Strategies to Maximize The Benefits of Your Mystery Shopping Expense Reimbursement

Many mystery shopping assignments require you to make a required purchase during your site visits. These purchases are typically required so that the sales experience can be reviewed. For example, a grocery store site visit with a required purchase may be in place so that the store can monitor how friendly their staff is, if their cashiers and baggers are asking you about your interest in promotions and special offers and more. Some mystery shoppers view these required purchases as an expense associated with mystery shopping. In some cases, these purchases truly are an unnecessary expense. In other cases, however, they can provide you with an additional form of compensation.


Avoid Frivolous Required Purchases

Mystery shoppers who complain about the expense of required purchases often select assignments that have frivolous or unnecessary required purchases. Consider, for example, that making a required purchase at a gift shop or curio shop may indeed be a waste of money. This is because the amount of money that you spend on the required expense rarely matches the amount of the expense reimbursement. In most cases, you will purchase at least a few dollars more than the minimum amount of the required purchase. In exchange, you will purchase items that you never had plans of buying and that you really don’t need. Some of the items may be used for gifts and other purposes, but many items will simply lie around your house and may eventually find their way into your next charity donation.


Purchase the Necessities

While some assignments only provide you with the opportunity to purchase frivolous or unnecessary items, others allow you to purchase necessities. For example, a required purchase at a clothing store assignment can be fulfilled when you purchase an $80 pair of sneakers that you need. Of course, the actual expense reimbursement may only be $10. However, if you planned on buying those sneakers anyway, getting $10 back from your expense reimbursement is helpful and ultimately results in cost savings. Some of the most beneficial expense reimbursements are available for gas station, grocery store and clothing store assignments.


Plan Ahead

With this in mind, it is important to always plan ahead before you accept a new mystery shopping assignment. If you are familiar with the store’s merchandise, consider what items you need from that store and plan which purchases you will make with your expense reimbursement. If you are unfamiliar with the store’s merchandise, take a few moments to review the merchandise available by visiting the store’s website. If the store does indeed have items that you need, you can review the cost of those items in comparison to the amount of the expense reimbursement.


Required purchases can indeed be a drain on your wallet, but they don’t have to be. In fact, when you purchase necessities with your required purchases and expense reimbursements, you can enjoy added benefits from your assignments. Keep these tips in mind as you select your next mystery shopping assignments and try to determine which assignments will be of most benefit to you.