Technology is available to make every aspect of life easier, from cooking, cleaning, and paying bills to working and mystery shopping. Not only does technology make your tasks easier, but it also helps to save you time and energy. As a mystery shopper, there are a number of gadgets available that can make your life as a mystery shopper easier and make your efforts more efficient.
It’s About Time! Almost every mystery shop assignment requires you to pay attention to time to some degree. You may just need to note the time you started and stopped shopping. Or you may have to provide much more detail, such as the amount of time you waited in line, the amount of time you spent in the dressing room, or the amount of time it took you to receive your meal at a restaurant. Some time requirements just want the number of minutes, or the actual time down to the minute. Other assignments require you to keep track down to the second.
You may want to invest in an inexpensive watch that has a stop-watch feature on it. A watch with a split-timer is even better, as it will come in handy on those assignments where you have to keep track of timing with multiple events on the same assignment. You don’t need to shell out big bucks for the fanciest watch. In fact, you probably want to avoid a watch with all the bells and whistles. Keep in mind that you need to be able to very inconspicuously keep track of the time, so it’s better if you can find a watch that allows you to start and stop time with the push of just one single button. The last thing you want to do on a mystery shop assignment is to be standing there fiddling with your watch in front of the salesperson!
Say “Cheese!” While not every assignment requires you to take digital photos, a large number of assignments do require the use of a digital camera. If you don’t have a camera, you are automatically disqualified from accepting those assignments, thereby reducing the possibility of extra income.
Most cell phones these days have a camera as a feature. However, many mystery shop assignments will not accept the poor quality of a cell phone camera. The price of digital cameras has dropped considerably since they first came on the market, so if passed over a digital camera a few years ago, or if you need to buy a new one, now may be the perfect opportunity.
Kill Four Birds With One Stone. Copying, scanning, printing, and faxing are basic functions of any business, including a home-based business like mystery shopping. Think about all of the things you do before and after your site visit to prepare for and complete your mystery shop assignment. You may print out your requirements, make a copy of a receipt or business card, scan your receipt or paperwork, and fax your documentation to the provider. You can save both space on your desk and money when you consider purchasing a four-in-one machine. There are a number of efficient and reliable machines on the market today that are no larger than your standard printer and that will handle all of these business functions for you. The good news is that when you buy a combo machine, you will save money over buying each machine separately!
Write It Off! Whether you’re buying a stop watch, fax machine, or even paper for the printer, be sure to keep your receipts for each and every business-related item you buy. You will be surprised how much money you will save on your income taxes each year simply by keeping track of your expenses and writing them off!
Spend a little time and money updating your techno-gadgets and you will save time and energy on your future mystery shopping assignments!