Shadow Shopper is basically a website that charges users for a list of companies that hire mystery shoppers also known as secret shoppers. Mystery Shopping is when a company hires people like you and me to act as undercover shoppers that visit various stores to purchase a given product or service. Sometimes you’re not even required to purchase anything, it’s just a matter of visiting the store to evaluate the appearance or customer service of a given shop. The shops that you visit don’t know you’re evaluating them. At the end of your visit you must fill out a report detailing what you’re observed. Whatever money you spent is usually reimbursed plus an additional fee. So you usually get some free products and some extra money for your troubles. It’s a great opportunity for stay at home moms and people that have great attention to details.
ShadowShopper.com is very much like the various websites you find on the web that offer lists of survey opportunities for a fee. The problem with these websites and why they’re often viewed as scams or have negative reviews is because you can get the information they’re selling you for free. Personally it’s hard for me to call theses sites scams because honestly books, newspapers and magazines are also offering you a lot of information you can get for free if you know where to look.
The issue with sites like ShadowShopper.com is how they misrepresent the amounts of money you can make and how soon you can get started. The other "shady" thing about ShadowShopper.com is that they offer you a free membership. But in their terms of services they clearly state that after your 7 day free trial is up they will automatically charge you, and process your membership. I put the word shady in quotes because this is just a matter of being aware of what you’re signing up for and taking the appropriate action.
If you cancel before the trial period there isn’t a problem. But most people aren’t as careful as they should be and forget to cancel the trial and you end up paying for something you didn’t necessarily want. Most companies that offer free trials depend on this, so it’s not only companies like ShadowShopper.com do employ this tactic. This is where you get many complaints because from what I gather ShadowShopper.com isn’t going to give you a refund because you forgot to cancel your free trial. Ideally they should but they are in their rights since they let you know this up front in their terms and conditions.
Personally given that there are free resources that provide you with legitimate Mystery Shopping opportunities I would pass on Shadow Shopper. I don’t think it’s a flat out scam because it’s not against the law to sell you free information. But they are a little deceptive in their representation of earnings and how easy it is to get started with secret shopping. And just be mindful of the free trial and the terms associated with them and you should be fine if you decide to try them.