Many mystery shoppers have fallen into the habit of writing off assignments posted on the job boards with a quick look of the assignment pay. If the payment is below a predetermined amount of money in the mystery shopper’s mind, such as $5 or $10, the mystery shopper continues to scroll down the job boards without giving that assignment a second thought. If this sounds like you, it may be worth your wallet’s weight in gold to give that low paying assignment another look. There are, after all, other aspects to an assignment besides the face value of the shop pay.
What Is Involved? Often, the higher paying assignments pay more because they require more time and effort on your part. This is not always the case, but it is true more often than not. On lower paying assignments, you may find that the assignment is simply or takes far less time than those higher paying assignments you’ve been working on lately. What this means for you is that you can likely squeeze in an additional “small” assignment or two in the same amount of time it would take for you to complete just one higher paying assignment. This is definitely not always true, and many mystery shoppers have been sucked in to doing a very lengthy assignment for peanuts. But it is definitely worth your time to weigh more consideration into the amount of time and effort that low paying assignment will take you to complete.
An Assignment En Route. You likely have a set routine you follow on a daily or weekly basis. If you can find an assignment or two close to a location that you already visit regularly, such as close to your full-time job, your gym, or your grocery store, you can easily stop by and knock out an extra assignment with little time burden on your schedule. Consider driving 20 minutes out of your way in one direction to complete a higher paying assignment along with the 20 minute return trip. Then consider stopping by that corner coffee shop down the street from your office to do an assignment on your way to work. The time savings, not to mention the fact that you can write off mileage on a trip you already were planning to take anyway, makes the location of lower paying assignments a vital aspect to consider.
The Required Purchase. The required purchase of an assignment can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker for you. First, consider if the store in question sells an item that you had intended to purchase anyway. Second, consider the amount of the item you would like to purchase versus the reimbursement. Even if the assignment pay is only $5 or $10, if you can get a full (or close to full) reimbursement on an item you truly need, that extra reimbursement can be a great benefit to complete the assignment. Likewise, on higher paying assignments, consider a required purchase with minimal reimbursement at a store that sells nothing you “need”. This is money you would not be spending otherwise, so this “cost” should be taken into consideration when you weigh the pros and cons of taking on the assignment.
To get the most out of your mystery shopping assignments, take the time to consider these aspects of the assignment regardless of how low or how high the pay is!