One of the best things about mystery shopping is that you control your income. While the pay on most shops is not spectacular, there are always new shops coming available every day, and the more you work, the more you can earn.
Of course there are hundreds of providers you can sign up to work with, so if you put enough time and effort into this job, you may be able to make a full-time job out of mystery shopping. However, even if you do put in a full 40 hour work week as a mystery shopper, will the pay be sufficient to support your expenses? With the issues in the economy right now, many people’s expenses are increasing much higher than their paychecks are.
So, besides completing more shop assignments, is there another way to make more money as a mystery shopper? Is there a way to make more money without putting in more time?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Ask For More Money! This seems like a simple enough solution, but does it work? Can you simply email your scheduler and say, “I’d like to do this shop for $15 instead of $10”? Well, yes and no. If you put a little brainpower into which shops you’d like to ask for more money on, it’s possible you can make more simply by asking. For instance, on many providers’ shop lists, you will see shops that either have been sitting for awhile untouched by other shoppers, or that are due TOMORROW. Either way, the scheduler is likely getting pretty anxious to get these shops filled. Your chance of increased pay simply by asking for it is pretty high on these shops.
Shops that already pay well or that were just posted recently or are not due for several weeks are a different story. The scheduler will see that another shopper may still request these assignments at the posted pay and will likely hold out for another shopper to complete the shop.
Have Gas, Will Travel. With gas over $4 per gallon in most areas of the country now, shoppers are becoming much choosier on the location of their assignments. Shops you may have taken even six months ago now seem too expensive to complete because of the cost of gas. Because of this, shops located in more suburban or even more rural locations near major metro areas are now getting harder for schedulers to fill. You can use this to your advantage. Ask for a couple extra bucks to top off your tank before you accept a shop assignment. Again, this works much better if the shops have been sitting for awhile, as the scheduler will be more certain that a closer shopper is not available who would do the shop without travel pay.
You can really make this work in your favor by targeting major retail hubs in more remote locations. For instance, there may be a retail outlet mall with hundreds of stores located 40 or 50 miles away from your house. You may be able to schedule 3 or 4 shops at that outlet mall in one day. If the shops are with different providers, it’s possible that you can not only get paid on several shops at one time but you may also be able to get travel pay from several companies for traveling to one location. And don’t forget to write off your mileage on your taxes for an extra bonus!
You can squeeze your shop assignments for a little extra money, but choose wisely on which assignments you ask for more pay on.