As a new mystery shopper, you probably have some pretty grand notions about what is involved with mystery shopping. You may imagine yourself earning money while you walk around the mall in a baseball cap and dark sunglasses trying to remain incognito. This is a great dream, but the reality of mystery shopping is that it is a real job where you are assigned duties that must be completed if you want to earn your paycheck. As with most jobs, there are also strategies and guidelines that can help you earn more money. Here are some great tips that will help new mystery shoppers like you make an easy transition into the business and start earning money easier and faster:
Understand Your Duties. Every mystery shopping assignment that comes your way will have a set of requirements that must be followed. As you do more assignments, you will find that a lot of the requirements are very similar, but each assignment will have a its own unique requirements and guidelines. If you don’t follow the guidelines, you will end up spending time on an assignment without getting paid for your efforts. This means that you need to thoroughly review the requirements for each and every assignment. If you don’t understand any of the requirements, you should contact your scheduler for clarification before your site visit.
You will want to commit the requirements to memory because you cannot bring the paperwork on-site with you. Some mystery shoppes will create “cheat sheet” of sorts disguised as a shopping list they bring inside the store with them, and others may take notes and store them on their cell phone.
What Time Is It? Time is a critical factor in mystery shopping. Assignments generally will have a day, or at minimum a window of days, when the assignment must be completed. In addition, the assignment may also have set hours of the day when the site visit must be completed. If you fail to complete the site visit in the specified time frame, you run the very real risk of not getting paid for your efforts. On top of that, you also have guidelines on turning the report for your assignment. Most reports need to be completed by midnight the day of your site visit, but others are required to be completed within 12 or 24 hours. If you book several assignments for one afternoon, be sure that you pay attention to the report submission dates and times and that you leave enough time to complete the reports that evening.
Know Your Co-Workers. As a mystery shopper, you are a contract worker based out of your home. With the nature of the job, your best friend and closest neighbors may all be mystery shoppers, and you may never know it. So how can you know your co-workers? There are several online communities or forums that bring mystery shoppers together in a virtual environment. Through these forums, you can get to know your co-workers, learn from their experiences, gain insight into various providers, get answers to your questions, and so much more. Your co-workers are an invaluable source of information, so make use of all that the forums can offer you for an easier transition into the job.
As with many jobs, there are definitely some tricks of the trade and unique aspects of mystery shopping that you should be aware of. Use these tips to help you get your lucrative career as a mystery shopper off to a great start!