The Federal Trade Commission recommends that consumers who are interested in becoming a mystery shopper search through the assignments available on the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. Consumers can apply for these assignments directly with the provider free of charge. Typically, no experience or certification is required.
Another option for becoming a mystery shopper is to sign up directly with companies that provide these opportunities. The companies generally send out notifications when jobs are available that meet the shopper's criteria and demographics.
The FTC also states that consumers should research companies, and look for those that do not charge a fee in order to become a mystery shopper. Consumers should also be wary of jobs that require wiring money as a part of the assignment.
The basic job of mystery shoppers is to visit such establishments as stores and restaurants and pose as typical customers. Upon completion of mystery shopping assignments, mystery shoppers write reports regarding their experiences.