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Mystery Shopping Discussion

How many shops do you do in a month?
Posts:159
How many shops do the more experienced shoppers do in a month? My rent is a small amount, but it would be nice to make it through shops.

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 04, 2013 12:59AM
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Posts:1,383
I think this depends on the shopper, the area shopped and the number of companies where the shopper is registered. I've signed on with just about every company on Jacob's and the MSPA lists. You also must realize that the first several months you are in a learning curve and as you do more shops you become more efficient. I feel now that after seriously doing this for the past year and half I'm shopping smarter, more efficiently and earning twice what I made last year. And I'm not having to work as hard as I did last year. I'm also finding that signing up with all the MSC's I could, jobs are starting to come to me. I shoot for $400 a month and when I get that, I'm pleased. That does not, of course, count the reimbursements for food which help considerably with the food budget.
August 04, 2013 01:07AM
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Posts:159
Ah, I'm shooting for $500 INCLUDING reimbursements. That's enough to pay my rent, Internet, storage bin and put some into savings. Is that realistic for a newbie?

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 04, 2013 01:26AM
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Posts:290
Yes
August 04, 2013 01:55AM
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Posts:206
ugh I would love to make $100/week in mystery shops!
I'm an experienced shopper, been doing this off and on for years. But the market is not so great around here and even after signing up with lots of places I'm not finding much. And I refuse to do shops that are more hassle than they are worth, or don't pay minimum wage.
But at least I'm making something...
Average probably 5-12 shops a month. Pitiful.
August 04, 2013 02:47AM
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Posts:4,118
Inkling, unless you are in an isolated rural area with no large towns you have a very good chance to earn $500 and up. I earn anywhere from $500 to $1500 shopping part time, depending on how much I want to work. The key is to sign up with lots of companies and to develop your skill set.
August 04, 2013 06:48AM
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Posts:325
More importantly - your rent, Internet, storage and savings deposit comes to $500????? Where do you live, and do you want a roommate????
August 04, 2013 09:11AM
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Posts:261
My average is 35-40 shops/month, but I've done as many as 170 in one month and as few as 6 (when I was going through some health issues). I work a full-time job, as well, and consider MS my second full-time job.
August 04, 2013 09:56AM
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Posts:2,921
At the beginning of this year, I was averaging between 60 and 70 shops per month and earning about $900 per month. I had 41 shops in July and came close to the $900. For August, I have 19 shops so far and have the same $900. I'm finding that I'm getting fewer shops but I'm getting higher paying shops.

In the interest of full disclosure, in July I had 7 video shops, and August has 6 video shops so far. Of course, that was also an investment of about $850 between the video equipment and 2 modified shirts.

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Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"If things come easy, there is no premium on effort. There should be joy in the chase, zest in the pursuit." Branch Rickey, President, Brooklyn Dodgers 1942-1950

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein
August 04, 2013 11:31AM
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Posts:159
Chigirl77 - I was in Evansville, IN. It's on the border of Kentucky. You can easily rent a house for 500. I'm currently looking for a shared place, and my rent shouldn't be more than 400 with utilities. My last HOUSE was 350 and shared with one other person. That place was HUGE! I alone paid the Internet, and aside from the ridiculous install fee, it was $35 a month. My storage bin by my parents home in northwest Indiana(where I am for the month of August) Is $49 after tax grinning smiley So, my expenses were a total of $435/mo. for COMFORTABLE living.

Also, when I first signed up for shops, I was in Evansville. I actually found more work out there than I did here and it was easier to get around without a car.

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 04, 2013 11:49AM
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Posts:2,205
I'm guessing that if you live in a area with affordable rent, your options for high-paying shops may probably be lesser than urban areas. I think it would be relatively easy to make $500/mo shopping in Los Angeles, but the expense of living here is much greater.

If you have an option to find additional work in another field, I think that may be a good option if paired with shopping. I find it MUCH easier to take shops that offset my other living expenses (dining, groceries, dry-cleaning, pet food, oil changes, etc.) than to directly earn the equivalent of that in shopping fees.

Also, keep in mind that if you are working FT as a shopper, it may drive your living expenses up. Many shops require a car and lots of driving! Add to that the internet, printing, scanning, faxing, photo and computer requirements and it gets expensive.
August 04, 2013 12:16PM
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Posts:313
Not counting the hotel shops Which varies from months to months. Between husband and wife here only part time, mainly week end. We get $1.500.00 a month average.

expect the unexpected
August 04, 2013 12:18PM
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Posts:73
I use MS'ing as my second job, as I also work full time. I average anywhere from 40-70 shops per month, depending on how much I want to work, and how many weekends there are in a month (as I can obviously do more on the weekends). I usually make around $600 or $700 a month, but have gotten up to $1,000.

Unfortunately, living in the big city of Chicago, this comes no where CLOSE to paying my mortgage and utilities combined, but it is a great way to earn some extra money!
August 04, 2013 12:23PM
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Posts:159
I work as a content writer as well.

Also Bedenji - I'm on the outskirts of Chicago until the end of August. I go up to Millennium Park all the time to write and people watch.

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 04, 2013 12:58PM
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Posts:804
I average between 70-90 shops each month, some more, some less. In July I only did 46 shops, but was away for 10 days and slowed down a lot in preparation for traveling, packing etc. This month I have over 40 scheduled already. In June I did 95 shops. My goal is $1000 per month in fees, but I usually average much more than that+ reimbursements. I am fortunate to have an abundance of shops in my area and can pick and choose. I've noticed, however, that there must be a few shoppers in my locale lately since many shops in my hometown and close vicinity disappear quickly....Hello, North Jersey shoppers...are you there?? There's plenty for all of us. I'm going to do one of my favs right now.....buy liquor. Easy and well paid and I get me a nice bottle of Chardonnay...yippee

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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around....What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?
August 04, 2013 01:03PM
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Posts:1,960
I think I do about 40 shops a month and I budget for $1,500.00. I've never made less than that but frequently make more. Last month was $2,150.00 but it was a record month for me. My daughter is a student in another town and she mystery shops about 15-20 shops a month and I believe she makes around $500-$800.00.

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I'm not from round these parts...
August 04, 2013 01:32PM
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Posts:206
15-20 shops and a minimum of $500? Man I live in the wrong area!
August 04, 2013 02:24PM
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Posts:159
I think if its done right, it can be done. The day I came up here I got an email for $50 on an arch shop about 20 min away from where I was staying. I don't think its common though.

$2,150 is impressive, especially on 40 shops. Do you do mostly retail or luxury shops?
I'd love to make that, especially with my other job on top of it... I could afford that house I want in no time!

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 04, 2013 02:53PM
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Posts:14,883
My per shop average has increased significantly over the years so it can be done. And yes I video shop, but there are months where my only videos are 4 recurring FF shops. Obviously those alone are not what is keeping my average so high. My area is really good so most months my lowest paying gigs will be $20.

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It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
August 04, 2013 03:23PM
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Posts:1,960
inkling $2150 is the most I've ever made and it included $800 in video shops. However, if I hadn't been doing them that week I would have been doing other shops and probably made around $350-$400 for that week. So I usually come in around $1500 - $1600. No there's no luxury shops in that. I just plan my routes very carefully and don't accept shops that pay below a certain amount. Like most of the others here I'm registered with many companies and although I'm in a rural area I'm 30 minutes from three small to medium towns and an hour away from a large city. It's not uncommon for me to cross state lines looking for shops and I can easily do 2000 miles a month which for me is around $200 in case. If you deduct that I'm probably looking at closer to $1300- $1400 a month for around 40 shops. I went through my spreadsheet recently and calculated that I make an average of $35 a shop. That's taking my $15 shops and my $50 shops and putting them all together and then averaging them out.

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I'm not from round these parts...
August 04, 2013 03:59PM
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Posts:325
Inkling: sorry you're leaving Chicago, it's a great town, isn't it?? If it's convenient for you, why don't you go on ahead and leave me all your MSC contacts... grinning smiley
August 04, 2013 04:48PM
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Posts:907
Doing this no more than 4 days a week I average 30 shops a month paying on average $549 per month with a high of $680 and a low of $437.
August 04, 2013 04:55PM
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Posts:159
chigirl777- Its a great place and I love it. When I started shopping a month ago, I was in Evansville for school. I was renting a room and got kicked out for things I didn't do. I'm moving down as soon as I secure a new place. As far as contacts go, I'm only with 20 MSCs right now, and the majority of my work comes from the ones listed in the New Shopper section of the forum. I haven't run into any obscure MSCs with plentiful work for this area... I think there are more shoppers up here then down south.


Hmm, I think I'm going to have to get into route planning. So far, I've just been grabbing three or four at the mall and hoping for the best LOL

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 04, 2013 05:09PM
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Posts:1,960
minuet my daughter does do about 15-20 shops a month and makes over $500 and usually around $800 but she racks up some serious miles doing it! Because she travels to other states she only takes shops that are paying over $30 and are usually really bonuses because they're in obscure places.

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I'm not from round these parts...
August 04, 2013 06:54PM
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Posts:29
I really want to get my own hidden video equipment to do video shops. I have already tried to buy it on my own twice, BIG MISTAKE. Then I found this forum.....so I ask my fellow video mystery shoppers, what hidden video equipment is your favorite? Please provide type, as in pen, button, etc. Also the exact name of the video equipment and of course, where you got it, website, etc.

I thank you all in advance for this vital and helpful information.
August 08, 2013 01:02AM
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Posts:14,883
Margeurite, there is no need to copy and paste the same question in multiple places on the forum.

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It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
August 08, 2013 07:18AM
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Posts:567
So far this month, I have done 26 shops which amounts to a little over $700. Not bad for my first month.. Not every month will be like this I'm sure

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
August 08, 2013 10:36AM
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Posts:8,189
Since you mentioned you don't have a car (didn't you), yes you can make 500.00....gas and car upkeep are the biggest expense . I think it easy to get four jobs in the same mall, however, remember this doesn't happen daily, and since you
are not driving, time spent on buses may not be fun to say the least. Rural areas do pay bonuses and I think it feasible
to set 500.00 as your goal. I'm sure you'll figure it out, just sign with many companies and then cut down to the highest
paying ones. Making 150.00 a week is certainly possible. I did that and don't spend my life trying to schedule jobs that
pay next to nothing, your time is worth something.

"Change your thoughts, and you change your world"
August 08, 2013 10:44AM
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Posts:159
So far, I've registered with 52 companies (and a few that still have my app). I'm lucky to be wedged between two decent shopping towns (one with a large mall and the other with several developed outdoor shops). I'm hoping to get a car at the end of the month, before I go back to Evansville. I think today is one of the few days where I only have one shop scheduled, BUT I've been checking the listings every-other-day with nearly every company.

Thanks for the advice :-)

-Inkling grinning smiley

*~Shopping the Orlando area today, tomorrow the world~*
August 08, 2013 11:04AM
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Posts:8,189
My daughter lives in Chicago (W. Loop) and when I visit I get a nice restaurant. There are many shops in the city, and transportation is great there. I love Chicago....we can walk to Millinium Park and Michigan Ave. I want to trade places,
but she says no Mom, no........

"Change your thoughts, and you change your world"
August 08, 2013 11:51AM
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