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Top Mystery Shopping Companies in the UK: Reviews and Tips

Mystery shopping can be a great way to make some extra money while providing valuable feedback for businesses looking to improve their services. In this article, we will delve into some of the top mystery shopping companies operating in the UK, providing insightful reviews and helpful tips to assist you in your quest to become a successful mystery shopper.

Top Mystery Shopping Companies to Work With in the UK

Before diving into our comprehensive reviews of the best mystery shopping companies, here's a quick list for your reference. In this article, we will collectively assess the following giants in the UK's mystery shopping industry:

  • Market Force
  • Tern
  • ESA Retail
  • Proinsight
  • Grass Roots
  • Retail Active
  • Retail Maxim
  • Amber Arch

A Closer Look: Reviews of the Top Mystery Shopping Companies in the UK

Market Force: Market Force stands tall as a reputed and established mystery shopping company with a global footprint, offering services in the UK, Europe, and North America. This reliable company has regular job opportunities with a plethora of clients ranging from high-street retailers to restaurants and banks. Market Force boasts of an easy-to-use platform that allows tracking of assignments and payments. Additionally, they provide ample training materials and guidelines to assist new mystery shoppers in understanding their role and performing their assignments effectively.

Tern: Tern, founded in 1987, is another UK-based mystery shopping company that enjoys a prestigious reputation in the industry. Demonstrating a strong focus on shopper success, Tern provides its mystery shoppers with comprehensive training materials, webinars, and guidelines that help boost the chances of success in the field. Their online portal is user-friendly, and they employ a timely payment system. Working with Tern means having a variety of assignments to choose from, including restaurants, retail stores, and automotive services.

ESA Retail: As one of the leading companies in the mystery shopping industry, ESA Retail offers a diverse range of assignments throughout the UK. The company works extensively with popular brands and high-street retailers, giving mystery shoppers ample opportunities across various sectors. With a sophisticated online platform, ESA Retail's focus on excellent communication helps keep its shoppers informed about upcoming assignments and other relevant details. Payments are timely, and their customer support is highly responsive to queries and concerns.

Proinsight: Proinsight is a London-based company that offers excellent customer service and a well-designed mystery shopping portal. The company has a track record of working with popular brands, stores, and leisure centers, which makes it an attractive choice for mystery shoppers. The platform is user-friendly, and their payment process is timely and reliable. Proinsight provides its shoppers with detailed information about the assignments, ensuring clarity and ease of execution.

Grass Roots: Grass Roots, founded in 1980, enjoys an excellent reputation for its mystery shopping campaigns. The company provides a wide range of opportunities like retail visits, restaurant evaluations, and even telephone-based assignments. Their online portal is straightforward, with assignments and payment details readily accessible. While their payment process might be slightly slower compared to some other companies, the variety of assignments and professional approach makes Grass Roots a top choice for mystery shoppers.

Retail Active: Retail Active is another popular company in the UK offering an assortment of mystery shopping assignments. Known for its relationships with prestigious brands and restaurants, Retail Active even provides the opportunity to work within the luxury market. Their online platform is simple to navigate and offers access to upcoming assignments and payment details. Shoppers can expect timely payments, and the company offers excellent customer service to their mystery shoppers.

Retail Maxim: Retail Maxim, founded in 1990, has a long-standing presence in the mystery shopping industry. The company mainly focuses on retail shopping assignments, providing mystery shoppers with exciting opportunities to work with well-known brands. Assignments are listed on a user-friendly platform, and they also offer the chance to complete telephone-based audits. Payments are typically on time, and their support team is readily available to address queries and concerns.

Amber Arch: Amber Arch offers a range of mystery shopping assignments and emphasizes a personal touch in its approach. The company's online platform is not as sophisticated as some of the other options on this list, but they make up for it with their friendly and responsive support team. Payments are usually timely, and Amber Arch provides its shoppers with necessary guidelines to carry out their assignments to the best of their abilities.

Tips for Becoming a Successful Mystery Shopper in the UK

Now that we have introduced you to the top mystery shopping companies, here are some tips to help you excel in your new role as a mystery shopper:

  • Sign up with multiple companies: Diversifying your options will give you access to more assignments and increase your earning potential. It also helps to understand each company's style and preferences, making you a more adaptable and successful shopper.
  • Be organized: Keep track of your assignments, deadlines, and payments by maintaining a schedule or using an organizer app. Being punctual and professional ensures a long-lasting working relationship with the companies.
  • Read assignment guidelines carefully: Fully understand the scope, objectives, and specific requirements of each assignment to avoid missteps and ensure a successful completion.
  • Hone your observation and writing skills: Good observational skills will help identify key areas of improvement for businesses, while strong writing skills will enable you to articulate your findings in a clear and concise manner.
  • Be discreet: Remember that as a mystery shopper, your identity should remain anonymous. Blend in with the other customers and ensure your interactions are subtle and unobtrusive.
  • Maintain integrity and honesty: Provide unbiased and accurate feedback in your reports. Falsifying information is unjust to the businesses relying on your findings to improve their services.
  • Stay updated: Keep your contact information and profile up-to-date with the mystery shopping companies, as this increases your chances of being selected for assignments.


There are numerous mystery shopping opportunities available in the UK, and the companies we have discussed in this article offer numerous options, resources, and support to make your mystery shopping journey a successful one. By following the tips provided, you can excel as a mystery shopper and contribute to the improvement of businesses while making some extra income on the side.

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