On the surface, mystery shopping may seem like a fairly cut and dry job. You read the requirements, do the shop, fill out the report, and you’re done. There may not seem like much room to find ways to be a better shopper. However, there are some things every mystery shopper can do to make the most of their job as a mystery shopper.
Double Check The Requirements. Most shoppers lead fairly hectic lives. Mystery shopping, by its characteristics of having a flexible schedule and adjustable workload, draws people to it that are very busy – such as college students, stay-at-home moms, and full-time employees looking to make some extra cash. It is a standard requirement to read through the shop requirements once before you perform the shop. However, with so many things that could be distracting you while you are reading, such as kids or spouses speaking to you, a phone ringing, or the stresses of your 9-5 job, it may be advisable to read through those shop requirements a second time. Find a calm, quiet area where you can enjoy a few minutes without interruption to make sure you give the shop requirements the attention they deserve.
Avoid Double-Booking. It may seem like a fairly standard concept to pass on shops on days or times when you already have other engagements. However, even the best shoppers can slip up and forget about a prior obligation. When you have to cancel a shop, it puts your scheduler in a bind, and at the same time may put another shopper who picks up that shop in a time crunch to get the shop completed on time. Before you accept an assignment, simply double check your calendar and make sure you not only have time to do the shop, but that you also have time to complete the report.
Help Out With An Extra Shop. If you’ve been shopping for even a few months, chances are you have had a scheduler call you or email you directly requesting help with a shop they are having trouble filling. When you help out by taking one of these shops, you not only help your scheduler, but you help yourself, too. You will establish a better relationship with your scheduler, which in turn will lead to more and better shops for you in the future.
Review Your Report. You can save your scheduler and yourself some time simply by reviewing your report before you submit it. Make sure you have answered all of the questions clearly, addressing the exact question that was asked. Ensure that your grammar and spelling are correct, and that all of the information you’ve entered is accurate. This will save you and your scheduler both from having to correct mistakes on your report later.
You can improve your skills and performance as a mystery shopper simply by putting some more time and effort into it – before, during, and after the shop. Try these tips on your next few shops and enjoy the results!
Your ideas will be very helpful in the future. I go on my first shop on the 16th of Aug. I’ll keep your thoughts in mind.
And relax, have fun and when it comes time to write those reports give it plenty of time. Check and double check before you hit the “submit” button. Some company sites will warn you of a missed notation and some do not.
I know some shoppers who do their narratives on Word then copy and paste into the report. Then if they do the same shop many times they can change the wording to suit each shop.
I don’t do any more shops than I can complete in a days time. I like to get out early in the morning, do the shops then come home and write my reports immediately.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your schedule available at all times. And your camera. I’ve been called to do shops with a 30minute time frame and they need pictures, while I was out shopping.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to check the requirements, location etc. Just last week I did a shop on my lunch break to a party store. I sat in my car, reviewed the instructions,went inside and completed the shop. All along something felt out of place. I realized I had done the shop at the wrong store! The store I should have gone to is close to the wrong store.I emailed my scheduler as soon as I got back to my office and explained my error.The assignment was rescheduled for me. So remember to double check ALL the instructions!!
I enjoy your articles but I have a question, comment, whatever.
I have been shopping for 5 months now. My lowest rating is an 8. I have taken all kinds of shops to get established with a particular company.
However, I am getting frustrated at this point. I am getting offers from new companies and you have to make a purchase for the receipt, but they will not reimburse, or only reimburse $2.00 etc. when you have to spend at least $10.00
With gas prices the way they are, I am losing money or certainly not making any when I travel to the shops, purchase something and end up with a $2.00 profit or less. A lot of the time I’m in the hole.
My intent was never to shop for nothing! I am trying to do this as a business, but at this rate I will be in the poor house. What do you suggest? Oh, and I am certified.
Sign up with more shops, and don’t take shops that you wont make any money from, take the ones that if you take and have to spend it may be for a item of clothes you like and wanted to buy or if its food that they pay for the whole thing and that you wanted to eat at that restaurant. Not a job at a restaurant or cafe that pays less than 5 dollars for the job and you dont get reinbursed for the full amount of food that you are ordering. One paid for half the order and it was for less than five dollars. I cancelled it when I realized how much I had to spend and report on and the shop pay was insulting.
What I do now after a few months is do what jobs you like,look into other companies all the time for different assignments and if its not worth it,you know what jobs you like and what is worth it. If you find companies that give you regular work you like,then do them alot and help them and they will help you. If they need help with a shop,sometimes I go out of my way to help them, and they return it back to offer me jobs that may be good for me. So,I hope I helped…..
I have signed with many companies. So if I have a shop in a particular area, i usually look for other shops in that same area with the other companies. So on some days I may do 3 to 4 shops. It helps on gas.
Good ideas, and suggestions! Thanks.
I have one company that I work for who has several good clients but one of their clients is a service station. They want you to buy gas, something from the store and take pictures without being caught. They only reimburse 2.00 and pay 6.00. I don’t know how they get anyone to do these shops.