Ask yourself what would be the perfect job for you. For many of the women I know it could not get much better than being a professional shopper. You are being paid to shop till you drop. Does it get much better? This is not some made up dream job either. More and more people are making a career out of professional shopping.
The reason for it being a viable career is that, believe it or not, a growing demand for personal and corporate shoppers is growing. You do not need an expensive education to break into this field, just a knack for finding the right shoes to go with the right dress.
It also requires patience and a perceptive and personable nature. Shopping for someone understands knowing who that person is, what their tastes are, and their values are. Here are a few tips on how to start and make a career out of your favorite pastime.
- Before you make a career jump into something like professional shopping, think about what you are more of an expert on. Do you think you would be better suited to buying gifts for others or are you more into fashion and would be better shopping for clothes? If you've taken courses in interior design, then shopping for home furnishing may be a better match for your talents.
- Get some practice by shopping for your family and friends before you make it your full time career. Have them give you a fixed amount of money and then shop for items they need.
- If you're friends and family are happy and still talking to you after your practice run of shopping for them, use them as a list of references if a potential client requests for one. It could not hurt to have that list just in case someone would want to confirm past client's satisfaction with your work. It is a good way to show that your career in shopping is more than some part time hobby.
- Fine tune your shopping talents. Use those first shopping expeditions as a way to see what you did right and what you did wrong. It's a great way to make improvements with your shopping. Talk to your clients and ask them what you could have done to make their experience with your better. This information is priceless at this beginning stage of your shopping career.
- Think about specializing your shopping towards a specific client base. It is not unusual for upper-class and wealthy people to use personal shoppers. That does not mean you should not completely ignore everyone else. There are a large number of busy middle class parents that unfortunately do not have time to go shopping.
- Do some marketing and start a small advertising campaign targeting the type of client you want to shop for. The yellow pages is a decent place to star but do not rule out starting your own website or even a simple MySpace page. Design and print up some business cards, highlighting your new title of Personal Shopper . Word of mouth does not hurt, either.
- Since you're first starting out and looking to build a client base, give out discounted prices for your services to all of your new customers. After you do a good job for them, they can pass along how pleased they were to their friends and family.