Hi, I decided to get back into mystery shopping after a 6/7 hiatus. I’m just now reactivating my accounts with different mystery shopping companies. Is it difficult to get it going again after taking a break for a while, as I getting jobs? Have you noticed changes in the industry in the last few years? I see volition isn’t around - is there a similar site as that now? I’m in RI, and can do shops in RI, Mass and Florida.
I don't think there is any major change, other than some consolidation. Register and then self-assign or request shops, just as before. Maybe do a few shops with low or no bonuses if nothing else is available in order to get the emails when bonuses go higher. Keep tabs of the offered bonuses, and remember how high they typically go in your area. Develop scheduler relationships.
I just recently started back up after not doing any for about 15 years. I moved, and I think the type of shops I get now are more fun and pay better, but Idk if it is location or things have just improved. I also think the fact that typing stuff into your phone is so common now that nobody blinks an eye. 15 years ago that wasn't an option (at least, I didn't have a smartphone back then). Prior, I did mostly restaurant, but I'm branching out and honestly doing more merchandising. Be sure to save $ out for taxes, and keep track of all expenses and mileage. I just use a notebook. And have fun!
I've shopped off and on for years, but mostly for the perks and to get out of the house, home based work and all that. Anyway, I started back last summer (2021) after a hiatus of several years. This time, it is closer to a real side hustle, and not so much about the perks (restaurants, retail and hotel side trips). There is no doubt that the industry has changed. I am sure that covid has been part of that. There is more available in my area, but my area has also grown, and that is seen in more shopping opportunities. There is more online and via phone now as well. Volition is where I started, and I used to check back there all the time. I was really sorry to see that it was gone. This forum is now the best place I know of to keep up with what is going on in the MS industry.
I moved from the city to a more rural area and it feels like feast or famine. Sometimes there are a large variety of shops but they're not well paying ($9 gas station shops) and then other times, I see shops sit for a while and a large bonus is put on it. I think it really varies by region. I thought I would see more shops sitting longer as gas prices go up to $5+ but I feel like I'm actually seeing shops getting picked up faster.
Otherwise, I think shop pay is still generally pretty low. I was "on hiatus" for a while after having kids and longer reports are not my thing any more, so I tend to pick up simple shops that don't require a lot of narrative. Most shops now a days want pics.