People often ask me how to become a mystery shopper since I have been doing it for almost 7 years. Mystery shopping, or “auditing” has been a legimate way to make money from working as an indpendent contractor for years. It is a simple, free process and you can be up and running in no time and it is not too good to be true!
The first thing you should do is set up a new, free, dedicated email address just for mystery shopping. I suggest Gmail simply because I find it to be the easiest and most user friendly.
There are hundreds of mystery shopping and marketing companies and you need to sign up with each one individually. To begin this part of the process find a list of companies that include a link to the companies’ websites. You should NEVER pay for any information. You can find a free comprehensive list of mystery shopping companies along with links here .
Since you need to sign up with each individual company so it would be beneficial to use Google’s auto add or put your information into a Word document or spreadsheet so you can just copy and paste it. Many companies also require short writing samples so it would be a good idea to write a short critique of a recent shopping or dining experience and save this in Word as well and use it for each company that requires it.
Upon signing up with the mystery shopping companies you will begin to receive emails notifying you of jobs in your area. You can apply for these “shops” and if accepted be sure to read all of the directions for your shop and follow all of the shopping companies’ policies when performing it. Remain professional at all times. Pay ranges vary per shop and experience. Some are reimbursement only, some shops, like upscale dining shops, may only reimburse part of the meal so you may have a $100 dinner for $20 out of pocket. You won’t be making millions but once you get the hang of it and work with several companies you can make a decent amount of money.
The following tips helped me to become a successful mystery shopper:
· Be sure to check your dedicated email regularly so you do not miss opportunities to pick up a shop. If you want to make money, you have to be diligent.
· The more mystery shops you perform, the more jobs you will be offered.
· Pay attention to details while performing your mystery shop.
· You do not need a All-in-1 Printer/Fax/Copier/Scanner or digital camera to become a mystery shopper but they are useful tools and will help you get better, higher paying jobs.
· Certification is not a requirement but will help you make more money.
· Don’t flake out on jobs! Schedulers talk to each other and if you miss a deadline with one company, chances are another will hear about it.
· NEVER pay for information on mystery shopping! Everything you need to know you can find for free.