Many mystery shoppers get into the business with the dream of making big bucks. Once mystery shoppers have completed a few mystery shopping assignments, it soon becomes apparent that that dream of a big paycheck will be much harder to earn than they had originally thought. If you want to take your mystery shopping business to the next level and see more results from your efforts, here’s what you need to know:
Work Harder! One of the benefits of mystery shopping is the flexible work schedule it provides. This, however, means that unless you are completing many assignments each day, you are not going to make as much money as you could at an hourly gig. When you complete one assignment, it may take you an hour or two to travel, complete the site visit, and and complete your report. For your efforts, you may get $10-30 on average, which is fairly decent pay for a traditional part-time job offering a flexible schedule.
The hang-up with many mystery shoppers is that one assignment every day or two is enough to satisfy them – - that is, until their paychecks roll in and they haven’t earned as much as they would like. If you want to make a decent paycheck as a mystery shopper, the bottom line is that you have to commit to working a set number of hours per week. To make that happen, you will need to find and complete enough assignments each week to equal the income you need or want. The bottom line is that if you are expecting a forty hour per week paycheck, just as with any other job, you need to commit to putting that much time and effort into the job.
Don’t Forget The Perks! Take an honest look at how many hours you can commit to working as a mystery shopper each week, and also consider the compensation you want to earn. For many mystery shoppers, these two figures often don’t match, and this results in the mystery shopper getting discouraged with the job. Before you get discouraged, consider all of the many perks associated with this job. When you factor in writing off the mileage for traveling to and from your assignment site, this results in making a large portion of your income as a mystery shopper tax-free. Then consider all of the “free” things you get as a mystery shopper. These “free” things are those items that are reimbursed in your assignment pay, such as purchase reimbursement on groceries, gas, meals at restaurants, clothing, and more. If you “shop smart”, you can use mystery shopping to cover normal expenses in your personal budget and get more bang for your mystery shopping efforts.
To really take your mystery shopping business to the next level, you need to choose your assignments wisely so that any necessary purchases cover items you had intended to purchase anyway. You also need to put in the time and effort of a “real” job, despite the flexibility offered by mystery shopping. When you adjust your mystery shopping business in these ways, you will find that mystery shopping is a much more lucrative job for you!