One of the things I love about secret shopping is that you get to pick and choose the shops you want to do.
For instance, there will be a variety of shops available with the secret shopping company you are signed up with. In turn, you get to scroll through and see what particular shops are of interest to you.
If something doesn't interest you, then you are not obligated to apply for the shop in question. However, be mindful that if you say you are interested and available in doing a shop that you are then agreeing to have a quality shop and report done on time.
Before you agree to doing a particular shop, always keep these 5 pointers in mind.
1. Do I like this secret shopping company that is offering this shop?
If you have already done work for a certain secret shopping company, then you already have a sense of how they work. You have experience of what they expect on their reports and if they pay in a timely manner. Some secret shopping companies have more elaborate systems where they have a user-friendly database in place where you can easily look at and request shops. In contrast, I've had some companies call me up to offer me a shop, but I didn't have the details right in front of me. I like having as much information as possible on a shop, before requesting it.
2. Is the location of the shop convenient for me?
Because secret shopping companies may not just have jobs available in your immediate area, but rather in different cities and even countries, you want to consider just how far you are willing to travel to do a shop. Don't assume your travel expenses to go to a shop will be covered, as most often they are not. You will want to check this out in advance. The nice thing about working with a secret shopping company who covers more geographical ground is that you can even do shops on your travels. What a great way to save money on hotels and restaurants!
3. When is the deadline for the shop and the report?
Some shops offer more flexible time frames in which to work in. For example, the assignment will say you can do the shop anytime between June 13 to June 20. Thus, you want to check what fits with your schedule. You will have to know if there are any days that you are not allowed to do the shop, based on shop requirements. You will also have to determine if the shop needs to be completed during specific hours. All because a shop may be open from 9 to 5, perhaps the assignment will ask that you not shop during 12 to 1, for example. You will also have to see how much time is allowed after a shop to get the report submitted. It makes a big difference if you have a 3 hour deadline versus a 3 day deadline.
4. What type of assignment is it?
Perhaps you have no interest in evaluating a movie theater, but you love clothing shops. So you will want to select a shop where you have a natural interest. You will want to consider what is required of you during the assignment. Is it an assignment in which you are required to make a return? If you're not interested in doing that then there is no point in accepting the shop, since this is a requirement. Is it a shop, such as a car dealership, where you are required to negotiate? Perhaps that makes you feel uncomfortable, so the shop wouldn't be a good fit for you. The better the shop suits your personality, the more you will enjoy doing it.
5. How much does the shop pay?
You will have to see if the shop is well worth your time and effort investment. If the shop doesn't pay money, but instead offers a reimbursement or other perks this is totally fine, if it's something you want and/or need. If a shop pays a measly $10, for instance, but a lot is required in terms of the shop or report, then it's not worth your energy. However, if you are trying to get a secret shopping company to get to know you, it may be worth accepting these shops to begin with. After all, just like with any job, if the company trusts your work then they are likely to offer you more work.
It is important to keep these factors in mind before requesting a secret shopping assignment. After all, it's a lot easier to determine this up front, then to then turn down an assignment once you are expected to have it completed. Changing your mind about getting an assignment done will reflect poorly on you. And the more you do this, the more negative your reliability will look as a Secret Shopper to your Recruiters. Of course, things come up where you have to cancel a shop for legitimate reasons, but this should be few and far between.
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Welcome to my blog on the information and advice you need to know to get started as a Secret Shopper! I love this work and would like to share my experience with you. :)