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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service >Become a Personal Shopper

Start a Personal Shopping Business

What you will be doing.  Some people don’t like to shop.  They are irritated by the crowds, limited selections, and the amount of time it consumes. 

Finding someone to shop for them would be like a dream come true. 

As a personal shopper, you will make a business out of doing just that—shopping for other people.

Personal shoppers use their knowledge of fashion, popular trends, finding bargains, and love of shopping to make others’ lives easier.  Personal shoppers find gifts for executives that have no time to do it themselves and individuals that need an idea of what to buy for themselves and where.   

How to start.  Try it out on family and friends.  Create a universal form that will give you the information that you need to shop for just about anyone.  This will give you a concrete tool with which to start your search.   

Your fee will come from the service that you perform.  The client pays for the item and your fee.  A client contract states clearly your intentions and their responsibility.   

Starting costs.  The Internet and store catalogs will become your best friends.  A computer with Internet access and spreadsheet software allows you to find items and catalogue where you found them so that subsequent searches for similar items won’t be so time consuming.  Plan to spend around $1,500 for advertising and equipment.  Investing in a copier cuts down on the cost of having flyers printed by an outside service. 

Skills needed.  Communication and a calm personality serve a personal shopper well.  Miscommunication costs time and money.

Preparation gives you the opportunity to show the client as many visuals as possible to nail down what they want you to purchase. 

Clients that are unsure can use your knowledge of stores, gift items, clothing, and furniture to their advantage. 

Above all, reassuring the client that you can find what they need keeps them confident. 

Marketing.  Place ads in the Yellow Pages and newspapers.  Writing articles and creating how-to videos that highlight shopping topics give you an Internet presence that can get you noticed.  The best thing is that personal shopping can be conducted completely via the Internet.  Your clients can come from anywhere in the world.  A website that showcases your business and tips helps with that market. 

For corporate clients, sending brochures to their offices is a nice touch.  Include full color pictures of items you’ve purchased along with full contact information. 

Personal shopping is a gift.  For those who don’t enjoy shopping, you get the benefit of spending their money and making them happy about it.  Turn your shopping know-how into big bucks.


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