Gas prices may be much lower today than they were last summer, but with the economic crisis, mystery shoppers everywhere are looking for ways to save a few extra bucks. In many parts of the country, filling up your car is a luxury most people can’t do without. The good news is that you can use mystery shopping assignments at gas stations to help fill your tank. And with so many gas stations lining the streets, you are sure to find a gas station assignment along the path of your daily commute or close by the places you frequent, making these types of assignments a convenient and easy way to stretch your budget.
Top It Off. While most gas station assignments offer you a reimbursement on a portion of a fill up, there aren’t many that will reimburse you for the cost of a full tank of gas. It’s fairly common to see a $5 or $10 reimbursement, plus a small fee for your assignment pay. Yet when you take the reimbursement and the shop pay together, you will likely have earned the equivalent of a full tank of gas for a small or medium sized car.
Be sure not to “leave money on the table”, so to speak. Don’t show up at the gas station assignment with almost a full tank of gas and unable to get your full reimbursement on your purchase. If you are bone dry the day or two before your assignment, only fill up a quarter or a half of a tank to leave room for the gas purchase you will be reimbursed for.
Tie A String Around Your Finger! Whether you simply don’t like the extra clutter in your car or you are trying to be more “green”, many people these days opt to not print out the receipt at the gas pump. Keep in mind that you will need to print out the receipt to get reimbursed for your gas purchase. So avoid the urge to go into auto-mode at the gas pump and click “no receipt.” If you need to literally tie a string around your finger to remember to print your receipt, do it!
Say Cheese! Most gas station assignments will require you to snap a few photos of the exterior of the store from different angles. Many mystery shoppers prefer to do this at busier times of the day to avoid being seen. This can seem fairly illogical, as with many cars and drivers at the gas station, you stand a better chance of being seen. Yet it is far easier to blend into the crowd and not be singled out when the gas station is packed with motorists. You also stand a less likely chance of the gas station clerk glancing out the window and catching you snapping photos if he is busy helping other customers.
The time of day you choose to shop will be up to the assignment requirements as well as your discretion. Just keep in mind that you will likely need to snap photos incognito and think through if you’ll be more comfortable in a crowded or uncrowded environment.
Skip The Goodies! Many gas station assignments also require you to make a small purchase inside the store and interact briefly with the gas station clerk. It may be tempting to buy that candy bar or a soda, but if you are strapped for cash, you may want to make your reimbursed purchase towards a necessity like milk, eggs, or even fruit that are sold in many gas stations these days.
When you regularly pick up several mystery shopping assignments a month, you can keep your gas tank fairly full at little (if any) cost to you. Use these assignments strategically to save money on your monthly gas expense!