Scheduling routes

I wouldn't mind traveling to some near by towns and doing a bunch of shops all in one day but I can't figure out how to make the schedule work. Every time I look at all the shops available for a particular town they all have different dates available they can be scheduled. How do those of you that do routes manage to schedule a bunch of shops on the same day? Do you email schedulers and ask to do them on a different day than what shows up as available or what am I not doing? Thanks!

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How many MSCs are you signed up with?

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.
I think 30-40. Once you're through signing up with the ones on the list on this sight, how do I find more? Google?
I usually start with a few shops that I can self assign without needing any assistance, then add more shops as they become available along my route. I am lucky, though, in that I usually do a route of gas shops for only one or two companies and only need to add a couple or just a few other shops to fill out my day. Often, I only do gas shops on a route. Some companies allow date changes and some don't. The longer you shop, the more you get to know which companies are willing to work with you on date changes. And most importantly, remember that you'll usually only have 8 - 12 hours after your route to do the reports, so don't get too tired doing too many shops that you can't get the reports in on time. Some companies have a longer reporting period (up to 24 hours) and again, as you get to know the companies better (and they, you), some will work with you on extending the reporting deadline as necessary. Good luck!
The other problem I run into is the MSCs only have available days for just like the next 1-2 days, which doesn't give much time to try to set things up if you're having to email schedulers to try to get more. I'd like to be able to schedule a week out or even just 4-5 days out.
Here's how I set up a route- I check the jobboards of my favorite MSCs, make a note of which shops are set for so and so date, self assign the shops that I can get, then apply for the shops that are not self assign to match the dates with the self assigned shops or vice versa. I use a desk-sized calendar and write down the MSC, what kind of shop it is (bank, lunch or store) and the city that the shops are in on the designated date once my shops are confirmed. By the way, you don't have to spend alot of money for the desk sized calendar. You can buy them at the dollar tree store for a $1.00. I like to use the desk sized calendar/monthly planner because I can easily see the current month on one page and allowed enough space to write the various shops on the designated dates.
Yes, email schedulers and ask to do them on a different day. I ran into the same problem when I started out. I eventually learned the dates listed on the boards were not always set in stone.

Edited to add: Also, make it clear in your email you are planning a route and need an answer by a certain date, or that your acceptance of the shops is contingent on the other shops still being available. Otherwise, the scheduler may innocently assign you the shops days later when the route is no longer feasible.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2017 01:19PM by mystery2me.
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