Mystery Shopping Income

I have been a Mystery Shopper for over a year. I have completed about 100 assignments in many different categories. I have applied to over 25 companies and have received many job offers. What I am getting so discouraged about is the pay offered with 90% of the jobs. Many jobs pay between 8.00-15.00. I am a retired teacher and was looking to make more money per assignment. Many times I feel like I am only making 3.00-4.00 by the time you consider your cost for gas, shop time, purchase and reporting. Does anyone know of a company or companies that pay better? Do you need to have MSPA's Silver or Gold Certification to make more money?
I have a brother who just had a heart transplant so I am trying very hard to help his family. You would not believe the expenses they have. Please help!

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I don't know if certification helps or not. I would suggest going to volition and signing with as many companies as possible. The daily checklist usually has links to the most popular companies. The way to make real money is to do route shopping. That is where you group 5-10 shops in one trip. Be careful to only take reimbursement shops for things you would normally buy any way. Banks and cellular shops are a good way to score some quick cash with no investment but you can only shop the same location every 6 months to a year. The pay you stated is about normal. I hear of higher paying jobs but the paperwork and the reports are horrendous. I much prefer to group a few quick shops with easy reports than a higher rate and spend twice the time doing it. Good luck! Mystery Shopping can be fun and profitable but don't be fooled, it is by no means easy money.
I concure with BonnieC, you are not going to get rich MS, but if you do 4-5 a day, and group together. Here is an example.
I did 3 shops in one parking lot area. I drove through Starbucks, got a sandwich at ToGo's and did a K-Mart all within 1 hour. Then on the way home got "free" gas at 2 gas shops. None of these required pictures, which made it even easier. Made $20 plus the gas.
NEW TO THIS: now how do I become Silver Certified? please let me know back, Im like so interested in this kind of mystery...I am a mystery myself as my husband would say..............have a great god bless day!
I keep getting assignments all the time, but their for certain age group or to far away from my home. I am about to give up on this.
You are rigth nhayes cause the prize of the gas is so high and if you drive to go shop you are just doing them a favor not to earn money for yourself I think they have to raise our fees insted of dime and pennies,Its fun,but thats all, not to earn and be able to help somone,but theres always a brigth tomorrow we just have to look on to the horizon and pray that this company will give us what we,worked for,God Bless you for helping your family you will have the reward don't give up
this is for cicsokid,

It take some time to develope a strong group of companies that are in your area, I have applied to about 50 companies so far and have worked for about 25 of them. The best way to go about mystery shopping is to group your shops together. I find that most companies pay between $5.00 and $25.00 per shop. Just keep working at it, I was shopping for 4 months before I found the companies that work in my area, but now that I have I average about $750.00 a month part time.
I'm like everyone and need the Income in dollars to pay bills and don't need points, and other things that I can't use to pay bills. I retired from a major retail operation and have done several things from work at home and so far nothing has payed off. I had mystery shopping in my store several times a year and I know they didn't purchase something before they got paid. I believe that if there was a resepctable amount of income in dollars I would jump at the opportunity and look forward to getting up everyday and going out in the world.
I would suggest starting out with Bank jobs and Cellular shops. They don't require any upfront costs. In a month or so when the money starts rolling in, put aside a certain amount for shops which require purchases. When you are paid your reimbursements put them back in your kitty and keep cycling that money to keep shopping. That is how I got my seed money to keep shopping. I now have a $200 kitty I use and refill each month.
Bonnie thats a real good idea, I will have to start a kitty now. I have been doing casino shops recently they pay well but do require an out of pocket expense, which is repaid. The kitty idea is a good thing to have and it would be just another item on my spread sheet.
Thanks for the tip.
If I have a shop that requires out of pocket expense, I usually put it on my credit card. By the time that the bill comes along, the MS companies would have paid me already.
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