online anyway. To become a mystery shopper just do a quick search on any search engine.

Accessing The Database Of Mystery Jobs on Shadow Shopper

Now according to Shadow Shopper, they get their jobs to put on their database by using 250+ mystery shopping, merchandising, demonstrating and market research companies in North America.

But in reality, they are just using the jobs from other online channels. Basically, they act as a middle-man working to connect businesses and mystery shoppers.

And here is the proof as found on their common questions page. They are just a facilitator.

shadow shopper agree they are just a facilitator screenshot

*NOTE* Remeber that these jobs have most likely been advertised elsewhere on legitimate mystery shopping websites. So there is a real likelihood that many of the jobs will be gone or taken.

Shadow Shopper Complaints

I found many complaints and many angry users of Shadow Shopper. Most of them are about the auto-renewal of their membership fee and being spammed by email by Shadow Shopper themselves.

See some of the negative reviews on the Ripoff Report website.


shadow shopper negative review 1 screenshot


shadow shopper negative review 2 screenshot


Here is a complaint I found on the Pissed Consumer Website.

shadow shopper negative review 3 screenshot


I could show you even more complaints as they are hundreds of them but I think you get the picture.

Whoever is behind Shadow Shopper (someone named Johnathan which is probably not his real name) seems to be using unethical means to obtain money from members bank accounts.

Once they get your email address they also spam you with emails to upgrade your account. If you don’t upgrade they simply take the money from your account anyway.

Even More Alarming News

I found the following on Shadow Shoppers Facebook page from a BBB (Better Business Bureau) agent.

As jobs remain scarce for many people, more of them are being tempted by a job scam that seems to offer money…for SHOPPING.

Your Better Business Bureau continues to hear from Kentucky residents who are receiving mailings containing checks or money orders. They allegedly are part of a chance to earn some cash by being a Mystery shopper or customer evaluator.

The latest one the BBB has received from a consumer is certainly NOT the real deal.

The letter states it is from some accountant and auditor business, “Billy Gaskin Group of Chartered Accountants and Auditors.” The name doesn’t even make sense. It is full of grammatical errors, a sure sign that the author is likely in a foreign country.

It says the recipient’s assignment is to evaluate the service he receives at Western Union wiring a MoneyGram. The mailing conveniently includes a MoneyGram money order of $975 for the “secret shopper” to cash with his bank to use in this “assignment.”

He is told to keep 12 percent of it for his pay. He is instructed to wire the rest of the cash to someone in Haiti, another big red flag. Then he should email the company about the service he received at his bank and at Western Union.

What happens with this scam is, the money order or check is fake and ultimately bounces, leaving the “mystery shopper” stuck paying back the bank. The crooks behind it are usually outside the U.S.

Legitimate mystery shopper organizations to not require you to wire money anywhere. The con artists sometimes send these scams via UPS or Fed Ex to circumvent breaking postal fraud laws. But it’s still a scam, and if you get this, don’t fall for it.

Video Source 

This is the kind of thing that may happen to you if you give out your details to Shadow Shopper. SO BEWARE.

What Is Shadow Shopper – Conclusion

I have taken hours reading many of the negative reviews about Shadow Shopper. In my personal opinion, this is a scam disguised as a legit mystery shopping site.

My advice is to keep well away from Shadow Shopper, don’t even be tempted to join the free version. If you do you will be overwhelmed with emails wanting you to upgrade.

I have put together a list of legitimate mystery shopping sites as seen below. Always use your due diligence when attempting to join any program, free or paid.

  • Secret Shopper
  • Market Force
  • GBW
  • Pinnacle
  • A Closer Look
  • Quest for the Best
  • Intellishop
  • Perception Strategies, Inc.
  • Sinclaire Customer Metrics
  • GFK Mystery Shopping


Be aware that Shadow Shopper is just a list of jobs that you still have to apply for. Any of these companies can be found free online.

Do I recommend Shadow Shopper?


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I hope you found my review on What is Shadow Shopper informative enough to give you as much insight as possible so you can make an extremely informed decision when deciding whether or not to purchase this product.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment in the comments area below. Or if you would like to contact me privately you can use the contact me form or the ask me form.

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