How much did you earn last month?

@DavePi wrote:

Exactly, if an aspiring photography major asked an online community how much they made, the person can get a gauge on whether or not investing 4 years in college is worth it. And the community can make a detailed response to his question while others will say "that was a rude question!!!!! We already have 100s of these threads, PLEASE, when will it end!!?!?!?!?!?!??"

But wouldn't it be much less rude, acceptable even, if the aspiring photographer asked what salary range he or she might expect?

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.

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@bgriffin wrote:

But wouldn't it be much less rude, acceptable even, if the aspiring photographer asked what salary range he or she might expect?

If the person wants to appease a subgroup of the community and make sure no one is upset, then yes.

But this question will be asked over and over. It'll be asked in 100 years when we're all dead. It has been preordained by the forum gods.

“Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?”
― Charles Manson (1934-2017)

In our case it is a ridiculous question because we are not employees who can say, I work for XYZ Company in St. Louis and salaries range from $35,000 to $45,000 a year. Asking ICs serves no purpose beyond nosiness unless providing qualifying questions. A shopper is better served calculating how much they need then asking if it is a reasonable expectation and what others do to reach that goal. What useful information can they glean from one shopper saying they made $5,000 last month and another saying $150?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@LisaSTL wrote:

What useful information can they glean from one shopper saying they made $5,000 last month and another saying $150?

Well they now know that incomes vary widely from shopper to shopper. I mean...that's good to know as a basis point if they're completely new to the IC world. Their next question could be why it varies so much and what it means to be an IC. It may not be useful to you since you're an experienced shopper, but to them they have zero clue. We were all at that point sometime in our lives. As parents to these new shoppers, we most foster a good environment so they can thrive and grow to become fine mystery shoppers. It is our duty.

“Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?”
― Charles Manson (1934-2017)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 03:16AM by DavePi.
Q. What did you make last month? 8 answers ranging from $500-$5000
Q. What can I expect to make if I work full time? 8 answers stating a variety of ranges between $500-$5000
Q. What can I expect to make if I work full time in Dallas, TX, am willing to travel, and am willing to purchase video equipment? 3 answers from people who are very qualified to answer that question ranging from $2000-$5000

Those questions are in decreasing order of offensiveness and yet at the same time are in increasing order of information given. Hrmmmmmm. Interesting.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 03:32AM by bgriffin.
@DavePi wrote:

But this question will be asked over and over. It'll be asked in 100 years when we're all dead. It has been preordained by the forum gods.

And people have referred to people of another race with offensive racial slang and will for the rest of eternity but that doesn't make it any less offensive.

Edited to add:
I'm not saying the two are anywhere near the same in level of offensiveness, I'm only showing that just because people will continue to be offensive doesn't mean we should just pretend they're not offensive because they're always going to do it.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 03:34AM by bgriffin.
But it's not offensive. It's not offensive at all. I can't image why it would be offensive to you unless you are scared someone will take it from you. You said you are not scared someone will take it from you. So there's no reason to be offended. It's just a reason to use more words to defend an indefensible position that's none of your business because if it doesn't apply to you then it's none of your business and don't be an arse spoiling others' parties!
It is offensive to me, and it's offensive to many other people. Because you're not offended doesn't meant it's not offensive. If you want to answer, please feel free to. But don't sit there and tell me not to voice my opinion as well.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
That's the thing. Is it really worth raining on the parade of, and freaking out yet another forum member so much that they want to leave when they weren't even asking your opinion, or anyone else's, about what you and they were responding to? I'm sure the count is far lost as to how many times this has happened.
If you read my post I also encouraged said forum member to stay and read and post more. I replied to the OP once, and only once. My other replies have been directed at other forum members.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 04:03AM by bgriffin.
I have made as much as $1,000 and even a bit more in a month, but I was doing it full time, and it was the hardest money I have ever earned. I decided to do it full time when I moved to an area that had a lot of jobs and not many shoppers. But for myself I have been self employed much of my life. I like the freedom of answering only to myself. What I have discovered is this, mystery shopping is much like many businesses in the country right now, they are paying less and less and expecting more and more work. Some schedulers are real darlings others are control freaks and jerks, much like life in general. I am rejecting more and more jobs these days be cause I am not willing to work that cheaply. I think unless you are very experienced and in an area that has few shoppers you are basically working for not much above minimum wage and there are so many hassles that come with the job. My biggest grief is the websites where you must report to that can have a lot of glitches and not any real tech support to help you. When this happens it takes a lot of your time to input data. or else just unreasonable requests to take jobs that pay 4-5 dollars for telephone shops- might sound good until you factor in the reports and the time that can take. My other issue is that sometimes through no fault of your own your shop just goes south on you and you don't get paid at all. I used to do a lot of apartment shops which can be lucrative but they are the biggest hassle. You schedule an appointment with a leasing agent and then they don't show up and you have just driven 100 miles, Well if your leasing agent isn't there you don't get paid for that work They have heavily bonused ones, but that is because they are hard to do because the leasing agents are hard to get ahold of because they don't answer the phones, and because the calls must be recorded you have to catch them in the office, you can't have them call back. More and more I have been thinking about just giving up mystery shopping. It used to be fun and sort of easy. Now it just seems like a pain in the ass much of the time. I find myself feeling resentful because the jobs offered are so low pay for the work required.

Shopping til' I drop, no joke here!
Financial statement:

1. Last month I made profit.
2. This month I am making profit.
3. Next month I plan to make profit.

That is as much as I tell the banks. That is all that I am disclosing here.
Reading this and other threads then recalling past exchanges have got me thinking of a couple things.

1. DavePi could not be more wrong about this. "As parents to these new shoppers, we most foster a good environment so they can thrive and grow to become fine mystery shoppers. It is our duty."
It is not our duty or responsibility. We are not parents to new shoppers in any way shape or form. We all have our own reasons for visiting the forum, paying it forward, entertainment, camaraderie are among the reasons. We don't make money here nor does helping another increase our own income. Don't take what some give with an open hand and demand they give more.

2. If you read some other current threads and some old ones on the subject, people who volunteer how much they make have often been accused of lying. Not exactly motivation now is it?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
...and isn't the question really, "Can I make a living doing only MS full time?"

The answer is going to heavily depend on your location, expenses, lifestyle and abilities...but it will most likely not be easy.

I have long contended that the for the effort I put in as a FT shopper, I made much more money as a FT scheduler and editor, yet had a better lifestyle as a shopper. I could not sustain any of those professions long-term, however. based on the lifestyle.
@LisaSTL wrote:

people who volunteer how much they make have often been accused of lying. Not exactly motivation now is it?

Some religious leaders have been accused of hypocrisy from what they preach. Doesn't mean we should throw it all out or dismiss it completely.

“Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?”
― Charles Manson (1934-2017)

How do you know they took it for $10?

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@LisaSTL wrote:

1. DavePi could not be more wrong about this. "As parents to these new shoppers, we most foster a good environment so they can thrive and grow to become fine mystery shoppers. It is our duty."
It is not our duty or responsibility. We are not parents to new shoppers in any way shape or form. We all have our own reasons for visiting the forum, paying it forward, entertainment, camaraderie are among the reasons. We don't make money here nor does helping another increase our own income. Don't take what some give with an open hand and demand they give more.

good reason for birth control.
The original question was how much we earned last month from mystery shopping.

I had a higher earnings month accompanied by a lower personal productivity.

The dollar amount is not as useful a measure for me as the cost of the money. Last month, I earned so much that I can afford to work few days in this industry this month and catch up with myself. I am reading (actual books!) and accomplishing long-neglected projects. Perhaps this month I am enjoying the fruits of last month's labor.

This is an indirect and incomplete answer to the question. For me, earnings have a cost. Others might experience or define their earnings differently.

Peace begins with a smile. ~ Mother Theresa
I hopefully earn nothing. I try to operate at zero profit because I shop to enhance my lifestyle and I don't want to pay taxes on earnings. Right now I am at $9,200 earned for the year and $6,700 expenses. I want to bring that to equal - so I am operating at no profit/no loss. This prevents my other salary (from regular FT position work) to be taxed at a potentially higher tax rate. Last year I miscalculated and the mistake cost me about $7K in extra taxes.

I realize that isn't what you are asking. I am a lifestyle shopper now, but I was a FT shopper from 2005-2008. At that time, I made approximately $2,500 to $3,000 per month in NET income from shopping and editing reports. I did not track the two types of income separately. I lived in a very rural area with very few shops locally, necessitating a lot of travel. I did only traditional shops (no video).

ETA: I am happy to answer these types of questions, though I also respect that others find the question rude. I am also open about my regular day job salary as well. There's good money to be made in Market Research if you find the right opportunity and are willing to take risk.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 05:55AM by MickeyB.
@LisaSTL wrote:

In our case it is a ridiculous question because we are not employees who can say, I work for XYZ Company in St. Louis and salaries range from $35,000 to $45,000 a year. Asking ICs serves no purpose beyond nosiness unless providing qualifying questions. A shopper is better served calculating how much they need then asking if it is a reasonable expectation and what others do to reach that goal. What useful information can they glean from one shopper saying they made $5,000 last month and another saying $150?

Great answer Lisa! I think making $30 roundtrip from my home to the south end of San Antonio is great money. I earn enough to pay the gas. I shop the south end of San Antonio to visit with my Dad and take advantage of the lower grocery prices.

Do I miss my $1200 to $1500 6 day c-store routes? Cash wise; You betcha! Do I miss not sleeping for 48 to 72 hours? Not so much.

I have a route that is never profitable. I do it, because it is the easiest of all my long routes and I love the scheduler. I also have enough time to get some great grocery deals. But, if you asked me if I would recommend it to someone else...no. Not because, I don't want anyone getting the route & give me competition. It really isn't profitable unless you have multiple freezers and coolers out the wazoo. The route is a timing issue for the best deals.

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!
I don't find the question offensive, and when see a thread that I don't like or am offended, I simply ignore the thread. To OP, I average $100/month. I have a full time day job and I am casual about mystery shopping. If I don't want to eat pizza, I don't take it just because of the fee. If there's a high end restaurant that looks good, I'll take it for a low fee or sometimes, reimbursement-only.
@hotsauce1 wrote:

I have a full time day job and I am casual about mystery shopping.

What is your full time day job and salary?

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
I would have to say not enough. But then again, I took almost the entire month off.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@bgriffin wrote:

How do you know they took it for $10?

Because the shops were pretty much newly released (at $10) and that MSC isn't known to be generous with fees or bonuses, that's how she knows. They always wait until closer to deadline to add bonuses, LOL. I have a good relationship with one of the schedulers with this MSC and the shops I do for her she always has to wait until after the 15th before she can start bonusing them and even come close to the magic number where I will do them.
How much is enough you ask? Well I'll ask the man when I get a chance. All i know right now is there's somewhere else I'm supposed to be.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Because the shops were pretty much newly released (at $10) and that MSC isn't known to be generous with fees or bonuses, that's how she knows.

I think that depends on your relationship. There is one company that many people complain about being cheap that I routinely get significant bonuses from before the shops are even posted.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@bgriffin wrote:

@hotsauce1 wrote:

I have a full time day job and I am casual about mystery shopping.

What is your full time day job and salary?

I see what you did there. IDGAF: Project management $125,500. If this was a student asking before he/she got into the industry, I would tell them. If my friend asked me how much I make from mystery shopping, I'd tell them. My life is no worse off because I disclosed that. Everyone is free to say or not say and move on with your life. I'm not mad anyone for telling or not telling.

Getting back to the original topic, the bottom line that everyone seems to agree on is that mystery shopping is what you make of it. You can make $0 or $1500 depending on how much you want to
@hotsauce1 wrote:

If my friend asked me how much I make from mystery shopping, I'd tell them. My life is no worse off because I disclosed that.

What if your friend asked you waht you make from project management?

It's possible you are the type of person who would not be taken aback by the question. Many of us are.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
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