As a mystery shopper, there are essentially two different types of assignments you can get your hands on. The first type is the “request” assignment, where you click a button on the provider’s website that submits your request to do the work. Then you have to wait and wait for the scheduler to get back to you and let you know if you got the job. The other type of assignment is the “self-assign” job, which lets you know right away if the job is yours or not. If you have been wondering which type of assignment you should focus on, here are a few hints:
Control Your Schedule. One of the best aspects of self-assign jobs is that you immediately know if you got the job or not. As soon as you click the link to request the assignment, you will instantly know if you can plan on working that job into your work schedule. For mystery shoppers who have ever been strung out by a scheduler waiting for days and days to find out if you got a job you requested, you know the value in knowing if you got the job immediately. With self-assign jobs, you don’t have to worry about requesting other jobs that would need to be completed on that same day or time – only to find out later you haven’t been given either of the jobs or you have been given both jobs and are now over-booked. If you have been trying to get some control over your schedule, self-assign jobs are the perfect answer.
Saving Time. Think how much time you spend scouring the job boards every day or week. Sure, you may have requested a few jobs to complete next Wednesday, but since you don’t know if you got those assignments yet, you continue to waste time searching for other assignments to fit into that time slot on your work schedule. If you had known for sure if you had an assignment as soon as you requested it, you no longer would have to waste additional valuable time searching through the job boards. In a profession where time is money, self-assign jobs are a huge time and money saver!
The Financial Aspect. While not always the case, the easier (and consequently lower paying) assignments are self-assign jobs. This is not a firm rule by any means, but the lure of higher paying assignments through scheduler-requested assignments helps you understand why mystery shoppers would continually choose to request scheduler-assigned jobs over self-assign jobs.
Consider, however, that while you generally get paid more money for the scheduler-assigned jobs, you also have to spend more time waiting to see if you got the job and these jobs generally also take up more of your valuable time to complete as well. With self-assign jobs, generally speaking, you have the ability to work on many more (and easier) assignments by loading up on other self-assign jobs, and work, work, work. There is some benefit to spending your time as a mystery shopper working on somewhat lower-paying assignments rather than using that same time when you could be working scouring the job boards for higher paying jobs and waiting to see if you got a particular job.
The Best Strategy. To make the most money as a mystery shopper, you will find that there is a perfect combination of using both types of assignments strategically to fill your schedule. Likely, you should look at scheduler-requested assignments for initially booking your schedule farther out, say for starting to fill your days for next week. Then use the fast and easy self-assign jobs to fill in any holes not filled with scheduler-requested assignments.
While there are pros and cons to both types of assignments, to truly fill your schedule up as much as possible, you will need to strategically take advantage of the benefits of both types of assignments!