Contrary to popular opinion, not all mystery shopping requires you to leave your home. Some jobs are as easy as picking up the phone. In fact, phone mystery shopping is often easier than what is expected when mystery shopping a retail outlet. This is because you can take your notes right when you’re calling the number. You can also time things and have all the paperwork you received from your client right at your finger tips.

Benefits to phone assignments

There are many good points that come with mystery shopping over the phone. For one thing, the time commitment generally is less. According to Mystery Shop Maven there are many different kinds of phone assignments. Some are as easy as ordering a pizza, while others are more involved. However, most of them don’t take more than five or 10 minutes — or at most half an hour.

Additionally, if you’re worried about blowing your cover on a difficult job involving the impersonation of a certain client, it might be easier for you to try these kinds of assignments out over the phone before taking on in-person trips that require a cover identity. When you can write a cheat sheet of information about who you are pretending to be, it’s more convenient. Doing a job like this first will help ease you into more difficult and lucrative assignments. Having the experience under your belt will also help you land those jobs in the first place.

There is also typically a greater degree of flexibility when you make the call itself, Mystery Shop Maven explained. If you have kids and can’t leave them alone in the house, this is another reason for taking a phone-based job.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that because of all the perks offered by calling assignments, they tend to go quickly, and there aren’t often very many of them.

What to expect

When you’re calling on a mystery shop assignment, you should expect that many people will be doing the same thing at different times of the day. In one mystery shop performed on behalf of Franchise Update, 36,313 total franchise units were called to determine how well they performed, according to the website. It’s likely that people on the other end of the phone are aware they may very well be talking with a mystery shopper. As such, you should be on your guard to avoid saying anything revealing. In fact, for companies that hire mystery shoppers, it’s likely they actually want their staff to be on the alert for a potential mystery shopper, because then that telephone operator will do a better job at answering calls.

When you begin trying to make money with mystery shopping through the telephone, don’t expect it to become a full-time job, another Mystery Shop Maven article explained. There just isn’t enough work to go around.

Placing a call instead of driving a car

Saving money on commuting is another benefit to mystery phone calls. Instead of going to the mall and spending gas money, all the cash you earn from your phone call goes directly to you. You could possibly earn $50 by calling someone and signing up for a credit card, followed by a detailed report. This might only take half an hour of time, but you’ll earn more per hour than you might if you did the same job at a grocery store 30 miles away from your house.

In the end, there won’t be enough of these to do them full-time, so your best bet is to complement a preexisting system of doing regular mystery shopping with supplementary phone calling when you don’t want to, or can’t, leave the house.