It can be difficult to make money while in school. Your course work is designed to keep you busy and working hard all semester, so it is sometimes impossible to hold down a regular job. For many students, not working is simply not an option. You're probably already taking out loans to pay for school, and just because you're going to school and not currently working full time doesn't mean that your bills just suddenly stop. When you have as crazy a schedule for the semester as you likely do, what you need is to find a way to earn some extra money that is flexible.
Because of the scheduling dilemmas that most students face, mystery shopping can be a great way to earn a little extra cash every semester. Mystery shopping works great for students because mystery shoppers don't have a set schedule and jobs can be picked up as needed. This means you can work around your school schedule; work weekends, nights, early mornings or anytime you're free. Students work great as mystery shoppers because they're smart, reliable and can follow directions.
Do exactly what is expected of you and come prepared
Unsuccessful mystery shoppers are usually people who don't follow directions. You're told exactly what to do when hired for a job. All you have to do is go and do it, write up the report and receive your compensation. If you have any questions, ask ahead of time. Most jobs are very straightforward, so you shouldn't have any questions. If you follow directions and and don't blow your cover, you'll do just fine. As a student, you are fully capable of handling anything that a client would want you to do.
Pay close attention to details
Mystery shopping is all about paying attention to the details. You're being paid to be observant, so when working an assignment, make sure to notice the little things. Were you greeted when you came in? Is the floor clean? Are all the employees busy helping customers? You'll be provided with a list of things to look for when you're assigned the job, so make sure you know what you need to look for before you go in. As a mystery shopper, you need to be able to keep track of these details in your head for your report. Being vague in your report isn't an option. Students are good for mystery shopping jobs because they are good at memorizing and applying things in their school work.
Be on time and submit reports on time
Timeliness is important in any job. When you receive the assignment make sure to get it done in a timely manner. The same goes for your reports. Usually reports have to be submitted 24 hours after you make the visit. While it can be tough to get all your work done for classes and get your mystery shoppers reports done on time, it's important to make sure you do. Set aside time for both in a given day so that you can be sure to get everything done. A good way of handling things is to do the reports as soon as you can after doing your mystery shopping. That way, you don't forget anything in the report.
Work whenever you can
As a student, it can be easy to want to relax when you get a chance, but if you want to make any money as a mystery shopper, you've got to work when you're free. This might mean doing a job or two on the weekend when you just want to relax in your dorm. Most jobs don't take too long so you should be able to take a few jobs on the weekends, or end your day with a mystery shopping spree. A few mystery shopping jobs can be nice to break up a weekend of studying. For a few hours you can forget about that essay you have to write by Monday and just focus on making some quick cash.