How To Get Started With Mystery Shopping
If you've heard of mystery shopping but didn't know how to get started with mystery shopping, this is just the information you need. Mystery shopping is an industry where companies want to check on their operations and make sure that their customer service is up to par. Places such as retail stores and restaurants are subject to mystery shopping. Shoppers get paid to do what they do best; shop.
To get started with mystery shopping, you will need:
- A computer
- An email account
- A Paypal account
- Access to a printer and scanner
- A digital camera or camera phone
- Research what companies you want to sign up with. Visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association to find out which companies are reputable. There are many scams out there pretending to be legitimate mystery shopping companies. This helps you weed out those that are real and those that are fraudulent.
- Set up a separate email account. Have another email account specifically for your mystery shopping. This helps keep your other email accounts from being cluttered and leaves you with a streamlined place to keep all of your information.
- Set up a Paypal account. Some companies only pay their shoppers through Paypal. It helps to have this just in case. The beauty of Paypal is that you can deposit the money directly into your bank account or you could keep the new income on Paypal. Either way, this is a great way to have some flexibility with your money.
- Sign up with a few mystery shopping companies. It is recommended that you sign up with up to five companies just so you can have a variety of shops to do. There will be some companies that do not have many shops in your area at certain times. This is why it's important to sign up with multiple companies. If you have many options, you'll always have assignments to do.
- Read through the shops (assignments) available in your area. Be realistic about what you are willing to do. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully before you accept an assignment. Most assignments require proof that you have done the shop. Many companies ask for photos of receipts or business cards as proof. Be sure that you have access to a printer or scanner, as well as a digital camera or a camera phone.
- Start mystery shopping. Once you start doing shops, be sure to document and keep track of your earnings. If you make over $600 with a single company, you have to file your earnings on your taxes. So make sure that you are aware of how much mystery shopping you're doing.