Tips for Making Money doing Mystery Shopping Part Time Jobs: Best Sites and Popular Companies to get started as a Mystery Shopper.
What is mystery shopping?
Remember the childhood story where a king in disguise would check his subjects. Similarly, mystery shopping carried out by a person in discrete as a shopper and visits the retail outlets.
As part of the assignment, the mystery shopper interacts with employees and tries to assess their ability as a salesman in selling the goods.
The shopper in disguise is a person employed by the store owner or company to assess and evaluate the employees’ performance or the quality of the products.
This is called mystery shopping, and the person who is employed to do the discrete job is a mystery shopper.
|Tips for Making Money Doing Mystery Shopping Part Time Jobs|
Market research companies extensively use mystery shopping. It is predominantly being used by the companies themselves to evaluate their quality in terms of service or to gather any specific information.
In addition to evaluating performance, mystery shoppers are assigned to check various other aspects of the store like price, availability, and quality and customer service. The mystery shoppers then give their assessment or report to the hired company.
As such, no specific requirement is needed to work as a mystery shopper. No professional qualification or any particular physical appearance is essential for this. However, some states in the USA have introduced bills regulating the practice, and only authorized people can do these types of job.
The main responsibility of a mystery shopper is to interact with the sales people and collect maximum information of the products without the salesman being doubtful of you.
Some points that should be kept in mind while choosing the company for doing mystery shopping for include:
The job is a paid assignment. Some experts in this field are strictly against spending any money beforehand. According to them, the companies are always in need of mystery shopper. You may be asked to keep a certain amount in your bank as lay out money especially if the transaction involves money.
The company will reimburse this. But if one is short on cash then the reimbursement period should be discussed in advance.
Where can you find Mystery Shopping Job Offering Companies?
There are hordes of companies dealing with mystery shopping. But as this concept involves secrecy the companies do not disclose the assigned stores. So you can work with different companies simultaneously. It is helpful as it allows you to choose the job at your convenience.
There are some sites, which provide initial training to the newbies. Though this is not an essential qualification and one cannot be rejected for not having. But it is indeed an added benefit. Some sites like www.ShadowShopper.com are offering training to develop an understanding of the work.
Another company, www.JobSlinger.com is similar to this. The only disadvantage is, these companies do have many companies listed in their massive database and real ones get mixed or lost.
Time is money. One should not expect a quick result. You have to invest in both time and energy to get fruitful offers. Initially, the pay might be very low and the task quite daunting. But with little organization and experience, good results will come. Volition.com is a great site and has a huge listing of mystery shopping companies in your or nearby locality.
Work with registered mystery shopping companies. Do not accept offers that come in your mailbox without you applying for it. Check the credentials with various organizations like MSPA American site. Even a quick research for companies at GlassDoor or Better Business Bureau is the best option to evaluate the companies you want to deal.
Some of the good companies to start with are; Corporate Research International, Kern Scheduling Services and Coast to Coast Scheduling Services. These companies have extensive mystery shopping network and have a large presence in most of the countries, and they recruit mystery shoppers regularly.
Tips for Making Money as a Mystery Shopper
Qualities required in you as a Mystery Shopper
Mystery shopping is an exciting profession as one earns easy money for shopping. Shopping is fun, but mystery shopping involves some serious business and should be dealt carefully, even though it does not require any extra qualifications or requirements. But passion and flair to improve customer service and little acting skill are essential. The secret shopper should be reliable, trustworthy and professional.
Mystery shopper should have an eye for detail and should excellent observation qualities. He should be observant of even the minute detail, such as how many employees were present at the time he entered, neatness, ability to close the deal any further assistance. The work also requires a good memory and some writing skills.
Apart from the above, the secret shopper should also have a good mode of transportation, a clear view of actual reporting and undiluted reporting. So the truth is not influenced. These all add up to the performance on which the pay is dependent.
Earning money with Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping involves time, energy and money. A lot of money involved for traveling or purchasing and might not get reimbursements. It will be quite disappointing. But with little organization and experience, it can be overcome. Unless the terms of references and payment conditions including expenditure reimbursement are not clear, you should take up any such assignment.
Flexibility is another major factor. Earnings from mystery shopping are usually extra money or for beginners might be the only source of income. For people who want to make some extra income, one has to complete the assignment at a free time or after office hours. If you want to take the job as a source of revenue for a living, you should take up assignments that do not involve the purchase and other expenses.
The experience that comes with mystery shopping is worth the pain. It is usually a part time job giving extra perk for the free time. Though, it has no potential for job growth when comparing to other regular jobs, your chance to improve on performance shall be depending on your experience.
It matters a lot. There are some shops which only recruits experienced shopper, and the pay is even high. Some stores only appoint those mystery shoppers who are registered. Registration involves money. To earn you have to spend.
Secretly shopping is a part time job. You cannot depend on it for livelihood. It will just supplement your income. As a beginner your income will be very less but as you gain experience your income may increase. The pay depends on many factors like time, company. At times while shopping on behalf of a store, it allows the purchase to be free, or reimbursement is in the form of coupons or deals.
Word of caution for Mystery Shoppers
Though it is an interesting profession one has to be careful with it right from the beginning. It would be better to deal with reputed companies if you want to be on a safer side. Or doing a bit of homework before applying is important because registration involves money. In addition, there are possibilities to incur hidden costs, and you must be able to manage those costs.