Apartment shops and test drives

I have stayed way away from apartment shops and test drives / car lot visits. Can anyone share with me their experience with these shops? I would not be interested in video shops. Are these ever worth doing? I mostly mystery shop for fun and often to get reimbursed for an experience or item that I would purchase anyways (once in awhile I take a shop for the pay but it has to be a fairly simple shop or interesting)

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Others have more experience. But here is what I can tell you. The apartment shop I completed was easy. I called the designated property, made my inquiry, and made an appointment. I reported on the phone call interaction. I visited the property as scheduled. I reported on that. There were questions about persons, exteriors, and interiors. This was not a video shop. I needed no specific skills beyond those usually used in mystery shopping. I remembered names, descriptions, places, conditions, etc. imho this was an extremely easy shop.

I have completed shops with and without test drives. I prefer not to do the test drives. They just add a few questions and more narrative to the report. Only if I were really in the market for a dealership vehicle would I take a test drive. The test drives add time, questions, and narrative for no additional pay. Oh, wait I said that already. But if you like vehicles, you might enjoy the test drives for personal reasons. That is completely up to you. smiling smiley

The problem with winter sports is that - follow me closely here - they generally take place in winter. - Dave Barry
Apt. shops without target are easy, targets for anything more time consuming. Dealerships a pain in the....
I've never done one without a test drive, if they ask, you must accept. You can go 4 blocks, doesn't have to be an extensive drive. I do them only when pay is large, but not my favorite, last on my list. I did enjoy doing the Tesla, because it was new and since my daughter wants one, told her the facts., pretty amazing car. Looking for easy jobs which it sounds like you are, stay away from targets and dealerships.

Live consciously....
Thank you for the information. I see lots of apartment shops in my area all of the time and I have stayed away from those so far. There are always a lot for marketstat and I was wondering how you know if those have a target or not.
I make most of my money off apartment shops.... The length of report, etc. depend greatly on the MSC. Most have some narrative. A few MSC's require significant narratives. However, as a general rule, those that are more narrative intense have better compensation. I type very quickly and don't mind narratives, so I find them pretty easy. However, I do not like to take them without a modest bonus attached. Targeted shops can be a mixed bag. I pick up a lot of targeted apartments after folks have failed to reach the target multiple times (the shops often have nice bonuses attached, but targets that can be very difficult to reach). I simply doggedly call when I have breaks in my schedule. It can be annoying, but it really doesn't bother me much...

Car shops also tend to be narrative-intense and have a time-commitment similar to that of apartments. (Basically, you need to go through a sales presentation). I do them when I want to know more about (or simply want to drive) the car in question. Payment varies widely - I've seen as little as $14 and as much as $150 for a base payment. (The larger amounts have been for vehicles costly over $200,000.)

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
The two I have done for MarketStat have had targets. I found out after taking the shops and reading the guidelines. Both targets in mine were tricky to reach as they were the site managers and made a point of not answering the phone or giving tours - instead leaving them to the leasing agents. The reports had some moderate narratives, but were certainly less intense than the apartments I have done for a couple of other MSC's....

I was not able to reach the first until I was given permission to ask for him directly. The shop was successful, but, after he gave me the tour, he passed me off to the leasing specialist to talk numbers and application.

The second happened to be the only one in the office on my fourth call and answered. I made my appointment, but, when I arrived, she told me immediately that a different person would give me the tour. I'll get paid for this just fine - as will the MSC - and it will be up to the client to determine whether or not the target's actions were appropriate.

@stebrow283 wrote:

Thank you for the information. I see lots of apartment shops in my area all of the time and I have stayed away from those so far. There are always a lot for marketstat and I was wondering how you know if those have a target or not.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
There is a thread about the $75 car shops you should read. Basically do 3 to 4 other shops to earn the same money without the stress of the editor for the car shps.
Neither are my thing. I've completely stopped doing car dealerships with test drives after I was contacted directly by a salesman and confronted about the report. Don't forget, if you do a test drive, they need your license. They will copy it and will sometimes do a credit check while you're doing the test drive. I know they aren't supposed to, but I think some do. They also then have your address etc. I'll only do dealerships where I can use a fake name and not take a test drive. They do exist.

Apartment shops I just don't enjoy so I don't do them. I like to shop on my own time at my own pace and not have to rely on others' schedules when making my day plans. As far as anything targeted...forget it!!

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

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@wrosie wrote:

There is a thread about the $75 car shops you should read. Basically do 3 to 4 other shops to earn the same money without the stress of the editor for the car shps.
Beg to differ, my 75.00 dealership was easier than my Intellishop 17.00 dealership, which was impossible.

Live consciously....
I've seen car dealership shops offered at precisely $75 for two different MSC's.... There has been a thread about the editor for one of those MSC's. I have not done those. I have done quite a few for the other MSC - and the shops were very hassle free. smiling smiley

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Like most shops, not all apartment or new car shops are equal. If you are in this for the money, they can be great. If you mystery shop for the perks, don't bother.

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.
@LisaSTL wrote:

Like most shops, not all apartment or new car shops are equal. If you are in this for the money, they can be great. If you mystery shop for the perks, don't bother.

I agree with LIsa. I've never done an apartment shop, but have done car shops. The $75 shop wasn't any harder than the $50 one, and my problem wasn't with the editor, but with the scheduler. Some of the instructions weren't clear, and when I e-mailed the scheduler, she responded but didn't answer the question (so another round of e-mails). I had to reschedule due to bad weather on the day, and the shop didn't get rescheduled in the system and showed up as overdue--which caused another round of back and forth with the scheduler. Once I did the shop, it went fine, and I had no problems with editing. If I hadn't had to spend so much time on e-mails with scheduling, it would have been a very nice money maker.

If you can get one of the $20 car shops when it gets bonused up, they're pretty easy. No test drive required and shorter survey. Not worth it for $20, though.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Hi stebrow283, When I first started doing apartment and auto shops I didn't care for them because they were too time consuming, reports were lengthy, and targeted shops only added to the aggravation. After being inspired by several speakers at an IMSC conference I decided to take a second look with fresh eyes. Once I got out of my own way, I realized these were great money-making shops, particularly the apartment shops, which I thoroughly enjoy and do as often as the opportunity arises. I am reminded of Wayne Dyer's restatement, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
Each MSC had different requirements for apartment/dealerships. Some are easier than others plus you don't know if you like them until you try them. Most MSC will allow you to read the guidelines before committing. Yes, targeted apartment shops are a little difficult but not as difficult as targeted fitness clubs.
When I was laid off from my 9-5, I did these (and bank) shops because I did not have to spend any money.

The apartment shops from two MSCs were consistent. I did them when they were bonused. The highest bonus was $30. The reports are intense, but become like clockwork when you do several. I did at least one per week.

The test drive shops, I only did when bonused. The highest bonus was $100 total fee. The reports are intense. These shops were not my favorite.

You didn't ask, but bank shops were some of my favorites because I learned something new every visit. The shops for $14/$17, I could squeeze in next to the apartments and test drive shops. The reports were simple. The bank shops that paid mileage, I would wait for the bonuses. The highest bonus was $300.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Those aren't test drive shops.

@wrosie wrote:

There is a thread about the $75 car shops you should read. Basically do 3 to 4 other shops to earn the same money without the stress of the editor for the car shps.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I enjoyed the apartment shops from one MSC and, since I have two rental properties, I also found them educational. And I increased the rent on my rentals! The reports were straight forward and there was no target. I see several other MSC's in my area offering apartment shops with targets and they appear to be a lot more time consuming for only about $10 more. Following the advice here, I will wait until they are heavily bonused.
I've done the $75 car shops; one visit, no test drive, no negotiations. Honny, are you referring to the two-visit $75 shops?

@HonnyBrown wrote:

Those aren't test drive shops.

@wrosie wrote:

There is a thread about the $75 car shops you should read. Basically do 3 to 4 other shops to earn the same money without the stress of the editor for the car shps.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I do both the apartment and the car dealership shops and enjoy both. I find the apartment shops easier to do and would do way more if it wasn't for the rotation rules. The car dealership reports can be tedious because the MSC I do them for expect a lot of detail on how the sales associate presented the vehicle to me. They want information on what the SA said about the vehicle and the specifications and options. Some shops want detailed info on what the SA said about financing and leasing. These shops seem to range from $25 to $55 in my region. The more you do, the easier the reports and all the narrative will get. What I don't like about doing these two types of shops is that I have to deal with calls from the person I interacted with at both the apartment and dealership.
When I was MSing full time, I primarily did apartments, banks and test drives. For the apartments and test drives, they are narrative intense. I did not do them without a bonus. Because I was MSing full time, I would do nearby cell phone and bank shops.

With the apartments, you have to show your ID. You are in not just that apartment's database, but the management company's database forever.. Have a good story in case they question you.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

With the apartments, you have to show your ID. You are in not just that apartment's database, but the management company's database forever.. Have a good story in case they question you.

I've used about twenty different names, email addresses and phone numbers for this reason...

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I have never had to show any id when I do apartment shops. I did have to give my name & phone number to see if they follow up but I would use different names but my real phone number. If they called back after the initial follow-up, tell them it was my roommate looking. I guess the rules are different in the area where I shop.
You didn't show your license?

@MFJohnston wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

With the apartments, you have to show your ID. You are in not just that apartment's database, but the management company's database forever.. Have a good story in case they question you.

I've used about twenty different names, email addresses and phone numbers for this reason...

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I use all sorts of variations of my first and middle name with my real last name. My last name is common enough to make it work... By changing my email and phone number, the alias holds up pretty well. Very few apartments take information directly off the license - or even give it more than a perfunctory glance.

quote=HonnyBrown]
You didn't show your license?

@MFJohnston wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

With the apartments, you have to show your ID. You are in not just that apartment's database, but the management company's database forever.. Have a good story in case they question you.

I've used about twenty different names, email addresses and phone numbers for this reason...
[/quote]

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
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