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Mystery shopping age restriction surveys – the flexible student side hustle

Students looking for a flexible way to earn extra income to ease the cost of living pressures, are getting paid to order their groceries or take-aways. They do this by signing up with mystery shopping companies and completing age restriction checking surveys. The surveys are needed to ensure Challenge 25 age verification checks are being carried out to prevent age restricted goods being given to under age people.


There’s no doubt that we are currently living in tough times, and people of all ages and backgrounds are struggling to make ends meet. However, students are some of the hardest hit by the current cost of living crisis. A 2022 study by Student Beans found that 80% of students will be cutting down on non-essential spending over the next six months. Of those students who are cutting down on spending, 80% will be cutting down on eating out, 48% on alcohol and 41% on make-up.

Unfortunately, as expected the financial situation for students is affecting their mental wellbeing – the study found that 67% have suffered with mental health issues due to their financial situation. During this phase of life, students should be able to focus on their studies and making the most of all that the university experience has to offer, instead of worrying about how they can buy their next weeks’ worth of meals, or which luxury they need to cut out next.

But where can students find help and financial advice? The research found that only 8% of students are very confident they know where to seek financial advice. Unsure of where to turn, as many as 32% of students go to Instagram for financial wellbeing advice.

Whilst there may be some useful tips found on social media, respected financial advisor Martin Lewis’ website MoneySavingExpert offered some invaluable tips in 2022. As well as using supermarket coupons and rewards apps, the knowledgeable website pointed students towards mystery shopping as a great way to gain extra income during these tough times.

Mystery shopping helps a business know what the customer experience was like for a typical customer. One of the best ways to find out about the customer experience is to use mystery shopping services. Mystery shoppers get to select different mystery shopping assignments that suit them and their availability. Mystery shopping assignments can involve visiting a store, asking staff questions about a product, finding a particular item of stock, or take an interest in how long the queues are at the tills. In other words, act in just the same way as any other customer might be. The only difference the mystery shopper will fill in a questionnaire about their shopping experience.

Other examples of mystery shopping assignments include getting paid when ordering groceries or take away food from online food home delivery companies and reporting on the delivery service you experienced.

It sounds too good to be true, but there really are companies out there that can pay you to mystery shop whilst using the services you usually access anyway. One testimonial from a student who is a mystery shopper with Centrebound stated “Working with Centrebound has been a hugely positive experience. It’s a perfect supplementary source of income for a student: I can be flexible around my studies, choosing which jobs I want to take from clearly advertised and straightforwardly salaried listings. All my interactions with Centrebound have been wholly positive: from initial briefings, to on-demand support, to the surveys afterwards. 100% would recommend Centrebound to anyone!”

It seems a no-brainer for students to give mystery shopping a try to gain some extra income during the current cost of living crisis. But the next challenge is to find a reputable mystery shopping company to work for – one that can offer transparency, and good regular opportunities to earn extra income that do not go outside of your usual spending habits. Since 2012, Centrebound have been working with some of the UK’s biggest companies. They are registered with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and the ICO, and are rated as Excellent on Trust Pilot and Google.

A popular type of mystery shopping assignment for students from Centrebound is the Age Restriction Testing or Door Step Auditors assignments. These involve students placing an order of their choice from leading food delivery apps, and crucially this order must include at least one age-restricted product – for example alcohol, vapes, etc. They’ll then be asked to complete a survey telling Centrebound whether they got asked for ID by the delivery driver, and some other factors relating to the delivery.

The best part? As well as keeping what you ordered, Centrebound will pay you for your completed survey. Sometimes there is a minimum order value but often there is not. Either way, there’s no need to worry as Centrebound send all successful applicants a thorough brief with all the finer details of the assignment, so you have all the necessary information prior to taking part. You can participate in more than one assignment per month too, and the number of available assignments differs depending on your location. So, it’s easy to see how the pay you receive from completing age check surveys can add up to make a considerable difference to your financial situation each month. As well as this, most find carrying out age verification checks to be a thoroughly enjoyable and stress-free experience. After all, the last thing students need is extra stress.

Signing up to become a mystery shopper is simple. Fill in a short application form. The main requirement is that you are between the ages of 18-23. After completing the online application form, Centrebound typically responds within 5 business days. Successful applicants will be emailed a short online test measuring their written English and observational skills, so please be sure to check your junk/spam folders for any follow-up emails.

If somehow you’re still unsure, take a look at the testimonials below from students like you who have completed age check surveys alongside their usual spending habits:

Kiera, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, says: “Working with Centrebound is great because I am a student, who regularly enjoys takeaways and so the assignments I receive perfectly fit in with my current lifestyle and are no hassle to complete. The audits I complete are quick and straight forward and I receive payment much quicker than I first anticipated. The extra cash is great for me, especially living on a student budget!”

Anna, in Bristol, says: “I couldn’t recommend working for Centrebound enough to my friends and family. As a student, it’s an excellent job to have; the flexibility of the operations means that I can partake in as many assignments as I want, depending on my schedule and plans for the week. All of the payments have been speedy and on time. The assignment briefs are detailed and specific, and any questions I have had have been replied to in under 24 hours. Being a student this is an almost perfect job for me and I genuinely enjoy it, the form is really easy to fill out and I look forward to receiving the emails telling me I can do another assignment. I’ve recommended the company to all of my flatmates and most of them have applied as well!”

Finally, Molly in Cardiff says: ““I enjoy working with Centrebound because it is so flexible, I can always work around my busy timetable. It has allowed me to earn that extra bit of money in need as a student while doing something I enjoy and not taking up much of my time. It is an extremely organised and efficient company. They are always clear with instructions, quick with payments and quick to reply to any queries. I have loved my experience with Centrebound thus far.”

For students looking for a flexible way to earn extra income, completing mystery shopping assignments such as the age restriction testing surveys for Centrebound could be the much-needed solution. Sign up now at www.centrebound.com/join-our-team/.