When we do get together with other people, we have to watch what we say so we don’t violate our confidentiality agreements. But it doesn’t really matter, because even if we could talk about what we do, they wouldn’t really understand. Getting paid to shop? That sounds like a pretty cushy gig to most people.
Wouldn’t it be great to get together with a bunch of other shoppers once in a while? Sharing a meal, talking about mystery shopping, exchanging tips and leads about your favorite companies, or just talking about the stuff cube dwellers discuss around the water cooler sounds like fun, right? Expanding your network and learning from other mystery shoppers can also make you a better, more successful shopper.
One easy way to meet and network with other shoppers is through a meetup group. There are several groups already in existence around the country, but if there isn’t one in your area, you can start one. Here are some ideas.
A simple way to hook up with other shoppers interested in meeting is at http://mysteryshoppers.meetup.com/. You can see the existing groups, and also find others who are looking for a group. If there isn’t one in your area, why not start one? Using the web site to manage your group requires payment of a small monthly fee, but they provide tools to help you manage and communicate with the group.
You can also find other shoppers and spread the word on forums and message boards such as http://forum.volition.com/ or in the shopper area at http://www.mysteryshop.org/shoppers. Simply post that you want to get together with other shoppers and you will probably find several who are interested.
Your meetings can be informal get-togethers where everyone just chats and enjoys the company of other shoppers, or you can have programs where shoppers and others share information and tips to help everyone become better shoppers. For example, a shopper might demonstrate how she uses a piece of equipment on mystery shops, or you might have an accountant talk about tax issues, or someone present some grammar and writing tips to improve everyone’s reports.
IMPORTANT: Even though you are all mystery shoppers, you still need to keep confidential information confidential. That means no talking about specific clients or shops.
Having a network of shoppers in your area can be helpful when you have an emergency. You should avoid canceling a shop unless you absolutely have no choice; however, if you must cancel, being able to suggest another shopper who could fill in for you can help to save the day (and your reputation with the scheduler).
Because we do not have co-workers, building our own groups of co-workers through meetup groups can make mystery shopping more satisfying and keep us from feeling isolated. Why not make some new mystery shopping friends today?