Should You Join BARE International Mystery Shopping? (review)

Some of the links may be from a sponsor. Advertising Disclosure

BARE International is all about mystery shopping, and they rely on people like you and me to help them out. They offer a unique opportunity to earn money while providing valuable market research, mainly through “mystery shopping.”  If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s the process of going undercover in a sense and reporting back your findings.  This can include interacting with an employee or seeing how clean the bathroom is.

This is a company I have mentioned many times, such as in my making money playing golf and restaurant mystery shopping posts.  I felt it was finally time to review them in detail.

Is BARE International the real deal or just another name to avoid?

I’m here to tell you that, yes, they’re legit. They do pay people for their mystery shopping efforts. However, there’s a bit of a catch. While they’re one of the bigger names in the industry, earning a significant amount might not be as straightforward as it seems.

Now, you’re probably wondering if this is a good use of your time. That’s a fair question. The truth is, while BARE International offers a legitimate way to make some cash, the amount you earn might not be proportional to the time you invest. You might find yourself putting in a lot of effort for just a few dollars.

So, before you jump in and sign up, please read my honest review and see if it’s something worth joining.  As in all of my reviews, I always remain 100% honest, only recommending what I feel is worth your time.

Joining as a Shopper

The registration process is a bit lengthier compared to others. They will ask for all the usual details to get you set up, such as your email, name, etc.  Eventually, you will have to input your social security number if you make more than $600.

Once you’ve navigated through the registration, there’s a survey waiting for you. This isn’t just busy work – it’s designed to help them match you with the right job offers, especially those that are a good fit for your area. And don’t worry, this survey doesn’t take all that long.

One important thing to remember: you need to be at least 18 years old to become an evaluator. So, if you meet that age requirement and are up for an adventure in mystery shopping, why not give it a try? It could be an exciting way to explore new places and experiences.

Earning Money as a Mystery Shopper

Let me walk you through what it’s like to be an evaluator, or a mystery shopper, with BARE International. It’s an interesting gig, especially if you’re into exploring different stores and maybe making some money along the way.

Once you’re on board with BARE International, you get to take a look at their member dashboard. This is where you will find your work.  Here, you will find a bunch of mystery shopping jobs listed under the “Job Board” section. These opportunities are tailored to your location, so you’re not going to see jobs that are 25+ miles away.  You can filter how far you want to see jobs, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Each job listing gives you the details – which store to visit, how far it is, and what you will earn for your efforts. It will also show you how much you’re going to make.  You can see an example here:

Now, you might want to stick to jobs close to home. The farther you go, the more time and money you spend on travel, which might chip away at your profits.  You will only get paid for the job, and unless noted (this is rare), you won’t get reimbursed for travel time, mileage, etc.

In some cases, they do have jobs that you can do from home, but these tend to be quite rare.  If you do find these jobs, you will typically have to call a company and ask questions, etc.

Applying For a Job

If a job catches your eye, hit the “Apply” button and follow the instructions. They will then guide you on what to do at the store and what kind of report you need to submit afterward. This report is crucial because it decides whether you get paid or not.

Not all jobs will have you opening your wallet, but sometimes you will need to spend your own cash, which is reimbursed later.  Sometimes, for example, you will buy something or use a service, whereas, other times, you’re just there to ask questions and gauge the experience. If you do buy something, hang onto that receipt – you’ll need it for your report to be reimbursed.

When it’s time to report back, you’ll need a few things usually.  This will often include a proof of your visit, a photo of the receipt or service order, a selfie at the location, and/or your ID. And you have to be quick, as reports are usually due within 24 hours.

Again, everything you need to know will be in the report.  It’s crucial that you read it in detail so that you know what’s expected of you to get paid.

How Much Can I Make?

Technically, there’s no cap on how much you can earn with BARE International, but your earnings largely depend on the number of shopping offers available in your area. More offers mean more chances to earn.

Now, BARE International isn’t just about local gigs, either. If you’re someone who loves to travel, for example, you can snag jobs in other parts of the world too. That’s a neat perk for frequent travelers.

However, when you really think about the earning potential, it might not seem as great as you think. You have to consider the time you invest in each job.  This includes traveling to the store, gathering all you need for a thorough report, and then heading back home. That can eat up a significant chunk of your day. And sometimes, all that effort might just net you a few dollars.

The bottom line here is the money-to-time ratio. It might not always tilt in your favor, especially if you’re not already planning to visit those shops. There are plenty of other sites where you could potentially earn more with less effort.

Your location plays a big part in what you earn mainly. If you’re in a city, you will likely see more job offers. But if you’re in a smaller town, don’t expect a steady stream of opportunities. So, think of this as a fun way to make some extra cash, but not as a reliable source of continuous income.

Depending on these factors, most jobs can vary from $5 to $20+ on average, depending on the detail needed.  Once you sign up, you will be able to see all of the information required for the job as well as the pay to give you a better idea as to what you can earn in your town.

Is It Worth It?

Honestly, it’s not the simplest way to earn a dollar. There’s a fair bit of legwork involved, from visiting the stores to submitting detailed reports. If you’re after a quick and easy side hustle, this might not be your cup of tea.  Plus, you can’t do it from your computer since most jobs require that you travel.

However, if you’re up for something different and don’t mind the extra steps, BARE International could be a fun way to make some money. Just remember to follow their instructions exactly because if you don’t, they won’t approve your work, and you won’t get paid. So, think about the time and effort involved, and decide if it’s the right fit for you.

This can be said about any mystery shopping work, however.

Getting Paid

Every job you complete for BARE International comes with its own reward. Most of the time, they deal in Euros, but the specifics can vary depending on where you are. They do have a schedule for payments, and you can expect to get paid on the 16th of each month. This pay includes both the reimbursement for any shopping you have done on their behalf and the reward for successfully finishing the job.

One catch, though.

Their system doesn’t automatically tally up your monthly earnings. Because of this, you will need to keep an eye on that yourself by checking the Shopper’s Log on their dashboard. It’s a bit of extra work, but it’s part of the deal.

Reimbursements are a big part of the job. Each task comes with a set reimbursement amount, which you will know upfront. It’s essential to manage your spending accordingly so you don’t go overboard.

Now, depending on where you call home, the payment method varies. If you’re in Canada, expect a check. For those living elsewhere, you have options, such as bank transfer or PayPal. It’s pretty convenient unless you’re in Canada and looking for something a bit more modern.

Lastly, there are some scams out there misusing the BARE International name. Be cautious. For example, if you get a cashier’s check, that’s a red flag. BARE International has made it clear that this is a common scam tactic. Also, official emails from the company always end with If you get something that doesn’t match up, it’s likely a scam.

Final Thoughts

If you’re someone who’s often out shopping, especially in a big city where BARE International jobs are plentiful, this could be a neat way to earn some extra cash while you’re at it.

But if you’re hunting for something that will potentially pad your wallet without demanding too much time or travel, you might want to explore other options. Survey sites, for instance, are a solid bet. They are known for decent earning potential and the best part is that you can do it all from the comfort of your home. No matter where you live, there’s likely a survey site that fits your needs.  But, like mystery shopping, you won’t get rich.

So, there you have it. BARE International has its perks, especially if you’re already hitting the stores. But for easy, stay-at-home earning? Survey sites could be your better bet.

That’s going to do it for now.

As always, if you want to comment on your experience, feel free to do so in the comments below.

Want $5 free?

Try out Swagbucks, the most popular reward program I make the most money with. Simply answer survey questions and get paid!

Join Now to Get $5!

Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

Add comment