If there is one thing that mystery shoppers complain about more than anything else, it is how slow their providers are to pay them for their services. If you are a mystery shopper yourself, you know that sometimes it can be weeks and even months before you get paid for an assignment. This can create a bookkeeping headache on your part as you try to keep tabs on payments for assignments dated so far in the past, and it can also create a kink in your own finances if you are waiting for a lot of money owed to you to arrive.
The fact is that while sometimes slow-to-arrive paychecks are the fault of the provider you are working with, there are times when the mystery shopper is slowing down the process, too. So what’s holding up your paycheck?
Your Report. Most mystery shopping providers will not begin to process payment on your report until after your report has been reviewed and approved. Note that most providers’ time frames on payment does not start when you submit your report, but rather when it is approved. If you are regularly being asked to make revisions to your report, you may want to consider why this is happening. Is your provider asking you to make changes that are unnecessary? If so, you may want to consider switching to another provider who you may not have this problem with. Are the changes legitimate requests? If so, you may find that taking a few extra minutes of time to ensure your report is complete and accurate before submitting it can help you to get paid days sooner in some cases.
Payment Method. Most providers today do offer the ability to pay you via PayPal. Some require their mystery shoppers to set up a PayPal account, as this is their only method of payment. Others leave the payment method as an option for you. If you have the option, by all means consider setting up a PayPal account and getting paid in this fashion. The funds are wired electronically, and so you will receive instant notification once the funds are available for you to withdrawal. Then you can immediately transfer those funds into your own account. Another option to consider is applying for a PayPal debit card, which gives you same-day access to those funds as soon as they hit your account. By cutting out the snail mail process and the bank deposit process for a check, you can have access to your money up to a week sooner in some cases!
Your Providers. There are certain cases when the providers who you have signed up to work with are just slow in processing their payments. It can be a hassle to change providers and get accustomed to new providers’ procedures, so before you do anything drastic like making the decision to switch to a new provider, you may first want to consider if this is a one-time occurrence or if it has been going on for months. Compare the payment time with one provider against the time with other providers you are working with to see if it is really out of the norm. You can also post a question on the mystery shopping online forums to get feedback from others. If you find that one of your providers truly does have a slow pay process in place and you are unhappy with their payment process, you can consider making a change that to a company that has a better payment procedure in place.
At one time, it was normal to wait up to two months for a mystery shopping paycheck to arrive via snail mail, but this time has been drastically reduced thanks to the electronic payment method most providers have switched to. If you are having payment issues with a provider today, consider the points touched here to determine better why your paychecks are running late and then take action to correct the issue. After all, who doesn’t want to get paid faster?