What to think about before committing to a mystery shopping assignment ?
Mystery shopping is beneficial for a number of reasons. It is a great way to supplement your income whether you are a student, work part time or are perhaps even retired. So you should know the right mystery shopping assignment for you.
Mystery shopping allows you to earn an income on a flexible basis if you have a busy life, for example have children and are unable to do traditional hours. If you are also considering mystery shopping as a more permanent career, starting off doing some basic assignments is a great way to build experience. Despite there being many advantages, there are however, a number of key considerations to make before committing yourself to it. This post aims to explore these further.
What are the considerations to take in mind with a mystery shopping assignment ?
It can be difficult to find regular work. It may be possible to start off doing some basic mystery shopping tasks such as order a burger from a fast food outlet. However, for higher paid assignments, the company will probably require someone with significant experience. In many cases, some companies only consider certified individuals. Because of this, it may be worth considering certification.
If you don’t spend money, you cannot earn any. As probably guessed already, you will need to part with money as part of the mystery shopping process as you are buying goods and services. However, this money is unlikely to be refunded immediately. If you would find this difficult, it is not worth applying for a mystery shopping job.
An eye for detail makes for the successful shop. Mystery shopping trips demand a high level of detail. Companies require accounts of many intricate details such as who you were dealing with, how you were dealt with and timings for certain activities. If you have a poor memory, mystery shopping may not be for you.
Level of payment depends on how well you perform. Companies are likely to be demanding that certain requirements have been fulfilled as part of the mystery shopping process. If you forget certain details, forget to complete tasks or do not take the experience seriously, you risk not being paid for your time as you have not fully completed your obligations.
What else do you need to know?
Consider all costs involved. When carrying out a mystery shopping activity, you must consider all the costs involved. For example, cost of fuel to get there, and money spent on a product or service. To ensure that costs are reduced, it could be sensible to only shop at local stores who would re-pay payments in full.
The person employed arranges their taxes. If you conduct mystery shopping, you will be responsible for completing your own taxes. This will need to be reported on a tax return. However, deduct expenses as you go. The trick is to keep track of costs along the way.
Some tasks are not considered mystery shopping. You may be asked to complete tasks relating to merchandising, audits or even cleaning! Be aware of what you are about to undertake before committing yourself.
Avoid companies that want an upfront fee. Avoid any companies that require you to pay a fee. You should be paid for the work you do for a business, not the other way round. Also avoid any companies that ask you to cash in cheques. There are a number of scams that exist and an entire blog has been dedicated to this here.
Conclusion – choosing a mystery shopping assignment
Mystery shopping is a flexible way to top up your income, whether a student, working part time or even retired. It does, however, need to be thought about carefully as it does not work for everyone. In this post, we have outlined the many considerations which need to be considered before committing to a mystery shopping assignment today.