Mystery Shopping Company Review: Intellishop

mystery shopping review, Uncategorized / Monday, October 7th, 2013

I have been conducting mystery shops for Intellishop for about a year and a half now and they have become one of my regular companies that I conduct shops for. They offer a range of companies which they conduct mystery shops for including fast food, car maintenance, automotive sales, and communication companies. I have conducted a number of shops for Intellishop and they pay promptly. Payments are done by Paypal and are scheduled on the 20th of the month after you complete your shop. Shops usually take over 30 days to get paid for but that is pretty common in mystery shopping.

Submitting your mystery shops through their online platform is very easy and the shops do not usually require much written detail, mostly answering by selecting an answer from a given set. Intellishop personnel are very responsive to emails and will send you lots of emails detailing available shops. If you don’t want these emails you can always opt out and only assign yourself shops from their online platform. The shops usually reimburse you for the expenditure you have to make to complete the shop, plus about $5-$10 fee, which is a fairly average rate.

When signing up to become a shopper for Intellishop, you have to submit your social security number because they will send you tax forms if you earn over $600 a year with them (also standard for mystery shop companies). Additionally, you have to answer a questionnaire about yourself, your education and mystery shopping experience, and give a short description of a recent service/retail experience so that they see how you write and give detailed descriptions.

Good luck mystery shopping!

47 Replies to “Mystery Shopping Company Review: Intellishop”

  1. I wonder if something has changed since the review. I’ve sent numerous emails and left 5 voicemails and have been unable to get any replies or returned phone calls.

    1. That’s strange. I have recently done shops for Intellishop and haven’t had an issue with getting email responses. I have never tried to call them though. Are you already signed up as a shopper? If so, perhaps email one of the schedulers who may have sent you an email offering shops. That’s what I have done before when I have had an issue.

      1. I have just been notified that i will be sent a check for $2450.00 I am supposed to buy 4 give card from certain stores of $500 each and go shopping i keep $450 + what ever i buy does this seem right
        thank you

        1. Nope. That sounds like a scam, sorry. The check that they send will be counterfeit and you will send them money before it bounces leaving you at a financial loss.

  2. My first experience with Intellishop was really annoying. I was to get paid a whopping 6 dollars to visit a sports store…it was 15 min. from my house… I didn’t realize that it would take almost an hour and then 2 hours to finish all the information they wanted! So I made 2 dollars and hour and I had to buy something at the store and return it– so that means another 30 min… Guess I will only take jobs that pay 25 dollars or more. My friend has been doing product testing forums and she made 85 dollars for just over an hour… seems like a better part time job!

    1. Sheryl,
      Yeah, it’s true that there are many shops that aren’t worth the time and effort. Often ones with a low pay (like $6) should only take about 15 mins to complete and about 10-15 mins to complete the report online, which would still be $6 for 30 mins of work which is $12/hour. So next time, read over the instructions carefully and read over the form you will have to submit online. If it is far away, long, complicated, or anything else like that that doesn’t justify the pay, you can always not accept it. Sometimes you have to accept the shop before you get all those details and in that case I would email them and ask for more money or cancel it. I rarely find shops that pay $25 or more from Intellishop. Only when they are desperate to have something completed in short notice and I can email them and negotiate. Other companies pay better so I would check others out as well.

  3. Hey Alica!
    Does the direct deposit hit your paypal account on the 20th? Or does it take time to process?

    1. Hey Ashanti, I haven’t shopped for Intellishop for several months but the last payment I got from them was on the 20th of the month. There’s always the possibility that the payment could get delayed due to your bank’s processes, but I got mine that day.

  4. So, hopefully youll still reply to this, but i just got my assignments in the mail and it says the payout is 350$, I have two assignments with include walmart, but it says nothing about which walmart i must shop at. Does it matter?

    1. Steven,

      That sounds sketchy. I have never been paid $350 for a single mystery shop, especially not a simple one. And they always specify which location to go to. How did you get this assignment?

    2. Is this thru Orsborn? I also received that and it looks like a scam to me. Mine was Walmart and $350 as well. But they sent several thousand dollar check & I had to mail money orders
      I’m not doing it.

      1. I’m not sure what Osborn is but Intellishop does not mail out checks so yes, that sounds like it was a scam.

  5. I am having a very bad experience…
    I deposited the check and wanted to wait for it to clear…
    I had a bad experience once before….
    Did my shopping and money grams, came home did my report and sent it in.
    next day my bank informs me the check did not clear…they took the money back..
    now I am 2250.00 in the hole and I have checks bouncing….
    I have notified them ,but no response…\

    1. Hi Carol,

      Unfortunately, it sounds like you fell victim to a scammer who is misusing Intellishop’s name. Are you contacting Intellishop through their website? Please notify them of this issue. And please also call the police to report this crime. I’m sorry, but you aren’t likely to get the money back though maybe the cops can figure out who is scamming you.

  6. I have to vent about Intellishop. I did a shop that required me to go to a facility for over an hour. The report took over an hour. I got emailed and asked some clarifying questions. I answered them all. They had one more clarifying question that I did not receive and instead of following up with me to see if I got it, they invalidated my shop. Including travel time, I wasted over 3 hours on this. I asked if there was a way to appeal it and they did not reply to my message. I will not be working with them anymore. I am just so glad that it was not one where I had to spend a lot of money and wait for reimbursement. Awful.

    1. Ugh that sucks. I’m sorry you had a bad experience with Intellishop. I’ve had similar things happen on occasion from mystery shops but not with Intellishop. Mistakes happen sometimes and some companies aren’t very flexible. They seem to dislike having to ask follow up questions but those happen the most often when you do a shop for the first time.

    2. I had similar bad experiences with intellishop. It really depends on the schedulers and reviewers. I spent 18 hours doing three bank shops, including one that required that I open an account and make a deposit, which I later then would have to close. The shop required that I wait for the bank agent to contact me before it could be submitted. I took extensive notes, and waited. Two days later, I get an email from the scheduler saying my shop is late, and it was locked. I contacted him and told him I was waiting per the shop instructions. 10 days later, a reviewer noted all the sections that were not, and could not be filled out 1. because the shop was locked, despite me contacting the scheduler, and 2. the bank agent had not gotten back to me on two of the three, which was not an option in the instructions. I contacted the scheduler two more times about opening the shop so I could put the data in, and he did not respond until the last one, about three weeks later, saying it is too late to use the shop. It seems their schedulers are overworked or simply do not read their emails. Next, I did a few more shops, now with low ratings rather than no rating for the shops they prevented me from completing, and had another one when they decided not to cover because I did not sit at the service location and wait for 4 and a half hours for a typical 30 minute service to be completed after the service agent had told me to come back in 2 hours. I would clearly have been a shopper if I had chosen to stay., and I had contacted the scheduler two days earlier about the service location asking for their customers to return when they were ready for them rather than having them wait. the scheduler allowed the shop to proceed knowing that, received a thorough report, then decided it could not be used. There was nothing in the instructions which would cause it to be invalidated at the time any of the shops were conducted. I would not be surprised if this was not a common tactic.

      1. Ugh that is so frustrating! I have also had that happen when doing a bank shop and the usual 10 minute wait turned into the teller saying I may need to wait for several hours for the banker to be available. Nope. I emailed the scheduler and told them what happened and asked to reschedule. When something unusual like that happens I will reschedule and usually the scheduler is flexible. If they are not and are giving me a hard time I just cancel it and accept that it will lower my rating with the company. I do so many shops that it doesn’t really matter to me if my rating takes a ding every now and then because they will still assign me shops.

  7. I am still waiting for a reimbursement for a job done in July. The scheduler is slow to respond, the company does not honor its agreements.

    I did three jobs at the end of July. Each one required a $25.00 reimbursement. I got paid for two of the Jobs on August 28 and third third on Sept 2. When I asked where my $75.00 reimbursements were, I received $25.00 on Sept 9. It took a weeks of emailing before I was told I would get the balance on Oct 20. On Oct 20 I received another $25.00. After a few more emails, I was told the remaining reimbursement would be on October 28. When I received nothing I was then told it would have to be Nov 20 (because they only pay on the 20th). It is now Nov 22 and still waiting for the money and a response.

    As you can see from above, they do not just pay on the 20th. They also noted on my job board that my payment was sent on Oct. 28. When I sent a request to accounts payable, I was told they had nothing to do with payments.

    1. Geeze I’m sorry to hear that! I have not had that experience with Intellishop. Most mystery shop companies pay 30+ days after you complete the shop so the delay is normal, but I have always received the payment when I was scheduled to. I’m sorry you have had such a frustrating experience.

  8. They underpay big time at almost every job.

    E.g. I regret accepting a Papa John’s job. The description says “$25 reimbursement” and upon opening the report I find out the long instructions, how many photos I have to take and that I have to print and fill out a special form, then write job numbers on the pizza box with specific black marker… and then when I order pizza the total bill is only $10 (because you have to order this specific type of pizza) and they won’t allow me to order more to get up to the max reimbursement!! How shady. The report is an easy 30 min and they pay zero for this job. Yikes.. Basically what you get is a $10 worth of food for over an hour of your work. I have never done more underpaid job.

    1. Karma,

      For one thing, you should never disclose what companies work with particular mystery shopping companies. It is a violation of your contractor agreement.

      Secondly, I have done that shop a thousand times and it gets easier as you get familiar with it so now it takes me all of 10 minutes to take the photos and submit the form. Yes, the lack of pay on top of reimbursement sucks but sometimes you can ask them to add a bonus when they can’t get someone to do it and they are desperate. But I do the shop anyway because free dinner is one less thing I have to pay for that month and adds a little more buffer in my budget

  9. I would like to report Kevin Bell, for misguiding me in visiting a senior nursing home shop he told me that he will change the scenario from dementia care to assisted living as the conversation I had with the nursing home was not the scenario I was supposed to do so he changed it to assisted living. The problem llies when he sent me an email saying that the family member age that I mentioned was too less to go to this facility and so my shop is not accepted.
    I was so shocked as t why he said this because, we were going back and forth in correcting my shop, and then he throws the book at me saying that the age is not the acceptable scenario.
    He is not paying attention to the details, I could have quit in the beginning and not have to do the shop, instead he led me on.
    How can a person like this even have a job, not paying attention to details about the shop??!!1

    1. I’m sorry your shop did not get approved and it sounds like there was definitely some confusion as to the requirements for the shop. I have had several shops not approved because I did not use the correct scenario or visited outside the time window or made another mistake. I would suggest that you contact Intellishop and complain about this confusion directly to them. Perhaps they just need their employees to be better trained to convey the shop details to shoppers. It is also your responsibility to read over the shop requirements carefully before doing the shop and if you have any questions contact the mystery shopping company before you do the shop to get your questions answered. Otherwise you run the risk of doing the shop incorrectly and not getting paid.

  10. I am brand new to mystery shopping. I have done 2 so far and really enjoyed them. A couple of questions for the experienced folks….I wanted to make sure I had correctly done my first 2 before doing more. How soon will you usually hear if the shop was NOT done correctly?

    Also, one that I did said they prefer pictures not be taken with a cell phone. Unfortunately that is all I have so I was very careful and took the best picture I could. To me it was very clear and easily readable. Both shops said that pictures could be faxed, but as I do not have a fax machine at home, I would have use and pay for the fax at Staples. What do you experienced folks use to take your pictures?

    1. Usually I hear back within a day or two if there is a problem with a shop I submitted. Sometimes it has taken several days for them to email me but that’s uncommon. I have never faxed in a report to a mystery shop company and if they require you to I would ask that they reimburse you for your cost to have Staples fax it. I always have submitted my shops online. I have sometimes used my camera to take photos for shops but that is usually for shops that are audits and require many photos. Sometimes it is easier to use the camera but I take about 90% of my mystery shop photos with my cell phone camera. Honestly, the resolution on the phone camera is better than my regular camera. So I think that their request that you not use your cell camera for photos is likely outdated and I would do it anyway.

      1. Thank you so much. I appreciate your advice. I just yesterday heard back on one….in my nervousness of doing the paperwork of the very first one, I submitted one document twice. Thankfully that was a very easy fix. I have not heard back anything (trusting no news is good news) from the one that stated no phone pics.

        1. I just head back from Intellishop thanking me for making the correction. They scored me an 8 out of 10 due to having to contact me about the error. Live and learn.

  11. Earning My Two Cents (in leu of your actual name),

    Hi, my name is Emily. It’s nice to “meet” you. I have read every comment and every response posted with this article. I am doing a ton of research into what it’s like to be a mystery shopper. I’m considering pursuing it, but I’m trying to figure out which company is the best to work for. So far they all seem to share the same pros and cons. Pros: Make your own schedule seems to be the biggest. Cons: Many people do not get paid for their time, communication seems to be an issue, apparently there are many ways to “do a shop wrong,” which means you don’t get paid, and overall it seems getting paid/reimbursed in a timely manner, if at all, is a huge issue.

    You yourself have expressed in a number of replies that you have had these negative experiences with Intellishop. Are there any benefits to actually being a mystery shopper other than creating your own schedule? Do you honestly make any money doing this? Do you actually enjoy this job, considering it sounds like you’ve had many unpleasant experiences? Have you been a mystery shopper for any other company?

    I appreciate any information and advice you can give me. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Emily,

      Yes, I work for many, many mystery shopping companies and yes I actually do many money from this. Check out this post for details: There are ups and downs with every company and every mystery shopper has had shops rejected and not been paid for them. In fact just this week I made a mistake and didn’t get paid for a shop. Things happen. But I have been doing this for the past 6 years and I enjoy it, plus it helps supplement my income. I recommend signing up with many companies since there usually is no single company that has a ton of work in one town so I cobble together mystery shops from many companies. The benefit to it is that it is flexible and I find it easy. There are other flexible jobs that can make you money too, you just have to see what works best for your personality, skills, and schedule.

      1. So they don’t send you any money up front. I signed up for the company recently & today 4/21/17 receive a check of $1,260. I think its a scam

  12. I am very new to mystery shopping and I signed up for intelli shop but they are asking for SSN or EIN and I am not comfortable providing the same , can I still earn? I am not able to find their contact details also.

    1. Hi Sid,

      Yes most mystery shopping companies ask for your SSN because they need to report your earnings to the IRS. They don’t take out taxes and consider you an independent contractor, not an employee, and so will send you a 1099 form if you earn more than $600-$800 (I can’t remember which) in a year from them. If you are not comfortable giving your SSN, you can often bypass it when you first sign up but you will have to enter it before they can send you payment. If you aren’t sure if you are on the right site, Intellishop’s site is

  13. I just received a text message from someone saying I have qualified to take part in the Intellshop Secret Shopper. A survey assignment with $300 reward has been assigned to me. Also the payment to cover all expenses at Walmart store/Money center posing as a regular shopper for the survey assignment with instructions should arrive today or tomorrow. What I want to know does this sound/ seem legit??? I’m a very busy person and don’t want to waste my time with a scam.

    1. Melissa,

      Nope. That sounds like a scam. Intellishop has never contacted me via text message and no one pays $300 for a single mystery shop. Some companies do use texts to contact you but only after you have signed up with them and have approved that method of communication. This is a classic scam wherein the scammers mail you a fake check and ask you to cash it then send the money onto someone else as you “mystery shop” Western Union or MoneyGram. The check will bounce and you will be out whatever money you sent.

      1. Thank you.. I got my packet today and after inspecting very very closely I think this is definitely a scam and will be taking everything to my local police station. Thank you for your information and help.

  14. I signed up with them after reading your articles and comments. So far I have received mostly all 10 ratings and getting the hang of it. I seem to always have a problem with the same girl scheduler though. She chooses when to respond and when not to and is much pickier and critical than the others. Two issues I have a question about:

    1. What can you do if you have a problem with a shop over the weekend? I did the oil change shop this morning where I’m supposed to upload my receipt and upload my inspection document. However, they told me AFTER that the system was down and could printake my receipt but not the inspection. Now I’m worried they won’t accept it and I’ll be out $40. I tried emailing my scheduler even though I know they don’t work on the weekend. The issue is it says it’s due within 12 hours so it’s either wait for her to check my message and get penalized for being late, or submit something in place of the form and then get penalized for needing to clarify something. If there is a problem with getting the required information, is that on us and we are then out the money we spent? Technically those things happen in real life to real shoppers.

    2. With the same scheduler, I had another problem over the weekend last month because the form I was filling out was creating errors and kept repeating the same question over and over. Logging out and refreshing didn’t help. I emailed her to let her know my problem but went ahead and submitted because I knew it would be late if I waited for her help. In each box thst required an answer I typed, “I apologize but the question is not appearing and I’m unsure what to write.” She never replied to me even after the weekend, and then I got an email telling me I needed to fix my errors and suddenly the form worked. I fixed the errors and was penalized for having to be contacted. I emailed her yet again telling her that I wrote her a.s.a.p. to let her know of the technical issues plus not being able to wait for her reaponse on Monday so I didn’t think it was fair to be penalized and she never responded. Is there anyone else you can go to like management for these concerns? They’d be able to look up all my messages after all.

    Thank you for your help!

    1. Sarah,

      Sorry for the super late reply so I’m not sure this is helpful anymore but just in case: 1) If that happened to me I would email the scheduler and I would take photos of the location and anything I can to confirm I was there and that I completed the shop. Often times with such an unusual situation they will still reimburse you. I have not gotten a receipt several times because of anomalies like that and have usually still gotten reimbursed. 2) I have had problems with the site for Intellishop and other companies before with a similar type of bug that won’t let me submit the form. When that happens I just email the scheduler, like you did, and explain. Ignore the automated emails telling you that your report is past due and they will fix it for you.

  15. Does Intellishop differentiate between fees/bonuses (which is actual income) and reimbursements (which really is not income) on their tax reporting to the IRS?

    1. As you said, fees and bonuses are taxable and reimbursements are not. I have never received a 1099 from Intellishop as I have never received over $600 in fees/bonuses from them in a single year. But yes, they should differentiate between them.

  16. This article is very much helpful and i hope this will be an useful information for the needed one. Keep on updating these kinds of informative things…

  17. Hi! My name is Melinda and I signed up with Intellishop a couple of weeks ago. Today, I get an email from them telling my first mystery shop pakage will arrive and I can track it through USPS and they provided a tracking number. I tracked it and it was legit, later today I recieved a priority envel;ope with a money order for $998 and instructions to cash the money order at my bank and then proceed to a walmart, Best buy, Kroger, pr Target and purchase 4 Itunes gift cards totalling $850, keep the balance of $148 for myself.
    Take pictures of these gift cards, front and back, and a series of questions must be answered and emailed back to them along qith photos of the Itunes gift cards.Before I call Intellishop, and verify this, I have read through all the scams, it is not a cashiers check, and you can cash a money order anywhere really, it doesnt have to be your bank, You can walk into a Walmart and cash a money order, so it sounds like this is workable. What do you think?
    Thank you!!

    1. Nope. That is a classic scam. That’s not how Intellishop does business. Il bet that you are not in touch with Intelligible but rather someone impersonating them. I would go to their website and contact them to verify.

  18. Esto es Real??
    Tengo una Duda me acaban de enviar la compañía un cheque de 2,300.75 para que haga 3 transactions ya lo deposite y saque el Dinero en efectivo para hacer la 3 transactions dos de Walmart to Walmart de 1,000 y una de $760 y una de tarjeta de Regalo de $500 pero me dicen que es Fraude

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