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Mystery Shopping 101 – How to Get Started

Have you ever thought about working as a Mystery Shopper? The following tutorial will provide you with the information and links necessary to start your own business as an Independent Shopper. I have worked as both a mystery shopper and as a merchandiser for just over 12 years.

You can work the system as a job… signing up with companies, establishing a route and schedule… which will reward you with a nice income. Working three days a week for several years I averaged 25,000 – 30,000 a year in cash or items.

Understand it takes time to become established. Once you have worked your way into the rotations of the different recruiters, you will have more work offers than you care to handle! A word of caution on saying no… if the company needs the work completed and you refuse the assignment… they will find another shopper in your area. From that point on, you are now competing for assignments. Consider accepting the assignment and asking someone to help you with it instead of declining the work.

Getting Started:

This is a super link to all the major mystery shopping companies and merchandising jobs.

Starting point… VOLITION.COM

On this page, click Get Paid in left side bar – this will open up links offering work.

Click on Get Paid to Shop on Center of page

On this page, you can sign up for their email… I would suggest signing up with a new email account so you are not overloaded with emails in your regular account. Perhaps setting up a new Gmail account? You can of course use your regular email. I signed up under a new email and then when I started working for a company, I would just change my email to the one that was hooked to my PayPal for easier payments.

Under the yellow box… there is a listing..

Mystery Shopping Companies List… A-G, H-P, Q-Z

Names Starting with: A-G ~ H-P ~ Q-Z

On each page there are a dozen or so companies. Each requires their own application. Start with the first one and look at the types of shops and the locations they are shopping. If it is something you think you may be interested in doing, sign up for them.

Most will ask for a sample of your writing. They are just looking for a recent experience similar to the example at the end of this article. You SHOULD write in a word processor and just copy/paste as needed. Otherwise you will end up doing a lot of writing!

It takes about 3 months to get working and in the rotation. Remember there are two types of work…

Mystery Shopping – you are undercover (usually) and spend your own money to be reimbursed at a later date. (Great for dining out, hotels, golfing, etc.)

Merchandising – you are sent to a store to install, clean, reset, etc… there is no money on your part… paid for your time and effort. These are usually seasonal or for a set time (12 weekly visits, twice a month)… ongoing work that you can schedule on your own so you can line up a day of work at several locations. Once you go into a store, you will have to sign into the vendor book. While in the book, look to see what other companies are sending people and apply to them!!! I picked up more work this way!!

Back on the main page.. @ Volition ( http://www.volition.com/mystery.html )

Click on Demos and Merchandising ( http://www.volition.com/merchandise.html )

Again sign up if they are in your area or for work you are willing to do.

A few points…

1. NEVER pay to sign up or be certified!!!!

2. Watch deadlines or restrictions on how often you can shop.

3. Take pictures on your phone when things are bad so you can prove your negative statements.

Example of Narrative:

Reservations were made with Anna on 9/8/12 @ 9:10am. This was processed in a professional manner. I was told to have “a lovely day” when our interaction was complete. I was not asked for my email address and therefore did not receive a written confirmation of my reservation.

We were greeted as we approached the hostess desk by Tiffany. She confirmed the number in our party and asked if we preferred a table or a booth. Once we were seated she placed the menus on the table and advised us that Rozz would be right with us.

Rozz arrived at the table within 30 seconds and greeted us warmly. She inquired if we were having a good morning and whether we wanted coffee as she had a fresh pot coming out. We ordered juice and coffee. Rozz went on to explain the buffet options and commented that she could have our eggs prepared anyway we wanted them cooked. Once our order was completed, she invited us to head to the buffet when we were ready and commented that she would check back with us in just a few minutes.

The buffet was a plethora of choices. Pastries, fruit, bread, as well as a full breakfast selection of hot items. The food was presented in a logical order and was clearly marked. Items were replaced quickly by the staff.

Our check was placed on the table at the first check back by Rozz. She replenished our coffee cups several times. Each visit included casual bantering. She was observed interacting with other guests beside her own tables. Several guests were addressed by name.

We were thanked and told to have a great day. As we were leaving the restaurant, Tiffany called out, “Goodbye. Have a nice day.”

Doris was on call in the concierge lounge. She greeted us as we entered but did not offer any explanation to the offerings or process of serving ourselves. Doris was cleaning off several tables and continued to pick up around the room throughout our visit. The main hot item was scrambled eggs with a large variety of toppings. Muffins, bread, bagels, and sliced fresh fruit were also on the counter. Several types of juices were on display as well as coffee and hot water for tea. There were five choices of types of teas. Honey, sugar and sweeteners were available.

We were thanked as we were leaving.

Additional notes:

1. Elise processed check in with a cheerful, outgoing, upbeat attitude. She walked around the counter and escorted me about half the way to the elevators. I was told that she was on duty until 11:30pm if I needed anything at all to call her.

2. DeeDee took my call for assistance in the morning. The blow dryer would not work and I called the desk to request another one. She indicated that she would report it to maintenance and that they would be around when they could. No one came within the hour before I had to leave.

3. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner in the restaurant with Danielle as our server. She was entertaining and such a joy to interact with as she met all of our dining needs. She is attentive to details and seems to enjoy interacting with the guests.

4. Diane was on duty in the concierge lounge during the evening. She chatted with each guest and made her way around the room making everyone comfortable. Several of the guests were greeted by name.