Video Mystery Shopping

What is video mystery shopping?

One of the questions I often ask my students is “how many $100 would you spend if it made you another $100 and another..?” That’s basically what you can do if you invest in equipment and training to be a video mystery shopper.

If you’ve ever watched any of the shows like Mystery Diners or Undercover Boss, you’ve seen how they use hidden cameras throughout the episodes.

The difference in video mystery shopping is that you actually wear a hidden camera and video recorder on your body.

What Equipment is Needed for Video Mystery Shopping?

Although there are several versions such as a pen camera or ones hidden in a paid of glasses, the industry standard is the PV500. LawMate is the main supplier with some individual distributors like GreyHawk Video Solutions representing them.

PV500 with BU-18 button cam – photo via LawMate

Basically, you wear the button cam hidden among the other buttons on your shirt. Seasoned video mystery shoppers will recommend that you choose a colorful pattern. Visit my friend Kathy Hart’s Facebook page for tips and advice on getting a shirt made for video mystery shopping.

Originally, I had an issue with this because I argued that I wouldn’t wear something as “flashy” or “loud.” What experienced shoppers pointed out to me was that the question is what would my personna do?

In other words as a video mystery shopper, you’re playing a role. I’ve been a VP of wireless startup; I’ve been a owner of a family import / export business; I’ve been a sales and marketing executive working remotely from home.. and more!

While there’s a variety of businesses that need your services as a mystery shopper ranging from restaurant to retail, the majority of the demand in recent years has been in real estate.

What are the Most Common Assignments in Video Mystery Shopping?

These are commonly either apartment or new home shops.

In apartments larger communities professionally run by sales and management staff will contract you to pose as a prospective renter who’s checking out different units in their apartment hunting process.

With new home shops the developers hire you to evaluate how well their sales staff walk you through the buying process. Because of how much money is at stake, they’re willing to pay more to make sure that their salespeople not only communicate the features but also make buyers feel comfortable with the sale.

How much can you make with video mystery shopping assignments?

Often these fit the Field Rep 101 criteria of higher pay. Many assignments range from $50 to $100 and can be completed within an hour or so.

What’s the catch to video mystery shopping?

Believe it or not, one of the biggest challenges I personally had was remembering to turn on the equipment!

Next it would be making sure that you have the camera positioned to take quality shots. So it’s important to check how the picture looks. Also, do a sound check to make sure that the microphone isn’t muffled because your shirt is covering it or possibly disconnected.

Between remembering your backstory and the different requirements of the assignment it’s easy to forget these basics.

In the future I will discuss how to develop a good back story or “cover” to complete your assignment, because it helps to have the answers in your mind to the typical questions that the “target,” or person you’re shopping may ask.

If you’d like to learn more about ways to make money with your camera, check out my Fiverr gig.

Be sure to check out my friend Jeff’s page on Top 10 Video Mystery Shopping Questions.

Visit this Facebook page to connect with others in the video mystery shopping community.


Top 10 Reasons for Attending IMSC Conference in Las Vegas

In less than a week IMSC will be hosting their annual conference in Las Vegas. I’ve spoken and taught workshops there. Besides connecting with some awesome folks, here are some of the reasons why you need to attend –

1. Meet mystery shopping companies (MSCs) that are actively recruiting – often if they’re spending their dime to travel there and setting up a table, these folks WANT to hire you!

2. Learn about the latest trends in the industry and other news – these can include legal issues or things that affect your finances as an independent contractor

3. Get known.. in a good way! No, don’t be that guy or gal who had a little too much to drink. Instead ask the smart questions that others don’t ask. Add value with your thoughts and suggestions.

4. Check out the latest devices and gadgets that may be worth getting. Maybe there’s a new hidden cam that looks like a smartphone or iPhone app that provides a way to get those shops done.

5. Get out of the office and off the road. Working alone can get old. It’s great to meet others who get that.

6. Take a breather. Let’s face it – conferences are also an excuse to get away a bit.

7. Chance to hit the reset button. Maybe you feel like your business is in a rut. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need.

8. Build new alliances. Along with signing up with new companies, it’s good to find other shoppers who may turn out to be venture partners or sources of referral business.

9. Hey, it’s VEGAS! ’nuff said!

10. NO SUBSTITUTE for being there – as much as I’m a big fan of online technology, there really is nothing like meeting other mystery shoppers and field agents in person.

How about you? Which conferences or events are you planning to attend soon? What do you plan to get out of attending?

Field Inspections – Something Old Something New

When I got started in field inspection work years ago, there was very little information available. Today there is a little more out there, but it’s still lacking at best.

Ok, times have changed. Now there are assignments that you can do on your smart phone or tablet. Reports are 99.99% electronic and transmitted via the Internet. In fact, video is starting to become the “next big thing..”

I predict that in the future more and more companies will request recorded videos and eventually live. Drone photography will ultimately become mainstream. (currently there are only a few hundred companies allowed to use drones commercially..)

Here I talk with Servanne and Pam of IMSC about video mystery shopping..



Welcome to Field Rep 101

If you’re like me, you’ve tried different ways to make money with real estate. Maybe you’re a realtor who’s gone to all kinds of real estate investment training – or mystery shopper who’s wondered how anyone makes a living doing $5 or $10 assignments – or a retiree that’s trying to figure out how to survive on what’s left of the social security program.

No matter what I’ve found that the key is realizing that what you’re doing hasn’t been working and that it’s time for a change.

Over the years I’ve helped entrepreneurs and wannabe self-employed individuals get started in creating new income streams they never knew existed.

As my students know, this is NOT “get rich quick,” and I am telling you upfront that it requires work. But for a lot of folks they quickly realize that it’s much better than what they were doing.
To learn more sign up for your free report.