Shopper FAQ

Finding, Applying for, and Self-Assigning Shops

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Preparing for Shops

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What to do if you cannot perform your shop as assigned

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After you Submit

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Improving your chances of getting shops

IntelliShop’s schedulers give preference to shoppers who:

You can increase your Shopper Rating by:

  • Writing thorough reports.
  • Following the shop guidelines closely (your Shopper Rating may be reduced if you deviate from the guidelines during the shop).
  • Performing shops on time (your Shopper Rating may be reduced if you cancel or “flake” on a shop).
  • Accepting opportunities for which a “Hero Citation” is offered.

IntelliShop issues a numerical rating to a shopper following each report they submit. This system is based on a “1-10 scale”, where 10 is the best score possible, and 1 is the lowest. Our system may be a little tougher than some other companies you might shop for; we have very high standards.

A Flake Citation is a note on a shopper’s record that negatively affects the shopper’s overall rating and indicates to other coordinators that the shopper did not perform a shop by its due date or timely notify the coordinator that the shop would not be performed

A Cancel Citation is a note on a shopper’s record that negatively affects the shopper’s overall rating and indicates to other coordinators that the shopper canceled a shop. This citation is typically given only if the cancellation came the day before or the day the shop is due, or if the shop involved setup work beyond simple online assignment (for example, if an item needed to be mailed to the shopper)

A Hero Citation is a note on a shopper’s record that positively affects the shopper’s overall rating and indicates to other coordinators that the shopper can be counted on

MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers Association) is the trade association representing the mystery shopping industry throughout North America. In MSPA, member mystery shopping companies unite as a common body for the purpose of strengthening the mystery shopping industry through combined efforts and actions. (See for more information.

For detailed information on becoming Silver or Gold certified through MSPA, visit

IC Pro is a way for you, the mystery shopper, to declare yourself as an independent contractor

At the federal state level, government agencies are challenging independent contractor (IC) status in many industries. The goal of this legislation is to be able to have independent contractors declared employees to be able to collect more taxes and fees from the mystery shopper and the company.

While mystery shopping is not the intended target of this legislation, it is in danger of getting caught up in this unless action is taken from all sides. This is why mystery shopping companies are giving preferential treatment to shoppers who support keeping the mystery shopping industry as free as possible by declaring themselves as mystery shopping professionals running independent businesses.

While being considered an employee might sound attractive, the reality is:

  • Your mystery shopping income would be subject to immediate state and federal withholding.
  • The increased fees for running a mystery shopping company with shoppers as employees would result in lower shop fees (for you) and higher fees for companies who use mystery shopping services which means fewer mystery shops for all.
  • You might not be able to work for more than one mystery Shop Company--very few mystery shopping companies would feel comfortable employing a shopper who was an employee of another company. There are too many conflict-of-interest issues.
  • You might get no work at all-there would be very few mystery shopping employee positions available. The state of Nevada, for example, requires all mystery shoppers be employees of a private investigation firm. As a result there are only a few hundred mystery shoppers in the entire state, shutting out thousands of people who would like to be mystery shoppers there.

Go to JobSlinger and if you have not already registered with them then do so. Registering with them will give you access to job listings from hundreds of companies.

Once you are registered and logged in click on My Account > IC Pro and fill out the information on the form. You don't have to fill out all the information, but you must submit at least the information in section 1 (W-9 info) to get an IC Pro score. All the other information is optional, but the more information you enter, the higher you’re IC Pro score will be.

Once you have filled out the information on the IC Pro page, you must connect your Job Slinger account to your Sassie accounts by clicking on Tools Connections.

Your W-9 information is securely stored in accordance with IRS specifications. Authorized representatives of Sassie companies that you work for (and have connected to on JobSlinger) can access this information if they are called upon by the government to produce a W-9 from you.

The databases are operated and secured by SurfMerchants LLC in Boston who has operated in the mystery shopping industry since 1998 as SASSIE and JobSlinger. SurfMerchants LLS has received IRS authorization to collect and verify (only with the individual's explicit permission) SSN and EIN information on behalf of mystery shopping companies who are also IRS authorized.

Nothing. It is 100% free and available to all JobSlinger members


Client disbursements for your shops will automatically be sent through PayPal approximately 30 days after the last day of the month in which your shops were completed. We normally pay on the 20th of the month (or on the following business day). All required shop documentation (business card, receipt, etc.) must be submitted for payment to be processed.

Please keep in mind that it takes PayPal up to 5 business days to process payments once they have been transferred. We ONLY pay via PayPal; no checks are ever issued.

If your online submission is incomplete, please update your report with all requested information immediately upon notification

Many of our reports allow you to scan the paperwork and upload it directly in the report; this is the fastest and best method. If you must fax something to us, send it to ATTN:Shopper Payments 419-872-5104

Client disbursements are made only via PayPal, an internet payment service; we do not issue checks. Please note: the e-mail address that you are signed up with on our online system MUST also be your PayPal email address. Client disbursements will only be sent to the e-mail address in your Shopper Profile in our InSite system. For more information on PayPal and setting up an account, go to, and click on either "Request Money" or "Sign Up For Your Personal Account." There is no cost to you to use this service, and your client disbursement is ready for you to claim within five business day after we post it to PayPal.

No. If you conduct more than one evaluation for IntelliShop during a pay period, we will combine those into one payment to PayPal for you. It is your responsibility to keep detailed records of payments due to you so that you can reconcile what is sent via PayPal with what you are due to be paid. If you believe there is a discrepancy, please review your own records to resolve the issue before contacting IntelliShop, and when contacting us please have as many details as possible ready to communicate

You will be notified by automated e-mail when we have sent your payment to PayPal

Log on to your personal shop log and look under the Shop Fees column; if we have paid you for your evaluation, it will say "Paid On:" and give the date that we sent it to PayPal, right above the shop fees. If the area above the shop fees is blank, then we haven't received all of your paperwork, or your evaluation is not yet eligible for payment

Please contact PayPal at 888-221-1161 to see whether they received your payment. If you still have a question after speaking with them, e-mail us at, with the details (Client evaluated, evaluation date, payment amount expected)

This usually means your account has not been activated with PayPal, or you have used an incorrect login, password, etc. Contact PayPal at 888-221-1161.

Please note that you must claim your payment within 30 days of payment notification or payment will be returned and need to be re-issued.

You will have to wait 30 days from the date the payment was originally sent to PayPal. To prevent payment fraud, PayPal will not return those funds to us any sooner. Our policy is that if you change your e-mail address, we do not pay those funds until the funds are returned to our account by PayPal in 30 days. If we have made an error that causes you to not be able to claim your funds, we will re-send the funds immediately

PayPal returns payments when your Pay Pal account is not setup properly or there is a problem with your account, and also when the payment is left unclaimed for 30 days. If your payment is returned to us, and you are still eligible to receive that payment, we will immediately re-send the payment to PayPal when the funds are returned to our account (30 days after we sent the original payment)

Log on to your shopper profile and enter your new PayPal address in the e-mail field. Please note: the e-mail address that you are signed up with on our online system MUST be your PayPal address. Payments will only be sent to the e-mail address in your Shopper Profile in our InSiteTM system

For security reasons, PayPal does not allow us to access our evaluators' accounts. Please contact them directly at 888-221-1161 for assistance with your account.

IntelliShop NEVER issues checks and this is not from us. The check is not real, will bounce, and you will be deprived of the funds wired to the criminals perpetrating this scam. Please be aware of this and know this is in fact a scam.