There are hundreds of legitimate mystery shopping companies—do you need to apply to all of them? Half of them? A few of them? How many companies do you need to work with?
First of all, only apply to legitimate mystery shopping companies. That means you should not apply to companies that charge you a fee or require you to sign up for “offers.” Refer to this list of nearly 200 legitimate mystery shopping companies: http://MysteryShoppersManual.com/mystery-shopping-companies
I recommend that secret shoppers sign up with as many companies as they can. You never know which company will come through with the most assignments for you, or even that dream assignment to mystery shop a resort or spa.
But your time is limited, right? So when do you stop applying and start mystery shopping?
One way to get started is by searching for companies with job postings in your area at http://www.Jobslinger.com/. Although the assignments you find will probably not be your dream jobs (those often get offered in private emails, rather than public job postings) you can see which companies are actively seeking shoppers near you.
Apply to a few companies at a time. If you are a new mystery shopper, you may not be getting many assignments yet. Spend the time you have available applying to more companies to increase your opportunities.
Once you start mystery shopping more frequently, you may have less time to make applications. That’s good—it means you are busy earning money! However, it can be a good idea to take time now and them to submit a few more applications.
I find that when I complete several applications in a row, I get into a rhythm that makes the process go faster. Be prepared (Read this post on how to become a mystery shopper for tips.) and it could take just a few minutes to complete the typical mystery shopper application.
When you apply to lots of mystery shopping companies, you may find that the amount of email you get is overwhelming. You can deal with that a few ways.
- Use a unique email address for mystery shopping, and only check it when you are looking for assignments.
- Filter or label incoming emails to identify those from your favorite companies.
- Go “no mail.” Some systems have the option of turning off email notifications. You can still view the job board and apply for assignments, but you will not get emails from them.
- Deactivate yourself from a company’s shopper data base. If a company never has mystery shopping assignments you want, that might be appropriate.
So how many applications is too many? There really is no upper limit. As long as you are finding good companies to which you can apply, why not do so?