An inside look into Roamler’s IT department

As a Roamler you are often busy with the Roamler app. It is therefore important that it functions as well as possible. In order to ensure the Roamler app works properly, several people work on the app and the associated systems on a daily basis. In this blog Jasmine from Roamler’s IT team tells how they operate! Curious? Then read along!

So, tell us – who are you, when did you start at Roamler and what is your job at Roamler?

My name is Jasmine and I am a Senior QA Engineer at Roamler.
My interests range from Test Engineering, Software Testing and improving softwares, to writing, painting and reading. I am also a ‘nerd’; interested in languages, Star Wars and technology.
I began my journey at Roamler on the 1st of May 2018, when I became part of the IT team at Roamler HQ in Amsterdam. My responsibilities include testing the Roamler Admin Portal (where your tasks are managed) and the Roamler App, as well as improving quality and giving feedback about the testing efforts to the developers.

What does the job ‘QA Engineer / Tester’ exactly mean?

Keeping the scope of IT in mind, it is someone who checks/tests the software that is being developed to ensure that it behaves as expected, before it goes out to the actual user.

What does your team look like? How do you work together?

Me, along with the other Tester, are shared by two teams that work for the IT department at Roamler; the backend-team (whose responsibility is the development of the Roamler Admin Portal) and the mobile-app team (whose responsibility is the development and maintenance of the Roamler App).
Together we ensure that the Roamler systems are working like a well oiled machine.

How is it to work at Roamler and what’s the most fun part of your job as tester?

Working at Roamler is exciting and always something that gives me a reason to get out of my bed and go to the office (well, technically it’s my alarm :P).
But the most fun part of my job as a QA Engineer is working with a team that is so incredibly talented, humourous and kind. This, coupled with the satisfaction of working on a product that aims to make a difference in the world.

Can you tell us something about the process from “bug report to fixed bug”?

Once a bug is reported by a Roamler, it is sent to the QA/Tester to be reproduced on the test set-up we have. We try to see if we can ‘create’ the exact same problem.
Once the steps to reproduce the issue are established, a developer works on finding a viable solution and implements it. This solution is then checked and tested by the QA/Tester again, who gives the seal of approval.
Only once all steps are done, the bug is counted as FIXED.

Why can it sometimes be that what a Roamler encounters is not fixable within a sec / days?

Because the bug that a Roamler encounters needs to be investigated first to find the root cause. Only then we can start working on a sustainable but viable solution, followed by tests to check if the fix was good enough or not. Once the fix is given the green flag, it is lined up for implementation to the “live” Roamler environment, the one you – as a Roamler – use! The speed of this implementation is done depending on the importance of the issue; if it is a high risk issue, then it is pushed as soon as possible, if it is not, then it is pushed to the live environment with the next scheduled release. Which can sometimes be multiple days.
Also, while we are able to fix some issues quickly because the solution is easy, we are also working on new features that need attention and work. Thus, often the time to fix a bug/issue that a Roamler encounters varies and can therefore not always be fixed instantly.

What feature of the app do you think Roamlers should really use?

I think Roamlers should use the in-app payments, the task gallery and the app pincode – because security is number 1 priority!

Do you have any last tips for Roamlers that encounter bugs / things with the app?

When you encounter problems with the app, send in a bug report as soon as possible (settings – about – ‘report a problem’). The sooner you send a bug report after the undesired app behaviour, the better we can find out what happened, when. Or drop us a line about the behaviour you see, through the messages centre in the app. Also, screenshot or record the irregular behavior if possible. Investigating the problem becomes much easier when there are screenshots and/or screen recordings (note: you may only e-mail these by request of your local support team).

Kelly’s manual to becoming a top Roamler

We have never seen such a fast and enthusiastic response as when we asked Roamler Kelly to write about her Roamler experiences and how she became a top Roamler, performing a lot of paid tasks. Specially for you, she created a manual on how to become a top Roamler.

“The first thing you need to understand is that Roamler is for anyone! ABSOLUTELY ANYONE! As long as you can take a photo with your phone and become familiar with the app, it really is that simple.”

First things first: Grab a code
If you have no Roamler contacts start by looking on the internet. At times there are random codes you could try, that’s how I started. I found a code on a Twitter feed and it worked! Check out Roamler social media pages, ask around and you’re bound to get lucky!
To ensure Roamler receives good quality submissions, there are some unpaid tasks that need to be completed when you’re just starting out. Even though they are unpaid they are very beneficial as you are learning as you complete them. Staffs are on hand pretty much instantly when you submit them to offer feedback and encouragement. It is possible to get these done quickly, just take notice of the instructions and recommendations. It’s all there settling you up for success in your future paid tasks!

Let me tell you about my experience…
Personally, I am not a tech-savvy, but it was getting close to Christmas and I wanted to get a couple of special presents and some dreaded bills paid. I wanted the cash quickly and without any hassle.
I’d read a few things online about Roamler and I must admit I was skeptical. However, I was also intrigued. I didn’t have anything to lose so I thought I’ll give it a go. I found what I thought was a dormant code online but it worked!
I set it up via the app and started to power through the level 1 tasks. I was surprised I enjoyed completing them. What felt even better, was how fast I received feedback, encouragement and advice from really nice staff members. The initial training tasks are quick and simple. One of them even gives you the opportunity to provide Roamler feedback. These tasks took no time but I did them when I could over a couple of days.

Then came the paid tasks!
I have a son at nursery so my time is rather limited to during the day. However, I still managed some very impressive earnings! And it all adds up. I haven’t been performing Roamler tasks very long but the tasks I choose were mainly a combination of tasks in supermarkets, small stores and pubs.
In all honesty, I successfully completed 95%. The other 5% were rejected because I had not followed the instructions as I should have. A couple of times I announced myself as I should have and I was asked not to complete the task. As completely frustrating and annoying as this is my best advice is to say thanks anyway and move on. What’s important to take away from this when it happens, is that it most likely is more to do with them and not you! Roamler will also add a few pounds to your balance for this inconvenience.

Kelly successfully completed more than 100 tasks since the end of 2017. She has a few tips to share:

• When completing the tasks try and find an approach that works for you, but read the advice and instructions given by Roamler in the task.
• Think carefully about your ability to complete the task, once booked you can cancel it. However, you can’t immediately pick it back up if you choose to do it once more.
• I like to check the app first thing after dropping my son off and plan a logical route, that works for my time restraints.
• Set your goals and enjoy it!!!

As I said I went flat out before Christmas as I needed to pay for some extras fairly quickly. In January I took a break as my son was on holidays. After that, I started again as more bills came in as well as birthdays were coming up! All I can say is it helped tremendously and the staff are quick to respond and very nice, give it a go you have nothing to lose but cash to be gained!

“Get into the habit of taking photos of multiple viewpoints when given the opportunity.”

Sarah started in April 2017 as a reviewer at Roamler. Besides reviewing, she teaches English and edits videos. At the time of the interview, she is a level 3 Roamler. Her biggest tip for Roamlers: double check your photos, making sure they are sharp and you are sending photos of products and not the floor.

How did you get started at Roamler?
I was looking for a flexible and international-oriented job when I came across Roamler. The concept of mystery shopping was new to me and I was intrigued by the innovative idea that the average person could actively contribute to market research via their mobile phone, influencing the way consumers and businesses interact with each other. I was excited to become a part of this movement.

What tasks do you prefer to review and why?
I like the creative tasks the best because they’re more personal. One of the best parts about this job is the interaction with the app users and having the chance to get to know each other better.

Did you ever make a mistake with reviewing and what happened?
For tasks in which either a bonus reward or reimbursement is added to the payment, I have a few times accidentally accepted a task before adding the appropriate payment. I usually catch on to this right away, so I go to the user’s profile and add the amount manually.

What do you like best and what is most difficult about your job at Roamler?
Interacting with friendly and polite Roamlers always makes my day. Besides that, I love that by working at Roamler I can become a more aware consumer regarding marketing strategies and the relationships between a variety of different brands. While some tasks can be rather tedious to review, the most difficult part of my job is actually resolving a variety of issues and complaints that Roamlers may have. Most problems are simple misunderstandings or technical issues that are quick to sort out. However, sometimes a problem may take a while to resolve or we may have to give disappointing news, which is never fun for either party. Fellow Roamlers, your frustrations are also our frustrations. We care about what you think, so we do take your feedback seriously. Our intention is to be fair and reasonable, not mean and stingy.

What would you like Roamlers to know about your work as a reviewer?
We are people too. We truly want to help create a positive atmosphere and improve your experience as a Roamler. Don’t be rude to us; please communicate as if we were speaking face to face. We take all comments and feedback seriously, but we’ll feel less motivated to take you seriously if you are disrespectful.

What mistakes do you come across often?
A lot of Roamlers don’t double check their photos. Sometimes they take a ‘blank’ picture (e.g. of the floor) with the intention of returning to it later to take a better picture, but then forget about it. Other times, the pictures are either too blurry or contradict the Roamler’s answers. It is tempting and easy to just click ‘next’ or ‘send’, but do know that without double checking your photos, there is a higher risk that you’ve made a mistake without realising it.

These mistakes can be prevented by a double check of a photo’s sharpness by zooming in. Keep in mind that the photo quality may degrade when they are sent to us, meaning that just because you can read a label when you zoom all the way in doesn’t necessarily mean that we can too.

Second, take pictures of at least something (i.e. not the floor), even when the requested product or location is unavailable. When you’re given multiple photo opportunities, take them from as many different viewpoints as possible. Generally, the more we can see within or around a store, the better the submission. This is a great habit to get into!

Do you have tips for Roamlers on performing (more) paid tasks?
It is often a good idea to wait for feedback before performing a lot of the same task for the first. Wait until we’ve reviewed at least one or two of your tasks, then you know if you’re doing something wrong or not. If you are in a rush, you can ask for your task to be prioritised. We cannot guarantee that your task will be looked at right away, as it depends on how many submissions we receive and which tasks take priority for our clients. However, it never hurts to ask.

Although we love it when Roamlers are dedicated enough to travel farther out for tasks, please understand that this can be riskier. It is better to perform Roamler tasks in locations that you typically visit anyway (e.g. holiday, job). If you do decide to make a trip for Roamler only, there please go with reasonable expectations to avoid disappointment. For example, a location may be closed or you may be turned away by staff, both of which result in a lower reward.

You may also be stuck in traffic and end up spending more time and money on petrol than you originally calculated. It could also be that a task disappears before you have time to reserve it, usually either due to another Roamler reserving it first or due to our quota being reached. If you are aware of and don’t mind these risks, then by all means, Roamler on!

Anything else you want to share?
Aside from understanding the above risks, please have reasonable expectations for other things as well. We do our best to be fair in giving out rewards based on the client’s needs, how many locations we need to visit, how many active Roamlers there are, how much time and effort is expected per visit, and so on. Moreover, when waiting for a task to be reviewed, please understand that as a non-robotic service we are unable to provide you with a complete 24-hour service.

Overall, the best wisdom I can offer is what I have learned from Roamlers themselves: Some of the best performing and most satisfied Roamlers understand that it’s not only about the money; they are also motivated by getting some exercise, fresh air, and improving their awareness as a consumer. In other words, don’t spend too much of your energy on money alone, or else you’re more likely to feel frustrated when things don’t go your way.

 

What to do if…

What to do if…

A Location is closed?

If you arrive at a location which turns out to be closed, the first thing you do is checking the opening times of the store. Make sure you always check the official website or Facebook page of the location, as Google can sometimes show incorrect opening times.
It’s best to always check the opening times before you leave.
What if a store is really closed, either permanently or temporarily (e.g. when it’s under refurbishment)?
Unless the task has a question for this (e.g. ‘Can you perform the task at this location?), you can fill in ‘fake’ answers to allow you to get through the task. Always use every photo option to take a photo of the outside of the store.
When you reach the last comment question, please explain the situation to us as detailed as possible and submit the task.
A location is also considered closed if:
– The name of the store has changed (e.g. the location in the app says Tesco, but it is now a Sainsbury’s)

– The store has moved to another address. In this case you do not visit the new address, but you take photos of the address mentioned in the app.

A product isn’t there?

In tasks we often ask you to take photos of specific products. For instance, we will ask: ‘Please take a photo of Twinings English Breakfast (50 bags) on the shelf. Please ensure you take a photo of the entire bay, captured from top to bottom.’
It can happen that this product is not sold at the location you’re visiting (no stock and no price label). Sometimes the question in the app tells you what to do in that case. When it doesn’t, you always use the photo question to capture the place where you would expect the product to be.

In this case, you would take an overview photo of the tea section in the store. When we are reviewing your submission, we will check the overview photo to see if we can find the Twinings English Breakfast (50 bags), or if you’re correct and the product is not in the assortment of this store.

You are experiencing issues with the app?

Of course there are different types of issues, with different types of solutions. Always read the error message if you get one, as it often tells you what is wrong and how to solve it.

If you do not receive an error message, there are still several things you can try.
If you are in the middle of completing or submitting at task, always try the following:
– Check if your GPS is switched on, and refresh it
– Switch from using Wifi to mobile data, or…
– Switch from using mobile data to Wifi
– Make sure you have a strong internet connection or go someplace where you do have a strong internet connection to submit the task
– If the above does not work, send our team a message via the message function in the app and we will try to help you
If you are not in the middle of completing or submitting at task, always try the following:
– Check if you are connected to the internet
– Check if your GPS is switched on and refresh it
– Close the app completely (not running in background) and open again
– Log out off the Roamler app and log back in
– Delete the app and reinstall it (this will not affect your account)- If the above does not work, send our team a message via the message function in the app and we will try to help you.

You are approached by staff?

A lot of the Roamler tasks are mystery guest tasks. These are tasks in which you cannot announce yourself to the staff, but have to remain a mystery guest.

It can sometimes happen that you are approached by a member of staff or a security guard. In that case you politely explain what you are doing. Explain that you are here on behalf of Roamler (if needed, explain what Roamler is and does). Always remain polite and professional.
Often the member of staff will allow you to continue with your task. In that case, please thank them and carry on.
It can also happen that the member of staff will not allow you to continue, and will ask you to leave. If this happens, you always do so. Please thank them for their time and leave the store. Do not under any circumstance start an argument or discussion. The store owner and their staff have the right to ask you to leave.
Some tips:
– Always dress representatively. Many Roamler notice this increases their chances of being allowed to continue with a task.
– Always be polite to the members of staff (and others), as they will be more likely to help you.
– Be prepared, know and understand what you are going to do in store. This way you can clearly explain when you are approached by staff.
– Make sure you are never in the way of customers or staff.

– A tip to avoid being approached at all: Look confident and act confident. And if possible, always take a shopping cart or basket with you, this will make you look like a regular shopper.

You are sent away?

You are sent away, either because you were approached by staff, as mentioned before, or because the member of staff did not allow you to complete the call when you came to sign in at the store. What to do now?

As mentioned before, you always leave. Please thank the member of staff for their time and leave the store. Do not under any circumstance start an argument or discussion. The store owner and their staff have the right to ask you to leave.
Completing the task when you are sent away is much like when the store is closed. You can continue through the task by entering ‘fake’ answers, and taking photos from the outside of the store. It may be best to take these from an angle, so you won’t be visible from the inside of the store. Never take photos of the floor!

When you reach the last comment question, please explain the situation to us as detailed as possible and submit the task.

Roamler as a confidence booster

“Roamler has been a great way of helping to boost my confidence again after a very low point and it has helped me financially too.”

This interview with Jennifer is packed with tips on how to make the best of performing tasks with Roamler.

Why did you join Roamler?
I have been running a photography business on the side for years. I photograph mainly weddings and properties for sale, and while these happen all year round, they are primarily seasonal, so there isn’t much going on in the winter months.
I got a new job, but it wasn’t what I was told it would be; instead of having twice as much income as I normally would, I was left with nothing. Looking for opportunities to earn money, I came across Roamler and it seemed like it would fit perfectly with my business. I had time and needed money, so I joined.

How do you perform tasks?
Whenever I’ve got a photo shoot gig, I check the app for Roamler tasks in the area I can perform before or after the shoot. And when I have no photography gig, I check my phone from time to time in a day, for Roamler tasks I might be able to do. This keeps me occupied in my free time.

Before leaving the house, I make sure my phone is fully charged and keep my phone cable in the car, just in case. When carrying out several tasks, I work out a route first then accept as many tasks as I can before taking off. And as I complete and submit tasks, I accept new ones.

The last time I drove 250 miles to Cornwall, I made a list of clustered jobs that weren’t too far off my route and gave myself a couple of hours extra time to do them on my journey. Luckily, no one accepted any of those jobs before I was in the area, so I managed to complete them all and made almost enough money to cover my diesel costs for the whole drive.

Have you got tips for new Roamlers?
If you are going to do your first paid task, don’t worry. It is natural to be a little nervous the first time. I remember my first task, it was quite nerve racking! Am I going to do it right? Will it get accepted? Will I get challenged by staff about what I’m doing?

My advice would be to start with a quick, basic task that doesn’t require any staff interaction if that makes you feel more comfortable. It won’t be long before you feel more confident! Roamler has been a great way to boost my self-confidence after a very low point, and it has helped me financially too.

Another tip is checking your photos. It took me more time than I’d like to admit to realize, that by tapping the image you’ve taken in the task, you can zoom in on it to check sharpness. It is worth doing this, especially on photos of things like a whole bay in a supermarket, where it’s nearly impossible to tell critical sharpness from a small photo. If you think it might not be good enough, just try it again.


Any advice for Roamlers seeking to be a bit more active?

Supermarket tasks come up quite regularly, so I try and wait to do my supermarket shopping until a task comes up that I can go and do at the same time. This makes it much more worthwhile and viable financially.
If you’re going on a trip, take a look at the map to see what tasks are located on or near your route. I’ve found that doing tasks on the journey to other things and places, rather than only performing tasks near my house, has probably amounted to a third or more of the tasks I’ve undertaken! It’s also a real help in clawing back some of the expense of fuel for the car.

For any jobs in town, high streets consider potential parking costs if you plan on driving to get there. Many towns have no available on-street parking and car parks are costly, so you need to take this into consideration when a job pops up.
Sometimes it might not be viable to do one task, but if there were several jobs in town or the remuneration is higher, it might be!

My last bit of advice: at some point, you’ll probably come across a task that makes you want to scream and bash your head against the wall. I have had one task like that where I had about a 50% acceptance rate, compared to nearly 100% for everything else, and it seemed like each time I tried it again there was something else wrong. It was not worth the frustration, anger, time and fuel. Sometimes you need to know when to admit defeat and I’ve sworn never to do that task again if it reappears!

Lastly, I have some tips on how to avoid rejection:
Zoom in on your photos to check if they are sharp. If there’s anything you are unsure about, or anything unexpected, make sure you write this in the last additional question of the task. When you are unsure about something, ask for clarification in the messages in the app! They might not always get back to you in time, but it’s always worth trying.

‘With some Roamlers I have the feeling I know them’

Merel is a level 5 Roamler and has been a reviewer at Roamler for the past 2.5 years. During
that time she reviewed around 60.000 tasks and became an expert in recognising
products on the submitted photos as well as in supermarkets during her grocery
shopping.

 

How did you get started at Roamler?
I heard about the app 3 years ago on an online forum and I it got my interest directly.
“What great concept, I want to know more about that!” Soon I got an invite code and I got through level 1 in 1 day.

I performed tasks on a weekly basis, but I wasn’t an extremely active Roamler. When a task ‘Become a reviewer’ appeared in the app, I didn’t hesitate in performing the task, because I wanted to have a look behind the scenes at Roamler! I have been working as a reviewer for 2,5 years and are a level 5 Roamler.

Besides Roamler, I study accountancy and I hope to finish these studies shortly. Next to that I have my own horse, so I spend a lot of time on that as well. I have competitions all over the Netherlands and sometimes in Germany and Belgium, so it is a pretty serious hobby.

What tasks do you prefer to review and why?
I absolutely enjoy reviewing the paid tasks most and in particular the Roamler merchandising tasks (tasks where Roamlers fix stock, mirror shelves or set up displays. These merchandising tasks are not available in all Roamler countries). Especially when I review lots of tasks of one project, I already get an idea what the results of that particular project will be and how products or promotions are placed in stores. In these instances I become a bit of an expert on some products.

During these years I have seen so many submissions that I recognise most products, yes even when I walk through a store myself. I can’t do grocery shopping in a normal manner anymore, I constantly look around checking promotions etc.

Did you ever made a mistake with reviewing?
Sure, I think all reviewers made mistakes at some point, we are human after all. Luckily I never made a really big mistake. I think when I was a new reviewer, I made a lot of mistakes by accepting tasks that should have been rejected. I learned a lot from this.

What do you like best about your job at Roamler?
I like the contact with Roamlers and the diversity of the tasks. There are many different tasks, which teaches me something new every time. The contact with Roamlers is really divers, because there are so many different Roamlers out there. With some Roamler I really get the feeling of knowing them, because I interact with them often in the app, I like that part of my job!

What I enjoy about the reviewing as well, is that I became much quicker as a Roamler myself. I see hundreds of tasks on my screen because of the Roamler submissions, so I know the questions by heart and can perform a task really quickly in a store.

What is most difficult about your job at Roamler?
That’s a difficult question. I think it is the part when I have to reject a submission. I know how much work it is to perform certain tasks, but I have to reject the submission, because it is really not good enough to sent to the customer.
Reviewers don’t like to reject submissions, but sometimes it is the only option. The customer wants the submissions and it would be great for everybody if we could except everything, but we need to maintain a high quality for customers so they want to work with us because of the quality of the data.

What mistakes do you find when reviewing?
The mistakes that I encounter most often are mostly small and simple mistakes. Either the number of shelves or metres or shelves are counted incorrectly because the question has not been read thoroughly.
This can be prevented to really read the questions before you answer them. Most mistakes I see are listed in the task description. It might cost you a bit more time for the first submissions of a check, because you need to read it carefully, but in the end you will save a lot of time, because those submissions won’t be rejected.

Do you have tips on Roamlers on performing (more) paid tasks?
Personally I prefer to visit multiple locations for the same project. That way you are trained for that specific task and you can become very quick at performing it, because you know what is required. That way you become quicker and quicker at performing tasks!

Anything else?
Keep up the good work Roamlers! There have been so many different types of tasks in the Netherlands recently and I like to see that every Roamler has their preferred type of tasks and that some Roamlers are becoming a real expert on those tasks!

See you in the app soon!

The Rainbow Homes Project

Introducing: The Rainbow Homes Project
At Roamler we believe in creating opportunities for people, wherever you are, in
order for you to live the life you want. With this in mind, we chose to support a
project called: The Rainbow Homes.

About the project
The Rainbow homes project is a program managed by the non-governmental
Rainbow Foundation in India. In partnership with the Dutch based B2B charity,
Net4kids, the Rainbow homes provide comprehensive care to homeless girls on
the streets of India. Although the concept is relatively new, it is cost-effective and
provides these girls a chance at a better life.

How does Roamler make a difference?
For the next three years, Roamler will match and donate 1% of all Roamlers’
earnings, towards the Rainbow homes project. With a minimum commitment of
40,000 euro per year, we will be able to help 47 girls find a home and access to an
education. Furthermore, every additional 830 euros on this amount will be used to
admit one more girl to a Rainbow home.

Why Roamler chose this project
Our aim for taking up a CSR project was not to join the list of socially responsible
companies, but rather to find opportunities that align with our mission to create
opportunities for people. We were intentional in creating a symbolic relationship
between our company and a CSR project. We are proud to have successfully
linked our CSR efforts to one of our core corporate value-sharing opportunities.

In conclusion
The Rainbow foundation works together with Net4kids to provide shelter and
education to more than 370 girls per year. The aim of this project is to extend
opportunities for a better future to the millions of homeless girls living on the
streets of India. Since its inception in 2002, it has reached over 8000 girls, living on
the streets of India.

We decided it was time our company to extend opportunities to less fortunate
communities and contribute towards making the difference in their future.
Starting in 2018 and for the next three years, Roamler will be supporting the
Rainbow home project.

Anxiety at the supermarket?

Has the thought of pulling our your phone to take a picture at the supermarket caused hesitation or stopped you entirely from performing paid tasks? In this article Roamler intern Jonathan will cover some techniques which may help you overcome the issues you may have at the supermarket.

In one occasion in my youth I remember pulling out my camera to take a picture of a comically large bottle of Heineken. I was unfamiliar with this particular size of bottle and wanted to show my friends that such a thing existed. After being relatively pleased with myself for getting a good shot, a security guard came up to me and stated that “You aren’t allowed to take pictures here.” This quick interaction caused my delicate ego to retreat back into my shell and took all the fun out of the experience.

Now, many years later I have this great opportunity to earn money in a quick and low commitment way but the trauma of this bad experience is causing me to hesitate.

Prepare in advance
It’s better if you solidify what you are about to do at the task location before you go there as UK Roamler Paul explains in his tips. This entails reading the app description and being aware of what you have to do beforehand. You could prepare materials in advance as well, such as printing a statement which explains to anyone with questions what you are doing. Start with a charged phone and bring an extra charger if plan a big route with lots of tasks. Being prepared frees up much mental space which you could use to perform the task in a more relaxed manner.

Reduce anxiety
If anxiety becomes too much in the moment, the first thing you should do is to clear your mind and take a few deep breaths. Ample time is given to perform tasks so you should consider running out of time as a stressor in this situation.
Some long term actions to reduce anxiety could help you perform better with tasks. Such as meditating, getting enough sleep, organizing your personal space, etc.

Be respectful and receive respect
You should also note that employees have to represent their companies in a respectful and appropriate manner so feel free to engage with them since are required to treat you well.
Each trip to the supermarket will be different, sometimes you may get asked what you are doing, other times your presence will go unnoticed. In the end it is always best to respect the boundaries that others set and withdraw from the store if you are not allowed to continue. In that case the best thing to do is submit what you could complete and describe as detailed as possible what difficulties occurred.

Roamler Vince: Investing with Roamler earnings

Can you tell us something about yourself?
I am Vince, 22 years old and I live in Groningen, in the northern Netherlands. I have been an active Roamler for about 1 year now. I study International Relations at the University of Groningen and I am supervisor at a market research agency.  With Roamler I earn some extra money.

“I noticed it is not a bad thing to be noticed by an employee”

How was it to do your first paid job in a store?
“Well, that was pretty exciting. I was especially nervous because I did not know what to say if I would be addressed. In the beginning I did my best not to be recognized. Now I am more confident and I have noticed that it is not a bad thing if you are noticed by an employee sometimes.”

How often do you do perform Roamler tasks?
“That differs every day. It mainly depends on the available tasks. Sometimes I perform 5 tasks in 1 day and at some points I do not perform any tasks for 3 days in a row.”

Do you have a saving target for your Roamler earnings?
“Yes, I started investing a while ago and I deposit all my Roamler earnings on my investment account. So with the Roamler earnings I have mainly bought bonds and shares.”

What are concrete tips for Roamlers who want to perform their first paid task?
“My biggest tip is related to your nerves; just go and do it! Once. Try it. It is not the end of the world to be approached by an employee. In the worst case you cannot perform the task, but I have rarely experienced that. In addition, make sure that you take sharp pictures and read the task description well. Roamler can be quite strict.”

What are your concrete tips for Roamlers who want to do more tasks?
“Take the bus or train to another city once. Next to Groningen, I regularly perform tasks in Assen. For me that is 15 minutes by train, but there are often a lot of tasks available there.”

Do you have an example of a mistake you made at Roamler, so your assignment was rejected and that you could give as a tip to other Roamlers?
“Unfortunately, my tasks are sometimes rejected.  Recently I had to take photos of a Pampers promotion and I mistakenly took a photo of the wrong type of diapers.  Always read the instructions carefully and double check everything. If you do not agree with how your task is reviewed, you can explain why you performed the task the way you did.  If they made a mistake, your task will be accepted.”

“Explain well and clearly what your goal is when performing Roamler merchandising tasks.”

Which tasks do you prefer and why?
“There are quite a few tasks that I like to do, but I do have 2 favourites; both merchandising tasks. The first task I liked is the Red Bull Check, the second is the ‘Stoomboot/open haard’ tasks during Sinterklaas. The Red Bull Check is often listed in the app; are easy to perform and have a nice reward. The Sinterklaas task only happens once a year, but the reward was high; 40 euro! I liked to assemble a whole boat.

Is there a difference between Roamler merchandising and other Roamler tasks?
“There certainly is a big difference between Roamler merchandising and other Roamler tasks.  For the Roamler merchandising tasks you always introduce yourself and you can always perform the task.  These tasks also have a better reward compared to the other tasks. Make sure to have your ID card with you, print out the introduction letter, bring the business cards and explain WELL and CLEARLY what your goal is. Often the employee is not aware of your arrival, even if you have permission from the head office.

Tips from Top Roamlers #2

A few weeks ago we published a blog post with the best tips from experienced Roamlers in the categories App and Photos. For part two, we are sharing all the best tips in the categories Strategy, Reading and Other! 

Strategy

Many Roamlers recommend you check the app at certain times. For instance, check it as soon as you wake up, as some of the tasks go live as early as 7 am. You will always be one of the first!
They also recommend you check the app during your lunch break. You may be able to earn the money for your lunch by completing a task, and simultaneously get some fresh air.
Another good time to check the app for tasks is when travelling to and from destinations, as tasks that were not initially visible because they were outside of your search range, may now be visible.
If you see a task you want to complete, accept it before setting off to the location. If you don’t, another Roamler may have accepted the task once you get to the location! Remember, the higher your level, the more tasks you can accept at one time.

Have an excuse prepared before entering the location. If you are approached and questioned by the staff, a fast and confident reply will defuse the situation. Always be polite to the customer service agents and other members of staff, as they will be more likely to help you.
A bit daunted by the possibility of being approached by the staff? The more tasks you complete, the more your confidence will increase.
A tip to avoid being approached at all: Look confident and act confident. And if possible, always take a shopping cart or basket with you.

Reading

When we asked the experienced Roamlers for the best Roamler tips, we received one answer more than any other: Read well. And for good reason! The vast majority of the tasks that we have to reject, are rejected because the submitter did not read well enough. That is why we always stress the importance of reading carefully!

This starts even before you accept the task. Read the task description well, so you know exactly what the task entails and if that is something you would like to do. As many Roamlers point out, the better you understand the task, the fewer issues you will have.
When you have accepted the task, take your time reading every question carefully. Some Roamlers even read every question twice. Some questions may be similar but are asking for specific details. By ensuring you know exactly what is expected, there is a better chance that the task will be completed correctly and your efforts will be rewarded.
It often pays off to go back through the task once you’ve reached the end, and read all the questions and your answers again, to ensure you didn’t miss anything and to correct mistakes.

Reading carefully may take some extra time, but if you don’t, you will miss the little details and ultimately it saves you time if your submission does not get rejected!

Other

Before you set off for a location you do not visit regularly, always check the opening times to ensure you visit it during the opening hours. Also check if the location is still open, and not permanently closed. If you visit a location outside of the opening times, Roamler will not be able to reward you. You will have to come back during the opening times to perform the task.

If a location is permanently closed, you can send the team a message in the app and we will ensure the location does not show up again. You can also choose to accept the task and visit the location. In that case you will need to enter ‘fake’ answers in the task and take a photos of the location, proving it is permanently closed. Your task will be accepted, and you will be rewarded £2 for your efforts (unless stated otherwise in the task).

If you have any doubts about your submission or if there was a notable situation when you performed the task, always leave a comment in the last question of the task explaining your concerns or the situation. The reviewer will read this and will then better understand the situation.

Submitted your task but forgot to add an important comment? Quickly send us a message in the app with your comment, and mention the task and the address.

Are you experiencing issues with the app? Most of these issues can be solved by closing the app and opening it again. Logging out and in again may also fix the problems. If that does not help, deleting the app and downloading it again will usually do the trick.
If even that does not work, message the team via the app (or, if that is no longer accessible, via Facebook or UKsupport@roamler.com) and we will find the solution!