In just about every type of job, who you work for can really make a big difference in how happy you are working every day. This is no different for mystery shopping, either. The fact is that with mystery shopping you are a contract worker, and so you have incredible flexibility over which providers you work for. Yet some mystery shoppers, for whatever reason, feel as though they are trapped working for the same lousy providers who nit-pick about their reports, offer low pay, and are just pains in the patootie to work for. The bottom line is that you have tons of choices for providers you can work with, and they probably are jumping at the chance to work with an experienced, qualified mystery shopper like you. Before you sign up with just any new provider, though, you will want to take steps to make sure you find the best ones to work with. Here are some ideas:
Close to Home. The first thing you will want to do is try to find providers who offer a lot of assignments in your area. You often cannot see the job boards of a provider without signing up, so you largely will have to rely on the advice of your fellow mystery shoppers to glean this information. You can just make a quick post on the online forums and wait for a response. You can also sometimes get a little bit of information about a company by reading their website, which may say which areas of the country they specialize in.
Assignment Types. Some providers may focus on a certain geographic area while others will focus on a specific industry and offer assignments within that industry all across the country and beyond. If you enjoy working on a certain type of assignment, such as movie theater checks or chain fast food restaurants, you will want to keep your eyes and ears open for providers that specialize in the niche of your choice. Again, you likely can learn a little bit about what areas the company specializes in from their website, but the forums are also a great source of such information.
Professionalism. One of the biggest things mystery shoppers hate about some companies is that their staff are just so rude to their mystery shoppers. Some are truly unethical, asking you to falsify your reports. Others are just really rude with a condescending attitude. There are, however, some great providers out there who want to actually work with you to get these assignments completed. They are often willing to work with you on pay, may great an extension on the report when need be, and other such things that can make your job as a mystery shopper easier. Still other providers truly give you an insulting slap in the face by asking you to work for peanuts while others actually offer a living wage. It can be hard to find such great providers to work for, in large part because many mystery shoppers who love their providers aren’t quite so willing to share details on the ones they like. They want to keep these providers to themselves! However, you can often narrow down your list of providers by paying attention to the negative comments people say about some of the providers, and inferring that those not commonly complained about are A-OK.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider as you look around for really great providers. Some of your research may have to be trial and error, but you can absolutely do some research on forums and company websites to try to narrow down your list of companies to try out.