Being a Mystery Shopper is a great way to earn some extra money. All you have to do is hit the stores and buy stuff; in return, a company pays you as an independent contractor! Capitalizing on a fun pastime (shopping) has never been easier. As a mystery shopper, you receive paychecks and usually free products from brands that need insights and feedback on customer experience.  

What is mystery shopping all about?

Mystery Shopping is a tool used in retail to get reliable and ongoing feedback on customers' experience, measuring the quality of sales and service and employees' performance in the business. Becoming a Mystery Shopper has many benefits, and becoming one is extra easy. You can download the SmartSpotter App to give it a try! 

However, the payments from mystery shopping can be so diverse and usually for small amounts. From sorting your taxes to irregular pay, monitoring your finances as a mystery shopper is challenging.

Moreover, mystery shopping often requires you to make purchases, and the amounts can vary greatly depending on the brand. Sometimes it's just a couple of dollars, but others can be more money. Of course, the company always reimburses you for those purchases, but when you take on these roles, it is essential to ensure you only leave yourself short of money once the company does so. Thus, monitoring expenses and income is crucial when doing these jobs.  

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Why is it so crucial to track your finances?

You'll feel more in control of them by doing so, as it gives you better visibility over time. In addition, keeping track means that you get a clearer idea of what your total income looks like and how much tax you're likely to owe. For example, suppose you are a freelancer or earn extra money from a mix of side jobs with an app like SmartSpotter. In that case, you are expected to have many different sources of income, so this becomes particularly important. 

You normally underspend on essential things by monitoring your expenses and income. 

But no worries, here is a guide on tracking your finances as a Mystery Shopper, brought to you by SmartSpotter.

1. Use a credit card exclusively for your mystery shop purchases 

One option is to use a credit card exclusively for mystery shopping purchases whenever you are required to make one. This way, you are not spending the money in your account, plus it will help you build up your credit score as you go along. 

This option requires you to be responsible with your expenses. We advise that you set up a direct debit to pay what you owe in full each month—that way, you avoid paying interest. Also, don't treat the credit card as a reason to overspend. Remember you're going to use it for your mystery shop purchases only. And lastly, refrain from withdrawing cash using these cards. 

2. Build up your profile and keep track of your mystery shops

At SmartSpotter, the more spots you complete, the higher your rank! Every assignment has SmartPoints. These determine your Spotter rank. Each rank allows you to accept more assignments simultaneously and gives you more time to complete them. 

With a higher rank, you can complete more spots in less time, thus earning more money. 

That said, whether you are a senior spotter or a junior, keeping track of your mystery shops weekly or monthly is important. That way, you can be on time, organized and efficient for each assignment.  

  • Set calendar reminders for each assignment so you keep reminded of the location and specifics of the assignment. 

  • Keep track of due dates, and set reminders to meet deadlines. 

  • Plan your schedule ahead! Be sure to complete spots. When planning, you are more likely to do multiple spots on the same day. 

  • Also, check the assignments available often to ensure you get all the opportunities! We frequently update new jobs. 

3. Bear in mind your taxes

The money you receive as a mystery shopper is taxable. However, if you track your finances in real-time, you will have the tools to file your tax return as the financial year ends quickly. 

Keeping spreadsheets when performing spots can be helpful; Who, when, where, fee, bonus, reimbursement, mileage, when paid, how much paid, and so on. 

4. Don't forget to be aware of how your wallet works!

We pay every Thursday directly into your bank account. Once you have completed your first paid spot, you can request your payment with a single click. You can also choose to be paid automatically. If your balance is at least $20.00, weekly payments will be generated without incurring any transaction fees (recommended).

Alternatively, you can request your payments manually. This is ideal if you want to make some savings. Use the manual payment request anytime you want. Please note that if you choose to be paid when your balance is below $20.00, this will result in a small $0.50 transaction fee.

Note: Please allow two business days for transactions to be completed.

5. Monitor your transaction history

All transaction history in your account can be found on your profile page. You can download this in an excel file if required.

Go to the Spotters' website and sign in as Spotter to access your profile. The password is the same one you use to log into the App.

Become a Spotter! Use your phone to earn money. Get paid to complete fun & easy mystery shopper missions in stores or venues around you. Take a few photos of the shelves, answer the questions about products or promotions displayed and submit your results!


Download the SmartSpotter App today! 

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