Here is what you need to know about mystery shopping and how to determine if it is the right fit for your family.
1. Understand mystery shopping
Understanding what mystery shopping is all about is important before you embark on this adventure. Basically, you pose as a customer for the company and will need to fill out a report of your experience. The different shops have different requirements. You may be asked to follow a strict scenario, such as asking an employee specific questions about products, or you may simply be asked to make any purchase and report on the experience.
Once you sign up with one or more mystery shopping companies, you will get notified of jobs in your area. You can choose to accept them or not. Because these jobs are offered to several shoppers at one time, it is usually the earliest positive reply that gets the assignment.
Once your shop is done, you will be required to fill out a questionnaire and send it to the company, either online or though the mail. You can expect to get reimbursed for your purchase, and you may get an additional payment as well. More complicated shops pay you at a higher rate than do simple easy-to-complete shops.
2. Are you available during the day?
Most shopping assignments take place during daytime hours on the weekdays. This makes mystery shopping an ideal job for a stay-at-home mom or a retiree. If you do have children at home, keep in mind that there may be some shops in which you cannot take the children with you. Of course, since you always have the option of selecting which assignments that you respond to, you can eliminate any assignments where children are not allowed. For some assignments, such as a trip to a local kids gym or fun place, children would not only be welcome but a requirement!
3. Do you have a good cash flow?
Most companies will not reimburse you or pay for your services for several weeks. While you could get paid as early as three weeks, this isn’t the average. Having the cash flow to make purchases to complete your mystery shopping assignments is important. Note that since you get to select which assignments that you want to take, you can always choose ones that require a purchase of less than a set dollar amount, let us say $20, if cash flow is a problem.
4. Are you organized?
If it is one thing that mystery shopping requires is organization. You will need to keep track of which companies you have applied with, which assignments you have taken and completed, and when you have gotten paid for each of your assignments. You will also need to be able to answer questions about the shop, so a good memory and organized way of thinking is important. You won’t be able to take the questionnaires with you, because that would make it too obvious that you are a mystery shopper.
Some assignments can be completed in a few weeks, while others must be completed within a few days of accepting the shop. You will need to be able to know where you need to be and when.
If you think that mystery shopping would be a good fit for your family, you will have a unique opportunity to enjoy some family fun for free.