Mystery shoppers just love to talk about their providers! Now, the mystery shopping agreements you have signed with each of your providers limits what exactly you are permitted to say, but that doesn’t keep you and other mystery shoppers from communicating on forums and such in code or riddles to convey the information you want to share and hear. The fact is that if you spend even just a little bit of time on the online mystery shopping forums, you can glean quite a bit of information about providers you are currently working with as well as those you haven’t yet signed up to work with. And if you visit the forums regularly, your brain is probably overflowing with information others have shared.
The information shared online about mystery shopping providers runs the gamut in terms of topics. You can learn which mystery shopping providers pay really well, and which pay poorly. You can learn which mystery shopping providers pay fast, and which ones pay slow or have been known to reduce pay for crazy reasons. You can learn (through riddles usually) which providers work with your favorite companies, which companies are easy to work with, and which companies have long reports that take a lot of time.
If you are like most mystery shoppers, you may be tempted to say, “Oh, that’s interesting,” and then continue on your way as you skim the forums. But let me tell you this information, especially when it is all taken together can be incredibly useful to you and can even help make you more money as a mystery shopper!
Consider the fact that in mystery shopping time is money, so if you can find out which mystery shoppers have easier reports and site visits, that alone could make your mystery shopping assignments more profitable. If you know which providers are easier to work with, you know they won’t be nit-picking your reports and causing you to waste your time with back and forth Q and As on your report. This, too, can save you money. These are just a few of the many ways that you can benefit form the massive amounts of information conveyed on the forums about providers.
But how do you go about compiling all of this information? After all, you are a busy mystery shopper, and you simply don’t have the mental wherewithal to memorize all of this information about each and every provider discussed. The only thing you need to do is to start a new spreadsheet. Each and every time you read something about a certain provider, make a note in your spreadsheet. This may sound time-consuming, but if you have your spreadsheet open while you are visiting the forums, it will only take you a few seconds to type in a little note here and there. And over time, you will gather an incredible amount of information about these providers. You can use this information to keep yourself ahead of the curve by only working with the best providers – meaning those who pay well, offer easier assignments, have shorter reports, and pay promptly.
If you aren’t keeping tabs on the providers with your own spreadsheet database, you are missing out!