As part of my day job, I do auditing (nothing related to MSing at all lol). I've been asked to take a 90 day assignment at any one of our field offices, a location of my choosing. No offices in Alaska or Hawaii, but most major urban areas of the US. Employer will pay hotel and some meals (not weekends or holidays for example and the budget is kind of measly). I am interested in picking a city where there are good MSing opportunities as I'll have free time on the weekends, etc. since I will be living in a hotel. Cities on the list that interest me include:
Are there geographic areas known to be more lucrative for MSing than other locations? Any thoughts on these particular locations? thank you.
Portland - If you are referring to Oregon, I know that the MSC's I use have shops there... However, you may not see the sun the entire time you are there. (Short days and continuous light rain and gray clouds.)
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Depends on the time of year. Dallas rather than Austin (more to do, fewer traffic hassles). Phoenix in the winter. Portland in the Spring. I guess it depends on what you want to do. DC is an interesting place as is NYC. If it was me, though, I'd probably go soak up the sun in San Diego.
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Go to Washington, D.C., that's a no-brainer! I once had the opportunity to go the Washington, D.C. on assignment with NASA for several months. I loved it. There are so many free activities there. Metro is cheap and fun to ride. I did not have a car, and I did not need one. I doubt there would be much in the way of mystery shopping inside the beltway, but if someone else is paying the way, go the D.C.
A lot will depend on what type of shops you like to do. I've shopped most of these areas so my opinion:
Orlando - Lots of shops. LOTS OF TRAFFIC. Great weather if you're going in the winter.
Memphis - Not the safest city in the world. The joke in the mid south is they check you for guns when you enter the city and if you don't have one they issue you one. Not a ton of shops either. Although if you time it right you could get some good bonuses.
Austin - Decent amount of shops, perhaps my favorite city in the US. Would probably be my choice from this list
Las Vegas - If you have an NV work card maybe, if you don't, no.
Portland - I've only been here once but some decent shopping. Personally wouldn't go in the winter
Minneapolis - The only place on the list I've never been
Tucson - Interesting area but doesn't seem to be as many shops as other areas.
New Orleans - Shopping wasteland. Actual wasteland outside of the Quarter.
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If you are looking to supplement your per diem with free/cheap meals whether on shops or not, Vegas would probably fit your needs. Same with inexpensive lodging if necessary on the weekends if you stay off Strip. However, I don't know about the work card situation and how hard it is to get one.
There is more to the city than the Strip. Lots of deals at the locals casinos off the strip for inexpensive meals.
Not sure of your age, but Austin has a very varied night life with Sixth Street being the center of it all. It also has a rich musical culture. It's the center of "Texas Country" and many upstart bands. Lake Travis and the surrounding Hill Country are beautiful. It isn't an inexpensive place to live but I'm not sure about cost of living if your company is paying for many of your expenses.
Things in Austin are spread out so you might have to make mini routes to do your shops there. You could pick up Fuzzy's, Wingstop, Smashburger, Cowboy Chicken, Pappasittos/Pappadeaux, Sonic, Sonny Bryan BBQ, BJs Brewhouse for food shops with various MSCs.
Also, consider the Texas Shopping Network as an MSC if you go there. Sentry is also in Dallas and has more Texas shops than elsewhere I believe.
Thanks all...appreciate it. I have been to most of the locations mentioned already, it's just I know that shopping them can be a different situation than just touristing them. It occurs to me that the best areas for MSing have to be places where there are lots of chains instead of independent businesses - so probably cities with newer commercial developments. Vegas and Orlando come to mind....I can second the comment about traffic in Orlando... I probably should consider Atlanta as well. I have so many friends in that city.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2017 11:48AM by BarefootBliss.
I would choose Las Vegas. I'd get an M Life Card, pick any of the MGM properties and make sure your M Life # is on the hotel folio. It doesn't matter who pays the bill, you'll get credit for the stay.
You can get to work in Las Vegas in a few hours. You can work with the temp card. There is no shortage of work there. There is no reimbursement only work in Las Vegas. It's not legal to make you work for reimbursement only.
I'd cross Memphis off if I were you. We spent the night there once and I haven't heard the end of it since. We won't be going back. I just came back from New Orleans and don't know about shops but I would love to be able to spend some more time there. It was a fun place. Along with DC. BUT I think you should pick Atlanta and visit your friends!! That makes the trip that much better. (I think Orlando would be too busy for me.)
I'm thinking a nice resort, Bahama's or such, then flying home, stopover in Chicago to visit my daughter.
I do love D.C after visiting once, but more for playing, not working, so much to do, great city. I remember when there visiting museums and seeing Liz Taylor;s jewelry (famous diamond). I always love the wine country, (Sonoma) and getting Mustards restaurant if it's still shopped. Many places, hard to choose....