Good thing about mystery shopping is you can change your work schedule if you just are not in the mood. I was having a bad day, and I was able to move shops around. I just went home to relax for another day.
Yes, the ability to adjust schedules is valuable. However, it is an ability which is reduced as one's shop-loads increases and when one completes shops across larger geographies.
I might not, for example, feel like completing the shops I have scheduled for a given day but by pushing them to later in the week might mean the need to shop without breaks from the early morning until after dinner or the need to lump the 75 miles drive to the east of town which was planned for one day and the 75 mile drive to the west of town which had been planned for the next day. Worse still is having one's schedule so filled going east and west that one is unable to accept those rare emergency requests from schedulers - 'I had a flake yesterday, can you do a shop 75 miles south of town. It has to be done today. Would an extra $100.00 on top of what we paid you last time you went there be enough or do you need more?'
Additionally, many MSCs require firm shopping dates upon assignment. Many others require that rescheduling be coordinated with a scheduler, many of whom are not immediately available. Some even get bent out-of-shape by requests to reschedule an assignment in order to complete it earlier than originally planned.
When I worked a security job, they had my schedule full, it was nice being able to find a job here or there to do around work. And nobody thinks the guy walking into the store wearing a uniform is the mystery shopper. Of course since I quit that job I am now using shopping to fill the gap between the pay I made and what I now make. (I quit when the company dropped health insurance and made us go to marketplace. A 55 year male can not get insurance for under $500 a month there, mine had an $8000 deductible before anything was paid)
I know it can be a touchy subject and mystery shopping is one of my gigs but I also loved being able to do some things for reimbursement like grocery stores and drug stores. It's so nice to be able to get more for my time i.e. not have to earn the money and be taxed on it and then use what's left to buy stuff I need.
I also agree with schedule flexibility. I sometimes wish it was easier to change it though.
Another nice thing about being an Independent Contractor and doing mystery shopping, my Medicare payments are now tax deductible. That's $2100 a year.
Thanks for this reminder. I read about it a few years back but totally forgot. My only problem is making sure my income is more than my medicare premiums so I can at least report a small business profit to the IRS. Here in bonuses in single digit land it makes it difficult. This would also make it more profitable for me to do the high fee jobs than they are now at my current tax rate.