How Far Should You Go to Do a Mystery Shop?
Written by Paul Lanham
The distance you are willing to travel to undertake a mystery shop should be one of the first questions anyone thinking of becoming a mystery shopper should ask themselves. Your decision may be based on several factors.
Some of the most common will typically include; do you intend mystery shopping to be your main (or only) source of income? How flexible are you with your time? (Perhaps you have dependents or other commitments) and do you have a car together with a drivers license?
You might want to consider what trips you regularly make. If you can combine a trip (whether for leisure or business) with a stop off along the way to do a mystery shop that would be useful plus it may allow you to increase the number of areas you can conduct your secret shops in.
If there is an assignment that is a little further away than you usually consider, it may be worth your while to try and find other assignments that are either close by or on the same route. Having good organisation in planning your shops will make you a more efficient mystery shopper and make the job more profitable for you.
Should an assignment be offered to you that is out of the area you are willing to travel to, it is okay to say so and decline the assignment. This should not count against you in being offered future assignments; it is a perfectly valid reason to turn down a job.
When you become a more experienced shopper, you may be able to begin planning your assignments around routine trips, such as grocery shopping or visiting friends. With experience you will get a feel for how long it will take to complete a shop giving you more flexibility in fitting them into your day.
Remember mystery shopping is still a job and as such requires careful planning, note taking and report writing afterwards. If you are on holiday it may not be the best time to undertake a shop. Restaurants and hotels are going to be much easier and less stressful to naturally fit into planned holiday time.