A question from a mystery shopper:
When I view the available mystery shops on job boards, I see a bunch of stores and restaurants that I would love to shop. But the locations that are close to my house are never listed! Why do they only shop some of their locations and not all of them?
There are several possible answers to this question, so let’s take a look at them.
First, even though they are the same brand, they may have different ownership. Let’s say there is a fast food chain called Steve’s Burgers. Many of their stores are franchised, but Steve’s owns some of the stores themselves. They may mystery shop only the company-owned stores, or only the franchised locations, but not both.
The client may only want shop reports on locations where there have been problems of some kind. They want to monitor any progress and continue to watch for issues that need to be addressed.
Some clients only mystery shop a portion of their locations in any given period. For example, they may do shops at locations 1, 4, 9 and 12 in January, then 2, 5, 8 and 11 in February, and 3, 6, 7 and 10 in March. If you are only looking at postings at one point in time, it may be that you happened to look at a time when that location was not in rotation to be shopped. In other situations, the selection of locations may be more random.
When you look at a job board you do not necessarily see every shop that mystery shopping provider has. You are seeing the ones that are available and that they wish you to see. You often won’t see the ones that other shoppers have already claimed. And there are many shops that never make it to a job board, as they are offered and assigned to shoppers without being posted.
There are a few things that you can do to possibly get to shop one of the locations you covet.
First, there may be another mystery shopping company offering assignments at the locations near you. Apply to as many companies as you can in order to have access to as many mystery shops as possible.
Ask the scheduler. If there is a location you really want and you never see it on the job board, ask if they have it. Schedulers are busy, so don’t pester them with a lot of questions like this. Only ask about your dream shops.
Make yourself a valuable shopper. If you do your assignments on time and do a great job, you will see more opportunities come your way. Those may include the specific locations you are looking for, or you might get some very pleasant surprises. You may get so busy with great shops that you no longer want to take the time to chase specific clients!