Many new mystery shoppers will take right to the job. To them, mystery shopping may immediately be an easy way to generate some much-needed extra money. For other new shoppers, however, their first experience or two with mystery shopping may be extremely frustrating. The process of finding an assignment, completing the assignment, and waiting weeks for the money to arrive may seem like a supreme waste of time. Before you give up on mystery shopping, here’s what you need to know to find your mystery shopping groove!
Find What You Like. Not every mystery shopper enjoys restaurant assignments, or grocery store assignments, or movie theater assignments. Some assignments may be very difficult to them, and they will choose to pass over these in the future. However, some assignments may seem like a cake-walk. First and foremost, find something that you enjoy doing. If you already enjoy going out to eat, sign up to work a few restaurant assignments. Keep in mind, even when you find your niche, some of the providers and even some of the companies requesting the mystery shopper’s visit may be completely different to work for. You may enjoy doing a mystery shop assignment for Chili’s and not for McDonald’s. The only way you will know if you like a certain assignment unfortunately is to spend some time trying out the various jobs and providers. The good news, however, is that with experience you will be able to very quickly tell just by reading through the assignment description if the assignment is worth your time and effort. Even after you complete just a handful of assignments, you will begin to develop the knowledge and experience you need to pick and choose assignments wisely.
Don’t Work For Peanuts. It would be a nice thought to think that mystery shopping providers pay shoppers what their time is worth. Unfortunately, the bottom line is that there are some assignments out there that, after you complete all of the nit-picky requirements of the job, end up paying you less than minimum wage. The good news is that there are also jobs that will pay you well over $15-20/hour, which is great income for a part-time job with no prior experience required! If you are frustrated with getting paid peanuts for your efforts, the bottom line is that you can control this. Read through the assignment requirements very carefully before you select a job. Try to determine how much time it will take you to try on a garment in a clothing store, or to order three courses in a restaurant, or to return an item if a return visit is required. If you are looking at two hours of work – including travel time, be sure the pay is commensurate.
However, don’t immediately pass over an assignment with a low pay on the sticker. There may be some other “perks” to the job, such as a free meal or a free movie. If you’re getting paid $10 to eat a free meal, that may make it worthwhile for you.
With mystery shopping, you control your destiny. You are not required to do the $5 assignments, nor are you required to work for a provider you have had a bad experience with. Find assignments you enjoy doing that you feel are worth the pay. Find providers who have relatively easy reports to complete, and who pay promptly. It may take you a few assignments under your belt before you make mystery shopping click for you, but if you put in some time and effort you will soon find your mystery shopping groove and will be earning great extra money doing something you love.