New mystery shoppers’ excitement at the prospect of going undercover in their fun new job is often quickly replaced by frustration.
They eagerly apply for each now shop they come across, only to be disappointed when they receive an email saying that shop has been assigned to another shopper. It seems they are passed over for every shop they apply for. Soon they grow disheartened with mystery shopping.
The good news is there are ways around this!
It’s Mine! Keep in mind that there are two kinds of shops – self-assign shops and shops you apply for. New shoppers typically have better luck with the self-assign shops at first. These shops are first-come, first-serve. So you really need to be proactive and check your email several times a day to get first shot at the self-assign shops.
With the shops that you apply for, your request for that shop will go back to a scheduler who will review requests from all the shoppers who asked for that shop.
It is important to keep in mind that schedulers develop relationships with shoppers over time, and schedulers typically give shops to the shoppers they know and trust first. After you’ve proven yourself with several self-assign shops, you’ll be more likely to get shops you need to apply for.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket. There are literally hundreds of mystery shopping providers who connect mystery shoppers with the companies requesting them. Providers may focus on certain parts of the country, or on certain types of businesses.
For instance, one company may focus on restaurants and movie theaters in the Northeast while another may focus on large retail chain stores in the Southwest. It would serve you well to research the providers you’ve already signed up for and ensure they have a good concentration of shops in your area (and for the type of shops you want to do!)
But don’t rely on just one or two providers to keep you busy. There are a lot of shoppers competing for those same shops. So to increase the number of shops you do, just increase the number of providers you work with!
Know The Source. Relationships take time to develop. Keep in mind as you complete your first few shops that you will want to develop strong relationships with several of your schedulers. You want to make sure from day one that all of your correspondence is professional and friendly, and that your reports are completely accurately.
Your goal is to eventually become a shopper your schedulers think about first when a new shop comes across their desk. Many experienced shoppers have substantially increased the number of shops they do on a regular basis by just nurturing a handful of relationships with schedulers.
That being said, though, you surely don’t want to have poor relationships with other schedulers. Each provider you work with will have a shopper rating for you. Your rating will increase as you complete shop assignments well.
If you fail to complete a shop as required, have sloppy reports, or are difficult to work with, your rating will decrease. So this rating will be seen by all schedulers at that company – including other schedulers that you’ve taken great measures to nurture a relationship with.
Mystery shopping is like any other job. You have to get your feet wet and get some experience first, and soon you’ll be making good money as a mystery shopper!