You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t looking for extra income, right? Well getting started with mystery shopping is the easiest process imaginable. Once you’ve taken care of all the logistics with signing up, next up is finding shops, managing your time, and making sure you’re not taking on too much.
After you get into the groove of mystery shopping, you will realize how easy the process really is. You will see many shops available to you that are convenient in terms of location, time frame, etc., and you will want to sign up for all of them.
Here are some things to remember that will help you make mystery shopping magic.
Managing Your Shop Contracts
- Commitment- The mystery shopping company has made the commitment process pretty simple. After signing up, you will most likely have access to a database of available shops. Once you commit yourself to a shop contract, follow the general rule of thumb to complete that shop and see it through to completion. Yes, there is flexibility and if you are unable to complete a shop for unforeseen circumstances, you can bow out of your commitment; however, you don’t want to be THAT shopper who is constantly flaking on your commitment. Commit only to what you can handle so you don’t run into shop overload.
- Time- Each physical shop can take anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour [depending on the complexity of the assignment]. Take into consideration your drive time to and from the shop along with the paperwork that is part of the assignment. Each total shop could easily take you 20 minutes to 4 hours to complete. Obviously this time frame is dependent on where you live, what type of shop it is, and how quickly you work, but you want to give enough time and attention to each shop to ensure accurate completion.
- Paperwork- The paperwork (most of which is electronic nowadays – I sure don’t miss all those paper reports) is a vital part of the shop. Your thoroughness and memory is of utmost importance. If you attempt to cram too many shop contracts into any given day or week, lines could get crossed, confusion could arise, and your paperwork may not be as detailed or accurate as it should be. The last thing you want is to put all the time and effort into mystery shopping someone just for your paperwork to be incomplete or inaccurate and be refused. It’s easy to confuse Sally, Sam, Debbie, and Dave if you’ve shopped too many people in one day.
- Follow Up- Occasionally the mystery shopping company will have follow up questions regarding your shop and/or paperwork so it’s important that you hold onto details – mentally and any notes you made – for each shop until they are 100% approved. If you are thorough the mystery shopping company won’t need to check back with you often, but better safe than sorry.
Ultimately, you know your limitations better than anyone else. You know your time better than anyone else. It’s difficult for someone else to put a specific number on how many shops you can reasonably expect to be able to complete and manage. What works for one person may not work for another.
The most important thing to remember is that your professionalism, attention to detail, and ability to “see the shops through” is greatly appreciated and respected by the mystery shopping company you do work for. Start out small and work your way up to a manageable number and you will naturally find your own tricks to making mystery shopping magic.