So you want to be a mystery shopper. It sounds like fun, but isn't all a scam? Absolutely not! Mystery shopping is an excellent way to make some extra money. It can even be a full time job if you want it to be. I've been doing it off and on for about a year, and I'm starting to try to find enough shops for it to actually be a source of income for me.
There are some tricks to being successful with mystery shopping that I'm learning. Of course there are all the skill sets you need to actually perform the mystery shops. The important one being attention to detail. When I shop, I used to rush in and out and not pay attention to anything but what I was doing. Now I've learned to slow down my brain and notice things around me. You gotta be in the moment to be able to answer the questions later. Another biggie, you gotta be able to write. Some reports are just multiple choice. Others are just narrative. Most are some of both. But they want you to have good writing skills with good grammer and no spelling mistakes.
So how does it work? Start signing up with different mystery shop companies. You can't do just one. Certain companies have certain shops available based on company or location or industry. If you sign up with just one company you may NEVER find a shop in your area. I'm currently signed up with 29 different companies. And out of those there are 2 that consistantly have open shops in my area, and the other 4 sometimes have stuff in my area. The other 22 rarely have anything in my area. And 1 that I don't like to use because I've had bad experiences with them.
Each company you sign up with, you will have to fill out an application and be accepted as a shopper. The application is for all of your personal information, and usually has a small writing assignment. Something like describing a recent shopping trip. When you complete your essay, be sure to point out details like cleanliness of the store and how you were treated by workers. Also include descriptions of the workers, how long you waited, stuff like that. You want to talk about your personal experience, but try to stick to the facts. Very rarely do they care about your opinion. They only want to know what happened.
Another important point . . . you WILL have to give each company your social security number. The money you earn on mystery shopping is taxable income.