Published November 11, 2009

Shop ‘til you Drop: Starting a Personal Shopping Business

If you love shopping and possess a knack for paying attention to details, then you may want to consider starting a part-time business as a personal shopper. A personal shopper is essentially an independent contractor who is paid to shop for a client.

Busy individuals in today's society often do not have the time to tend to personal shopping needs; therefore, they pay other individuals to do their shopping for them, which saves them a considerable amount of time every week.

A personal shopper can shop for anything from groceries to clothing, depending on the client's needs. What makes a personal shopper successful is the ability to maintain ongoing relationships with clients to build solid, reoccurring business. Many personal shoppers run errands for individuals, in addition to shopping, so it isn't uncommon to also mail packages, pick up prescriptions and drop off dry cleaning.

Skills Required: Great organization and money management skills

When you are entrusted with other peoples' money, it is essential that you are highly organized and diligent about where, when and how you spend money. A good understanding of money management, figuring out costs and staying within a set budget all help when you are personal shopping.

In addition, if you start a part-time business as a personal clothing shopper, you will certainly need a background in the fashion industry.

Startup Expenses: Less than $100

Luckily, starting a part-time business as a personal shopper requires little more than a great set of personal references, and a few dollars for marketing and advertising purposes. Startup expenses for becoming a personal shopper are next to nothing, provided you have a reliable form of transportation.

Monthly Revenue: $500 and up

Your monthly revenue as a personal shopper can vary widely, depending on your job duties and the number of personal shopping jobs you take on at any given time. You may take on a personal shopping job as a personal clothing shopper or a personal shopper for a senior citizen in need. It is because of this that monthly revenues for personal shopping can vary greatly.

Monthly Expenses: Less than $100

Perhaps the only monthly expenses that can be accounted for include gasoline costs, as personal shopping involves spending other people's money, not yours! However, most clients will compensate you for your mileage, which reduces your operating costs even further. Personal shopping is therefore a great part-time business for those individuals who don't want to deal with monthly expenses.

Time to Break Even: Almost immediately

Your job as a personal shopper enjoys very little start-up costs and monthly expenses; therefore, it is quite easy to find yourself breaking even in as little as a month.

Possible Bumps in the Road

Perhaps one of the hardest hurdles to overcome when starting a personal shopping business is attracting new clients. Once you have established a nice clientele, you will find yourself being able to attract new business, as you have a growing list of referrals. However, in the beginning, it is a challenge for many personal shoppers to start their part-time business and convince others that they have the skills necessary to succeed as a personal shopper.