Posted By Jacob Jans, Editor

Shopper Profile: lrjonesmshopper

Forum Alias:  lrjonesmshopper

How long have you been mystery shopping?  I have been shopping on a part-time basis for over 6 years now.  Initially, it was more off than on and over the last three years it has become more of a permanent part-time job.

Where are you shopping?  Generally, my shops are centrally located close to Oklahoma City.  And, when I want to get away for a new adventure I will also go to the further corners of the state, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area or Wichita, KS for the weekend or a mini vacation.

What got you started? When I initially started in this business  I  was exploring some different avenues for working from home because at the time I was a caregiver for my husband, while working a full-time job.  A friend at work overheard me talking about this and she introduced me to mystery shopping. About two years into it, my husband went into a nursing home, which took all of his income to pay for this service and left me living paycheck to paycheck.  Up to this point I was treating it more like a hobby vs a business.  About four years ago I became a small business and the rest is history.

What was your first assignment and how did it go?  My first assignment was a local well known fast food drive in.  Snap! This will be easy, I thought.  Not!  It took several of them to get it down pat. The first time I forgot the person’s name. The second time I didn’t time everything I was supposed to and I had to redo it.  The nice thing that happened is the MSC was very willing to work with me through my learning curve.

What is your favorite type of assignment?  My favorite shop is where I want to purchase the product, service or activity, and I don’t want to spend my own money to do it.  Shopping allows me to enjoy some of these things without having the expense and I can write off the expense, while earning some money.  A double win!  Currently, I am loving the candy store, bowling and grocery shops.  It could change next week.  Every new shop is an adventure.

What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet?  Furniture shops!  It is only because I haven’t been assigned one yet!  I have thrown my hat in the ring several times and someone else has gotten them, especially here in the Oklahoma City area.  One day, it will be mine!

What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers?  Be willing to learn and set goals. Willingness is the desire to do something; which in this case, is to learn about mystery shopping.  Every company is different. Every scheduler is different. Every type of shop is different.  And, the shop instructions constantly change. You have to stay on top of it.

What’s your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping?  There is not just one place I can go to look at available shops from every company I am signed up with, which is currently around 60 companies. As a person who holds down a full-time job, I spend a lot of my time trying to locate the shops I want to do or new shops I want to try.  I try to schedule 10-20 shops per week. Yes, I am hooked up with MSPA, Jobslinger, Secret Shopper and more.  With technology today, I just think it could be a little easier.

What’s your favorite MSC?  I don’t know that I have a favorite. I have worked for a wide variety of companies and we have worked well together, for the most part.  I enjoy variety, so new companies, new shops, new schedulers get me excited.

MSPA certification:  Silver certified since year two in this business. Getting certified gave me a little more confidence in myself and I think it helped me to get different kinds of shops.

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