Each time you apply to a mystery shopping company, you fill out a shopper profile. The profile includes your contact information, demographic information about you (e.g., birthdate, gender, marital status, etc.) as well as specific things the mystery shopping company needs to match you to client requirements. These questions might include the ages of your children, if you own a digital camera or voice recorder, if you wear glasses, etc. Of course, MSPA member companies will want to know your MSPA certification status.
The information in your profile may be used to determine whether or not you receive a particular shop offer, so it is important that it is current and correct. Make sure you update your profile when:
You move. Shop offers may be based on your area code or zip code, and you want to receive offers for your area. Of course, you are wondering, “If they use the information in my profile to send shop notices, why did I just get a notice for a shop that is 500 miles from my home?” Although most companies start by offering assignments to shoppers who are nearby, if no one claims the shop they will notify shoppers in a larger radius of the location. That means that at times they send to shoppers who are a long way from a shop location. They are desperate and hope that one of the shoppers they send the notice to can do the shop or refer someone who can. Another important reason to update your address is that some companies still pay by check, and if they do not have your correct address your payment will be delayed in reaching you.
Your email address changes. If you change Internet service providers or get a new email address for other reasons, make sure the mystery shopping companies know, or you may not receive shop offers. Be sure to update your PayPal account, too. Many companies use PayPal to pay mystery shoppers, and if the address on your PayPal account does not match the address the mystery shopping company has for you, you will not be paid in a timely way.
Your MSPA certification status changes. Notify MSPA member companies when you get Silver or Gold Certification from MSPA. MSPA does not notify the companies, you must do so. (And if your email address changes, be sure to get a new certification code and update your profiles with both your new email address and the new certification code.)
Your family situation changes. Many profiles ask for your marital status, number of children, family income and other information.
You obtain new equipment. If you get a digital camera, video camera, digital voice recorder or scanner, some companies will want that information.
You learn a new language. There are mystery shopper jobs that require the ability to speak a language other than English.
You may also want to check and update your profiles when your employment situation changes, you get a new brand of car, start wearing glasses, etc. If a company pays by direct deposit, you will need to let them know of any changes to your banking information.
The first three changes on this list are critical. Update all of your profiles as soon as you possibly can if you experience one of these changes. The others can be updated as you visit each company’s site to check the job board, download guidelines or fill out a report.
Keeping your profiles current will help you get more notices of appropriate mystery shopping assignments.