When friends ask you what you do for a living, should you tell them you are a mystery shopper? There are many different aspects to consider before you jump in with a firm yes or no response. Certainly nobody wants to lie straight out to friends, but there may be several reasons to consider keeping your job as a mystery shopper a secret.
Consider the Consequences. There are several outcomes that could stem from you revealing to your friends that you are a mystery shopping. A large number of your friends could be intrigued by the ability to get paid to shop, to dictate your own work schedule, and all of the other many factors that originally drew you to mystery shopping. You may initially think it’s fun to have your friends mystery shopping, too, giving you someone you know to share stories with. However, consider that they will also be your competition for jobs in your own area. The more mystery shoppers there are in your area, the less likely you are to get all of the assignments you want.
Another possibility is that your friends may work in a store or other venue that you are assigned to shop at, which would make you ineligible for the job. Or perhaps a friend who knows your secret told another friend, unbeknown to you, who works at the job site you are mystery shopping at. You could even bump into a friend while you are mystery shopping, and cause a reveal. These may seem like far-fetched scenarios, but the world is a very small place and your local community is even smaller. Far stranger things have happened, so safeguard your secret when possible.
If You Do Tell. If you do break your silence and tell a select friend or two about your undercover gig as a mystery shopper, you can take a proactive approach on limiting the competition by talking down the job and limiting details. Simply saying that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and that you don’t get to choose which stores you shop at may be enough to deter your friend from becoming your competition.
Also, make sure that your friend knows that most of your work as a mystery shopper is done incognito, and that you largely keep your job from being public knowledge. When you explain the circumstances, your friend will likely respect your privacy and keep your job a secret. If you have friends who you love despite the fact they cannot keep a secret, it’s best to not let that particular friend in on the secret.
There may be some friends that you let it on your secret job as a mystery shopper, and there may even be a few who you encourage to join your ranks. However, rather than blab unthinkingly about the job, be sure to keep tight-lipped about mystery shopping unless you have fully thought through the consequences of your actions.
I tell most people I work mostly from home in market research. Those I have told about mystery shopping, I generally talk down the job, especially if they could be competition. I have pointed some people to jobslinger, where they give up when they realize it’s actual work.
I agree with Emily,I have provided some friends with MSPA contact information. I have told them that I’m ethically bound to not disclose employers clients and I mention my training back in the 1970’s, silver & gold training for certification, on’line classes and the fact that it probably works out to pay less than min. wage. Because I know it takes a certain type of personality, the only people I know who are still interested are my spouse and child who learned about it as companions on shops that so requiried. I’ve involved extended family members as shop companions and one of them tried it and said it was just toom much work. I like it and have been doing it on and off for nearly 40 years.
I found that it is much better not saying anything about my part-time mystery shopping. It could come back to bite you. Besides, it’s really no one’s business what you do in your spare time, unless you want to tell them.
Early on, I did blab about my mystery shopping, and now different people approach me, asking me how to get started. Some of them are in distant communities, so I tell them about the jobs I’ve done there. More often than not, though, they are not willing to put in the time and effort to fill out the forms and take the tests necessary to get started, and then they come back and complain to me that it’s too hard, and wonder why I do it? I simply tell them it’s a personal choice. Like any other job, it is work, and you have to follow the rules.
I simply tell people that I am an independant contractor and that I take a variety of different kinds of work contracts that range from proofreading to market research. Most people don’t ask much more. If they do I just say that I find contracts on the internet and leave it at that.
I wouldn,t want to waste my time. I have taught a few and I quickly learned that they were too lazy, not that interested or didn,t appreciated it.
I would not waste my time. I have helped a few in the past with what I do for a living. i found out they were either too lazy, weren,t interested or didn,t appreciate it.
I was in a casual conversation with the mother of my young son’s girlfriend, and happened to mention my mystery shopping and merchandising work when she told me that money was tight. I told her to check out MSPA, Jobslinger, and Jacob Jans’ site. I regret that conversation now, very much, as I live in a smaller town, 50 miles from the nearest larger town, and jobs are limited here. I now have stiff competition for the jobs here, and some months, get very few unless I’m on top of the job boards. Oh well, we live and learn.
the only few people I told are my insurance sale person and tenent.
I agree with what William said about people wanting an easy way out and not wanting to put in the work in order to get results. I also agree that it takes a special persona to do the Mystery shopping assignments,firstly having a decent command of the English language and also grammar and punctuation. Those things being said having a customer service background and the ability to self-start yourself day after day makes the right combination and the perfect machine to get those assignments completed. Good observation because people are inquisitive when they see the activity surrounding you and the way that you make money,that is always a mystery until they find out it is not as easy as they think~
Does anyone know which Mystery Shopping Company has Red Lobster Restaurant,and Burger King.