With so many gadgets and gizmos on the market, it may be difficult determining the difference between “needs” and “wants.” While there are a variety of gadgets that will make your life as a mystery shopper easier, there are just a handful of must-haves. Here’s the breakdown:
You’ve Got Mail! While many long-time mystery shoppers started mystery shopping long before email was commonplace, an email account these days is a requisite. You can surely log on to each of your mystery shopping providers’ websites daily to check for new assignments. However, it is much easier to simply check your email account, as the providers will email you when new assignments are posted in your area.
In addition, you will receive confirmation and reminders of your job assignments in your email. Email is also the usually easiest and best way to communicate with your scheduler in the event you have a question or a problem.
“Watch” Out! Almost every assignment requires you to keep track of the time, to some degree or another. Many assignments just ask you to keep track of the time you entered and left the premises. Some require you to keep track of how long you were in line or how long you waited to be greeted or helped by the staff. Many assignments will suffice with just know the time down to the minute, but there are some assignments that are nit-picky with needing to know the exact time down to the second.
If you pay attention to the assignment requirements before you request an assignment and request the down-to-the-minute assignments, you can make due with just using the clock on your cell phone or wrist watch. However, for assignments that require the time down to the second, you should really invest in a stop watch as your job will be much easier. There are more than enough assignments to keep you busy that don’t require a stop watch, though. So just pay attention to the assignment requirements.
On The Periphery. There are a few peripherals, or accompanying gadgets, your computer will need to help you with your reporting. Ideally, you can purchase a combo machine that has printing, faxing, and scanning capabilities all in one. You don’t necessarily need to print your assignment requirements out before shopping, but your job will be easier if you can bring them in the car with you and peruse them once more before you set off inside the store. Some providers do require you to print out a statement of authenticity or submission to sign and fax or email back to them.
For assignments that require a purchase, you will be required to fax or scan the receipts and send them to the provider. So you don’t necessarily need both a fax machine and a scanner, but rather just one or the other. However, if you can get a machine that covers both functions, that is preferable.
Say Cheese! There are a very large number of assignments that do not require digital photos. You can make a very good monthly income and stay very busy completing assignments without the need to purchase a digital camera. However, many of the higher paying assignments do require the use of a digital camera. So if you want to make more money for your time and efforts, you should consider purchasing a digital camera. Note, many shop requirements specifically prohibit the use of the camera on your cell phone and require the higher quality photos from a digital camera.
Once you have these gadgets in your mystery shopping arsenal, you will be ready to complete any number of assignments!