New Rookie Here

Hello Everyone......

I've been rather fortunate in life. Owned my own company at age 24 and since then have taken over 2 other companies - with up to 50 employees and been rather successful. However - despite great success.....things are changing and the recent Covid fun hasn't helped. Bottom line.....I'll be without *any* business or job come January and I'll be 46 years old.

While we did enjoy the fruits of success.....I never lived over my means and saved money. The good news is...... that I've saved a nest egg - and it's quite possible I'm "set" as long as I croak before I'm 85 - which from my eating habits shouldn't be hard smiling smiley

Anyhow, while I am secure - I want extra. Poker money if you will. Also would be nice to have a *few* bucks coming in while still feeling like I work for myself. PLEASE don't think I'm "above" having a boss. I'm not. It's just that for 22 years I've only answered to myself. Part of me wants to start at the 'bottom' vis a vis the mortgage industry and eventually be an independent broker. the meantime Im intrigued by Mystery Shopping and - as someone who owned and grew (3) rather large retail businesses - who knows, maybe with some experience I could be good at this. (Heck - corporate sent in Mystery Shoppers to my businesses twice a year and I used to read the reports)

Trying to see what is involved with this.

ALSO wondering - is it realistic for me to make - say $500.00 per month.

Thanks! And Hope everyone is staying healthy......

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Welcome !

In more normal ties $500 per month would be totally realistic after a few months of trying many types of assignments, signing up with nearly 200 Mystery Shop companies (easy to do), and filing enough high quality reports with each of many MSCs to gain the respect of the schedulers and editors of that MSC.

Right now, many of the best paid shops, which tend to included long interactions, are not available because the clients' locations are either closed or not operating normally. However, by cobbling together a fe busy one-day-routes of lower fee shops, you can build toward your goal while learning the ropes.

ALWAYS remember, that MSers are being paid to be objective, not judgmental. We do NOT offer our opinion about how the client should run their business unless they specifically ask for an opinion.

To kick-start your MS career, head on over to the New Mystery Shoppers area of the forum and be sure to read all of the topics "pinned " to the top of the list there.

To help forum members help you, please let us know what cities or towns are near you.

Enjoy !

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
One tip I have is not to set your sights on big money. It's not big money, and it's a lot of hard work initially. You have to spend time reading the guidelines, sometimes several times if it's a big assignment, and then driving to the place, spending time there, driving back and filling out reports with as much detail as possible. In the end, it might come out to $10 an hour. If you're fast, more. But it is work. And it's not free money. I feel like that's a big misconception people new to mystery shopping have. It's work.
Well, it's not big money to start with, but shoppers earn the right to see better paying jobs for each MSC by getting good marks for reliable, complete and objective reporting on beginner jobs with the best MSCs in different industries. $500 per month is not at all unreasonable; many here clear a lot more than that in more normal times. Quickly learning how to use jobs from many MSCs to create efficient and profitable one day routes will begin to help your monthly total pretty fast. Finding reimbursed parking jobs (plus fee) where you can walk to other assignments, can turn trips into the city profitable with a little planning. All of these, and other little tricks that you will find discussed on the forum (just ask !) will. More advanced things, like multi day road trips that include overnight hotel shops, for instance, and learning to do video shops, can make big differences. AND, joining the loyalty clubs of hotels that you shop will mean that your reimbursed stays will quickly add up to enogh points for free stay for your vacation or to use on future routes, to make more $$$.

In addition, reimbursements for groceries, oil changes (I haven't paid for one since autumn 2005) pet food and grooming, car washes, to name a few, also add up and are not taxable because those are all business expenses when required to perform a shop.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Walesmaven definitely offers very sound advice. She's one of several folks to whom I have listed over the last several years, thereby allowing me to meet and exceed my financial goals mystery shopping. Keep in mind that, right now, things are really weird. There are far less mystery shopping than normal and MSC's might be less willing to offer bonuses than normal as everybody is struggling. Under normal circumstances, however:

* $500 in a month is not at all hard IF: You live in an urban area and sign up with LOTS of companies - over 100. It might be tricky your first month as you will be spending a lot of time signing up with companies and establishing rapport with schedulers. There are normally countless $10 and $20 shops available, so picking up one of each every day will put you at over $600 in a month.

* You can increase the value to your bank account by doing shops for services you need anyhow. For instance, if you need your oil changed, a $0 payment with full reimbursement for an oil change is, effectively a $40 (ish) value to you - plus, it's not taxable.

* There are folks who make a living doing this as their only source of income, so there is money to be had. However, it takes time to establish yourself enough to find some more lucrative jobs. Out of the number of folks who mystery shop, only a very small fraction actually do this for a living. Most of us use mystery shopping income to augment what we already make.

* Under normal circumstances, the $500 you are targeting in a month can be made in a single day (though not generally every day) by an experienced shopper. Right now, such numbers are going to be harder to hit - it really depends on where a shopper has contacts, the industries for which the shopper mostly shops, and the region of the country. For instance, nearly all shopping disappeared from my area for about three months. I chose to do very little shopping once it started to open. I've done more this month, so far earning about $700, but I'm really taking it slow and being very choosy about the work I do.

Good luck!

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Sparkles, there was a discussion a earlier this year. [] I think there was another discussion a few months before this one. It's something that is discussed every now and then.
I just started MSing just a couple of month ago to supplement my income. It is a real hard work initially reading all the guidelines and planning routes. So far I made a couple of hundred dollars only, but it is an interesting way to make money.
That is pretty much how most of us started. How many MSCs are you signed up with so far? What city is closest to you? Members may have some insights if we know a bit more about what sorts of shops you are doing so far. Just remember not to name both the client and the MSC. Knowing the client, or even the type of shop (fast food, groceries, apartments, etc) will help us help you.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
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