Call for Stories: "How I Earned $1,000+ A Month as a Mystery Shopper"

Dear Forum Members,

as you may know, I run Mystery Shopper Magazine. We've published several stories from mystery shoppers about how they've earned over a thousand dollars a month as a mystery shopper.

I'd love to publish more of these stories. They are quite popular in the magazine and a useful resource for the community. I'll also pay you for the as well.

If you would like to contribute, please send me a Private Message, or email jacob@mysteryshoppermagazine.

Here's a few samples:

[www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]

[www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]

[www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]

I look foward to sharing you story!

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2017 was a $1200 a month year for me. When you include reimbursable purchases it was more like $2500 / mo.
My secret? Nothing but negotiation. I worked very part time all year but I negotiated every fee. Simple as that.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Here's my vote for Hoju to write up a "How to earn $2,500 a month Mystery Shopping" story!!! Goooo Hoju.
I don't count my reimbursements, it was my money I spent and I don't add gas which comes out of my pocket...very sorry I can't say I ever made $1,000 a month. I don't do this full time, but reimbursements
some months could add to to 1,000. The perks give me an upscale life style, dinners, hotels, etc. and
a bit of supplement to my income.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
There was a convenience store that paid me a certain amount of money for gas one way for every 30 miles from my home. I got a reimbursement for each shop and a fee. Plus I had enough time to add other shops along the route. Oooh Baby!

Now I know that some shoppers do not include reimbursements and I didn't either. But then I figured out I could freeze OJ, skim milk and buy washer fluid for the car. I was totally on board. I ran out of the washer fluid around last July. I haven't shopped that company in 2 years,

When I discovered the grocery stores, the meat bill dropped to about $10 a month and that includes the barbecue parties with beef and/or ribs.

Sadly, when I finally figured it out, my c-store ended and I've yet to find the company who shops them. But I was grossing over $1200 a month by the end, if I add the reimbursements.

Now I do the happy dance if I net $600 after expenses. I average the same amount of days of working a month which is 8. I still jump on the grocery deals that are not available in my area, but they are no longer reimbursed.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
@MA Smith wrote:

There was a convenience store that paid me a certain amount of money for gas one way for every 30 miles from my home. I got a reimbursement for each shop and a fee. Plus I had enough time to add other shops along the route. Oooh Baby!

Now I know that some shoppers do not include reimbursements and I didn't either. But then I figured out I could freeze OJ, skim milk and buy washer fluid for the car. I was totally on board. I ran out of the washer fluid around last July. I haven't shopped that company in 2 years,

When I discovered the grocery stores, the meat bill dropped to about $10 a month and that includes the barbecue parties with beef and/or ribs.

Sadly, when I finally figured it out, my c-store ended and I've yet to find the company who shops them. But I was grossing over $1200 a month by the end, if I add the reimbursements.

Now I do the happy dance if I net $600 after expenses. I average the same amount of days of working a month which is 8. I still jump on the grocery deals that are not available in my area, but they are no longer reimbursed.

I didn't know you could freeze milk....

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

@MA Smith wrote:

There was a convenience store that paid me a certain amount of money for gas one way for every 30 miles from my home. I got a reimbursement for each shop and a fee. Plus I had enough time to add other shops along the route. Oooh Baby!

Now I know that some shoppers do not include reimbursements and I didn't either. But then I figured out I could freeze OJ, skim milk and buy washer fluid for the car. I was totally on board. I ran out of the washer fluid around last July. I haven't shopped that company in 2 years,

When I discovered the grocery stores, the meat bill dropped to about $10 a month and that includes the barbecue parties with beef and/or ribs.

Sadly, when I finally figured it out, my c-store ended and I've yet to find the company who shops them. But I was grossing over $1200 a month by the end, if I add the reimbursements.

Now I do the happy dance if I net $600 after expenses. I average the same amount of days of working a month which is 8. I still jump on the grocery deals that are not available in my area, but they are no longer reimbursed.

I didn't know you could freeze milk....


Skim will stay decent for a couple of months. If it has any fat, it won't last much longer than 2 weeks. This not a problem for me because its nothing for me to go through 1/2 gallon a day. I only purchased 1/2 gallons because they were easier to fit in the freezer that wasn't designed well. You can also freeze heavy cream for about a month if you only want it to enhance soups. I have whipped cream and then frozen by the dollop, but I've never been thrilled with the thawed results on desserts. It's alright if you only need a small dollop on a soup. I prefer to let it go sour and then freeze to use in a cookie recipe, because prepared sour cream doesn't do the 80 year old recipe justice.

Oh and I will freeze anything to see if it works, especially anything that I can't use or sell from the garden. Or not enough to can or pickle.

MA

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
@MA Smith wrote:

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

@MA Smith wrote:

There was a convenience store that paid me a certain amount of money for gas one way for every 30 miles from my home. I got a reimbursement for each shop and a fee. Plus I had enough time to add other shops along the route. Oooh Baby!

Now I know that some shoppers do not include reimbursements and I didn't either. But then I figured out I could freeze OJ, skim milk and buy washer fluid for the car. I was totally on board. I ran out of the washer fluid around last July. I haven't shopped that company in 2 years,

When I discovered the grocery stores, the meat bill dropped to about $10 a month and that includes the barbecue parties with beef and/or ribs.

Sadly, when I finally figured it out, my c-store ended and I've yet to find the company who shops them. But I was grossing over $1200 a month by the end, if I add the reimbursements.

Now I do the happy dance if I net $600 after expenses. I average the same amount of days of working a month which is 8. I still jump on the grocery deals that are not available in my area, but they are no longer reimbursed.

I didn't know you could freeze milk....


Skim will stay decent for a couple of months. If it has any fat, it won't last much longer than 2 weeks. This not a problem for me because its nothing for me to go through 1/2 gallon a day. I only purchased 1/2 gallons because they were easier to fit in the freezer that wasn't designed well. You can also freeze heavy cream for about a month if you only want it to enhance soups. I have whipped cream and then frozen by the dollop, but I've never been thrilled with the thawed results on desserts. It's alright if you only need a small dollop on a soup. I prefer to let it go sour and then freeze to use in a cookie recipe, because prepared sour cream doesn't do the 80 year old recipe justice.

Oh and I will freeze anything to see if it works, especially anything that I can't use or sell from the garden. Or not enough to can or pickle.

MA

Great tip...I put leftover broth in ice cube tray and use when a little is needed for flavor. I drink Almond milk, can I freeze that?

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

@MA Smith wrote:

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

@MA Smith wrote:

There was a convenience store that paid me a certain amount of money for gas one way for every 30 miles from my home. I got a reimbursement for each shop and a fee. Plus I had enough time to add other shops along the route. Oooh Baby!

Now I know that some shoppers do not include reimbursements and I didn't either. But then I figured out I could freeze OJ, skim milk and buy washer fluid for the car. I was totally on board. I ran out of the washer fluid around last July. I haven't shopped that company in 2 years,

When I discovered the grocery stores, the meat bill dropped to about $10 a month and that includes the barbecue parties with beef and/or ribs.

Sadly, when I finally figured it out, my c-store ended and I've yet to find the company who shops them. But I was grossing over $1200 a month by the end, if I add the reimbursements.

Now I do the happy dance if I net $600 after expenses. I average the same amount of days of working a month which is 8. I still jump on the grocery deals that are not available in my area, but they are no longer reimbursed.

I didn't know you could freeze milk....


Skim will stay decent for a couple of months. If it has any fat, it won't last much longer than 2 weeks. This not a problem for me because its nothing for me to go through 1/2 gallon a day. I only purchased 1/2 gallons because they were easier to fit in the freezer that wasn't designed well. You can also freeze heavy cream for about a month if you only want it to enhance soups. I have whipped cream and then frozen by the dollop, but I've never been thrilled with the thawed results on desserts. It's alright if you only need a small dollop on a soup. I prefer to let it go sour and then freeze to use in a cookie recipe, because prepared sour cream doesn't do the 80 year old recipe justice.

Oh and I will freeze anything to see if it works, especially anything that I can't use or sell from the garden. Or not enough to can or pickle.

MA

Great tip...I put leftover broth in ice cube tray and use when a little is needed for flavor. I drink Almond milk, can I freeze that?

I can't answer about almond milk because I've never bought it. Like you, I freeze in ice cube trays, especially when I'm unsure. When conducting my experiments I use the Ziploc freezer bags, label with date and start working through them about 2 weeks later. If my experiment works I freeze according to the recipe and use my vacuum sealer.

A pet peeve of mine is the one TBSP of tomato paste, the rest of the can always goes in the ice cube trays.

I also freeze extra strong coffee for iced coffee, because paying Starbucks $$$...makings me bonkers.

MA

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
How would you negotiate if there are always shoppers who accepts low pay shops? I tried once to negotiate, but the shop was given to somebody else. I my area there are shops that $2 and they get assigned quickly. Maybe these are the kind of stories we should hear. smiling smiley
@Miss shopper wrote:

How would you negotiate if there are always shoppers who accepts low pay shops? I tried once to negotiate, but the shop was given to somebody else. I my area there are shops that $2 and they get assigned quickly. Maybe these are the kind of stories we should hear. smiling smiley

You need to build your reputation with the schedulers. Today, it might be a $2 shop, but next month the scheduler may have picked up a new contract and looking for someone who is dependable.

If nothing else, a good reputation will help you in this business. The money may be slow in the beginning, but eventually they will call you, if something needs to be done.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. ASK! I was in sales for years, the best answer was no, so I could cover the objections. The worst that can happen is they say no. Big whoop! now you don't have to rearrange your life for a shop.

And there will always be shoppers that accept low pay shops. I'm guilty; I need to get my foot in the door with MSC's. I wouldn't worry about them (shoppers). Unless they are shoppers like myself trying to build a resume, those shoppers don't last long, well at least they don't in my area.

Good luck with your adventure in mystery shopping,

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
@Big Time Shopper wrote:

I earned $3000+ in a month, but my story wouldn't be fit for publication.

You might be surprised!
The only time that I got close to $1000 was one month last year. I think I pulled in about $980 but I worked really hard. Most of the shops were for some audits that other shoppers did not want to do so the bonus went up to around $90 and I think that I did 5 or 6 which added to my bottom line as there was no purchase. It was a bit of a PIA but once I did a couple the rest were easy. Since then it is usually around 3 or 4 hundred, depending on how much I want to drive.
I use a tablespoon to dollop out tomato paste onto a cookie sheet and freeze it that way. IMO the sheer is easier to clean than an ice cube tray.

MA[/quote]
Great tip...I put leftover broth in ice cube tray and use when a little is needed for flavor. I drink Almond milk, can I freeze that?[/quote]

I can't answer about almond milk because I've never bought it. Like you, I freeze in ice cube trays, especially when I'm unsure. When conducting my experiments I use the Ziploc freezer bags, label with date and start working through them about 2 weeks later. If my experiment works I freeze according to the recipe and use my vacuum sealer.

A pet peeve of mine is the one TBSP of tomato paste, the rest of the can always goes in the ice cube trays.

I also freeze extra strong coffee for iced coffee, because paying Starbucks $$$...makings me bonkers.

MA[/quote]

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I usually average $1000 per month, but in my paperwork that includes reimbursements and I deduct all expenses after.
$1000 a month would not keep me. I need to make more than twice that monthly to justify having mystery shopping for my income source.
I can make $1000 per month on a slow month, not including reimbursements. I set a goal of $800 and let it go from there. My highest was over $2k. My average is around $1200.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
Since many of the shops I do are paid in US$, I can say I earn CAN$1000 some months. It's not consistent because I am very picky. I really missed that extra money the last two months when I was mostly in the hospital. After I was given the last rites, I was still worried if I just spoiled my record with some MSCs when my son notified them that I could not do a few scheduled shops because I was in the hospital.
February was my first month of mystery shopping and my net was about $800. For my first month I'm satisfied with that amount, but it was definitely difficult.
I usually do at least one shop a day, every day. Most days, I do a few shops. In almost 20 years, there have only been a couple of months when I didn't hit $1000 in fees. Probably when I gave birth to my youngest child.
I live in an extremely high cost of living area. If I was making less than $1000 / month, my CPA would consider it a hobby for tax purposes I am sure.
$1k per month is not enough to pay the bills and is easy to earn in mystery shopping, and reimbursements for purchases required by the client should not be counted as income. An interesting and helpful read would be stories entitled, "How I Earned $3,000+ A Month as a Mystery Shopper"
@Robin2 wrote:

How about 1K in 3 days or less?
Tell us about it.

I started being more relaxed in mshopping when I did not set a very high goal but instead ensured that I was enjoying this venture. I guess it is easy to be picky if you have other income to depend on. There were months when I over achieved because I was working too hard, at the expense of my health. There were months when without planning to earn more the 1K, I did it and I was not exhausted. It was more luck and
determination.
How about the story of someone making $1K in a rural area, versus someone making $1K in a highly populated place? I'd like to see an honest story about it!

Some mystery shoppers talk about waiting for incentives and bonuses and being all smug that they have waited it out, but I feel much more visible here. The companies would know if I were actually holding out for more pay, and there are more and more other little scavengers around here just waiting to put their little claws into the work.

My only choice is to offer experience, quality work, and honesty. Good ethics are probably the most important aspect of my (lol) financial success.
It is not unethical to ask for the pay to be commensurate with the work. It certainly isn't different than any other business owner. The painter isn't sweating it because you want to pay him $100 and he needs $500 to be profitable. Why worry if they think or even know you want more?

As to urban vs rural, it has been discussed many times. Depending on what someone is looking for, they both have advantages and disadvantages. Urban areas have more opportunities along with more shoppers willing to take them at the base fee. Rural areas involve more driving and less shops, but a lot of the time they also have less shoppers and higher bonuses.

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.
@AZwolfman wrote:

$1k per month is not enough to pay the bills and is easy to earn in mystery shopping, and reimbursements for purchases required by the client should not be counted as income. An interesting and helpful read would be stories entitled, "How I Earned $3,000+ A Month as a Mystery Shopper"

Lots of planning. Lots of travel. Lots of special projects.

Edited to add: Lots of negotiation

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2017 07:47PM by bgriffin.
I went into this for the perks having been retired and bored,finding a way to keep me in the shops I love so much and out of my pocket....it's been fine, but not the biggest money maker where I live. Heck, they laugh when asking for a 2.00 pad. Sometimes you score, like the 75.00 dealership, but compared to the shopper that made 1000.00 on a small bank job, very laughable. Love working from home where age doesn't matter 95% of the time, it's a tradeoff.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2017 08:32PM by Irene_L.A..
Just had my first 1k reimbursement and 1k shop fee month. I work FT and do this as a hobby. So its entirely possible.
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