Many mystery shoppers wonder if there is a magic number of providers to work for. Whether you are in this line of work to make a few extra bucks of spending cash each month or you have high hopes of turning mystery shopping into a full-time gig that pays all of your monthly expenses, the truth is that there is not a magic number. The number of providers you need to work with on a regular basis depends on many things, including the amount of money you want to make.
Trim The Fat. If you are like most mystery shoppers, you are signed up to work with far more mystery shopping providers than you need to be signed up with. Think about it – how many providers are you signed up for that you haven’t worked with in thirty days, sixty days, or longer? Yet each time the mystery shopping provider sends out an email announcing a job posting, you are drawn to their website to scour the job boards for a job that hasn’t been there for weeks.
Unless this provider throws out some very high paying gigs every now and then for you, the bottom line is that this provider may be dead weight for you. When you spend time scouring job boards without producing a paying job for you, you are “working” without getting paid for it. To be a truly successful and profitable mystery shopper, you need to spend as much time as possible at activities that make you money, and try to eliminate as much as possible those activities that don’t make you money.
Also consider the providers who you work with regularly, but who are very nit-picky on the reports. Do you have a provider or two who you constantly go back and forth with questions and answers after you submit the report? Do you have a provider who regularly has reports that are eye-boggling in length and take up far too much of your time for the amount of money paid on the assignments? If you find yourself spending far too much time working on assignments for a specific provider or two, you may want to consider replacing this provider with a provider who doesn’t waste your time with unnecessary work.
Add Some New Providers. After you have eliminated the dead weight of mystery shopping providers that you don’t work with regularly or who waste your time on the reports, then consider the need to add more providers. Whether you are considering dropping providers that you already work with or you simply want to work with even more providers, it can be worth your while to sign up to work with additional mystery shopping providers after you. You may feel like you are stuck working with these providers because they actually have assignments in your area, but this is not the case. You simply need to find the “right” providers to work with.
Research New Providers. Don’t sign up with just any new providers. You need to research the best mystery shopping providers to work for, and the best place to do this is on the on-line mystery shopping forums. You can post questions asking about the types of assignments you enjoy doing (such as restaurants, movie theater checks, etc) along with your location, and simply wait for your fellow mystery shopping providers to respond.
Keep in mind that mystery shoppers are not permitted to tell you specific companies that work with a specific provider. However, if you’ve ever visited the online mystery shopping communities, many mystery shoppers have found a way to skirt around this by offering you with hints and riddles to lead you in the right direction.
You can save time and make more money at the same time as a mystery shopper when you take a few steps to refine your relationships with mystery shopping providers.