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Mystery shopping – together with task apps – is one of my favourite ways to earn extra money.
But it’s not easy to fit it all in when you’re juggling so much else. So how can you maximise your earning potential when you’re struggling to find the time?
Here are some ways you can make extra money and smash it when it comes to mystery shopping.
Sign up to lots of mystery shopping companies and apps
There are plenty out there, when you know where to look. The more you’re signed up with, the more chance you have of finding some work when you have a spare pocket of time. If you have an iPhone, you can keep them all in their own folder so you don’t miss any when you’re searching for tasks. It might also be helpful to keep a printed checklist to sign off each time.
Plan in advance
Decide when you’re going to perform your mystery shopping jobs. If time permits, book them in advance (which you can do with companies such as Redwigwam* and Marketforce*). Plan the days you’re going to complete your tasks. When it comes to task apps such as BeMyEye* and Roamler, check these in the morning to see what’s available. Book them as soon as you can; they often get booked quickly! Alternatively, check throughout the day and keep an eye out for new ones. Enable notifications if that’s possible for the app, to be alerted as soon as a new job is added. Alternatively, you could sign up for email notifications.
Plan your route
Are you short on time and trying to conserve petrol? It makes sense to work out the most cost effective route for the jobs you want to complete in the time you have available. For example, there are beauty checks in various supermarkets across town, and you want to do as many as you can to make as much money as you can. So work out the locations of each one, and start with the one furthest away, finishing with the one closest to your home, taking into account how long each one will take. If you only have enough time to do one, choose the one that’s paying the most money or is closest (depending on what’s required).
Preparation is key
If you are planning to fit two or three jobs in (for example in one morning), ensure you have enough time to book the job (some of the task apps give you a time-frame to complete the job), get to the location, and perform the task.
Where possible, familiarise yourself with the brief. You can glean an idea of what you’ll be expected to do and how long it might take. For example, a job with lots of questions about a cat food display may take a while if you have to answer them while at the location. This can be tricky if you have to behave like a mystery shopper (and need to take photos discreetly).
Similarly, if you’re performing a mystery shop that requires you to behave like a customer enquiring about a product or service, you’ll need to be fully briefed on what you need to ask/how to respond. You won’t be able to check your phone for what you should do next!
Be a secret agent
For some of us, the prospect of going into a shop and acting like we’re shopping when we’re actually working can feel pretty daunting.
Try to look at it as like playing a part; you’re acting, and you’re working. You are fulfilling a role and a requirement for a company. You are important – your input helps companies to ensure that their products and services are getting the promotion they need. It helps them to know that the retailers are doing their job properly.
Think of yourself as a secret agent, working on behalf of someone else. When you’ve completed a job, you’ll find you get a little buzz out of it. It’s a great confidence booster, and the more you do, the more your confidence will grow.