At one time or another, every mystery shopper has wondered how many mystery shopping providers they should sign up to work for. What’s the magic number that will give you the most amount of money in the long run? The fact of the matter is that you can sign up for a dozen providers and not find many jobs at all. But on the other hand, you may find that two or three providers give you plenty of jobs to keep you busy. When you look at mystery shopping providers, it’s not quantity but rather quality that counts.
You’re Not Paid To Search Job Boards. The problem with working for a lot of mystery shopping providers is that you can spend literally hours every day perusing job boards. Sure, you need to do this to find jobs, but it’s not part of the job that you are getting paid to do. So to make the most money as a mystery shopper, you want to minimize your time searching the job boards and maximize your time working on assignments. And to do this, you need to find mystery shopping providers that offer a lot of jobs in your particular neck of the woods. How can you tell who has a lot of jobs in your area? Well, you can certainly ask your fellow mystery shoppers by posting a question on mystery shopping forums. Otherwise, you need to go off of trial and error. What this means is that you need to sign up for many providers, and then gradually whittle down the number of providers you work with regularly and whose job boards you search regularly based on which providers are keeping you the busiest.
Editing Your Reports. I hate to say it, but some mystery shoppers are just not born to do this job. And so it’s difficult for them to write objective reports that are free of grammatical errors. These mystery shoppers may find that most of their reports get bounced back to them and revisions are commonplace. Other mystery shoppers simply have this job in their blood, and they can churn out report after report without having an editor contact them for revisions or clarifications. Except, of course, everyone seems to have one or two providers who are a bit pickier about their reports. If you’ve noticed a trend with some of your mystery shopping providers who are almost consistently asking you to make revisions, this provider is not helping your bottom line. If you feel that you are doing a quality job – the same quality job you do on all of your reports – and one provider seems to have a problem with your work while the others don’t, it may be time to whittle that provider off to the side. You simply can’t know which providers are going to like your work or not until you try them out for yourself. And quite frankly, it doesn’t matter how many jobs that provider offers in your area if it takes twice as much work to get them to accept your report.
These are factors that must be taken into account in your search to find the magic number of providers that works for you. If you have a handful of providers who are easy to work with and who provide you with plenty of jobs in your area to choose from, you really don’t need to look for any more providers. Finding the right providers to work for may be a “work in progress”, and you may find that you are regularly adding or removing providers from your list of providers based on these criteria. But over time, you will find the perfect mix of providers for you!