Landing your first mystery shopping gig

Mystery shopping is an ideal source of income for many professionals of all ages.

Mystery shopping is an ideal source of income for many professionals of all ages. While some secret shoppers take assignments for added income, others employ themselves on a full-time basis.

Regardless of your aspirations for a mystery shopping career, finding that first assignment is critical. To begin, it's probably a good idea to visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association to peruse lists of reputed providers. Once you sign up to work with them you can begin searching for assignments.

"While each provider will have their own unique signup process, it generally just takes about five to 10 minutes of your time for each provider you sign up to work with," the Mystery Shopping Maven points out.

However, it's important to know that you should not have to pay for a list or providers, and legitimate companies will not charge fees to sign up.

"Some providers do have a small waiting period while they process your information, and this may just be a day or two," the source notes, adding that other companies may even allow new applicants to begin searching though online job boards immediately.