One of the things I hear from new shoppers is that they signed up for one company, looked at the job board and saw two available assignments for fast food shops reimbursing $10. Is that all there is to mystery shopping? No!
Just as with any other business, mystery shoppers do not start out at the top. The best assignments go to experienced, proven shoppers. The assignments available to inexperienced shoppers are usually the ones that are left after veteran shoppers have gotten their assignments. And here is the thing that even many experienced shoppers don’t know: The very best assignments almost never appear on a job board. They are offered directly to the very best shoppers. Fortunately, it doesn’t take years to work your way up to better opportunities.
Want to launch your mystery shopping career the right way? There are a few simple steps that will put you ahead of the crowd.
Sign up with as many companies as you can. Chances are that you will end up working with a few companies quite often, others now and then, and some not at all. However, you never know where that great assignment is going to come from. Work your way through the list of legitimate mystery shopping companies here. You don’t have to apply to all of them, but apply to at least a few companies a week.
Improve your skills. Could your writing skills be better? You don’t need to be a brilliant writer, but you need to have a good command of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Take an online course or attend a one-day workshop or local college course to brush up your skills.
Don’t pay a fee to apply. Legitimate mystery shopping companies will not charge you to apply. They also will not ask you to wire money to someone or buy pre-paid cards and email the PINs to them. These are called “scams,” so don’t fall for them.
Make your applications the best they can be. Answer every question. Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. Don’t fill out the app in ALL CAPS. When writing samples are requested, make your writing represent you well. Remember that all the mystery shopping companies know about you is what you show them in the application.
When you get your first assignments, do a great job. That is how you will get your next assignments! Do your assignment on time, do it correctly and most of all DO IT! You would be surprised how many times shoppers (especially brand new shoppers) take an assignment and then do not complete it. This is a business, so be a pro.
Communicate with schedulers and editors. If you have questions about shop guidelines, ask your scheduler. Don’t guess at what they want, ask. If problems come up with the shop, let your scheduler know right away. The phone goes unanswered when you make the pre-visit phone call? Something went wrong during the shop visit? You made a mistake? Let them know and see how they want to handle it.
Mystery shopping isn’t difficult, but a lot of people don’t get it right. By following the guidelines and being professional, you will stand out from the crowd and get your mystery shopping career off to a great start!