If you are like most people, mystery shopping is one of those things that you heard mentioned casually here and there. It almost was like an urban legend rather than something people actually did. Yet you have now discovered that mystery shopping is a legitimate job that many people across the country and beyond do to make a part-time or even a full-time living at. Now that you have discovered this wonderful opportunity, you probably want to hit the ground running and get your mystery shopping career off right.
Choose Your Providers Wisely. Most mystery shopping providers will gladly invite you into their fold simply with your own effort at completing an application. So while you may be worried about not being accepted, your real concern should be finding some great providers to work with. It’s not uncommon for new mystery shoppers to simply choose providers to work with randomly, take the first few companies off the list, or choose providers with company names they just like. If you visit the mystery shopping forums, though, you can read great posts written by experienced mystery shoppers that can give you some insight into what it’s like to work with them. This extra step can help to steer you clear from providers that may give you trouble later on.
Get Some Experience. You will find that assignments on job boards can be divided into two categories – self-assign jobs and jobs that you have to request. The request jobs essentially leave it up to a scheduler to review the interested candidates and to choose the best one. Often the “best” candidate is the one with more experience. So to get started, spend your time doing at least a couple of the self-assign jobs to get experience. Keep in mind that you will need to build experience with each provider you work with. So doing five self-assign jobs for one provider won’t do anything for you with another provider.
Start Slowly. You may be ready to jump head first into mystery shopping, but you may find it in your best interest to take a week or two and do a handful of assignments at first. You want to really pay attention to all of the details on assignment requirements, learn what your providers expect on the reports, and other such factors that you don’t want to rush through. Even your first few assignments can affect your “shopper rating,” which is one way providers indicate your skills and experience as a mystery shopper. After you get the ropes down, you can then work to make yourself more efficient. Your first few assignments should not be based on how much money you can make but rather how much experience and knowledge you can gather.
After you take these initial steps to get the ball rolling as a mystery shopper, you will find that you really can pick up speed in just a few weeks. You will be working with great providers, will have experience to request all types of jobs, and will have the knowledge and skills you need to work more confidently and efficiently, too.