The best way to get mystery video shopping assignments is by visiting a company’s website and filling out an application online. Legitimate companies have encrypted websites where your information is safe and can only be viewed by the video mystery shopping company.
It’s important to note that you should never email personal information to anyone. Legitimate mystery video shopping companies do not operate that way. If you’re asked to send personal information in an email, you’re probably communicating with a scam artist.
[Fill out the form below for the names of companies that I have worked with and their websites.]
One primary requirement before you apply is that you have hidden video equipment already. The most common hidden camera to use for mystery video shopping is the button camera. If you don't have equipment, it will be harder to get started, but not impossible. Knowing someone with equipment who will lend it to you is one way.
Video mystery shopping companies used to lend equipment to people who didn't have the gear. Most companies don’t do that anymore, because equipment was not returned in good condition or not returned at all.
Once you find a company that you want to apply to, fill out the application and answer all the questions. Besides the normal personal questions, you’ll be asked a few questions regarding your commitment to the industry.
How many miles (or what zip codes) are you willing to drive to a location to do a mystery shop?
What kind of a vehicle do you drive?
What time of day are you available?
Your social security number will be asked on the application. The companies that I show in the form below have encrypted websites where your information is protected. If you have reservations about entering this information, you might be able to enter zeros for the time being. However, a mystery shopping company will need your social security number in order to pay you for a completed assignment.
After you complete the application, you will be asked to submit a sample video. Most of the time, this is a one-minute video with your button camera walking around your home to make sure you have good camera position and your audio is acceptable. Some companies will have specific requirements for this, so make sure the video you record is what the company is looking for.
If you don’t hear from the company and there is a phone number listed on the company website, you can give them a courtesy call to tell them you applied and sent a sample video. That let’s them know that your interest is sincere.
The scheduler from a mystery video company will give you a call if they have an assignment available near you. They will interview you and ask several qualifying questions. If the scheduler doesn’t feel confident in your ability based on the conversation, he/she may not give you an assignment. If that happens, keep calling that person and tell them you’re still interested. Your determination will be a huge factor in eventually getting an assignment.
If you’re accepted by the mystery video shopping company, you would become an independent contractor with the company.
Here's a great article about the legality of mystery video shopping and information about one and two party states.
The more successful video mystery shoppers take routes to accomplish many assignments in one day. Some schedulers want one shopper to record multiple assignments in various cities. Many times, they offer the shopper a travel bonus to get them done. The shopper will spend an entire day (or several days) travelling to several cities and recording multiple assignments.
I traveled 800 miles and visited 6 retail locations in 5 different cities, all in one day. I was paid a travel bonus in case I needed to stay at a hotel overnight. I decided to do everything in one day. I made some good money that day. I spent the entire next day writing reports and uploading videos.
There are many assignments for people of all ages in video mystery shopping. This industry is always looking for people who want to make money in their spare time. I’ve gone to several seminars and found many retirees that are active video mystery shoppers.
You don’t necessarily need previous mystery shopping experience before taking mystery video shopping assignments. However, I think some written assignment experience is extremely helpful. It can help determine if mystery shopping is something you would like to do. I would not suggest you buy equipment, then discover mystery shopping is something you don’t like to do.
During the first decade of the millennium, I worked a full time job, supported a wife and three children, and did a lot of video mystery shops. There were a lot of hectic days, but I would mystery shop only when my schedule allowed. I wouldn’t do a mystery shop if one of my kids had a sports event of any kind.
This industry is always looking for new faces to visit different places. To read how you can start a mystery shopping business, my book (and eBook) have the information you need to get started. The book is titled, "Take That Job and Mystery Shop It!"
For a list of mystery video shopping companies that I have worked with, fill out the form below.