Whether you’ve been mystery shopping for just a few months or for many years, you may find that you’ve fallen into a comfortable routine with your mystery shopping assignments. If you are very new to mystery shopping, you may not yet have established a routine. Whether new or seasoned, there are some things every mystery shopper can and should do before a site visit to ensure you are well-prepared. Following these three basic steps can save you time, effort, and money over the long run!
Do Some Reading! If you’re a busy mystery shopper, either with a lot of personal commitments to juggle with your mystery shopping gigs or you do many mystery shopping assignments each day, it’s easy to fall into the routine of printing out your assignment requirements and reading them for the first time right before your site visit. In many cases, reading the requirements right before the site visit can seem like a good idea. After all, you’ve got a lot of things on your mind, and reading them right before the site visit will keep the requirements fresh in your mind. However, consider the possibility that you have a question on the requirements and you cannot quickly reach your scheduler by phone. Or consider that the assignment requirements are far more in depth than you originally thought and you did not allow yourself enough time to complete such an in depth assignment.
These and any number of other factors can come into play when you wait until the last minute to read the requirements. Over the long run, you are far safer to at least skim through the requirements as soon as you accept the assignment, and then read through them a second time right before your sight visit to refresh your memory if necessary.
What’s The Plan? In many cases, actually completing the site visit does not require extra planning. After all, just about anyone can buy gas, groceries, or a cup of coffee without looking suspicious or out of place. However, if your assignment is at a specialty store, such as a luxury car dealership, a jewelry store, or some other similar venue that you would not normally frequent, you likely need to concoct a background story before your site visit. You can avoid the stress and headache of developing a good cover story on the spot by spending a few moments to plan out your strategy or cover story before you enter the job site.
Write It Down! For many mystery shoppers, keeping a mileage log of your business miles traveled is one of the parts of the jobs most often forgotten. Yet with each mile traveled in 2010 worth a fifty cent tax deduction, you can see that keeping a mileage log over the course of a year can add up to big savings. For instance, if you travel 20 miles for an average site visit, this is a $10 deduction. If this same average amount is repeated just 10 times each month, you would have a mileage deduction of $1,200 for the year. You can’t afford NOT to keep a mileage log!
By following these three simple tips, you will find yourself saving time, money, and effort on your mystery shopping assignments!