March 07, 2011
Written By: Tim Friedman, Field Staff Coordinator
If you’re like me, you know how to get around and get what you need without straying too far from your home or work. There are several cities and towns around my home that I just never visit. Even if I were offered financial incentive, I just may not see the point in altering my driving routines.
Mystery shoppers are often faced with the price-of-gas dilemma when searching for shopping opportunities. “Is it worth what this assignment pays to drive all the way there and back?” Sometimes the math just doesn’t work. But with a small amount of effort, you can oftentimes fill your wallet and your gas tank in one afternoon.
When looking for assignments on a job board – most mystery shopping companies have one, ours is here – try searching for shops throughout your state. Instead of dismissing many of them as simply too far away, create a mental route with several shop stops along the way. A city that is further than you would travel for one assignment may have several opportunities for you. You can also use JobSlinger to find mystery shopping assignments in one centralized area from many job boards at once. Make it worth your while by picking up several shops that you can do on the same day. You might find that if you travel 40 miles away, you can do five or six shops and easily pay for your mileage and then some!
Not only will you have an opportunity to objectively critique customer service in new areas, but you may find that you feel like you wield great power. One mystery shopper told me, “Sometimes I feel like a superhero. Both because of the secrecy and because occasionally – just occasionally – I have moments of brilliance or of secret success.”
Another way to make the most of your travel time is to bring a spouse, family member, or friend. Your passenger can even read you the guidelines for the shop(s) you’re about to do. Many assignments specify that the mystery shopper must be alone, but your guest can do some shopping or run an errand elsewhere while you don your superhero mystery shopping tights.
Remember, Superman must travel great lengths to make the world a better place, but he doesn’t have a sidekick and he doesn’t even get paid.