We all shop for different reasons. Some of us are shopaholics who want to make a little extra cash while we are doing what we love. Some of us feel strongly about helping retailers improve customer service. Some of us do it purely for the extra cash – either for extra spending money or to help make ends meet in this tight economy.
Whatever our reasons for shopping, we all agree on one thing: we want to get the most money for the least effort. Whether you are just starting out or you are an experienced shopper, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting the best shop assignments.
- It’s a numbers game! You know the drill. You receive an email about a hot job in your inbox. It looks like good pay for relatively little effort, and it is at a store near your house.You eagerly request the job, only to get a response back a few minutes later that the job has already been assigned. It is often even more difficult to get that top shop if you are an inexperienced shopper or are new to that company. To get better shops (and more of them), you need to make the odds work in your favor.
A good rule of thumb is to sign up with at least 15-20 different mystery shopping companies if you are just starting out. It takes some time to apply to that many companies, but you will soon see the rewards from your efforts.
If you are an experienced shopper and are not doing all the shops you want, simply apply to more companies. Remember, not every company will have a shop available in your area at any given time. And those shops that are posted in your area may be quickly taken. You can maximize the number of jobs that are available to you by simply signing up with more companies.
- Be selective! Let’s face it, not all jobs are created equal. We have all seen the jobs that require purchase of an item with no reimbursement, and require that you not return the item.Couple this with low pay for that job, and it may COST YOU money to complete the job. Other shops pay an incredibly low rate for the work required or the amount of feedback required. Some jobs may be in remote or distant locations, causing added travel expense as well as the cost of your valuable time.
Your time is valuable. Read the details of the job and make sure you feel the compensation is worth the effort before you sign up to take the job. Remember, you do not have to take every job in your area. You have the option of only requesting the shops you feel are great opportunities.
- You’ve got mail! Most shopping companies send an email out when new jobs are posted in your area. These shops are usually snatched up fast, so be sure to check your email often so you can be the first one to request the job. This is particularly important on self-assign jobs, which will always go to the person who first requests them.
- Check back with us soon! While email is a good way to check for jobs on a daily basis, it is also advisable to check the sites of the companies you work with regularly to see if any of the jobs you screened out for location or inadequate compensation have bonuses posted.Companies often post bonuses on shops that have previously been passed over and they need completed fast. Bonus pay may make that not-so-attractive shop more worth your while.
What once was a dud of a job may end up being quite lucrative with some added bonus pay.
- Get Certified! Whether it is a Gold or Silver certification, you will be qualified for more shops if you can show your skills with a certification. Some companies also have video shops that require a video certification.You can check out the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website at www.mysteryshop.org for details getting certified. Not only will a certification qualify you for more shops and give you an edge over other shoppers, shops requiring a certification may pay a higher amount, too.
With a little extra effort, you can soon be working on the top shops in your area!