Do you spend a lot of money on ink or toner for your printer? If you print out guidelines and forms for shops, completed shops, and other records, you will eat through a toner cartridge in no time at all. There are ways to cut back on the amount of toner you use, such as saving completed reports as PDFs instead of printing them, but here is a new way to cut your toner use by up to 20%, even if you print just as many pages as you always have.Continue Reading
The new year is almost upon us, and that is the time many of us make resolutions. This year, in addition to the usual resolutions about losing weight or getting organized, there will be an emphasis on resolutions to spend less and save more money. That is where mystery shopping can help.
Mystery shopper jobs allow us to earn extra money that can be used to build our savings, or pay down those credit card bills. And, by choosing assignments wisely, we can also get many things for free, or at a reduced price, that we would normally have to pay for.
In my career as a professional shopper, I have been reimbursed for meals, haircuts, eye examinations, dry cleaning, car oil changes, groceries and much more. In addition, by using a rewards credit card for many of my reimbursed purchases, I have received gift cards and other perks from my credit card company.
We can even splurge a little now and then, thanks to mystery shopping.Continue Reading
Making more money is nice, whether you do it through getting more mystery shopper jobs or higher-paying assignments. However, it is possible to be more profitable without earning any more money.
How? Well, as a CPA friend of mine says, “It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep.” Here are some suggestions to help you keep more of what you make as a secret shopper.
Maximize tax deductions. You can deduct reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the process of running your business. These may include:
- Computer and Internet expenses;
- Office supplies (including paper, ink, toner, etc.);
- Cell phone service;
- Mileage or automobile expenses;
- Training and education;
- Voice recorders, digital cameras and other technology;
- Batteries and supplies for technology;
- A home office; and
- Other costs.
Would you like to get more mystery shopper jobs? Here are some tips to help you get all the work you can handle.
Most importantly, when you get an assignment, do a great job. Do the shop on time, according to the guidelines, and submit a well-written report. Schedulers love to give assignments to shoppers on whom they can depend.
Apply to as many companies as possible. Just like you can’t win the lottery if you do not buy a ticket, you can not get assignments if you are not in the data base. (Of course, you should never pay a fee to apply anywhere.)
Use http://www.Jobslinger.com/ to find assignments in your area. Even if you do not land a particular mystery shopper job, you can find more companies that have clients where you like to shop.
Don’t forget to apply to scheduling companies. They have assignments from many companies.Continue Reading
One of the things I love about mystery shopping is that many shops include a purchase allowance or reimbursement. That allows me to get something I would normally pay for in return for doing the shop.
Restaurants are special favorites of mine. My husband and I love to go out to eat, so getting our dinners paid for is nice compensation for the secret shop.
Several years ago, I did a lot of grocery shops where I received a generous reimbursement when buying groceries. I used them to buy my usual groceries and to stock up on non- perishables such as soap and paper products, things I had to buy anyway.
Many mystery shoppers look at these perks and benefits of mystery shopping as getting things ‘free.’ They are not truly free because you earn them with the time you put in doing the shop and report, but they can be good compensation.
The danger is that feeling that you are getting something for nothing can lead you to overspend on mystery shops. Continue Reading
One of the ways I have found to increase my mystery shopper pay is by using reward credit cards to pay for my reimbursed expenses whenever I can. In fact, I use credit cards to pay for almost everything I buy, whether I am mystery shopping or not. As a result, I get hundreds of dollars worth of free gift cards and more every year.
This strategy must be used properly, or it could backfire—big time! Here are the steps you need to take to earn more with reward programs.Continue Reading
The price of gas directly affects your bottom line as a mystery shopper. As we have watched the price of gasoline edge up over $4 a gallon, many shoppers have become very selective about the shops they are willing to accept and they are refusing to travel more than a few miles from home.
Could you expand the number and types of shops you do if you could save 20%, 30%, 50% or more on gasoline?
There are lots of ways to save on gas, but the most effective way is to change the way you drive. Chances are, your driving habits are costing you big bucks. Here are a few simple things you can do now to immediately increase your gas mileage.
The most important thing you can do is avoid sudden starts and stops. When you approach an intersection where you may have to come to a stop, take your foot off the gas pedal well before you reach the stop light or sign. Avoid ‘jackrabbit’ starts and accelerate gradually. This isn’t a drag race, so you do not have to jump off the line.Continue Reading
The U.S. Treasury has started depositing and mailing stimulus payments to taxpayers. When you receive yours, why not use some of the money to make your mystery shopping business more profitable? That can mean investing in yourself, or in equipment to save time and qualify you for more shops.
Here are some examples of ways you could invest a small portion of your stimulus payment to earn more as a mystery shopper.Continue Reading
When you do your taxes each year (or run a monthly profit/loss statement) you discover how much income you have netted through mystery shopping. However, there are spending traps that can cause your mystery shopping to be less profitable, or even to result in a net loss.
Here are suggestions to keep you out of the red and in the black, including how to spot hidden spending that does not show up on your tax return, but can make your mystery shopping less profitable.Continue Reading
If you want to get more secret shopping assignments, there are several things you can do. But here is a quick and easy tip you may not have considered . . .Continue Reading