Some mystery shoppers have found a way to make mystery shopping a full-time job while others struggle to make more than a few hundred dollars each month. If you are still trying to figure out how to make the most money possible at mystery shopping, you are not alone. The bottom line is that mystery shopping probably will not ever make you rich, but there are ways you can stretch your mystery shopping income.
Choose Your Assignments Wisely. As you scour the job boards, you may be inclined to look at the face value of the shop pay. Seeing two $10 assignments, you may think these assignments are equal, but most likely they are not. Some assignments are quick and easy to complete, which will free up your time to complete additional assignments that day. Other assignments will eat up your valuable time and ultimately cost you money. Unfortunately, the amount of the shop pay is not always an indicator for how much time an assignment will take to complete. Instead, read through the assignment requirements carefully before you request the assignment, and know what you are getting yourself into. Remember, your goal is to make as much money in as little time as a mystery shopper. If an assignment will take up a lot of your time, make sure you are being compensated well for your time or that no other assignments are available during that time slot that will pay better.
Look Beyond Shop Pay. The shop pay is usually only part of the overall compensation you will receive for an assignment. Consider bonus pay, travel pay, and expense reimbursements. If an assignment has been sitting on the job boards for awhile, don’t be shy about requesting some bonus pay or travel pay from the mystery shopping provider. Why make $10 on an assignment when you can get $15 or $20 simply for asking? Also, be sure to keep a travel log of your mystery shopping miles so you can write off your miles traveled on your tax return at the end of the year.
Make Your Expense Reimbursement Count. New mystery shoppers often will use an expense reimbursement to buy themselves something fun that they had not intended to buy. But when you consider that you dropped $50 on a fun purchase of something you had no intention of buying beforehand and only got a total of $25 compensation for that assignment, it’s not hard to figure out that you actually lost $25 of your own cash by completing that assignment. Instead, use your expense reimbursement to help cover expenses you already have planned. Consider gifts you need to buy for people, clothing and shoes for your family, gas for the car, groceries, and so forth. These are all expenses that will be coming out of your pocket whether you are mystery shopping or not, so why not stretch that expense reimbursement to cover some of your planned expenses?
You can really stretch your mystery shopping income if you take some of these helpful tips to heart!