ShadowShopper: Become an Independent Contractor

ShadowShopper offers Independent Contractors a place to display their skills, and preferred types of jobs; as well as a forum for employers to post jobs and tasks available. However, this is for SERIOUS independent contractors who are reliable, professional, and self-motivated. Employers are looking for business-minded individuals who understand the importance of presentation, service, and efficiency. You can start with the Bronze membership, which gives you limited access to jobs and training. There is a monthly Gold Membership for a fee of $29.95, which you can cancel at any time if you find the agencies you want to work for. The membership provides access to 4 certification courses (required to complete membership), all local jobs and tasks, and ways to get more job offers. Not only does ShadowShopper connect you with potential employers, but they also help prepare you to get the jobs you want!

I have been a member of ShadowShopper for a while now, and I am so glad I joined! Since I am a stay-at-home mom, it makes it easier to generate an income and be here for my boys! As I mentioned before, I prefer merchandising and mystery shopping. My retail management background gives me an edge on what to expect on jobs, and I enjoy going undercover! I look forward to the different opportunities available, and what I will do next! Becoming an Independent Contractor is not for everyone; but if you have what it takes to work for yourself- determination, discipline, and professionalism; ShadowShopper is definitely an awesome place to start!

~ Neva H.

Skills and Experience

Customer Service– Although a Contractor is to complete the job by any means, he/she still interacts with clients, managers, and other customers; so it is important to always be courteous, professional, and focused on the task at hand. Many agencies have a dress code requirement, as Contractors represent the company.

Retail Experience– This is more for a merchandising specialist or mystery shopper; it helps to have a retail background to understand certain terms or general service requirements various stores may have. Merchandisers need to be familiar with schematics, plan-o-grams and reset instructions.

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Computer/Smart Phone Skills– Most of reporting is done with a smartphone or on a computer, so basic computer skills such as uploading photos, email, and filling out forms are necessary. Agencies and employers can be particular about how tasks or jobs are reported, so it is important to read all instructions.

Organizational and Time Management Skills– These skills are essential in order to succeed as an Independent Contractor. One must be able to organize a schedule and be able to adhere to it as much as possible to make sure jobs get done. Self-motivation is the Key!

Types of Jobs and Tasks

Now that we have the basics out of the way! ūüôā There are a few different types of jobs available for Independent Contractors, and each category has various areas within it. Personally, I enjoy merchandising and mystery shopping because of the flexibility and easy reporting; it fits my life and budget.

Merchandising

Merchandising specialist also referred to as Vendors, complete tasks in various locations such as a retail store, department stores, and healthcare facilities. Jobs can range from inventory and audits to plan-o-gram resets and re-stocking product; which is why having retail experience is helpful. As broad as the consumer market is, is the number of jobs and tasks available to Contractors. Not only are there many retail locations, but many companies use agencies to find Independent Contractors to change displays, replenish/replace products, or maintain appearance and stock. If you have retail experience, enjoy working with your hands, and interacting with new people; becoming a merchandising specialist may be the path for you!

Demonstrating

Question: Have you seen those individuals with delicious samples for you at the local wholesale or grocery store? Well, they get paid to offer treats to the customer at assigned locations. This is personally not my cup of tea, but these jobs usually pay more, and for outgoing individuals who love to interact with customers. And just like the other types of jobs, the market is broad for demonstrators in all kinds of locations.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping can fun and rewarding experience! As the name suggests, a person shops but secretly checks out the place of business to make sure they are up to standards, according to your client directives. Reporting requirements vary based on agency and client; one may require a specific time and elaborate details, while another only requires yes or no answers. A successful mystery shopper is observant, but be able to naturally blend with other customers; as well as have a good memory. Companies and their employees take pride in offering exceptional service and look to these shops to determine whether they meet that standard. Shops are in every category, ranging from grocery, retail, convenience, and department stores to movies, hotels, motels,  and financial institutions- even online shopping. The possibilities are just about limitless!

Interviewing

Conducting surveys and interviews is another area an Independent Contractor can venture in.¬†Whether is going from door to door in a suburban neighborhood or standing outside a discount department store- the purpose of surveys or interview questions is to get the opinion of the targeted group. It may be a case study to find out majority results or a survey to see which “product” is better. If you enjoy meeting new people, this may be the gig for you!

I’m sure I am missing some information, but I wanted to provide the basics and some of the expectations of becoming an Independent Contractor. As well as provide a resource for finding these types of jobs. I get connected with agencies looking for Independent Contractors through ShadowShopper; which is a place where hiring companies and searching contractors come together.

If you are looking to Work from Home with a part-time; or even a full-time income source, click the link for more information on ways to work from home and what you should know before getting starting.

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Please feel free to leave a comment with any recommendations or suggestions!

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you soon!

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