Convenience Vs. Waiting for That Big Bonus?

I've often been in the situation of deciding whether or not to accept a shop, given it's convenience to me at a particular time and/or place (maybe along the way of a route or just when I have nothing better to do that day or time) vs. waiting for it to be bonused later (with the risk that it might not be or goes to someone else).

Have you ever been in that situation too?

How do you decide? Papa John's shops are often that way for me.

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Happens all of the time, Oil change shops toward the end of the month but only every three months. used to be I could rotate the cars and get one every month. Some of the Gas shops will go up in price not a lot but if there are several located close together it is OK. Gas Audits never come up in price enough to mele it worth it.
Yes, all the time. If I hold out for what I want (sorry, I'm not driving 800 miles for chump change!), they might find another shopper to do it for less. Happens all the time.
It's a dilemma for sure. I always wait for the bonus, even if I may miss a few. The only exceptions are the lunch shops close to my FTJ, those I will take at a base rate when they come up.

proudly shopping in the D.
@PaulinMI wrote:

It's a dilemma for sure. I always wait for the bonus, even if I may miss a few. The only exceptions are the lunch shops close to my FTJ, those I will take at a base rate when they come up.

I'm with you! I used to scoop up everything I could and tons of fillers and reports to get done. It meant many $5K months of traveling, but now, I wait for a bonus and I often still clear $2-$3K in a good month on bonuses. Of course, I'm still rural in WV and near the VA, KY, TN borders so I can hop a few states in a days time and get back home before dark.

MegglesKat
@MountainCacher88 wrote:

@PaulinMI wrote:

It's a dilemma for sure. I always wait for the bonus, even if I may miss a few. The only exceptions are the lunch shops close to my FTJ, those I will take at a base rate when they come up.

I'm with you! I used to scoop up everything I could and tons of fillers and reports to get done. It meant many $5K months of traveling, but now, I wait for a bonus and I often still clear $2-$3K in a good month on bonuses. Of course, I'm still rural in WV and near the VA, KY, TN borders so I can hop a few states in a days time and get back home before dark.

If you don't mind sharing, what types of shops net you those figures (cell phone?, alcohol checks?)?
@MountainCacher88, that's fantastic, can't wait till I can be hitting the 2 to 3 thousand mark per month, with the help and tips this forum offers, I got close to clearing 500 dollars in july. I'm new to doing this other than just a hobby so still building up the stamina to do multiple shops and reports in one day. and learning which shops I like the best etc...

To the poster; this happens to me all the time; I work Monday through Friday, so I tend to look at shops on Wednesday night that I can shop over the weekend and sometimes if I don't scoop up shops right away they are gone in couple of hours. Sometimes I like to wait to see if other shops will pop up from different companies in the same area if can find a a nicely bonused shop..but yes if I wait too long they disappear..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2018 02:38AM by dawnhu.
If you check yMSC job boards frequently, you’ll learn when they post new shops. Or ask a scheduler.
As for waiting for bonuses, it really depends on the shop, the MSC and your area. I mostly do apartment shops. I could hold off and only do shops with bonuses, but then I wouldn’t be working at all for two weeks. Pay attention to the boards and you’ll learn when bonuses are more likely, I.e. end of month, end of quarter. It’s just not the same for every project, but your get a feel for it.
Personally, I have found enough shops in my area where I don’t need to wait for bonuses. I couldn’t possibly get everything done and I’d end up making less in the long run.
There are some jobs I'm just not that interested in - $15 hardware store visits...make it $35 and my ears perk up. Then again, I'll pick up a cheapie pretzel shop, only because I happen to be at the same mall, doing an Albatross shop.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2018 03:48PM by Monk-N-Nut.
I find that there is no perfect answer to this. To some degree, it's just a matter of knowing the patterns for the particular MSC in your particular area. Of course, periodically, a new shopper will pop up and take the jobs at a lower price and undercut your planning. Then, again, often those new shoppers flake, forcing the job to go back onto the board with an even better bonus than expected.....

I approach it more like this: There is a minimum amount for which I will work. If I have a day set aside, I will try to maximize earnings. If that means grabbing a shop now that might be better later, so be it. Of course, if I am choosing between two shops that are close in value and one *might* be much better later, I choose to do the one with less potential now.....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
When targeted shops come with a big bonus that is sometimes a danger sign; the target may be ducking shoppers.

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.
Absolutely. However, if you have the tenacity, you can make a good bit of money chasing these folks down. (You will also be appreciated by the MSC for it....) I don't mind making multiple phone calls with different scenarios, excuses, accents, languages, whatevers to chase those folks down.

@walesmaven wrote:

When targeted shops come with a big bonus that is sometimes a danger sign; the target may be ducking shoppers.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@walesmaven wrote:

When targeted shops come with a big bonus that is sometimes a danger sign; the target may be ducking shoppers.

True, but if you make all your required calls and show the MSC that you haven’t been able to reach the target, often you can get permission to shop anyone. I’ve found many cases where the target no longer works there, just none of the previous shoppers made enough calls to get to where they could ask for them by name. With some MSC’s you can see the dates, times and length of all calls.
I have scooped, and I have waited. Neither is better or worse. What works in my world is to do what I need to do in order to meet my current financial goal. It will be wonderful when my current financial goal is to retire from this and do no shops whatsoever, or do only well bonused shops, or do shops that I personally love to do, or do shops that are conveniently located near museums and other nerdy girl (NOT dirty girl!) pleasure places.

I watch what I eat every day. I mean, who actually eats with their eyes closed? - Brian Celio
@Shop-et-al wrote:

I have scooped, and I have waited. Neither is better or worse. What works in my world is to do what I need to do in order to meet my current financial goal. It will be wonderful when my current financial goal is to retire from this and do no shops whatsoever, or do only well bonused shops, or do shops that I personally love to do, or do shops that are conveniently located near museums and other nerdy girl (NOT dirty girl!) pleasure places.

Just a random rant.

I really wish MSCs would not play around with gradually increasing bonuses on shops they know no one takes at super low rates. It would make scheduling them so much easier and convenient. sad smiley

Papa John's is an example for me. So many times I would have taken a shop had they paid well enough earlier in the month. They end up paying more, in fact, than what I would have done it for when it was convenient to me. I could have taken it at $7.00, for example, the 5th of the month, but they were offering no bonus. Now, that shop might sit until the 20th and they end up paying $15 for someone to do it.
Never huts to email the scheduler and say "I'll do it this day for this much", Works for me.

proudly shopping in the D.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2018 01:20AM by PaulinMI.
@PaulinMI wrote:

Never huts to email the scheduler and say "I'll do it this day for this much", Works for me.

I've done that occasionally, but I am now motivated to do it more. smiling smiley Thx for the reminder!

After all the schedulers always ask us for help and low-ball us (or the MSC does).

I'm all for taking more control over our destinies!
Also, regarding the topic of bonuses:

How does one go about asking for one if you've been known to be a non-bonus shopper for that same shop a lot?

For example, I do a few drive-thru Sonics a lot in my area for $10 fee + meal reimbursement. If I felt it was worth $16-$20, would that be weird to suddenly be demanding more for every location (the further way, the more)?

And, what if it's a lot more? From a $15 fee, say, to asking for $35 for the same shop. Is that too big a jump?
Nope. If it's the same MSC I've done Sonics for, you are basically locked into the rate you did it for before -- at least until it's been so long since you did it that you "fall off the list" of recent shoppers.

However, if the shops are hard to fill, you can wait until they are bonused. If they are never bonused, you won't get a bonus. If they regularly get bonused, you are in luck.

What gets me is when the fee I've been getting gets cut because the "last shopper did it for less". I tell them to call that other shopper!

TALK with your scheduler. A good one will tell you what the shop has paid in the past. If it has never paid over $10 plus reimbursement, you won't get more than $10 plus reimbursement. Unless, of course, something happens to all the shoppers who have done it for that, and they need it done TODAY, and they'll pay anything reasonable.
@ceasesmith wrote:

TALK with your scheduler. A good one will tell you what the shop has paid in the past. If it has never paid over $10 plus reimbursement, you won't get more than $10 plus reimbursement. Unless, of course, something happens to all the shoppers who have done it for that, and they need it done TODAY, and they'll pay anything reasonable.

Do you straight up ask them the going rate?

That's interesting. I rarely talk to schedulers. Occasionally, I'll ask for a bonus, but almost always get denied. I don't feel I ask too high either. Usually between $3 to $15 more on average. I guess my area has lots of other shoppers.

Schedulers also seem to rotate in and out of regions too. For ACL, it seems I get a new one every four months.
"Can you tell me, please, what's the highest this shop has paid?" They'll either say, No, that's confidential, or they'll tell you. Or perhaps they don't have access to that information (usually, they do, though; a good scheduler has to be familiar with their hard-to-place shops).

Frankly, I would never get my $80-$125 bonuses if I didn't keep AND USE the phone numbers of all my favorite schedulers.

Often, I get the phone numbers right off the e-mails they send. Sometimes, I get them from other shoppers. And when a scheduler calls ME, I ALWAYS but ALWAYS get their name and phone number (and e-mail, if they'll give it) and make a note on the company sheet I keep.

If I get the phone from an e-mail, I'll call and tell them I just want to introduce myself, tell them how long I've been shopping, mention I know how busy they are so I won't keep them, but if they ever have a hard to fill shop, keep me in mind.

Frankly, I think a good scheduler is priceless, and deserves our respect. I'll bend over backwards to help one of my favorites!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2018 02:01AM by ceasesmith.
@ceasesmith wrote:

"Can you tell me, please, what's the highest this shop has paid?" They'll either say, No, that's confidential, or they'll tell you. Or perhaps they don't have access to that information (usually, they do, though; a good scheduler has to be familiar with their hard-to-place shops).

Frankly, I would never get my $80-$125 bonuses if I didn't keep AND USE the phone numbers of all my favorite schedulers.

Often, I get the phone numbers right off the e-mails they send. Sometimes, I get them from other shoppers. And when a scheduler calls ME, I ALWAYS but ALWAYS get their name and phone number (and e-mail, if they'll give it) and make a note on the company sheet I keep.

If I get the phone from an e-mail, I'll call and tell them I just want to introduce myself, tell them how long I've been shopping, mention I know how busy they are so I won't keep them, but if they ever have a hard to fill shop, keep me in mind.

Frankly, I think a good scheduler is priceless, and deserves our respect. I'll bend over backwards to help one of my favorites!

I'll try your advice, cease. I really appreciate your time and thoughts into this. smiling smiley

One thing going against me possibly is that I was an erratic shopper. My experience is 1.5 years, but during that time I was rehabbing from medical injury and not really shopping - or just doing single shops - much of the time. Actually, I did a bunch of phone shops for about a three month period. I've asked for a bonus before on those, but never heard back. sad smiley

For now, I'm back, but I'm also looking into other "side hustles." I just posted a thread on side hustles in general chat too discussing this:

[www.youtube.com]

It's a video I came across that just released a few days ago on various side jobs one can do. I liked the tutor Chinese kids in English one, because you don't even have to speak Chinese. You can just speak English, as a lot of kids just want to practice their English with you. It sounds fun chatting with kids and making money over the internet (video conference). Come join us in the side hustles thread if you like. I know of other ones too to fill time when mystery shopping is scarce.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Frankly, I think a good scheduler is priceless, and deserves our respect. I'll bend over backwards to help one of my favorites!
^^This^^
Two schedulers for the same company - The first is fair, respectful, upfront, and remembers her best shoppers. The second doesn't answer email in a timely fashion, could care less if you've done him a favor in the past, and has a god-complex. Guess which one I'll bend over backward for.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
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