Although there are generally fewer assignments in small towns than in large cities, the good news is that there are also typically fewer mystery shoppers so there is less competition for the openings that exist. If you live in a small town or a rural area, here are some tips to help you get more jobs.
Start by applying to as many companies as you can. The more data bases you are in, the more opportunities will come your way. Also be sure to sign up with scheduling services. They work with lots of mystery shopping companies and will make assignments available to you that you might not have found on your own.
Search job boards that aggregate shops from many companies (e.g., Jobslinger.com) to look for open assignments in your area. These usually will not be the best assignments these companies have (the best ones are probably not posted publicly) but it will let you know which companies have clients with locations near you.
Be willing to travel a bit farther than you might if you lived in a more populated area. Once you have relationships with schedulers, let them know that you are looking for more assignments and where you are willing to go. They may be able to help you put together routes. Route shopping can make it worthwhile to travel farther than you normally would, because you may be able to schedule several shops on the route instead of making a special trip to do one assignment.
One way to get more assignments is to be known by more mystery shopping companies as a go-to shopper. The best way to do that is to do at least a few assignments for as many companies as you can. And do a GREAT job. That builds your reputation and it also helps you to build relationships with schedulers who will want to work with you again.
Try some types of shops you don’t usually do. Maybe you have never tried a bank shop, apartment shop, or other shops because you thought they would be too hard or they just didn’t seem interesting to you. Try one, and you might be surprised. After doing one you may decide that you were right and they are not for you. Or, you might find that you have opened up a new world of opportunities.
By the way, if you live and mystery shop in a small town, it is especially important that you do not tell people that you are a mystery shopper. You are likely to encounter your neighbor’s teenager, or that nice lady from church, when you are doing a shop. The fewer people who know what you do, the better.