So, you’ve heard about mystery shopping and you thought it’d be a perfect way to earn money. Who wouldn’t? Being paid to make purchases and visit places we normally would sounds ideal and has been called a “too good to be true” WAHM opportunity, but that assumption has been proven wrong in recent years, as many moms really are pocketing cash simply for being a consumer. But like every WAHM position, this one isn’t for everyone – should you be a mystery shopping mom or hold your position as an average customer?
What Makes a Marvelous Mystery Shopper?
When you’re shopping on your own terms, you can relax (or not, with children in tow it can be difficult!) but when you’re a paid customer and not a paying customer your trip to the store or even a lovely evening out with the hubby becomes a time in which you must be extremely aware of what’s going on around you. A marvelous mystery shopper has these qualities:
- She’s observant
- She’d detail oriented
- She possesses strong written skills – many companies will want well written reports of your shopping experience
- She’s patient – even in the midst of terrible customer service which you’d normally deem unacceptable and blow up on the employee or demand to speak with a manager, because your mystery shopping job will require you to keep your cool. After all, you will get the last word with saying a word when you report the unacceptable service in your shop report
- She’s honest and unbiased – you may perform shops at a business you have visited before and received less than spectacular service from, but you’ll need to evaluate and report each shop individually, judging not the company as a whole to be fair to the individuals you encounter
- She’ organized – you’ll need to keep track of your assigned shops, your pretty pennies depend on it, as you’ll be an independent contractor and not an employee
- She’s timely – you’ll be given a specific timeframe in which you must complete your shop and report it
- She’s not too pressed for cash – mystery shops are real jobs (as long as you avoid the scams) and you will be paid for each assignment, but depending on the company you work through, types of shops you perform and other factors, you won’t be making much right off the bat and you’ll need to keep your day job, side jobs or have a hubby with a job to cover the overall cost of living.
Where Are the Mystery Shop Jobs?
If you think you’d be a great candidate for mystery shopping, do your research well. There are many scams out there; but there are also real, reputable companies with big name clients they offer their services (your secret shopping) to for the betterment of their business. Finding the legit companies is best done by frequenting WAHM friendly forums and job boards like WAHM.com and Workplacelikehome.com to see when companies post employment opportunities or to get in touch with mystery shopping moms who can let you in on their not so secret agencies of employment.
Remember, never pay to get paid. Don’t sign up for any mystery shopping service that requires you to pay a fee to find shops. The legit companies will have you go through a normal application process and it won’t cost you a dime. The only spending you should be asked to do is at your actual shops, for which you’ll be reimbursed.
Happy (mystery) shopping!