Many mystery shoppers do not put much thought into the providers who they work for, and this unfortunately can affect your paycheck in a big way. When many mystery shoppers are starting out in the business, they will select a few providers at random to sign up to work with. This random selection may work out in your favor, but it also could backfire on you. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Different Pay Rates, Different Work Requirements. Every assignment you work on as a mystery shopper is unique and different. Each assignment has its own set of requirements for the site visit as well as its own unique report questions, too. Yet you will find that some providers generally have far more detailed requirements than others. Unfortunately, however, you really don’t get the chance to see the pay rate or the requirements for each assignment until after you sign up to work for a provider. Because of this, it’s a good idea to spend some time on the mystery shopping forum websites so that you can research providers before you sign up.
Time on the Boards. You can spend a serious amount of time each day viewing all of the assignments on the job boards. The more providers you work with, the more time your search for assignments will take. So you will want to make an effort to weed out providers who don’t offer a lot of work in your area, who don’t offer the type of assignments you enjoy doing, or who just don’t pay well enough to make the assignments worth your time. You will find that by cutting out a few of the providers who eat up your time with the job search and replacing them with a few providers who have a ton of assignments in your area to choose from, you can really cut down on the amount of time you spend searching for jobs and use this time to actually work on paying assignments!
Nit Picky Revisions. Some providers will take your assignment reports at face value, and will only ask you to make revisions if they are truly warranted. Other providers, however, will ask you to make revisions on just about every report you turn in, and doing these constant revisions can really eat away at your time. Now, if you have a provider or two who is really nit picky, you need to first be completely honest with yourself and make sure that you are not really doing something to warrant this negative attention on your reports. If your reports for all of your other providers are accepted on the first submission, you may be working with a dud provider.
It is one thing to look at assignments posted on the job board based on the dollar amount of the compensation, but you will find that how much time you spend putting into searching for those jobs, working on the assignments and reports, and even editing reports for revisions can cost you money, too. Your goal should be to spend as much of your time as possible working on assignments if you want to make the most money as a mystery shopper, and the providers who you choose to work with play a big part in that!