Maximizing Your Mystery Shopping Income in 2012

Who doesn’t want to make more money this year as a mystery shopper? The economy may be picking up steam, and many family budgets are easing up a bit in recent months, but that doesn’t mean mystery shoppers can’t use some extra cash this year! The good news is that there are several pretty easy things you can start doing today to really get the most money for your efforts.

Tax Write-Offs. You may have heard that being self-employed has its little perks, and the fact is that mystery shoppers are actually self-employed individuals. We work as independent contractors for our mystery shopping providers, and so we can enjoy all of the same benefits that self-employed individuals enjoy. This means writing off a portion of your home for its business use as well as taking advantage of other deductions like those for miles traveled for your assignment, equipment and supplies used for your work, and more. This sounds like more of a hassle than it’s worth, but active mystery shoppers can cut hundreds and even thousands of dollars off their tax bill through these efforts.

Bonuses. When you are searching the job boards for new assignments, your eye is likely drawn to words like “bonus” and “travel reimbursement.” These are little sources of bonus money that you can find on some assignments, and oftentimes they can double your income on an assignment, if not more. If you find these on job boards, you should definitely take a closer look and jump on them if they seem like a good deal. You should also know that you can actually ask for bonus or travel pay if it is not offered. Certainly you don’t want to ask for this extra compensation on every assignment, but for assignments that have been sitting on the job boards untouched for awhile, your request for bonus pay may be accepted by a provider desperate to get the work done.

Efficiency. Making more money in 2012 is all about working smarter rather than harder, and one of the best ways you can make that happen is to become a more efficient mystery shopper. You will want to take a closer look at which aspects of your own work performance are slowing you down. Are spending too much time in the car rather than working on actual assignments? If so, look for closer assignments or find other assignments you can do while en route to make your travel time more beneficial. Are reports slowing you down? Consider taking some notes while on assignment so you can enjoy faster recall of specific details needed for the reports. Are you spending too much time searching for jobs and not enough time working on them? Consider finding a few different providers who offer more or better jobs close to you.

These are all tips every mystery shopper can start putting to use this very day, and they can help you to really maximize your profits as a mystery shopper this year!