A Review of Mystery Shopping Panel Gapbuster
Mystery Shopping

A Review of Mystery Shopping Panel Gapbuster

EPF May 20, 2017

About Gapbuster Mystery Shopping

Gapbuster, now known as GBW, is a world leader in mystery shopping, who claim to have organized over 14 million mystery shops in more than 100 countries worldwide, for some of the world’s largest brands.

GBW recruit and train ordinary people to be a mystery shoppers. You will then go to one of their client’s stores and act as a customer, shopping for products. An online survey will have to be completed about the experience and submitted to GBW, who will reward you for your efforts with cash payments, discounts and/or reimbursements.  

Registration is relatively simple and there are no upfront fees to pay. They do not make wild claims that you will make massive profits. They are a legitimate company, certified by ISO 9001, and dedicated to providing you with quality service.

The global headquarters of GBW which were situated in Melbourne, Australia, have now been relocated to Malaysia, but they still have regional offices in various parts of the world.

The Benefits of Choosing GBW Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is perfect for a wide range of people who want to earn extra money on the side. Many mystery shoppers join up because they enjoy shopping and enjoy the time flexibility that a company like GBW can provide.

Here are some benefits of linking up with GBW.

  • GBW are a global company with over 400,000 shoppers in the field. They are held in high regard by their numerous clients.
  • They represent a wide range of industries and can provide a variety of mystery shopping assignments, some of which may be in your local area.
  • GBW have a constantly growing client list which ensures a comprehensive assignment base for you to choose from.
  • Shoppers get paid monthly. According to the website for example, work done in April will be paid by end of June.
  • You have an opportunity to become a GBW auditor, who are selected from only the best of the mystery shoppers, to complete audits for clients. Those afforded the chance to become an auditor will undergo training and certification and be considered for one of the auditor roles. Audits are designed to capture specific information accurately, precisely and correctly.
  • They have over 18 years’ experience in the market research, and specifically in the mystery shopping area of business.

Member Reviews of GBW/ Gapbuster

The negative reports by far outnumber the positive reviews. The major complaint is about the move of the headquarters from Australia to Malaysia, which many feel have downgraded the site in general.

Here are some of the complaints from unhappy members:

  • Since the move to Malaysia customer service has taken a nosedive. It is easy to misunderstand something important. If you query something it is very rare that someone actually gets back to you.
  • There is only an online ticketing system for queries and if they think they have answered your question, they simply close the ticket. Very frustrating.
  • Some shops you have to visit have a CCTV system which they use to check your reports and if you are only a couple of minutes out, you do not get paid or reimbursed for purchases or any other expenses incurred in the assignment. This is in spite of the fact that they got all the information they needed.

There is also great unhappiness about the payment system. Although they promise to pay monthly, there are complaints from some members who have been waiting more than 4 months for payments. Others have reported that in response to queries about payments, they have been told that payments have been made, but GBW cannot provide any proof of payment.

There is a general feeling that payments are very slow and that at best communication with the company is extremely poor.

Reports from Satisfied Members

  • A member who has been working for Gapbuster for 3 years, takes assignments to supplement her income. She enjoys mystery shopping and rates her experience with them as positive in general. She has been paid every month so far.
  • Another member reported that he has been with Gapbuster now GBW, for 6 years and has never had any hassles. However he has noticed that since the move to Malaysia, the service is not what it used to be, but he is still satisfied with the company.
  • There is a member who has over 5 years, developed a good relationship with Gapbuster and now takes about 50 to 70 assignments per year without any untoward issues.


It appears that most of the complaints center around payment issues and the lack of communication with the company since it has been relocated to Malaysia.

Although payment is slow to materialize, for the most part payments are made, with a few payments not arriving at all. But these are in the minority.

As a specialist mystery shopping site, GBW do have some very good points. However, in critical areas like payments and customer service, there is much room for improvement.

GBW rates 2.5 stars out of 5.

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