What is Video Mystery Shopping

So, what exactly 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 pair of glasses, the industry standard is the PV500. LawMate is the main supplier with some individual distributors like GreyHawk Video Solutions representing them.

PV500-BU-18

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 the 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 before beginning an assignment. 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 mystery shopping community or ours to learn more about how to start a home business in field inspections.

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