4 Tips for Making More Money as a Mystery Shopper
Don't believe the hype. You don't get filthy rich cruising the world and dining for free as a mystery shopper. You can supplement the family income and get a complimentary meal once in awhile, however. I shopped for over 7 years while taking care of my kids, and I found it to be a good way to earn $100 or more a month, plus 3-4 free meals, some shopping, and a hotel stay every couple of weeks.
Here's what you need to know to maximize earnings and get even better shops!
1. Get MSPA certified. I became silver certified soon after I started shopping. It was pretty easy for anyone who can read material and take a simple test. The fee wasn't ridiculous, and it allowed me to get access to better shops than I would have without the certification. Other perks to having your certification number is that you can often assign your own shops (instead of going through a scheduler) and you'll get picked over shoppers that don't have it (which is important when you live in a rural area with few shops and lots of competition!) Learn more about how to get certified at the MSPA website.
2. Get to know the schedulers. If you shop for a company often, it never hurts to keep note of the scheduler that handles setting up shops. While you rarely interact with them personally, there are times when they will call you personally for last-minute shops, and this is where you can get more for your time. When schedulers have your trust to finish a shop on time, you can ask for bonuses for last-minute shops or shops that have a very tight turnaround. Most schedulers are happy to give $10, $20, or even $50 extra for a shop to be done the right way at a moment's notice!
3. Sign up for scheduling alerts. I had a dedicated email box just for my mystery shopping business, and I used it to sign up for all the new jobs that were posted in my area. If I knew that I was vacationing, I would add the area of my destination to the alerts, as well. This made sure that I wasn't checking the mystery shopping websites daily, unless I really had time. I would check my emails once or twice a day for new jobs, and I was often able to set up plenty of shops to make it worth my while.
4. Be thorough with your reports. Not only is it important to turn in your reports on time, it's also necessary to completely fill them out exactly as specified. Incomplete or badly written reports have to be fixed by the editors, and you may not be allowed to shop again for a company who thinks of you as a "bad reporter." If you have questions or are missing information needed on a shop, be honest and ask questions. Never lie to complete a report.
What is the best-paying shop you've ever done? What tips or questions do you have regarding getting paid well as a mystery shopper? I'd love to hear your thoughts or answer your questions!