We continue our ‘how to make money‘ series with yet another small business idea that could help you earn some extra bucks, while also doing something you probably love to do: becoming a personal shopper.
This might seem like a silly idea for many people, but there is a need: not everyone loves to shop, not to mention there are people who cannot do this (disabled, elder etc.). Whether they don’t feel like shopping, they don’t have the time or can’t do it, there is a need for good personal shoppers and a chance for you to create a pleasant side ‘gig’ for yourself.
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Who can make money as a personal shopper?
Anyone who has the time to do this, who likes to shop and find good bargains, who knows a bit about fashion (many personal shoppers are in this ‘niche’) or any type of product you’ll be shopping for. You need to be a communicative person, to have good taste, be patient and very well organized.
You will be representing your client, make all the purchases on the client’s behalf – this is a great responsibility.
How to start
1. Start studying the market
You won’t be able to make money as a personal shopper (and be a good one), if you have no clue about the main stores, merchandise, sales etc. Spend some time to familiarize yourself with the products you’ll be selling, subscribe to newsletters (to see when the stores have sales), get educated, since you’ll probably not just shop, but also advise your clients.
2. Promote your business and do few cheap/free shopping sessions
I am not someone to recommend providing free services (unless you really have no other choice), but for starters, you could hone your skills with some friends or locals. You’ll either provide the service for free or for a very small fee.
Be VERY receptive to criticism from your first clients, aim to please and learn from these test ‘runs’. As soon as you get more experienced and people will start recommending, you can make money from your business.
How to make money as a personal shopper?
You can ask for a job fee, an hourly rate or a commission from the bought items. ALWAYS keep receipts, you need to show your clients what their money bought.
How to promote your personal shopping business
- get in touch with senior citizen centres and various local communities. Don’t ignore big businesses, some of their employees might not be willing to waste even more hours from their already busy days doing shopping.
- create a web site and showcase your services.
- join social media outlets (Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin etc.)
- print flyers
- promote in the local papers (if you have the funds, of course)
- place a decal on your car (what you do, website URL and phone number)
- let everybody know about your business
- provide an incentive to people to promote your business (a commission or reduced fees, if they are already clients)
- be professional and nice. As mentioned before, you are representing your clients, you are spending THEIR money, it’s a serious matter, so you need to be careful and also nice.
- never stop learning. You are not only ‘selling’ your time, but you are also being an expert in the eyes of your client. Know your market well, come up with advice and ideas.
- make good use of sales and bargains. Most clients are also looking for a good deal. They’ll probably appreciate your efforts in finding excellent quality items at good prices. Again, act as if you’d be spending your money, not theirs.
I would actually love to run such a nice small business since I love shopping. Has any of you got the chance to make money as a personal shopper? Care to tell us about your experience? What would you look for in a personal shopper, if you had to hire one?