Information Overload/Route builders

@LisaSTL wrote:

At $44/hour it wasn't the $60 bgriffin suggests, but I did sleep in my own bedsmiling smiley

I would say $44 per hour in your own bed is more than $60 an hour in a hotel.

Oh wait. That doesn't really sound very good.....

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

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@Big Billy Hill wrote:

Given an 18-hour work day that's about 1-hour per shop,

I'm going to attribute this comment and the numbers presented on a lack of experience.When you finally come to the realization there is a wide variety of shops and a wide variety of pay scales, you will understand. MSing is not easy, but anyone making a living is not focusing on $10 retail, $20 auto dealers and $25 apartments. If you have no desire to step up your game, there is no need to find out how it is possible to make more. There is also no reason to call someone else a liar or assume you know what they are doing based on your limited exposure.

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.
LOL! Down fellas! I hate to see people argue.

I did 3 gas stations today -- 2 revealed audits that took less than 1/2 hour each, and an unrevealed mystery shop that did, indeed, take less than 10 minutes (including washing my hands!). I left home at 2 PM and I was finished before 6 PM. I only made $140 for the 3 shops.

I have a route tomorrow with 4 gas stations (all revealed), a fast food, a post office, a hardware store and they total close to $500 plus reimbursements (yes, all are out in the middle of nowhere; they are paying $125, $50, $50, $50, $50, $75, and $80). Later in the week I have 8 gas stations, mystery shops only, paying $100 each. Two very, very difficult days for me -- I'll have to take several days off after, just to recover! And as soon as I recover, I have another day booked, 3 fast food shops for $50, $30, and $80, for $160 in a town one and a half hours away. So that's another short day for me, LOL!!!

I don't do this anywhere near full time, I try to work really hard about 10 days a month.

But I absolutely guarantee you that if I can make $500-$800 in one awfully long day, someone capable of working it full time could certainly make $50,000 a year.

And next week, bonuses kick in!

smiling smiley
Au contraire, mon freresmiling smiley For the last several months I've been adding some $14 stations into my routes. They do take 20 minutes, but that includes the report I complete on site so it is submitted as I'm pulling out of the parking lot.

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.
Wow, so my brain hurts a tad too much to read the entire argument over math and how much shops pay. I will say that there IS a ton of money to be made which is kind of the entire problem. I travel routes because of multiple reasons sorry to restate if I've already done so. First, for family and friends second for other jobs not MS related but contract or volunteer work like delivery and training for Veterans' services dogs and lastly to local towns to earn an income. Please tell me there is a software or some tool that I can plug the literal thousands of options in and have it spit out a route using the best ones. When I focus I consider my narratives decent and quick data entry forms are fine too. My scheduling leaves a lot to be desired for countless reasons. I guess it boils down to me begging someone or thing to take a list of opportunities that are available for me to request on demand (like as I'm walking in) and tell me where to go based on location and value. Just an update: even with learning all of this I made it back to Minnesota earning zero to help with costs and I leave for Iowa, Tennessee, back to Iowa, Florida, Missouri or Minnesota and lastly Texas by June 14th. I've been home, Minnesota, just over 24 hours and it's been a very rocky restart.
So, I've got Circle K at $6 (branding), Phillips 66 at $8, Western Refining at $7, Shell AUDITS at $12.50, same for Chevron, Conoco same as Phillips, Sinclair at $10.50 Partial Audits, Exxon same as Shell AUDITS, Alon at $6.......plus $3 - $5 gas and a shitbar from the store......did I leave anyone out? Those are all the starting rates. Sure, this week I have tons at $65 - $170, all bonused and travel. I do not have any gas stations, nor have I ever seen any, that do not require a MID or Overall photo.

For all of these, there are tons of pages of materials to memorize, travel time etc. Oh, what's the use in trying to make a point.
I live in your same general area and it’s just not that simple. There is no program that maps a profitable route at the touch of a button. If there was, everyone would be using it and it would be just as tough to plan a route with the competition. I scan the bazillion emails that come in and take mental note of the type of shops that may be route worthy later on. I try to keep those emails in their own folder so it’s easier to access potential shops later.

Then when I see a group of profitable shops pop up in one centralized location, or a couple of ultra-bonused shops that would be “worth it” to me, I grab them. I then go back through and fill in more shops that will work to bulk up my route.

For me personally, I tend to rely on my own memory & I also have a strong sense of geography. I can somehow keep the locations of these potential shop locations mapped out in my head for the most part.
@spicy1 wrote:

So, I've got Circle K at $6 (branding), Phillips 66 at $8, Western Refining at $7, Shell AUDITS at $12.50, same for Chevron, Conoco same as Phillips, Sinclair at $10.50 Partial Audits, Exxon same as Shell AUDITS, Alon at $6.......plus $3 - $5 gas and a shitbar from the store......did I leave anyone out? Those are all the starting rates. Sure, this week I have tons at $65 - $170, all bonused and travel. I do not have any gas stations, nor have I ever seen any, that do not require a MID or Overall photo.

For all of these, there are tons of pages of materials to memorize, travel time etc. Oh, what's the use in trying to make a point.

Where I live there are Cicle K mystery shops at $10, Phillips mystery shops at $13 (I'm sorry but gas is the same as cash to me), Chevron mystery shops at $11 (again gas is same as cash to me). These are the only shops I currently do and only if I'm passing them anyway. The Phillips (Conoco/76) and Circle K shops require a photo. I usually take the overall when I'm approaching the gas station and the ID while I'm pumping gas. Doesn't take any extra time. I don't do audits anymore. I used to when I could get a decent fee but that hasn't been the case in a couple of years.

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

Wow, so my brain hurts a tad too much to read the entire argument over math and how much shops pay. I will say that there IS a ton of money to be made which is kind of the entire problem. I travel routes because of multiple reasons sorry to restate if I've already done so. First, for family and friends second for other jobs not MS related but contract or volunteer work like delivery and training for Veterans' services dogs and lastly to local towns to earn an income. Please tell me there is a software or some tool that I can plug the literal thousands of options in and have it spit out a route using the best ones. When I focus I consider my narratives decent and quick data entry forms are fine too. My scheduling leaves a lot to be desired for countless reasons. I guess it boils down to me begging someone or thing to take a list of opportunities that are available for me to request on demand (like as I'm walking in) and tell me where to go based on location and value. Just an update: even with learning all of this I made it back to Minnesota earning zero to help with costs and I leave for Iowa, Tennessee, back to Iowa, Florida, Missouri or Minnesota and lastly Texas by June 14th. I've been home, Minnesota, just over 24 hours and it's been a very rocky restart.

I'm sorry to say this but setting up routes takes a decent amount of time. What I suggested before and I suggest again is starting with shops you like to do and find worthwhile. Let's say you like........the cell phone mystery shops from Market Force. I dunno, pick whatever you like. Then look at your map and the Market Force website and see which locations are on your route. And then grab them. Then find another shop you like. Say......car dealers from Dumbishop. Then add in all of the car dealers on the Dumbishop board on your route. And just keep doing that same thing over and over until your route is full.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I missed meeting you in ATL. Made me sad. Great information, per usual. Thanks.

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!
If you have Excel, you can at least map out your routes on Batch Geo. I haven't messed with it yet and I wish I had this week. I think its free.

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!
You're always on point.

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!
Oh, boy, yes, I have to agree -- I don't think anyone could make a living doing this at the prices offered on job boards. Just not enough hours in the day to make a living from $4, $7, even $20 jobs.

And allow me to iterate, OP, that PrestoInstaMaps is a valuable tool. It shows you on a MAP every SASSIE shop, so you can get on it and just follow your route and see what shops are available. I use it ALL the time to pick up filler shops. If I'm going to be in a certain town and have an $80 shop there, I'll go to Presto and pick up another 4 or 5 shops that maybe I only get $25 each for, but makes the day worthwhile.

And paying someone to do it for you doesn't make sense, as you'd have to tell them which shops you will or won't do, and many, many other variables. A few of them I can think of off the top of my head are, is there extra $$ available? How are the schedulers to work with? (There's a few I refuse to work with -- they don't respond to e-mails or voicemail while I'm on the road, which is VITAL, because STUFF HAPPENS. I don't like rescheduling, but sometimes it's necessary. Like Saturday, I had a flat tire, 150 miles from home; just totally screwed my schedule, because out in the country, nothing is OPEN to fix a flat!) How familiar I am with the shop itself; how long will it take; how difficult is the report. I'm sure there's more. No one else can really take all these variables into consideration for you.
@MA Smith wrote:

I missed meeting you in ATL. Made me sad. Great information, per usual. Thanks.

Oh I didn't know you were there!

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Most video shops never see a job board and also, most pay a minimum of $50 unless they are very, very short interactions like grocery store check out or collecting a carryout order, of quick convenience store stuff. A trained video shopper with own equipment will submit a test video to the top video MSCs and never have to look at a job board after doing a few well done videos with longer interactions such as apartments, new homes, new and used car purchase, senior living, etc. Smart video schedulers know that to get top video product they need to treat the shoppers like volunteers, not like any old labor source. Because, truth-be-told, there is still a shortage of skilled video shoppers compared to the growing demand for quality work of this sort. Just because a few MSCs have tried to hop on the video bandwagon offering $35 apartment shops, some folks think that is the norm. Well, those MSCs simply are not getting ANY of the video veterans, who have more, and much better paid, video offered that never sees a job board.. If all I have t do for an apartment video shop is drive 2 miles, submit the video and a 5 minute survey, I expect, and get, a minimum of $50. Distance and/or a longer report, and the fee goes up, and up. Video 10 minute bank account opening with short survey $100 and up. New homes, start at $75 is they are close to my home and not targeted.

I know what kinds of routes BG does and he does make a very good living at those. I know what videos Hoju does in NYC and have done those myself, at better than $300 a day, with my hotel and dinner and breakfasts all covered by hotel (non-video) shops with simple reports and extended deadlines because the hotel schedulers understand route shopping. When I can park my vehicle for 40 minutes, walk down the block and do a $50 bank shop, get parking paid, a 15 minute report and $90 for the special order parking shops, you can be sure that I can clear $300 a day in NYC and not break a sweat. And, since I cannot drive at night, I am missing the extra pay for the evening and early AM parking videos there. AND, none of those shops have a bonus! I am familiar with the kinds of mini-route MFJohnston runs in the NW states and that everything he says is possible for someone with enthusiasm and determination. Folks who state flatly that these earnings are not possible are also missing the point that the REALLY busy route shoppers are far busier than would allow them to spend much time on the forums. And make a lot more that you all seem to be arguing the route and/or video shoppers here make. And pile up hundreds of thousands of air rewards and "frequent sleeper" points while doing so.

I only run limited routes now, due to a few health issues, but I still see, and get, the kinds of fees that others deride as just "not true." Just got the DD for a $250 bank shop that was 5 miles away, non-video, easy report, no account opening. Did not ask for a bonus and it never saw a job board. The banker was an "epic fail" at the scenario but the report was short because all it required was for me to say: N/A, the banker never mentioned any of the 22 things on your checklist," and similarly demanding narratives. Yes, I "paid my due," by doing a few $50 shops, with similar reports, for that MSC before seeing the $25 one.

btw, I know that BG lives in an area where he must do huge routes to do what pays well, so just saying that your home turf does not supply such income possibilities is more than a little disingenuous.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2018 02:33AM by walesmaven.
@OP: We all have unique demographics. I do not know anyone personally who posts here, but I know this. You will never get anywhere that is good (in a non-shopping way) by comparing your new shopper self with any other shopper. It is wonderful that some shoppers have made this business profitable for them. But is their system going to work for you? What is your definition of profitable? What is your definition of desirable work, tolerable work, and never-to-be-done work? For how long can you be away from your home base? As you go along, you will find out how much of this business is a good thing for you. I hope that you will enjoy the journey! smiling smiley

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
What is life?
Who am I?

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


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2018 01:11AM by bgriffin.
Some people think the bigger cities have more opportunities. But more means tons of more shoppers and less pay or never any bonuses. They will find someone to do that shop. Overall it is about demand. Schedulers make a big difference too!
@Big Billy Hill wrote:

Nobody can do 20+ shops in a 24-hour period.
5 post office shops, 10 of the 10-minute gas shops, 2 Money Trees, and 3 bank tellers will take about 6 hours. At base rate, that's $200 plus a tank of gas. At the end of the month, it's double (or likely much more than) that.

It would be the rare person who can do 20 bank account openings or 20 apartment shops in a day, but the blanket statement is wrong.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@bgriffin wrote:

@spicy1 wrote:

No gas station can be done in 10 min, unless yoi cheat.

You are simply incorrect.

I did three Chevron gas station mystery shops on Sunday. All three had a bonus attached that doubled the fee. All three were less than 10 minute shops. All three were locations I was literally driving past anyway. And all three paid $12 plus a $5 gas reimbursement. I completed the shops on their app immediately. $51 in income for half an hour of work. That's significantly above my $60 per hour goal. I also did not cheat.

After you've done a few hundred of these, it's hard to spend a full 10 minutes there. If there's no restroom and no lines, you end up rewashing the windows over and over.
I never stay 10 minutes. Or rarely. It always flags me for the "your time seems low" but I just hit the little check mark and go on. I've never had one denied. Although it usually is 8 or 9 minutes.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@Big Billy Hill wrote:

Sorry, no way does anyone MSing earn what Bgriffin claims. All MSers video shopping or doing routes have a second income--retirement, social security, or emergency loans from parents. NOBODY makes 50k/year as a shopper after expenses. Bgriffin is representing that she/he makes as much as an IT manager at a mid-size company just from MSing. Not possible. The MS companies make it impossible. So dont be fooled.

I took his calculations as a generalization = "this is the number I try to hit to make to make it worth my while," not that that was what he made day in and day out. As in, he was comparing the amount of money he'd be making after putting in all this work, and comparing that amount to what he'd make at a "regular" full-time job. I agree that it would be next to impossible to make that amount of money every single week, unless you have developed relationships with MSCs and they shoot you the most lucrative jobs week in and week out. But I could be wrong. winking smiley
Establishing relationships with schedulers who provide a ton of well compensated shops (50 to 100 or more in many cases) every month is EXACTLY how some MSers earn the sorts of net incomes that some deny are possible. Just because the naysayers have no such relationships does not mean that this is not possible.

If you want to learn how to develop very profitable route a shopper education conference may be for you. I do not know what the upcoming MSPA conference has on the subject, but the November IMSC conference planners are working on doing a sequence of three route-building/profit building sessions for begining, intermediate, and advanced route building skill development. The final program will not be available for some time, but I do know that I am going to lead the beginners' route building session.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2018 09:08PM by walesmaven.
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