Which Mystery Shops are the Most Profitable?

Angela Megasko of www.MarketViewpoint.com  let's mystery shoppers know how they can make their shopping assignments more profitable.Mystery shoppers are always asking: Which mystery shopping assignments will make me the most money?

There are mystery shops that will provide you with cold, hard cash via a check or a deposit into your PayPal account.

By calculating how long it took you to prepare for the shop, conduct the assignment and submit the report, you can determine your hourly wage.

If you got in your car and drove 10 miles, you could determine how much you made from a shop by subtracting gas expenses from the total you were paid.

You can take an assignment that pays a flat reimbursement fee for a meal, purchase less than the flat fee, and the difference can be considered “profit.”

One mystery shop alone has little profit. But mystery shopping, when conducted as a business, can have great value. 

Take, for instance, the shop that is 10 miles away. If you can get 2 or 3 assignments in that direction, the mileage expense becomes less significant versus the total you are paid. If you find these shops on your route to work, then there is really no gas expense at all and these shops are now of greater value.

Shop Pay – Gas Expense = Profit

If you take a flat reimbursement restaurant shop and do it on a night that you would typically be going out to dinner anyway, the value of the shop is that you paid $20 or $40 less for a meal you would have paid full price for.

Trust that it is not the mystery shopping companies’ goal to pay shoppers as little as possible. Rather, we pay them as much as possible given the budget and limitations set by our clients.

If you want to mystery shop as a way to gain extra income, you must treat it like a business, look for ways to be efficient and better (video shopping, route shopping, tax advantages) and conduct many shops each year.

One shop will gain you a small profit.

Many shops will prove to be of great value to your wallet and your business.

Tell us ways in which you make your business more profitable. We always read your comments!


About Market Viewpoint

Market Viewpoint offers comprehensive mystery shopping services, complete customer service audits, employee and customer surveys, customer focused marketing strategies, and customer service training to help you improve your customer service and outshine your competition.
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12 Responses to Which Mystery Shops are the Most Profitable?

  1. Amy says:

    The way I have found to make the most out of mystery shopping is to not only treat it as a business but only take on shops that do not require you to put out any up front cash. There are numerous companies that will pay any where from 10.00 up to 100.00 and could only take 15 to 45 minutes of your time at the actual site.

  2. I do not like even doing a small shop for under 5 or 7$. I like 10.00 and above because some of these reports you have to reply with a statement of 200 characters and this could take forever;

  3. Pamela says:

    I try to find assignments that are in my normal route or several assignments that are in the same location. I’ve found that those are ways to maximize on my profit and create less stress for me because I don’t feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions.

  4. John says:

    If I don’t make at least $1.00/mile net profit, my truck doesn’t roll.

  5. iamloved1 says:

    I agree with you that route shopping is the best way to stretch your earnings but you forgot to subtract for car expenses above and beyond gas. When I use my own car, I also consider the cost of an oil change, brakes, tires and repairs. For my 30-mpg Toyota Camry, I calculate about $15 in gas and expenses for each 60 miles driven. If a shop pays $60 and I have to drive an hour each way, I subtract the first $30 and put that into my operating account. The rest is my pay so to make it worthwhile, I have to pick up a few $15 shops along the route.

  6. Kris says:

    I like doing restaurant shops because even though I am not getting a payment I consider the cost of the meal the payment. If I go to a dinner with a $100 meal and I spend two hours eating and making a reservation, and then two to three hours writing the report, then it is worth my time. I am used to getting paid $35-50/hour at my regular jobs so that is how much my time is really worth. Since a great meal doesn’t really cost me anything then I feel like I am getting a reasonable trade. I just did a carpet cleaning shop that would have cost me over $150 and it took about two hours for the cleaning and report. That is the best I have done thus far.

  7. Doing as many locations as possible for the same shop helps cut down on the prep time of studying the instructions and report questionnaire.

  8. I tend to stay in my area for shops even when companies write that, “This major metro shop is in your area!” Uh huh. It’s on the other side of the water involving a ferry trip that your payment doesn’t even cover my base expenses. NOW if I really want to go, I usually check on another company who pays toll/parking costs and if I can get a shop through them that GETS me to the Metro area, I’ll take the other shop. I’ve also become more, if appropriate, aggressive, with schedulers calling to ask about a shop and if it’s not that convenient I’ll tell them it’s X hours/miles away and that amount isn’t worth my time and expenses involved. So far most have agreed and increased the amount.

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