How to Maximize Your Mystery Shopping Income

While many economists believe we are in the midst of bouncing back from the deep recession that has been plaguing us for the past few years, many mystery shoppers are still feeling the financial pinch of recessionary woes. With only a limited amount of time in the day to work on mystery shopping assignments, most mystery shoppers will want to do what they can to maximize their income from mystery shopping assignments. Here are some great tips that can help you get more money out of your assignments.

Start With the Right Assignments. When it comes to mystery shopping assignments, things are not always what they appear to be. Many times, the posted “shop pay” of an assignment can be misleading. You may be inclined to select the top-paying assignments first, but if you go purely off of the listed “shop pay” to determine which assignments pay the most money, you may be losing out on the chance to make more money for your time and efforts. Consider not just the compensation but also the time and effort it will take you to travel to the site location, perform the site visit, and write the report. Some assignments will take twice as long as other assignments and pay half as much, so learning to read between the lines and make great assignment choices is the first step.

Consider Additional Income Sources. The “shop pay” isn’t the only source of compensation on an assignment, and so it shouldn’t be the only factor in your consideration for which assignments to choose. Consider the tax write-off you get for business miles traveled. The closer you can get to making the income earned on an assignment tax-free income, the better off you will be on tax day. You should also consider things like the expense reimbursement, too, and what you can buy with that expense reimbursement. There is obviously more value to your strapped budget to be able to put some food on your table or to clothe your family than to buy jewelry or luxury items with that expense reimbursement. You can also consider if there is a possibility for bonus income, too. If it’s not offered, you can always ask for it!

Find Neighboring Assignments. In a job like mystery shopping where time is money, one of  the keys to maximizing your income is to get more done in less time. This means improving your efficiency. One of the best ways to do this is to find assignments located close to each other where you can. You can most easily accomplish this by focusing on more urban assignments if possible, and targeting assignments in shopping malls, retail centers, and other such hubs. Cutting down on your travel time and costs means that you will end up with more income and less expenses for your mystery shopping efforts.

These are some great ways to really maximize your income as a mystery shopping, so consider these tips as you search the job boards looking for your next batch of assignments to work on!