Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Six things you gotta have to be a shopper...and two more you should have

Alright, there are some things that mystery shoppers just need to be successful. I'll let you know what you need and why you need it. If you don't have these things you might want to aquire them before you start mystery shopping. Here we go in no specific order...

1. Computer with Internet Access

This seems like an obvious thing right? Well, I would definitely recommend that mystery shoppers have their own computer with internet access to do mystery shopping. I mean, you wouldn't want to have to go to the public library to do your mystery shops. Mystery shoppers have to input reports within a specific period of time. I recommend having high speed internet access in case you have to send in scanned copies of receipts, business cards, or other work related paperwork. Which brings us to our next necessity...

2. Scanner

Now there are some mystery shops that you can do without a scanner but...actually I can't think of any that I've done without a scanner. If you are thinking about becoming a mystery shopper you need one of these. The faster the better in my book too. I have an ole dinosaur scanner but I'm stuck with it until it dies. It gets the job done though.

3. Printer

Now this is another important thing for mystery shoppers. You have to make copies of paperwork constantly. And, in the beginning it is important that you print out your specific instructions to make sure you don't miss any part of your shop. Once you've been shopping for a little while you can print less and less of your paperwork. Can't do without this one. You might want to go ahead and get one of those printer/scanner/copier in one deals.

4. Reliable Transportation

If you have reliable transportation you can make good money mystery shopping. This only makes sense because you can travel further if you want and take more jobs.

5. Timing Device

Now I'm not really a watch wearer but to be a mystery shopper you definitely need a time keeping device. Many shops ask for time down to the minute and second. It would be a good idea to get an inexpensive stopwatch or maybe a digital watch that can keep track of minutes and seconds.

6. Good Organizational Skills

For this gig it definitely pays to be organized. You could get a PDA if you're not one of the few people privileged enough to be super organized and on top of everything. You'll want to get something to help keep you organized. You'll want something to help you keep track of your scheduled shops so you do them when you are supposed to. Also a good idea to get something to help you keep up with what you are supposed to be paid. You should always look out for yourself when it comes to keeping your pay straight. Don't get upset if it takes a little while longer than you think it should to get your first paycheck. That's pretty much just how it is. I just jot my info down the old fashioned way with a piece of paper. Whatever works for you.

Nonessential but nice to have

1. Digital Camera

You will want to invest in a digital camera for your mystery shops if you are serious about it. Some companies want pictures uploaded to go along with the report. Read about one of the companies I shop for that requires pictures here. Some companies will allow pictures to be taken with a camera phone but some specify that camera phones should not be used. These are really not that expensive anymore and once you get one you'll find lots of use for it.

2. GPS System

This is another one of those things that you can do without but it would be nice to have. You can set up your shops and have your GPS system tell you how to get to them. This would be of benefit when you go out of town on vacation and want to pick up a few extra shops. Of course you could just do good ole mapquest. Just a thought.

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