Help on completing multiple reports per day

Hello seasoned shoppers,

I have recently started shopping more but I am finding that I have trouble completing all the reports in the time allowed.
I have been staying up past midnight trying to get everything typed up and turned in to the companies.
How are those of you that do multiple shops per day able to get the reports in without staying up all night?
If this has been addressed before I'm sorry for the repeat post. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Not all shops and MSCs require the reports be done by midnight of the same day. If you are route shopping every single day you will have no choice but to get the reports in that night or by early morning. If you like packing your schedule to maximize your time on the road just a couple of days a week, talk to the schedulers about submitting the next day. It is also important not to try to do too many difficult shops in one day. For me difficult translates to narrative heavy. Make sure you have a good mix of quick easy reports in there.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
That's good advice from Lisa.

One more thing: It's possible you're providing more detail than what's required. Try writing concisely, addressing the particular points in the guidelines as briefly as possible but still providing pertinent information. You're not going for A++ here. Good enough is good enough. Perhaps you're trying to report every last detail and perhaps you don't need to. I suggest you experiment with different reports, providing briefer narrative to learn what they'll accept. Remember, the editors have limited time, too, so maybe less will be more than enough in some cases.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Dittos to the above. Also some reports simply restating the question as a statement will suffice, especially if there is nothing negative to report.

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)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
I suggest like LisaSTL start with easy shops until you get used to doing narratives. Answer all of the questions in order briefly. I started with one shop a day. If you get overwhelmed like you are now, you might not like shopping.
James Bond is what I'm stating here.
And it will come with time. I've done as many as 15 reports in one day, but that was a route of bank shops and the report was extremely easy, mostly yes/no, multiple choice, with a short section of narrative at the end.

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)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2014 08:34PM by James Bond 007.5.
If you have a tablet and some of those reports are short, take it along and knock them out as you go. Even on a longer one you still can take care of times, descriptions, radio buttons and even your POV uploads as long as it is a system that allows you to save your work.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I've asked a scheduler to extend the reporting times and she has obliged many times. It is so helpful. Love that Joni! smiling smiley
I found that I got much faster with more experience. Reports that used to take me 30 minutes I can now do in 10 (yes I do time myself.) What really helped me was getting rid of the nonsense that the editors are not really that interested in. As said above they also have limited time and are probably not that interested in detail that has nothing to do with the shop. Make one report shorter and see if it is accepted - that gives you some idea of what they want. It is a learning curve - do not get discouraged.
This Monday I have a route of 11 shops and plan to visit the beach in between. (weather permitting) I've arranged for them to be along the way and the way home. They are all "easy-to-reporters." One is a meal that will hold me over, but has a simple report. One is an easy, bonused bank. One is a Harmon that will be the longest to do in terms of time in the store and 8 are gas stations. I would not consider a heavy narrative shop with this route...ever. I am having a hard time getting back into Mystery Shopping mode after several weeks of vacay in June and July. It has been taking me a long time to do 4 shops per day with narrative. I did a golf shop this week and it took all day for me to finish the report. Not because it was so difficult, but because I couldn't sit and do it and get it all done with all the narrative. I needed lots of breaks. Thankfully, that company gave 24 hours for reporting. I know I will have until the next day to complete most of Monday's reports.

My advice would be to avoid retail shopping on routes. Those usually want a great deal of detail for not much pay and walking the malls is tiring and takes a lot of extra time. (Unless there are a bunch in the same mall - That is different) Try to get "drive-in, drive-out" type of shops for your route. Be sure you are organized with a written list of shops to do in the order you hope to complete them. This should be figured out before you start, but be flexible because stuff happens. And allow extra time for those things that happen. When you get home, try to knock off a few and save the remainder until the next morning. I am much more efficient in reporting in the morning than trying to do them in the evening. Record your expenses and mileage as you go for each shop or however you do it, but have it all done along the way so you can just plug it in and if you have waiting time at any point, do your photographing of receipts, paperwork etc so it is done along the way.

I love $100 + days. Good luck.

The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2014 09:31PM by MsJudi.
Thank you to everyone for all of the great advice. I think I have been making some rookie mistakes. I have not been as organized as I probably need to be before heading out and I've been a little too over ambitious. I will take all of your wonderful advice and see if I can destress my shopping days and hopefully get a little more sleep. smiling smiley
Plan your route is key. Once you have done all the days shops enter reports asap don't wait. You will feel better once you knock them out. Limit your narrative is huge. Don't do multiple long narrative reports in one day. I limit myself to 2 car dealerships a day. Have a general idea how long the shops take you and don't overbook yourself. If doing routes that require travel account for traffic delays and getting a little lost. GPS is real healpful in not getting lost so download a free app or fork out a little for a garmin as write it off as a business expense. As you do more shops you will get better at the reports and reducing time both in store and reporting. Let the schedulers know that you completed the shop and just need a little more time to get it in. Don't work 7 days a week doing multiple shops you will kill yourself. Now take a deep breath digest the information and relax.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
It is much easier if you planned your shops with similar style, not necessarily
the same kind. Shops with websites that require downloads in two different
parts of the report are timed-consuming. But once you get the hung of it
it becomes easier.

It is best if you bring your laptop or tablet when doing multiple shops. As Lisa said,
your tablet would definitely cut your job ahead so that you have less report to do
when you get home.

And the shops usually require 12 hours so you have up to after midnight. Wee hours
are my most productive time. Yesterday I had a shop which was supposed to be
reported at 9 pm. I completed it at 5:10 pm and only realized the time.

I usually scan all receipts, photos, etc. first. Everything becomes easier when my phones
are answered by VM and my cat does not sit on top or my scanner.
I recently got laid off, and even after seven years it is hard work. Definitely not my field of choice but meh, I suck at interviews and it's hard to find a decent job here in California without years of experience or a bachelors. So now I'm going back into shopping after a season of working a labor job. Yesterday I did four. I did three in a route, went home and did all of the reports. I then went out to do my last one for the day, a dinner shop. At the restaurant for an hour, got home a little after 8, it took almost two hours to do the report. Wrapped up my day at 10:30.

To sum up my Saturday: 4 shops, 12 hours, $43 profit, two toys for my kid, free lunch, and free dinner.

Just pace yourself. And remember, calendars are your friend. Soon as you have something, put it on. If you're requesting something, take a moment to look at your calendar to make sure you can handle it.

Looking at my week, I have 10 shops to do on top of other plans and commitments. Does my schedule look packed and over booked? Absolutely. Do I feel like I'm going to be overwhelmed? Not at all, because I took time to plan it out.
Be careful when using tablets. I don't know about Android but iPads using IOS 7 will auto refresh automatically if you go off the page and when you come back. If you haven't saved, you can lose everything. This happens especially with the Sassie program, and not so much with the Prophet program, but don't quote me on this.

I have figured out a way recently to work around this, having lost work because of the auto refresh. Select some text, and if you get the "define" option, choose it before you go off/out of the page, and it will hold the page open without auto refresh restarting everything. If you don't get the define option, just leave some text selected.

I am still using IOS 6 on my iPhone because of things like this, and how some apps don't like they used to. Eventually I will have to upgrade but I am holding out until the bitter end!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2014 02:39PM by nycrocks.
What an astonishingly helpful thread! To the suggestion of know your deadlines and ask for extensions, I would recommend adding standard deadlines to your personal spreadsheet of MSCs. Have a column that lists the company's policy for deadlines. Refer to that when choosing your shops. Knowing in advance whether a report will be do by midnight or within 24 hours may influence which shops you pick. It will also help you prioritize which reports you do first when you get home.
You can also enter whether extensions are typically granted for reporting.
Finally, on those inevitable, but hopefully very rare, occasions when you miss the reporting deadlines, keep track of what the consequences are. At 11:00 p.m. and three reports due before midnight, which one if missed will yield a stern email saying to get it in by noon, which will cost you a point or two on your score, and which will result in the shop being removed from your log at 12:01 a.m.?
Some people whip out their tablets and take advantage of free wifi when spending a mandatory 10 or 20 minutes at a fast food joint. I don't mind hanging out in the wee hours at home editing photos and writing up shops after a $200 + day, but I only shop part time and can drag my butt around the next day.

If I do a shop where I can take the family along, (or drop their boys and the dad at the Omaha Children's Museum while I shop a small route) my husband will drive while I work on reports from the passenger seat. I can't put in data, but I can edit photos or type my narratives into Word. It's been a few years, but we used to shop our way along for road trips, uploading data at wifi-equipped rest areas.
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