New Image Marketing Mystery Shopping Review

Ok, here’s another legitimate mystery shopping company, New Image Marketing. They’re based in Florida. They’re relatively smaller compared to some of the big dogs, such as Market Force, or Corporate Research, but they’re a national company, with assignments available all over the US. If you’re looking to earn some money doing mystery shopping assignments, then they might be right up your alley.

Feedback from mystery shoppers is good. One shopper said they “paid promptly, had clear instructions, and the shops were simple.”  That’s a pretty good review for a company, which leads me to recommend that you do give them a try.

They are also known to offer decent ‘bonuses’ for assignments outside of your area. If there’s an assignment you want but its a little too far to be worth it–ask for a bonus. They just might give it to you.

In terms of the types of assignments that New Image offers, they have Tobacco Compliance shops, as well as gas station assignments. Which means, if you’re looking for gas station assignments, this is one company to check out. They do have other types of assignments, but it fluctuates. It is always good to occasionally check a companies job board to see which types of assignments they have, as it changes over time.

If you’re insterested in becoming a shopper for New Image, just head over to their website and sign up. Here’s the link:

Scam Warning: While New Image is a legitimate company, there is a chance that scammers might ‘impersonate’ them in an attempt to steal from mystery shoppers. Fortunately, these scams are very easy to spot and just as easy to avoid. The red flags are obvious: A large check/money order, and the request to wire money or send a moneygram. Avoiding these scams is easy: Never deposit a check as part of an assignment, and never wire money. It’s that simple.

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Ritter & Associates Mystery Shopping Company Review

Ritter & Associates is a legitimate mystery shopping company based in the U.S. They have many mystery shopping assignments, including gas station assignments. This means if you sign up for them, you’ll likely have the opportunity to get paid a little bit of money to fill up your gas tank, and evaluate the customer service, cleanliness, etc at the station. They also have phone mystery shopping assignments, and self-storage assignments, among others.

Ritter has a good reputation on the forum. There are no major complaints about them–which can be a rare thing, and is a good sign that the company is reasonable and not terribly difficult to work with.

One member had an important warning, however. As part of doing assignments for this company, you might take photos of business establishments. There is a chance that you’ll be summoned to court in limited cases. The chance is small, but it is there.

Some people report having trouble not getting there applications accepted to do the assignments. It seems like it might take a few assignments to get your ‘foot in the door’ with Ritter, but once you do, you’re more likely to have your requested assignments given to you outright.

While Ritter is a legitimate mystery shopping company, there is the chance that fraudsters might be posing as them in an attempt to scam you. Fortunately, these scams are very easy to avoid. All you need to know is this: Never wire money as part of a mystery shopping assignment and never deposit a large check. Staying safe is that easy. In the world of mystery shopping, if it seems to good to be true, it is!

If you’re interested in signing up to become a mystery shopper for Ritter & Associates, the process is fairly easy, just to go their website, and sign up. Note that they’ll ask for your bank information during the application process. They are a legitimate company, and so it is safe to give them information to them.

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Service Sleuth Mystery Shopping Review

Service Sleuth is a well known mystery shopping company with a good reputation. They have a wide variety of assignments, including some high-end assignments. They’re also one of the few mystery shopping companies licensed to operate in Nevada, so if you’re a Nevada shopper, you definitely should sign up with them.

They are a bit slow to pay their shoppers. The payment schedule is 60-90 days after the shop has been completed. However, they do pay, and you shouldn’t need to beg to get your payment. (Unlike Goodwin.)

If you’re interested in becoming a mystery shopper for them, you’ll need to sign up with two companies. First, you’ll want to sign up with them directly. Their website has changed recently, but this should be the place where you can sign up.

Once you’re done signing up with them, you’ll also want to sign up with Kern Scheduling. Kern is known to schedule a number of their shops, so they’re the other ‘avenue’ to getting shops with Service Sleuth.

Please note that Service Sleuth is also known as “HS Brands International” and “The Mershimer Group.”

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Goodwin & Associates Mystery Shopping

Goodwin is another well established mystery shopping company. They have assignments all over the US. They specialize in “hospitality assignments”, which means they’ll pay you to mystery shop restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, etc.

While this is a legitimate company with real assignments, I find it hard to recommend them. Numerous people on MysteryShopForum have complained of slow pay. As shopper put it, “they pay, but only if you wait forever and beg them.” With that word of warning, they might be worth a try, if you are willing to wait months.

Goodwin is aware that they are slow with payments and have publicly stated that they’re working on getting better at this. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on them, on the forums. They do have a chance of turning around their reputation on this, and I hope that they do.

One shopper reports getting paid $350 for 5 assignments, and being very happy with the experience, except for the slow pay.

(As a side note, it is very important to keep detailed records of what you’re owed by each company, and whether they’ve paid you. This is the only way to be sure you get. Even the good companies sometimes ‘slip up’ on payments.)

If you’re interested in signing up with Goodwin & Associates, you can sign up to be a shopper for them on their website. The form is relatively short, so it will not be a big investment in terms of time.

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Cast Retail Review — Merchandising Company

Here’s a quick review of Cast Retail. They’re not a mystery shopping company, but offer many assignments closely related to mystery shopping: Merchandising, auditing, product recalls, product display setups, etc.

If you’re looking for more work in this type of field, then Cast Retail is a good way to go. They have a good reputation among their contractors and employees. They’re known to treat people pretty well.

To get started with them, simply sign up at their website: — Once you’re their, click on the ‘Careers’ link, and you’ll be set. The jobs they have available tend to rotate, but its worth a look.

They pay monthly, on the 15th of each month.

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National Shopping Service (NSS)

So, you’re interested in mystery shopping, and looking for a company to work for. National Shopping Service just might be the mystery shopping company for you. Actually, this should be one of many companies for you. Why? If you want to be a mystery shopper, then you’ve got to sign up with more than one company if you’re going to have any success.

Back to National Shopping Service. They’re a large company, with lots of mystery shopping assignments available all over the country. They are particularly known for their “pizza mystery shopping” assignments. If you like pizza, sign up with NSS.

They don’t just do pizza though. They also to restaurants, banks, airport shops, department stores, etc. The full gamut of mystery shopping.

They have a good reputation among the mystery shopping community. The pay is not abysmal, and they pay on time. They also have decent schedulers. Don’t be surprised if you get a phone call from them after you’ve signed up.

The process for signing up with National Shopping Service is pretty straight forward. You just go to their application page and follow the steps from there. You’ll be up and running pretty quick. They make it easy, because they need mystery shoppers.

After you’ve completed your first assignment from them, your check will be sent on the month after the assignment. So, don’t expect immediate payment. Which is one of the downsides of mystery shopping. You may be getting reimbursed for your pizza, but you might need to wait a month or two to get the reimbursement.

So, if you’re looking for a LEGIT company, I recommend National Shopping Service. Also, keep in mind, their is a different company with a very similar name, called National Shopping Service Network (NSSN). This is NOT the same company. I haven’t worked with NSSN, so I can’t comment on them.

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Scam Warning: Apex Consultants America Inc

This is a serious warning: Do NOT mystery shop for “Apex Consultants America Inc.” They will steal your money, and you will never get it back. If you get a large check in the mail from them, know that it is a scam! DO NOT deposit it. Instead, report it to the authorities.

Mystery shopping is real, however, it is plagued by scammer such as “Apex Consultants.” However, once you know what the scams are, they are easy to avoid. First and foremost, never wire any money, never deposit large checks. That’s all you need to know to be safe. Mystery shopping NEVER pays very well, and it usually pays $6-$30 per assignment. Anything more should put you on guard.

I have written about Apex Consult Co before, however, they seem to be rearing their head again, now as Apex Consults America. All you need to know: Stay away, and you’re fine. There’s plenty of real mystery shopping opportunities out there.

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Trendsource Mystery Shopping

Trendsource is another large mystery shopping company, with assignments all over the United States. In fact, they’re currently recruiting for grocery store mystery shopping assignments, with over 5,000 separate assignments in all different parts of the country.

Trendsource Mystery Shopping LogoTrendsource has a good reputation amongst the mystery shopping community. They pay twice a month, which is much faster than most mystery shopping companies. As one mystery shopper says “they pay like clockwork.” They’re not known for being the highest paying company, except for their business verification assignments. Be warned though, Trendsource might require you to pay for a background check before you can do a business verification.

They have a wide variety of types of mystery shopping assignments, including grocery stores, age verification audits, even “Medicare Advantage Shops.”

When you’re filling out the application for Trendsource, they have you check off the types of assignments you’re interested in. The list is quite extensive, as you can see:

  • Age Verification Audits
  • Health Care – telephone shops
  • Business Verifications
  • Merchandising
  • Competitive Rates (phone)
  • Mystery Shopping
  • Competitive Rates (Visit)
  • Phone Shopping
  • Compliance Audits
  • Rewards
  • Customer Intercept
  • Shopper Poll
  • Health Care – site visits
  • Web Survey

As you can see, they cover most of the different aspects of the mystery shopping world. Of course, this list doesn’t get down to the specific types of assignments, such as the grocery store assignments they’re currently recruiting for. But, as you can see, they have everything from phone assignments, to merchandising, to mystery shopping, audits, etc. And the best part, you get to choose what you’re intersted in. That what mystery shopping is all about, right? Well, that and the side income you can make with it. And the flexibility. And the fun.

If you want to self-assign jobs for Trendsource, you’ll need to do 5 assignments. Once you’ve done that, they’ll open your account up for self assign.

Trendsource is also known as MSI Services, which can lead to some confusion. Especially during the application process, when it suddenly seems like you’re signing up for “MSI” when you clicked through from Trendsource. C’Mon Trendsource, can’t you get your name straight?

Keep in mind that they’ll never send you a large check in the mail as part of a mystery shopping assignment. If you do get a large check from them, just throw it away. It is a scam, which is easy to avoid. Now that you know.

If you’re interested in signing up to become a shopper for Trendsource, then simply go to their website, and click “become an agent” at the top of the page. Or, to learn more about this company, see TrendSource on

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