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How to Become a Personal Shopper: 7 Steps You Need to Know

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Do you love shopping enough that you could spend the rest of your life doing just that?

Lucky for you, you can shop until you drop and even get paid for it!

Many busy people have plenty of money but no time to spend it.

Enter the personal shopper. They help purchase goods on behalf of someone else. Most of them work as freelancers or within agencies or department stores.

This article will explain how to become a personal shopper and why you should consider it as a viable career path.

An Overview of Personal Shopping: A Primer

Becoming a personal shopper is a dream job for anyone willing to spend half their day walking around department stores and getting paid to shop.

You can be a general personal shopper or specialize in specific categories like furniture or luxury cars; most personal shoppers focus on luxury clothing and accessories.

As a personal shopper, you’re responsible for understanding your client’s preferences and needs, current fashion trends, and how to move around town quickly and efficiently.

You may also occasionally go shopping with your client to help them pick the right items to create new outfits and provide advice.

It’s a lucrative part-time gig that can turn into a rewarding career path if you build a large network.

You don’t need any special qualifications to become a personal shopper, but completing a personal shopper course and having a fashion degree helps.

The best way to start this career would be to join a department store that offers personal shopping services.

You’d learn how to become a personal shopper through training and practice by helping the store’s clients find the garments of their dreams.

You could then use the experience and connections to clients to jumpstart your personal shopping business.

How Much Do Personal Shoppers Make?

Being a personal shopper is an attractive job for teenagers and young adults, as it can be done part-time as a student. But experienced personal shoppers know that they can turn it into a lucrative business.

You could even start an agency that hires other personal shoppers to serve your current clients.

Personal shoppers earn around $13 per hour, which translates into an annual salary of $27,040. Top earners make over $40,000.

How much you can earn depends on several factors:

  • Where you live
  • How rich your clients are
  • Reputation
  • Skills and qualifications
  • Your niche

You can maximize your earnings by building a strong online presence and reputation within a pricier niche, such as luxury yachts and cars.

You may also receive occasional bonuses and gifts from your clients.

What You’ll Need to Become a Personal Shopper [& Associated Costs]

If you wish to become a luxury personal shopper and want to attract your first clients, there are some things you need to consider:

  • Networking and marketing: Developing a website is one of the best ways to attract potential clients, and it can cost anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars. Business cards, advertisements, and other marketing materials can cost up to $200 to $300 per month.
  • Training and education: An online personal shopper course costs around $100 to $500. If you’re in the fashion industry, a fashion degree costs $15,000 to $200,000, depending on what school you attend.
  • Legal fees: If you’re working freelance, consider starting an LLC to separate your assets. You may even be legally required to start an LLC and obtain a business license and permit. Check local laws or consult a lawyer. The costs are in the $100 to $500 range.
  • Liability insurance: Being a personal shopper requires a lot of walking, making you prone to accidents. Average liability insurance costs around $500 to $1,000 per year.
  • Transportation: If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to do everything on foot or with the help of public transport. Expect to pay around $50 per month for public transport or up to $300 for gas.
  • Wardrobe: You want to be presentable, which means investing in fashionable clothing yourself. You can opt for cheap but stylish outfits at first, but your goal should be to acquire some popular luxury items. A budget-oriented outfit starts at around $150.
  • Styling tools: A serious luxury personal shopper needs a tape measure, garment racks, hangers, and other styling tools to send pictures and promote your business on social media accounts. This costs $50 to $100.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Personal Shopper?

If you join a retail store that offers a free or paid personalized shopping service, you likely won’t have to spend any money.

However, to turn it into a career path, you’ll likely have to spend up to $1,000 on a personal shopper course, website, wardrobe, tools, and legal costs.

Is It Hard to Become a Personal Shopper?

Becoming a personal shopper isn’t too hard, as it doesn’t require any extensive training or qualifications, making it accessible to most fashion-focused individuals.

Although having a degree in fashion or finishing a personal shopper course helps, it’s not required to start working. All you need is a good knowledge of current trends and popular brands.

If you don’t have any experience in the fashion industry, you can start by working as a personal shopper for your friends and family.

You can take photos for your portfolio, and they can provide you with valuable feedback to help you build the nuanced skills needed to become a successful personal shopper.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Personal Shopper?

If you decide to work for a personal shopping agency or at a department store that offers the services, you can become a personal shopper immediately after being hired.

However, to become a freelance personal shopper, it can take a few months to build a website and portfolio. Working at a related job helps you gain initial experience, but it’s not a requirement.

You may also have to finish a personal shopper course, which takes a few months.

A realistic timeline to become a full-time personal shopper is 6 to 12 months.

How to Become a Personal Shopper in 7 Simple Steps

If you don’t know how to get started, don’t worry. Here’s a complete breakdown of the process to give you a better understanding of how to become a personal shopper:

Step 1: Choose a Niche

Start by selecting your favorite item in the personal shopping industry. The most popular choice is fashion, but you can focus on a range of luxury goods.

Here are a few options other than fashion and clothing:

  • Jewelry, watches, and other accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Technology, electronics, and smart home gadgets
  • Cars
  • Home decor, furniture, and interior design

Step 2: Gain Experience

The quickest way to gain experience and knowledge in a field is to get a job in it.

Become a retail sales worker, car dealer, or make-up artist. The goal is to acquire customer service skills that’ll enable you to understand your customers and give them knowledgeable suggestions.

If you have a busy schedule and can’t do a different full-time job, don’t fret.

You can gain experience by offering personal shopping services to your friends and family. You can then use the outfits you designed for your portfolio.

Step 3: Finish Relevant Education or Courses

Although you don’t need a degree to be successful, finishing a $100 online personal shopper course will give you an enormous headstart. Look for a reputable course from an institution or online platform you trust.

While at it, consider finishing a generalized course in your niche as well.

Step 4: Establish a Personal Brand and Online Presence

Although creating a website isn’t necessary, it’ll help you market your services.

At a minimum, you should create social media accounts for your service. It’ll allow you to create a portfolio and personal brand that reflects your style and fashion sense.

Step 5: Network and Market Your Services

The easiest way to find new clients is through word-of-mouth referrals. Attending fashion shows, connecting with designers, and joining social media groups is an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals.

Step 6: Keep Up With Trends

Nothing moves faster than the fashion industry, and you, as an expert, must stay on top. Read fashion magazines, follow fashion influencers, attend events, and do regular research.

This will allow you to provide relevant advice and pick the right items for your clients.

Step 7: Provide an Enjoyable Customer Experience

Developing strong interpersonal and communication skills will help you understand what your clients want.

After a few months of working with someone, you should be able to pick an item they’d like 9 out of 10 times. And if they don’t like something, learn from the experience and take notes.

If your client wants you to go shopping with them, go the extra mile by preparing a route, stopping for food, and checking out the hottest items of the month.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Personal Shopper

A personal shopper is someone who gets paid to do something they already love. It’s a great way to get your foot into the fashion industry and acquire valuable job skills.

Here are some reasons why you should consider becoming a personal shopper:

  • Freedom and flexible hours: You take on as many clients as you wish and choose when and how much you work, provided you meet clients’ deadlines.
  • Start a business: Your expertise in this field, plus a steady client base, will be your starting point to becoming a business owner. There’s quite a lot of room to grow and teach your skills to other personal shoppers.
  • Pursuing your passion: Whether you’re into fashion, cars, or furniture, you’ll be working in a niche you love to do and talk about.
  • Easy to start: Aside from potential legal costs and perhaps a course in personal shopping, you don’t need much to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Be a Personal Shopper?

Anyone with a few hours of extra time in their day can become a personal shopper. You don’t need a special degree or qualifications to become one.

All you need is a deep understanding of the fashion industry and excellent communication skills.

Is Personal Shopping Profitable?

If you’re shopping for luxury items and have a good reputation in your area, personal shopping can be a profitable part-time job.

Expect to earn an hourly rate between $13 to $25. Depending on your arrangement, you can get paid a margin of an item’s price instead.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If becoming a personal shopper doesn’t sound like a good fit for your current needs, check out these gigs instead:

  • How to Become a Secret Shopper: A secret shopper is hired by retail stores to act as a customer and evaluates the customer experience and service.
  • How to Become a Stylist: A stylist is similar to a personal shopper but without the shopping part. The sole focus is on creating fashionable outfits by unleashing your creativity and style.
  • How to Become a Virtual Assistant: If being on your feet all day and shopping doesn’t suit you, becoming a virtual assistant is an excellent alternative. VAs perform administrative tasks remotely and support their clients’ businesses.

Wrapping Up

Being a personal shopper is a fun job for fashion-minded individuals who like to check out expensive clothes and accessories.

It’s an easy way to make cash on the side if you’re a fashion student, and it’ll provide you with the opportunity to develop your business, time management, and interpersonal skills.

Would you like to go shopping for money? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you know someone who’s deeply passionate about designer clothes, make sure to share this article with them to help them find their dream job!

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