How to Start Your Mystery Shopping Career

Mystery shopping is a pretty easy job to get started in. You sign up with a few providers, and then search the job boards for an assignment you want to complete. It’s really as simple as that. But as easy as it is to get started in mystery shopping, there are a lot of places where you can get in over your head if you’re not careful. Here are some tips for the beginner mystery shopper:

Find A Few Providers. Likely you have already found a few providers. You may want to jump into the deep end and sign up with as many mystery shopping providers as you can. But before you spend all this time and effort, consider the reasons to work with just a few providers initially.

When you work with just a handful of providers, you can learn more easily and quickly what that provider’s preferences are on reporting style. Each provider differs slightly on how they prefer answers to be worded or how questions should be addressed. It seems like a fairly simple concept that you can tackle with many providers all at once, and perhaps you can. But you will have a much simpler time learning the ropes of mystery shopping by learning the ins and outs of just a couple of companies at a time. Also, keep in mind that if you have issues on reports, a scheduler can reduce or even completely cut your pay on an assignment. So you can save yourself some hard-earned cash by adding just a few providers at a time to your line-up.

You can also get a good idea of how many assignments each of these providers can throw your way and gauge how many other providers you realistically need to sign up for to hit the income level  you’re looking for.

Start Slow. Initially, select an assignment or two to complete. Walk through these assignments as learning experiences, trying to figure out where you need to learn some tricks of the trade. For instances, if you have trouble doing timing on one assignment, you can easily hit the mystery shopping forums and ask for help before you head off to your next assignment. Then your next assignment will be easier for you to complete.

You will also want to wait a few days between your first several assignments so you can get feedback from your schedulers on your work. If you have some issues with your initial reports, you can learn from these before you start kicking things into high gear by completing more assignments.

Get A  Variety Of Experiences. When you’re just starting out as a mystery shopper, you will want to try out a lot of different types of assignments. If one assignment at a retail store turns you off, try another couple of retail store assignments before you write off that kind of assignment completely. Be sure to try assignment types you may think initially you won’t like. You may surprise yourself by branching out and trying new things.

Then, once  you’ve determined how to complete reports, some of the tricks of the trade, and which types of assignments you enjoy working on, you can start knocking out assignments left and right without many hang-ups.