As a mystery shopper, who you work for makes all the difference in the world in terms of your own job satisfaction and your earning potential in your job, too. When you are a mystery shopper, you are essentially a subcontractor who works on an independent basis with various different providers. These providers act as a liaison between you and the client, which may be a chain of retail stores, a movie theater, a restaurant, and so forth. Because who you work with is so important, you will want to spend some time really researching the options.
Your Own Criteria. First and foremost, you will want to have your own list of criteria in place for identifying great providers. Each mystery shopper may have some pretty standard requirements, such as high compensation coupled with less effort on your part for each assignment. Some mystery shoppers may have more unique criteria as well, such as finding a provider who specializes in restaurant assignments, gas station assignments, and so forth.
Realistic Feedback. Before you take the time to apply to work for a provider, you will want to spend some time researching the various providers in more detail. The best way to get realistic feedback on just how great a specific provider is to work with is to visit the mystery shopping forums. Take time to read through different comments that other mystery shoppers have posted online, and if you cannot find comments about the provider you are looking for specifically, be sure to post your own question and ask. Most mystery shoppers are happy to share their opinions.
Other Factors To Consider. There are some other factors you want to consider when searching for a great provider that go beyond the work, the pay, and the type of assignments offered. Consider things like if a provider pays on time, if they offer an easy payment method such as through Paypal or if you will have to wait for a check to be snail-mailed, and if they are a part of the MSPA. In addition to these factors, you also want to look out for other red flags such as if the provider is difficult to work with, if they ask for frequent or unfounded revisions to reports, or if they have any other sketchy reports about them. Keep in mind that one bad comment shouldn’t scare you off from working with a provider, but if you find a trend in comments indicating that many people have experienced the same thing, it’s best to stay away.
After you have found a few providers who seem like they would be great to work with, take the time to sign up right away so you can get started working. Keep in mind, however, that if the relationship takes a sour turn for whatever reason, there are plenty of other providers who you can work with. There is no damage done when you choose to stop working for one provider for whatever reason provided you end the relationship well.