Many people don’t know if mystery shopping is a legitimate job. Some even think it’s an urban legend, like Coca-Cola originally being green or cell phones causing explosions at gas stations. Ironically, the job that so many people don’t even know exists is the best job for the people that do it! Here are the top reasons why mystery shopping is the best part-time job:
- Flexibility. While some people do make mystery shopping a full-time job, most shoppers do it part-time. We may be stay-at-home moms who have to work around our children’s schedules. We may have other full time jobs and are looking for a flexible way to supplement our income around an already busy work schedule. We may be retired and don’t want to commit to working a certain number of hours each week. The beauty of mystery shopping is that you decide how much or how little you want to work, and you can set your own hours. If you want to work for 45 minutes on Monday night, and then 30 minutes on Saturday morning, you can do that with mystery shopping. Or if you want to work evenings from 8-9pm and nothing more than that, you can structure your work in that way, too. Nobody is going to get mad if you show up 10 minutes late, provided you are still within the guidelines of the shop.
- Control Your Paycheck. You may have more time than money on certain weeks or months, and you want to achieve a certain amount of income to cover your bills, pay off debts, save for a vacation or the kids’ braces. Other times, you may not need as much money and want to take it easy. Mystery shopping allows you to work as much or as little as you want. You can accept as many assignments as you have time for to maximize your paycheck, or you can choose not to work at all for a few weeks or months if you don’t need the money. It is completely up to you how much money you earn with mystery shopping, and you can adjust your income simply by accepting or passing on new assignments. It’s as easy as that!
- No More Micromanagement. Or management of any kind actually. With mystery shopping, you are your own boss. You have clients, or shop providers, who you want to do a good job for to ensure repeat jobs. But no longer will you have someone hovering over your shoulder watching your every move. Nobody is going to watch and comment on every aspect of your job. Instead, you will have a shop provider who sees your end-result reporting.
- Get Rid of That Pesky Co-Worker. With mystery shopping, you pick and choose who you shop with. Shop with your spouse or your kids, or shop alone. You don’t need to listen to another harrowing story about the trials and tribulations of your co-worker’s in-grown toe nail. No more small talk around the water cooler about Dan’s kids’ soccer team or the new diet Betty is trying. Spend your time working with your children or your spouse, over a nice dinner, at a movie, or trying on clothes. You can actually make money spending time with the people you enjoy being with.
- All The Benefits of Being Self-Employed. Self-employed folks enjoy a lot more tax benefits than a W-2 employee. If you make $500 gross income one month at a “regular” job, you’ll pay taxes on it and end up bringing home maybe 75% of that give or take, after taxes. Self-employed people may make that same $500, but they will be able to write-off automobile and travel expense, home office expense, and other items related to their business. So in that month that they make $500 gross income, a self-employed person may have $100 in expenses. The end result is that their taxable income is only $400. So after taxes, you’ll take home 75% of $400 rather than 75% of $500. Or in other words, you’ll end up paying $25 less in taxes that month.
- It may sound like you’re making less money being self-employed, but think about the things you are writing off. You can write off a portion of your normal household expenses, like part of your telephone, part of your utilities, part of your auto expense each month. So that $100 per month in expenses is not necessarily all on expenses you spent solely because you are self-employed, such as office supplies. You are actually deducting a portion of your personal household expenses, expenses you would have regardless of the type of job you have. So why not do a job where you can deduct them?
- Pick Your Job. At a “normal” job, you do what the boss tells you to do. If you are supposed to cover for someone who is sick, you do more work for the same amount of money. Or maybe you have to do a presentation in front of 50 people and are terribly shy. Or you have a big report to complete and you just don’t feel like doing it today. With mystery shopping, you get to read through the details of a shop before you accept or request it. In most cases, you will know which store the shop is at and what you are required to do at the shop. If you want to do movie theater assignments and pass on shops at electronics stores, you have every option to do this. You get to pick what you want to do. If you don’t think a shop pays enough money for the work requested, you can pass over it. No longer will you be stuck doing a job you don’t like, or getting paid less than you think the job is worth.
- Make A Difference. With many part-time jobs, you are nothing more than grunt-force labor. You are the low man on the totem pole. Your opinion means nothing, and you can easily be replaced by the next warm body that comes along. With mystery shopping, the work you are doing is valued by the shop providers and by the retailers requesting it. They want to know through you what is going on in their stores or restaurants, and they care about the work that you do. The work that you are doing has far-reaching effects, much more so than the ramifications of “Do you want paper or plastic?” or “Do you want fries with that?” Your work as a mystery shopping helps companies shape their employee training programs and improve customer service for every shopper to visit that store after you. The work you do as a mystery shopper has far-reaching effects.
There are other part-time jobs that may offer a couple of these benefits, but there’s no other job that hits on every one of these areas. Mystery shopping is truly the best part-time job out there.