Mystery shopping is a job well-suited for so many people. Whether you want to work an hour or two per week or have the need to work forty or more hours a week, you can generally find the work you need to satisfy your time availability and income requirements. Further, this job requires little skills and no training, so almost anyone can sign up to be a mystery shopper and start making money today. Once you start mystery shopping, however, you will soon discover that some strategy and skill may be necessary in order to maximize your income as a mystery shopper. So how can you work smarter and make more money mystery shopping?
Choose the Best Assignments
Many new mystery shoppers request assignments based on which jobs sound fun and pay a decent rate. For those who are not concerned with maximizing profits and who simply want to make a little cash while having fun, this may be a great strategy. However, if you are a mystery shopper who wants to make the most money possible, you should consider choosing assignments that can be performed in the least amount of time but that provide the maximum compensation. Consider that compensation from mystery shopping assignments does not come only from base pay. Additional compensation is available through bonus pay and expense reimbursements. All of these factors should be reviewed carefully before selecting an assignment.
Make Your Site Visits Efficient
You certainly can take your time completing a site visit. Some mystery shopping assignments require you to spend a minimum amount of time on-site, but few limit the amount of time you can spend in a store, a restaurant, or so forth. You certainly can pick up a retail store assignment and spend hours trying on clothes, shopping for gifts for others, and more. However, you will not get paid any additional money by spending more time on-site. In fact, by spending more time in one location, you may be limiting your ability to work on other possible assignments. Your best option to maximize income is to review your assignment requirements carefully, determine the most efficient way to complete those requirements, and then perform your site visit according to your plan.
Keep a Mileage Log
Most mystery shoppers spend a lot of time driving from assignment to assignment each day. As a mystery shopper, you may consider this downtime when you are not getting paid. However, if you keep a mileage log, this is not downtime at all. The IRS allows you to write off business miles traveled, and the miles traveled to and from your site visits generally do qualify. Depending on the distance you travel, you may be able to use your mileage log to greatly minimize the amount of taxes you owe on mystery shopping income at the end of the year. Some mystery shoppers travel so extensively that they are able to enjoy a deduction equal to their total mystery shopping income. This means that these mystery shoppers essentially don’t have to pay taxes on their mystery shopping income! By putting your mileage to work, you can enjoy this financial perk yourself.
As you can see, by following just a few easy steps, you can be a smarter and more profitable mystery shopper!