We’ve all heard the old adage that time is money. As a mystery shopper, the more shops you can squeeze into a busy day, the more money you can earn. Many of us chose mystery shopping as a job because of its flexibility, and because we need extra money but have busy lives, too. So it goes without saying that the more shops you can do in a day or a week, the more money you can make. Here are some things you can do to become a more efficient (and more profitable) mystery shopper:
Follow The Instructions. As a mystery shopper, you are being hired to follow very specific instructions. If you fail to follow the instructions, your shop will be rejected and you will have spent time working on a shop that you won’t be paid for. Most people certainly don’t want to work for free! So be sure you follow all of the instructions in the requirement.
Read through the guidelines before you enter the store. There may be some very specific things you need to make note of. For instance, which stores were on the left and the right of the store you were shopping at, or what was on the front display sign. These are things you may not readily know off the top of your head, and also things you most likely would normally not pay attention to. There is nothing worse than getting back home and realizing you have to drive back to the shop to figure out which stores are next to the store you shopped!
Write It Down. It’s good to keep a notepad in your car to keep track of mileage during your shops. But that notepad is good for other things, too. Write down the start and end times of your shop, associate names, specials the associate told you about, and other small details that may slip your mind while you are driving home. When it comes time to fill out your report, you won’t have to spend time trying to recall these details – you will have them written down right in front of you.
If you manage to book two or three shops in one day, that’s great for you! It will save you so much time to get a couple of shops knocked out in one trip out. On the down side, though, you have three different shops to keep straight in your head. Maybe you have a great memory and this is no problem for you. Most of us, though, have incredibly busy lives and have trouble recalling small details. And that is compounded if we have details on several shops to remember. This is when that notebook in the car comes in really handy. Scribble a few notes down after you complete each shop, and you’re good to go!
Pencil It In. Use a PDA if you’re savvy with the new gadgets, or go the old-fashioned way and use a regular calendar. Either way, write down dates and times of your mystery shop assignments. But you also want to write down everything else, too. If you’ve got to take the dog to the vet at 9am on Tuesday, and Billy has a soccer game at 6pm on Wednesday, write all of those things down. Since time is money, you can pretty much say that managing your time well means money in the bank when you’re a mystery shopper. With a quick look on your calendar you’ll easily be able to see that you’re wide open for shop assignments on Thursday and Saturday, but Tuesday and Wednesday are booked solid with other commitments. You can also see that you’re already doing a shop on Friday at Main Street Mall, so it’s not a big time commitment to work in another shop there on Friday, too.
Following these few simple steps will free up more time for you to do more shops and make more money!