Here is how the system works, roughly speaking:
-Once you log into iSecretShop, go to the "Available Shops" page, and browse the shops that are posted.
-When you see the one you are interested in, you click "View Details" and it will open a pop-up window with all the information on the shop.
-Then, you can either self-assign that shop, or click "Request shop" to submit a request for a specific date. The schedulers are frequently reviewing these requests, so it should be approved soon.
-Once you have a shop assigned to you, you can always view it on the "Assigned Shops" page - there you can see all shops you have assigned, and can click "Complete Shop" on any of them to see the full shop information, the shop instructions, the questions, and/or fill out the shop report.
-If you have any questions about a particular shop, you can always contact the MSP that posted it, and their schedulers/editors will be happy to help.
-When you are done filling out the shop report - you click "Finalize Shop" to submit it - it will be reviewed to editors and either approved, or returned to you for additional information (if so, it will appear back in your "Assigned Shops" page).
-After the shop is approved, you can communicate with the MSP regarding your payment for that shop.
I also advise going to iSSprep.com and doing courses like "iSS 101" and "iSS 102" - these will not only provide you with additional knowledge, but will also grant you shopper points, boosting your rank rather quickly.
I hope this helps!
I went ahead and paid for the "Verified" thing and it seems like I have been able to get more shops. So far, since the last week of June (when I signed up), I have completed over 65 shops. 10 in Arkansas since I was going to be there one weekend and the rest were in Oklahoma, where I live. I generally look for outside my city (Tulsa) and take a day or half-day road trip and just complete a bunch of shops on the weekends. I have a good report with one particular MSP and have been notified in advance due to my completed shop count and the "verified" status. I just used some of my "shop" money to pay for it, so it wasn't a big deal to me. I generally pick shops that are worth my time as well.