How To Start Your Own Personal Shopping Business

Kelli Vilchis loves to shop. When she went looking for a flexible side hustle that would suit a young mom, being a personal shopper for Instacart seemed like a natural fit. But as the shopping scene changed, it became tougher to earn a decent living with Instacart. So Vilchis went into business for herself.


How to start a personal shopping business

Here are some steps for starting your own personal shopping business:

1. Determine which type of shopping service you want to offer

Decide what you want your personal shopping business to focus on selling. Because personal shoppers can work in almost any industry that involves retail, there are many options to choose from when establishing a personal shopping business. One popular area that personal shoppers work in is the fashion industry, which involves styling clients and choosing clothing or accessories for them to try on and potentially purchase. Another common job choice for personal shoppers is in grocery, as there are many delivery services that hire personal shoppers to visit stores and purchase items from lists that clients submit for delivery.

Knowing which type of shopping service youd like to start before you begin establishing your company can benefit you by allowing you to organize your efforts and create a business plan based on the industry or market you want to enter.

2. Consider your skills

Evaluate the skills you have that you can use to create and enhance your personal shopping business. When you determine which type of personal shopping service you want to start, you can think about the skills an owner of that type of business might need to find success and compare those to your own skill set. This can help to ensure that youre prepared for the responsibilities that the service requires and might inform you about which skills you need to improve before going into business, as well as which skills you can look for in employees you might hire.

For example, if you want to start a personal shopping service that focuses on fashion, you likely need skills that relate to the fashion industry, like an awareness of style trends, experience with fitting clothing to different bodies and excellent interpersonal skills

3. Choose a location for your company

Determine where your business will be located. You might choose a location for your business based on the type of personal shopping service you intend to start, as different areas of personal shopping might require varying types of facilities. This can also be helpful in showing you whether you might need to rent an office space or gain permission to use certain facilities at a company you provide shopping for.

For example, if youre interested in starting a personal shopping service for a specific clothing company or brand, you might establish your business within the vicinity of one of their stores or their companys headquarters. However, if you decide to start a grocery delivery service or a box subscription service, you might base your company at your own home or at a location thats near the places you offer shopping for.

4. Create a business plan

Write a business plan for your personal shopping service. A business plan is a great way to organize your ideas and make a plan for how you intend to start and run your business. When creating a business plan, you might consider aspects of your company like the materials you need, a timeline for when you want to start taking customers, industry contacts, financial projections and more. Having a business plan in place before you start your business can establish a clear path for actions you take to build the company and organize the steps you need to take.

5. Register your business and obtain licensure

Apply for a business license and register your business with your state government. You can typically apply for a business license at your county clerks office, but you might also perform research into any state-specific requirements that might apply to your company. If you want your personal shopping service to collaborate with a specific brand or company, you might also need to form a contract that grants you permission to promote and sell their products.

Once you obtain a business license and register your business, you can start taking the actions outlined in your business plan and begin establishing your personal shopping business.

What does a personal shopper do?

A personal shopper is a retail professional who helps customers make purchases. Personal shoppers who work in fashion typically focus on selling clothing and accessories and often interview their clients before pulling items for them to gain a better understanding of their personal styles and tastes. These personal shoppers might work for a specific store or brand and usually have a thorough knowledge of fashion trends.

A personal shopper might also work for an app or company that purchases and delivers groceries or essential items to customers who select products they want to purchase through the app or another digital platform. These personal shoppers communicate with customers they shop for to confirm any swaps for items not available at a store and to update them about delivery times. They also sometimes need to be able to drive, as many personal shoppers who work with groceries deliver products from the store directly to clients homes.

Tips for succeeding as a personal shopper

Here are a few tips for how to succeed as a personal shopper:


How do I start working as a personal shopper?

How to become a personal shopper
  1. Research the position. Before committing to the profession, do some research and be sure that your career goals fit the needs of the profession. …
  2. Choose your niche. …
  3. Familiarize yourself with the industry. …
  4. Get the qualifications. …
  5. Finesse your skills. …
  6. Keep up with the trends.

How does a personal shopper make money?

Personal shoppers bill their clients in different ways: they set a regular fee for services, charge a percentage of the sale, or charge an hourly rate. Personal shoppers employed by a department store are paid by the company, are paid on commission, or some combination of hourly wage and commission.

How do you charge for personal shopping?

How much do personal shoppers cost?
  1. Hourly rates: $50-$200. …
  2. Eight-hour personal shopping package: $672. …
  3. Three hours of personal shopping: $490 (includes 1.5 hours of pre-shopping for a total of 4.5 hours). …
  4. Twenty or more hours of closet reorganization and personal shopping: $1,400.

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