Money. Something everybody needs and wants. Some want more than they need and vice versa. It is definitely a valuable commodity. Since I am a stay at home mom, I try to help out in small ways. My focus still has to be on taking care of our home and children.
The most important part of working from home is not losing focus on what is important. There is a reason that we all choose to be stay at home moms, and for that reason our families and their well beings come first.
It is possible to work for several different mystery shopping companies and make a full time job out of it, but I choose to keep my priorites in check and work for only one company at a time. When my children are older at that point I will re-evaluate my priorities.
From my year in mystery shopping here are a few things to keep in mind to actually make money and benefit from working:
1. There are ALOT of mystery shopping companies. Try to choose 3 or 4 that interest you and Be picky about whom you work for because this is your time away from your family. Check out their pay schedule and how much they pay. Make it count. Each cmpany has certain guidelines they want shoppers to follow.
2. Pay attention to details. This is very important because when I first started out I had a goal in my mind and I was working toward achieving this goal. Well, I had to many mystery shopping companies and one day I mixed up the guidelines for the companies It ended up that I did not get paid for either job. My time away from home was wasted…not to mention the gas!
3. Decide how often you want to work. Just like home, set a schedule. For example, I know that we have piano and bible study on Tuesday’s, so I will not schedule mystery shops on those days. I am more available on Thursday’s Friday’s, and Saturday’s. That is when I would schedule 2 or 3 shops in a route. I am not rushed and inclined to being forgetful.
4. Organization is a MUST. It is best to have an organization in place so as to not mix up records, receipts and guideline information. Everyone has a different way to organize, but my way is a binder, spreadsheet of all the companies, and a pencil case holder. The pencil case holder held my receipts, the binder held my dates and important information, and the spreadsheet had all of my necessary information regarding the companies. Apply the K.I.S.S. method.
5. Don’t cancel shops. This is important because it will make you look bad on their reports. Try to re-schedule as little as possible. Each month I look at my schedule to see my family’s daily events, and if we are in the middle of baseball season (we have 3 boys) then I don’t schedule more than 2. It is better to underschedule than cancel.
6. Make “frugal ” use of the money. Mystery shopping does not pay much, but I use it to my benefit and it helps us with gas, food, and entertainment. If I do a grocery shop, then I purchase something with the $2.00 allotment off of my list or stockpile list. Last year for school supplies I did not have to pay for anything. We do homeschool but supplies like notebook paper and pencils that are used frequently at our home were all FREE!
Each time I visit a new earning opportunity I keep a notebook to hold all of my reference notes. Here are a few of the sites that helped me when I started: http://www.mysteryshoppermanual.com,, http://epmsonline.com, and finally the Mystery Shoppers Association are very helpful and can give a new “shopper” good information.
What is your mystery shopping experience? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
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