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Friday, October 16

A Week in the Life of a Mystery Shopper

I've decided to ramp up my mystery shopping activity so that I can more quickly pay down some debts. In my area, there is almost always an abundance of shops available just about daily.

Last week was a busy one for mystery shopping:

Woke up and realized I had no assignments to do, so I went online to the two shopping sites I use most often and formed a trip. First stop, 18 miles from my house, was a lucky find: for one company I shopped a fast food restaurant and for another company I shopped a gas station - both were in the same building. I then did a truck stop, 2 gas stations and finished up with another fast food restaurant.

I had planned to visit my grandfather in the nursing home, which was 60 miles from my house. So, I picked up a fast food restaurant and two gas stations that were on the way.

I did four gas stations in the morning, but was bored (and hungry) so I searched for a lunch time job. I found a fast food restaurant ten miles from home along with a gas station across the street from it. I also did a fast food restaurant Tuesday evening.

I didn't see anything exciting for Wednesday so I planned to spend the day catching up on emails, working on the blog and cleaning house. One of the schedulers from my favorite shopping company called and offered me a bonus on a casual dining restaurant for that evening. It was only 9 miles from my house and a straightforward shop mostly concerned with food quality and speed of service (as opposed to many casual restaurant shops, which ask for so much detail that entering the shop takes longer than the actual dining). I took her up on that offer and completed just one shop today.

Over the weekend I planned ahead for this to be a busy day. I completed three very simple shops at a large bookstore chain, evaluated a public storage facility, and enjoyed breakfast at a fast food restaurant.

Signed up for a discount retailer and a home improvement store for a mid-day excursion. Evening at a fast food restaurant. The scheduler offered me a bonus to pick this one up. It was just 12 miles from home.

Mystery shopping marathon. I decided Friday that I needed to juice my results for the week, so I went on a rampage, signing up for shops with 4 different companies. This was a road trip: the nearest shop being 20 miles away and the furthest about 100. I started with breakfast at a drive-in 20 miles from home. My journal then took me north for the remainder of the day, where I shopped several gas stations, a home improvement retailer, a bookstore, 2 video game stores, a discount retailer, a sandwich store and a movie theatre. This was a full day, but it wasn't stressful at all as my pace was leisurely. This day alone I earned over $100 in fees and $46 in reimbursements.

Total Income for the Week: $326.54
Total Value of Reimbursements: $187.25

I grossly underestimated my income potential when I set my goal in October to earn $500. If I had hustled I may have earned that in a single week!

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