Many mystery shoppers are mostly happy with their jobs. However, if you ask a group of mystery shoppers what one thing they could change about their job if given the chance, the overwhelming majority would likely say that they would like to earn a larger paycheck. While most mystery shopping jobs are not entirely lucrative, the fact is that there are some things that you may be unintentionally doing to keep your compensation low. Consider these points.
Most mystery shoppers are fully aware that their shopper rating can be adjusted upward or downward after each assignment they complete. A higher mystery shopper rating entitles you to choose from a greater number of assignments. In addition to being provided with access to more assignments, many of the more lucrative assignments are available only to those mystery shoppers with a higher rating. If your mystery shopping is not as high as it could be, you may be missing out on some fabulous opportunities. Each mystery shopping assignment you complete can affect your rating, so you can start to improve your rating today with the next assignment you complete. Make every effort to complete the assignment perfectly, and soon, you may notice that your rating increases!
Only one aspect of your compensation as a mystery shopper relates to the “shop pay.” The other major component of your compensation relates to your expense reimbursement. Some mystery shoppers do not view this as compensation because it simply pays them back for a purchase they were required to make. However, with the right assignments and the right purchase selections, you can strategically use these purchases as a form of compensation. The fact is that you could choose an assignment at a novelty store and buy a coffee mug you don’t need for your required purchase. The expense reimbursement in this case would simply pay you back for an unnecessary purchase. However, you could choose an assignment at a grocery store and use your expense reimbursement to pay for things you do need like diapers for your baby, laundry detergent, a gallon of milk and other necessities. These are items you were planning to buy anyway, and now your mystery shopping assignment has reimbursed you for them. In this case, you are using your reimbursed purchases as beneficial compensation. This is a great way to maximize the benefit of your job.
As a mystery shopper, you are an independent contractor and are entitled to many of the same tax deductions that most other independent contractors are entitled to. This includes the deduction of vehicle-related expenses, office supplies, work-related equipment like a digital camera or computer and more. Of course, you want to work with your accountant to ensure that your expenses are fully deductible. However, by taking advantage of tax deductions fully, you can most easily enjoy decreased tax liability and increased profitability from your job.
As you can see, there are a number of things that you may be unintentionally doing that may be minimizing your profits from mystery shopping. Once you have identified these areas that you can improve on, you can start enjoying greater profits from your job.