Shopping addicts may love the idea of mystery shopping, but does being a mystery shopper present too much temptation for someone who can not control their shopping and spending? If you consistently overspend on mystery shopper jobs and other shopping trips, you may be a compulsive shopper.
What is Shopping Addiction?
Shopping addictions take many forms. We all buy things, but shopping addicts:
- shop to make themselves feel better
- buy things they don’t need (and don’t use)
- spend money they don’t have, running up debts
- may hide their purchases from friends and family
Some shopping addicts buy certain types of items, such as shoes or electronics, while others will buy just about anything. Shopaholics may also indulge in other compulsive behaviors, such as overeating, problem drinking or gambling.
Anyone can indulge in inappropriate spending at times, and the occasional trip to the mall when you feel down does not mean you have a shopping addiction.
One way people affected with a shopping addiction can reduce their spending is by avoiding temptation. Just as recovering alcoholics would be wise to stay out of bars, shopping addicts should spend as little time as possible in stores.
Should Compulsive Shoppers Avoid Mystery Shopping?
Mystery shopping is used by many businesses other than retail stores. A compulsive shopper may be able to complete mystery shopper jobs at banks, apartments, automotive service centers and other types of businesses with no problem, because they will not be faced with opportunities to buy things. They may be able to mystery shop restaurants. Some shopping addicts tend to buy specific types of things, such as clothes. They may be able to mystery shop at locations where clothing is not sold but other items are.
However, the bottom line is that if someone can not control their shopping and spending, the first step it to get help. Mystery shopping is a very low priority, and should not be attempted until they have gained some control over their compulsive behavior.
What Should You Do If You Are a Shopping Addict?
- Admit that you have a problem.
- Do not shop alone.
- When you have to go shopping, take a list and only buy what is on the list.
- Get rid of your credit cards, or have someone lock them up where you can not get to them.
- Develop other interests, and choose other activities (e.g., taking a walk) when you get the urge to splurge.
- Get help from a cognitive behavioral therapist, who can help you change your harmful behaviors and create new, positive habits.
Although mystery shoppers may joke that we “shop ’til we drop,” if you are earning money your shopping is a good thing. If you are spending money you do not have on things you do not need, that is the time to seek help.