Tackling The Slow Economy Head-On: How To Make Money As A Mystery Shopper Today

With the nightmare of 2009’s financial downturn behind us, many are looking at 2010 with hope for renewed prosperity. Yet recent news shows we may not be out of the woods yet, and the economy may continue to suffer for some time. If you’ve already been relying on mystery shopping to supplement your income or you just need to make some extra money to save for a rainy day, your mystery shopping income may be a godsend.

However, even the mystery shopping industry has been hit with the sluggish economy. The economy has driven more mystery shoppers into the industry, creating more competition for assignments. The economy has also driven some retailers, restaurants, and other venues that have previously used mystery shopping services to close their doors. Others who have used mystery shoppers in the past may be keeping their doors open by have reduced or eliminated the use of mystery shopping services in their expense cutting measures. So the industry has seen more competition for fewer available jobs.

Here are a few strategies you can adopt to combat the sluggish economy and make money as a mystery shopper today:

Take The Dud Jobs. We’ve all seen them.  On almost every provider’s job boards, there are a few assignments that seem to linger forever. Perhaps the assignment seems less than desirable or the location is a bit far out in a rural location. First, try to figure out why this assignment has not been snatched up sooner. Then contact the provider in question and state  your interest in completing the assignment, with the addition of bonus pay or travel pay. If it’s a really undesirable assignment, ask for both. When you see the assignments that have been sitting on the job boards for a long time, look at those assignments as a financial opportunity rather than a waste of space on the job boards.

Look Out Of Town. While some cities have been hit hard by the economy, often there are nearby cities that have weathered more fairly. In a nearby city, you may find less competition with other mystery shoppers for assignments and more assignments to choose from. While it may be financially unsound to take a single assignment at a town an hour or two away, if you can book 3, 4, or 5 assignments in the town and give yourself a full day of work, it may be worth your travel time and efforts to work in a nearby town every once in awhile.

Try Something New. In hard financial times, people often  have to step outside of their comfort zones and try something new. In the past, you may have gotten by as a mystery shopper by working on the cushy assignments that you have enjoyed doing. While you should by all means try to be happy at your job and pick assignments you like to do, in this economy you may have to try to take on new assignments as well to make ends meet. Perhaps you need to work on assignments you’ve done in the past that you haven’t particularly liked or perhaps you need to work on assignments you’ve been passing over for because they simply don’t interest you. Either way, the slow economy is the perfect time to branch out and try something new and out of the ordinary.

These ideas can keep help to keep your pockets lined with cash during these slow economic times.