This is an admittedly biased list of the 10 biggest mystery shopping companies. How is it biased? It is based on one simple number: The number of Mystery Shop Forum members who report they have registered with each company.
In other words, these are the companies that mystery shoppers are most likely to be registered with.
This is the first time these rankings have been made public.
- Market Force This company has long been one of the most discussed companies on the forum. It is not surprisingly, the number one on this list. A relatively young mystery shopping company, they came to prominence through a series of acquisitions last decade. More about this company: CEO Interview, review from 2013, forum discussions.
- Bestmark This is another large mystery shopping company. They perform half a million ‘field visits’ a year. They are well liked on the forum. More about this company: Review from 2012, forum discussions
- Intellishop Not only does this company have a lot of mystery shoppers, they’re also widely discussed on the forum. More about this company: Review, forum discussions
- GFK In his review for our magazine, James Bond 007.5 wrote that this is a company every shopper should register with. Apparently, shoppers agree, putting this company solidly in the top ten list. More about this company: Review, forum discussions
- MaritzCX This company is well liked on the forum. They’ve been around a very long time, and are known for being ‘old school.’ In fact, they’ve been getting attention recently for finally using email to communicate with their shoppers. More about this company: Review from 2014, forum discussions.
- Bare Associates International This is a good company, with a good reputation on the forum. Read our interview with the founder, review, and forum discussions.
- SteriCycle When this company purchased Corporate Research International in 2011, they jumped to 7th place on the list. On the forum they are known for their low paying shops. They’re a publicly traded company and their stock price has very steadily increased over the past 5 years. Review, forum discussions.
- Trendsource / MSI This is another solid company, with a good reputation on the forum. They have created some controversy by requiring their mystery shoppers to use an “EIN” instead of a social security number. Review, interview with the CEO, forum discussions.
- Second to None They are a well liked company with a good reputation. Read our interview with the CEO, forum discussions.
- Beyond Hello This is another company with a good reputation. They have a variety of assignments, and are generally well liked on the forum. Read our review from 2013, and the forum discussions.
The next five companies that didn’t quite make the cut include About Face, A Closer Look, Kern Scheduling, Service Sleuth, and Gapbuster.
To learn more about these companies, I encourage you to create an account on the forum. You’ll be able to see exactly how many shoppers report they are registered with each company (once you indicate whether or not you’re registered with that company).