Should You Drive a Long Distance for Mystery Shopping Assignments?

As you have searched through the mystery shopping job boards in recent weeks and months, you may have seen numerous assignments in locations a bit outside your normal work radius. You may have also received emails from providers asking you to travel to rural locations to work on assignments. Perhaps you have checked out job board listings for nearby cities and towns to see if better assignments were available elsewhere. The fact is that you can find additional assignments in many cases if you expand your search radius and consider traveling. However, you may be wondering if it is cost effective for you to do so.

When You Have Nothing Else to Do

If there are no other assignments available for you to work on during that particular work day that are closer to your home, picking up an assignment that is located farther away may be a good idea. After all, if you can make money working on an assignment that takes you down the road a bit farther, why would you sit at home and twiddle your thumbs doing nothing? However, before you sign up for a distant assignment, run the numbers and ensure that you will make a profit when factors such as the cost of gas and the required purchase are taken into account. If it is not cost-effective, consider asking your provider for a travel bonus to supplement the cost of gas.

When you Can Pick Up Other Assignments

Of course, if you can pick up additional assignments in that town or en route to the distant assignment, the possibility that the trip may be cost effective may have increased. Of course, you don’t want to create a zig zag travel path for your day’s journeys all across the state. If you can make a fairly straight line out to your farthest destination and back while picking up other assignments along the same route, however, you may be able to enjoy a profitable and fun day on the road working on your assignments. Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to complete the reports at the end of the day.

The Cost of Gas

As a mystery shopper, you always have to keep your eye on the cost of gas. You need to know how many miles per gallon your car typically gets, and you need to calculate how much your trip will cost you in terms of gas used. You may need to break out your calculator and do elementary school math, but this effort will be worthwhile. You don’t want to wind up wasting more money on gas than you will make on your assignment.

As you can see, there are several different factors to consider when trying to determine if you should work on assignments farther from home. Ideally, you will look for assignments closer to home that pay an equivalent amount of money. These can be completed in less time and may be more profitable for you because you won’t have to waste your gas money driving far away. However, in certain situations, it can pay off to hit the road and pick up some distant assignments.