If your goal was to start mystery shopping in the new year, we are here to help you get going!
A lot of information is available about mystery shopping. Much of it is useful and helpful, but if you all you are doing is reading about it on line – you really aren’t mystery shopping.
It isn’t until you take action – and do your first shop, that you can call yourself a mystery shopper!
The tips below are a general action plan for you to get out there and start your mystery shopping business!
Get Set Up to Mystery Shop
- Open a separate bank/PayPal account for your new business. Keeping funds separated lets the IRS know you are serious about having a home-based business. It also makes it easier to keep track of your mystery shopping earnings. And allows you to ‘re-invest’ some of those earnings into training, memberships, or to use as ‘front’ money for shops where you need to make a purchase.
- Do your research. Understand which mystery shopping companies conduct shops within your area. Or which have video shops to conduct, if that is something you are interested in doing. Most importantly, understand which companies are legitimate. Don’t get caught by scammers!We know a lot of ‘seasoned’ shoppers are reading this article, too. Please let us know if you have advice to share with the new mystery shoppers! Happy Shopping!
- Once you know which companies have shops in your area and are trustworthy organizations, then sign up with as many companies as possible. It is rare that one company will provide you with enough work to make mystery shopping worth your while. Take the time to fill out the profile forms at multiple mystery shopping websites. Keep track of which companies you signed on with, your login information, and note the shops you are most interested in being assigned.
- Apply for shops each day. Read your emails. Search job boards. To maximize your efficiency, you must become your own advocate. Especially as a new shopper, it is important to scour the boards, understand the rotations, and apply, apply, apply for shops. Join the various social media groups dedicated to mystery shopping too. There you will find not only rotating shops but will learn which shops are hard to fill. If you can become a go-to person for hard to fill shops – you will always be busy! And making money.
- Follow instructions. This can’t be said or read often enough. Read your guidelines and perform the shop accordingly. If you have a ‘what if’ question (What if the agent isn’t there. What if the person doesn’t give the expected response), ask ahead of time. Not every situation will go exactly as planned – but if you have followed the guidelines, then you should be paid for the shop. Even if the scenario did not work out as intended.
- Be observant, fair, and punctual. As your momma told you, use nice words. Be on time. Be alert and watch what goes on around you. In this case, that is what you are being paid to do! It really is that simple.
- Write complete reports and provide details. Use spell check. High ratings are given to mystery shoppers who allow our clients to ‘see’ what happened. Tell us what the salesperson did to be labeled ‘nice’. Or why the place seemed ‘dirty’ to you. And then, when you are done writing – use your spell check to be sure your report is professionally presented.
- Keep records of your shops, mileage, and expenses. You are running a home-based business. There is income and there are expenses. The only way to know if this is profitable is to keep track of it all. It will allow you to know if this is a business you want to keep open. And it will keep the IRS happy! (And perhaps put a few more dollars in your pocket come tax time!)
- Deposit your pay in your new bank account. For reasons listed above, keep business earnings separate – and saved (if possible)
- Start today! Reading this blog and others like it will not earn you money. So follow the steps above and get started right away to make this year your best year yet!
We know there will be ‘seasoned’ shoppers reading this article. If you have additional tips to ad, pleae comment below! We can all learn from one another.
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Do you know someone who would be a good mystery shopper? Please forward this post to them! Thanks!