For most of us, when you think of the word “shop,” you often think of spending money, not making money.
While this is true most of the time, did you know that you can actually make money shopping for others? It’s a strategy I have mentioned a few times, particularly in my personal grocery shopping jobs post, but I figured I would create an in-depth guide, explaining the many ways you can shop for others and make a decent wage in doing so.
Aside from shopping for others, you can also get paid to shop undercover and even shop as you usually do. I promise I will cover it all.
If you love to shop and/or you just want a nice side hustle to make a few extra bucks, then the following companies may be one to consider. Below, I break down the many categories as well as the many companies that can help you succeed in getting paid to shop.
How to Get Paid to Shop for Others
If you like the idea of shopping for others, then the following companies are almost always hiring. It’s as easy as browsing the shopping list and picking the items out. And, the great thing is that most of them allow you to work at your own pace, earning as much as you want to.
Depending on where you live, the time of day you work, and a few other factors, you can earn up to $25+ per hour doing this gig.
If it’s something of interest, then the following companies may be worth joining:
Out of all the companies I list, Instacart is probably the biggest company on the list.
It works a lot like Uber, only that you will grocery shop for others rather than drive someone around like a taxi. You get to choose the hours you want to work and you get the opportunity to choose any job that comes your way. You are in full control.
Now, Instacart offers two options: you can either shop and that’s it or you can shop and deliver the orders. The only difference is that an in-store shopper will be considered a part-time employee.
Depending on where you live and which jobs you accept, Instacart shoppers can gross anywhere from $10 to $25+ per hour as a full-time service shopper. As there are a ton of factors involved, it’s hard to say how much you can earn. Regardless, it’s a great side hustle opportunity as long as you play your cards right.
- Website: Instacart
Care.com is more of a platform to find babysitters, but on occasions, you can find people who need a personal shopper. From grocery shopping weekly to being on demand, the ads can vary.
The only downfall to Care.com is that you will have to commit to a schedule since these people will often want you to shop on certain days. This can be a perk to some, however, as it could lead to a steady paycheck.
To search for jobs, you can do so for free with a basic membership, but if you want extra perks, such as ranking your profile higher or even appearing highlighted in the search, then this could cost you a few extra dollars a month. Background check fees are something to think about as well.
I know it may take some cash to get started, but if you treat it as if it were a business, it would be no different. Treat it almost like an investment since it will more than likely lead you to some jobs.
- Website: Care.com
Shipt is exactly like Instacart, only that they work with different retailers, such as Target and Petco, to name a few.
While most of your work involves grocery shopping, you may find yourself shopping for pet or office supplies. It offers more diversity if that’s what you’re looking for.
As an on-demand app, you get to choose your own hours and pick out whichever job makes the most sense to you. It’s as flexible as they come. To be approved, however, you just need a valid driver’s license and a reliable vehicle, usually no more than 20~ years old.
According to the site, Shipt shoppers can make up to $22 per hour, but of course, it depends on your geographical location and the demand at the time. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic way to make a few hundred dollars a week shopping for others.
- Website: Shipt
It works similar to that of Shipt and Instacart, only that you will have to browse a job board to find any jobs of interest. If you see a job you like, you can confirm the details with the client within the app and then complete the job as specified. You get to work whenever you want and choose the jobs that interest you.
While TaskRabbit can be on anything, from assembling furniture to moving, you can find shopping jobs on the platform. It’s free to join but is only limited to certain cities.
- Website: TaskRabbit
Whole Foods Personal Shoppers
Amazon, the owner of Whole Foods, does offer personal shopping jobs. As a shopper, you will work in a grocery store, selecting and packing items for delivery. You won’t have to deliver the groceries, however.
According to the job details, you get to chose from available shifts each week or you can create your own. It seems to be dependent on the Whole Foods location, however.
To find a role near you, refer to the official Amazon job portal below and look for the “Shopper Team Member” position. Pay starts at $15+ per hour.
- Website: Amazon
You don’t always have to use any of these platforms to find gigs. While it can make it easier to start working, it isn’t necessary as there are other options as well.
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, consider creating your own errand service of sorts. You could then advertise on Facebook Groups, the Facebook Marketplace, or even Craigslist, to name a few. In advertising a business, there are a ton of ways to do so.
It’s a topic that deserves its own post, so for now, I recommend you pick up the highly-rated book, FabJob Guide to Become a Personal Shopper or even head to YouTube to watch one of the many videos on succeeding in this industry on your own.
Mystery shopping is a lot different than shopping for others as you’re shopping undercover.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process, many of your major corporations use companies to find people like you who are willing to shop and answer questions at the end of your trip, acting as if you were a regular customer. They do this so that they can ensure that their employees are doing a good job and following protocol, etc. And, since you’re shopping undercover, these stores will never know you’re grading them.
And, don’t worry. Before every job you accept, you will know exactly what’s expected of you before you even start it.
The nice thing about mystery shopping is that you will get paid and get to keep the items you buy. While you won’t make much for each job, it adds up if you do multiple jobs in one day. On average, plan on making anywhere from $5 to $15 per job.
I have written about the many mystery shopping companies in the past, but I will list a few of my favorites below. Be sure to sign up for as many as you want since there’s no limit. In fact, it’s recommended so that you can increase your job options.
A Closer Look
A Closer Look is always accepting mystery shoppers, many of which are responsible for undercover shopping jobs. The company has been around since 1994, becoming one of the bigger names in the industry. You must be at least 18+ years old and pass a pre-qualification test to be considered.
- Website: A Closer Look
Bestmark is one of the largest companies on the list, providing mystery shopping options for retail, casinos, hotels, local restaurants and so much more. It’s A+ rated and is known for one of the best reputations in the business. You must be at least 21+ years old with a reliable source of transportation to be considered.
- Website: Bestmark
Confero works in a variety of industries, including grocery stores, convenience stores, mass merchants and many more. Founded in 1986, it’s another company with a wonderful reputation. Must be at least 21+ to join.
- Website: Confero
IntelliShop is another larger company with a ton of options, mainly retail and restaurants. Its job board always seems to have some jobs posted, with pay ranging from $5 to $12~.
- Website: IntelliShop
Field Agent works a pinch differently than most mentioned here as you use an app to find your mystery shopping jobs. It’s as easy as opening your open and selecting the jobs you want to complete. Many include retail-like jobs. I did write about it in detail in the past, so be sure to check out my Field Agent review to learn more about how it works.
- Website: Field Agent
Personally, I use Market Force and find it to be one of the better mystery shopping platforms. They work with a ton of well-known retailers and restaurants, and it’s so easy to use. I can always find a job available, most of which pay anywhere from $5 to $15+ each. Joining is 100% free and you can get started in as little as a few days.
- Website: Market Force
Second to None
Second to None works with many popular brands across both the United States and Canada, including multiple retailers. They have more than 30+ years of experience and currently have an A+ BBB rating.
- Website: Second to None
Sinclair serves a variety of industries, including grocery stores, convenience stores and much more. It’s another popular option to consider if you want to get paid to shop.
- Website: Sinclair
These are just a few of the many mystery shopping companies out there. Again, refer to my mystery shopping companies directory as there are hundreds out there that can help you make cash while you shop.
This is a way to technically get paid to shop; however, you won’t come out ahead. What I mean by this is that you can shop as you normally do, but these websites and apps will give you a portion of your purchase back.
So, for example, if you spent $100 at Walmart, you may be able to get $5 back from an app or website. You’re getting paid in a way, but you still had to spend money to get it. Nonetheless, it’s a way to make money since you’re probably already shopping anyways.
There are a ton of cashback apps out there, just like the mystery shopping options, but I will list some of my favorites below.
I have mentioned Swagbucks plenty of times, and it’s for a million wonderful reasons. There are many ways to earn, including shopping online. If you’re already a member, be sure to check out the shopping portal to see how much they will give you back on your purchase. In some cases, they will pay you up to 15%, depending on the retailer and current promotion.
- Website: Swagbucks
If you want easy and a very simple “set it and forget it,” then the Dosh app may be one to consider. All you need to do is link a credit card you always use and that’s it. Whenever you shop or dine out at one of the thousands of stores listed on their platform, they automatically add cash to your wallet. To date, they have worked with very prominent brands such as Sam’s Club, Jack in the Box and many more.
- Website: Dosh
Ibotta is a very popular cash back app that gives you cash back for both online and offline purchases. It’s as easy as uploading your receipt after shopping or linking your store card. I did write about them in depth in the past, so be sure to check it out if it sounds like something of interest to you. To save my time listing even more, check out my 20+ apps like Ibotta as there are a lot of competitors out there.
- Website: Ibotta
Rakuten is the granddaddy of them all. They have almost every online retailer known to man, giving you up to 20% back on your online purchases. If you ever make a purchase online, it’s one to check to see how much cash back you can get.
- Website: Rakuten
TopCashback is another option that works just like Rakuten, only that they can offer better rates in some cases. The unique thing about them is that they will offer the “highest cashback guaranteed,” simply meaning they will match a higher rate if you find it.
- Website: TopCashback
There are a ton of cashback websites online, many offering varying rates, as you can see. And, for that reason, I highly recommend you bookmark the very cool cashback comparison tool, CashBackMonitor.com. This tool lets you type in the retailer you want to shop at and then will tell you who’s offering the best rate at this moment. That way, you know you’re getting the most back for your purchase.
Anytime you shop online, make it a habit to always check out these sites as almost every retailer will be on one of these platforms, offering you cash back for the shopping you’re already doing.
I wanted to mention this option as well, but it’s just like my cashback apps. You won’t make money, per se, but you could get up to 5% in cash back.
The premise is simple. You will find a cash back credit card that suits your needs, using it any time you make a purchase. Then, at the end of every statement cycle, you will pay it off in full to avoid any interest. In doing this, you’re getting free money from the credit card companies.
So, for instance, as I’m writing this, the Costco Visa® Card would give you 2% cash back on all Costco purchases. That’s $2 for every $100 spent. The Amazon credit card, on the other hand, will get you 3% back on all Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases as long as you’re a Prime member.
There are a lot of credit cards on the market, but generally, as long as you do your research and pay your balance in full, it’s a great way to take advantage of free cash. For now, start with the more popular credit card search engines like Nerd Wallet or even browse the very popular Reddit churning community.
If you love to shop, you can make money, even if you need a flexible schedule.
Whether you want to make a few dollars shopping undercover or more than $500+ a week shopping full-time, there are so many options that you can take advantage of.
For now, I highly recommend you breeze through the list and click on a few of interest. Generally, as long as you’re at least 18+ years old with a clean driving/criminal background, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting hired. Once onboard, you can then work whenever you please.
Now, I leave it up to you.
Have you tried any of these services?
Am I missing any?
As always, you’re more than welcome to shout out in the comments below.
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