How The Credit Crunch May Affect Mystery Shopping

The credit crunch and liquidity crisis are hitting home for everyone. Retirement accounts are hit with the stock market sell-offs, and many folks are worried about layoffs, home prices, and rising credit card rates. You may be wondering how your income as a mystery shopper could be affected. Here’s a breakdown on just some of the things you may start to notice.

Picking Up More Assignments. If it’s crossed your mind to pick up a few extra assignments here and there, it’s likely cross the mind of many other shoppers as well. Many are struggling to make ends meet, trying to recoup some of a nest egg that was lost in the stock market in recent weeks, or simply trying to create some buffer in a savings account if those preaching doom and gloom from the country are shown to be correct. As mystery shoppers compete for more assignments, you may find that you aren’t able to get assigned to nearly as many jobs as you once were getting.

New Shoppers. With folks across the country worried about finances, many people are looking to either pick up a second job, supplement their retirement that has been put in jeopardy, or are trying to supplement their unemployment income after getting laid off. Some of the factors that drew you to mystery shopping, such as the ease to get started in the business and the flexible hours, may be just the things that will bring more and more new workers to this field as the economy worsens. So you will have an even greater number of mystery shoppers clamoring for assignments and trying to pick up any income they can.

Hitting The Providers and Retailers. If you turn on CNN or MSNBC, you likely will only have to watch for a few minutes before you hear how car dealerships, retail stores, restaurants, and others are being hit hard these days. As Joe Public cuts back on spending and liquidity dries up, these businesses are facing their own budgetary concerns. Layoffs are increasingly prevalent, and many retailers are closing locations or thinking about closing them. Businesses are doing whatever they can to cut back on their expenses, and this may mean cutting back on the portion of their budget they pay for their store locations to be mystery shopped. So you may see a decrease of available mystery shopping jobs in some areas, as retailers cut back and close locations.

What Can You Do? Of course, nothing is set in stone. Each city and region has its own economic conditions, with challenges and strengths unique to that location. You may want to stay ahead of the game and think about working assignments that likely will not be hit as hard during recessionary times, such as grocery stores and gas stations. If you are not signed up to work with providers who do these types of shops, you may want to get a jump-start on any new shoppers that will be signing up in the coming months to locate providers who work with these types of retailers. Use this time to develop relationships with schedulers at these providers if you aren’t already established with them. If you are already established with several providers who are strong in these types of assignments, spend some extra time strengthening your relationships with schedulers.

While you can’t prevent the inevitable from happening, you can take some steps to ensure you are in as strong of a position as you can right now.