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Today I have a guest post for you all about the benefits of mystery shopping! Over to Miss Penny Money:
Hey! I’m Miss Penny Money. I’m on a debt-free journey and looking to save money and make money, sharing my tips along the way. I want to talk to you about why you should try mystery shopping, and it’s not just about the money!
I love mystery shopping. There are so many reasons why. It can bring a whole load of benefits, whether you’re a stay-at-home-parent, a working parent, a student, or someone looking to make some extra cash.
Of course, this is usually the main reason for people looking to get into mystery shopping, and it can work out pretty well when you know how to get the most out of it. Some tasks or jobs pay around £7-£8, and only take about 30 minutes. Other jobs can be more highly paid, with some paying around £40, while others can be very lucrative indeed. Once you’ve signed up to a few, there are plenty of options to find paid work. The only problem is, what if you don’t have the conviction to go through with it?
A lack of confidence in your own ability is often a stumbling point to most would-be shoppers and can stop you from signing up. Or worse, signing up to a job and then not following through, which can damage your shopper score and reputation. We’ve all experienced a level of insecurity at some time or another, but you know the best way to get past it? Start with something small and just do it. There are so many task apps where all that is required is to (discreetly) take a photograph of some stock, or street signs.
Ever get a little buzz when you do something for the first time? That one thing that once scared you suddenly seems so insignificant, you’ll be bolstered to do it again. Doing these little tasks will grow your confidence to take on slightly bigger jobs, such as counting stock levels in a supermarket, or checking the layout of a selection of products. And it’s not just your confidence that will reap rewards.
Are you someone who spends their days talking to little people with no other adult interaction? Perhaps you work from home, and your computer and Alexa are your only friends.
If you’re suffering with a lack of social interaction, mystery shopping can be a great way to give you a social boost. Even simple small talk with the checkout cashier counts. You’re out and about, speaking with adults and other people. Of course, you might not feel like talking to anyone, and that’s absolutely fine. After all, you’re a mystery shopper and mystery shoppers come in all different personality types!
So many people suffer with anxiety and confidence issues nowadays. For me, I find that mystery shopping can help me get over that. There’s a quote that resonates with me each time I’m not feeling my best.
“Do one thing every day that scares you”.
I think it’s such a relevant quotation, because once you’ve done that one thing, it changes you. And that’s how it is with mystery shopping. Even if all you need to do is take a photograph, it can do wonders for your mental health just to have a change of scene and be surrounded by people. On a particularly brave day when you’re ordering some food and drinks and making a mental note of your surroundings, you’ll realise you’re enjoying yourself.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent looking after young children (perhaps they’re at school or nursery), you might be looking to go back to work after a long period of parental leave. Mystery shopping can be great for your people skills, especially if you’ve spent more than your fair share of time staring at the same four walls. You’re forced to interact with other humans. Just talking to someone can give you an insight into people and their lives. I’ve found that talking to people from different walks of life changes my perspective. Maybe it’s the writer in me (characters fascinate me), but it broadens your horizons. This could be a great stepping stone to going back to work, living in that world again, if that’s something you’re looking to do.
But it’s not just about polishing your people skills. There’s the attention-to-detail in checking the cleanliness of a pub, the careful accuracy over your reports in how a customer advisor made you feel. The respect you have for the companies you’re working for, knowing that you are a part of something important. These are all attributes you can add to your CV. Because you’re not only reliable and meticulous, you also show initiative in broadening your skillset to any future employer.
So, mystery shopping isn’t just about earning extra money (although that’s generally the main reason as mentioned above). The point is, if you have any doubts about getting into it, don’t let that put you off. It’s a great way to grow your skills and your confidence, and done the right way, can make you a nice bit of cash on the side.
For more information on how to get started with mystery shopping, you can read this post here.
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!