Finding time for mystery shopping

Mystery shopping can be the perfect secondary job for a busy person looking to make some money on the side.

Mystery shopping can be the perfect secondary job for a busy person looking to make some money on the side. While there is a time commitment needed to be a successful secret shopper, it doesn't need to take up long hours. Even if you work a full-time job, there are locations that can be checked out to fit into your schedule.

When looking for shopping opportunities, try to find ones that fit within your day. If your travels in work take you to a particular city or location, see if there's any place to be a mystery shopper while you are there.

Here are some good times for secret shopping:

Weekends
After working Monday through Friday, it may seem like a major commitment to go back out for some secret shopping on Saturdays and Sunday. But it can be worth it. The weekends are generally when stores are at their busiest, meaning it is the ideal time to see if customer service and support are up to snuff. A well-planned trip can also lead to several mystery shopping opportunities within a weekend. See what stores are located within a shopping mall and try to find as many assignments for those locations as possible.

Lunch breaks
It seems like a dream scenario, to be paid while out on your lunch break; that's what secret shopping allows you to do. Find a restaurant near your office that is in need of being reviewed and check it out. Most mystery shopping services require that a report be filed within 24 and 48 hours of visiting a location, so make sure you have enough information to answer questions about the restaurant. The perk of doing this is not only are you paid for reviewing the place, but most secret shopping companies will also reimburse you for your meal.

Holidays
Just because your place of employment has the day off for a holiday doesn't mean that every business does. In fact, many stores specifically choose to stay open on holidays because they know so many customers have free time on their hands. Finding crowded stores allows a secret shopper to really see how a business handles an onslaught of people. Checking out a shop during a holiday break or three-day weekend may also be a good way to see how a place manages its staff, since employees may be taking a vacation during that time as well.