$60/hr: How can it be done?

#7 in the initial post - absolutely! I used to comment at home I wouldn't do them if I was in the store anyway,'' Thank you for the post and clarification. I average 25.hr part time - not bad at all. You have to balan ce it all!!

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I haven't averaged my pay over time so I have no idea what the average is. I do know that I aim for $15 for ordinary day to day shopping. I often make much more than that. I am sure I have hit the $60 many times. Gas station routes have been a good money maker for me. Not being lazy about picking up filler shops can really bump it up as well. That $10 shop may look like a waste of time but when you sandwich 3-4 of them in between your good paying shops, over time they add up. If I'm shopping an apartment community, I always look for those little $10-$12 shops in the same area. Even grocery shops add up and save a ton on the grocery bill. Then when I get home I get the little reports out of the way and then focus on the one big one.

Even if my pay adds up to just $12-$15 an hour, at least I wasn't stuck behind some cash register all day for minimum wage. I was out meeting people and having different experiences. I am very grateful for mystery shopping saving me from that sad fate.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
Bam! That's EXACTLY how to do this stuff. MSCs need to accept the fact that $10 an hour (including travel time) is not worth the effort to ANYONE. Shoppers should ignore all low-paying assignments until bonuses are added ... then call and get the bonus doubled. Personally, I don't even consider jobs that won't net me at least $30 CASH an hour. Reimbursements must be on top of that. I don't do a lot of shops, but I don't waste my time, either. If you're a professional, expect to get paid like one!!
I shop in the Phoenix area - zillions of apartments and not one of them has taken me less than 45 minutes on-site. Just the tour alone us usually 20-30 minutes long. Not sure how this shopper does these in 15-20 minutes. Additionally, one MS company has such a redundant report that it alone takes an hour. Just how do you do $60 apartment shops in under 15-20 onsite and same for report?
One caveat needed here: you must have no other responsibilities in life except Mystery shopping.
I am continually amazed by the auto shop that pays $20 (sometimes with a $5 bonus) and insists that it will take only 15 - 20 minutes on site. Are you kidding? Has anyone ever managed to complete a new car shop in 20 minutes and have it accepted? "Test test drive not required" - sure, but if one is offered, take it. 20 minutes on site is absurd.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Love that you give the extra food to the homeless - What a great idea when you have so many food shops!
@MFJohnston wrote:

4. Casinos: For 60 minutes onsite, I often get paid $30 and get reimbursed for a meal. Plus, I get to keep my winnings. If you learn how to play Blackjack well, you'll walk out the door with $50-$200 in your pocket almost half the time. Otherwise, you get reimbursed for your losses.
.

I too love casinos just because I would probably go anyway. I wish I knew more MSPs that offer them. I know of three and one that only makes emails requests, not a board listing. Thanks for sharing!
I teach full time. I have a wife, kids and a granddaughter.
I completely disagree with your statement.

@jlovesnyc wrote:

One caveat needed here: you must have no other responsibilities in life except Mystery shopping.

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


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2019 10:34PM by MFJohnston.
That's odd. I rarely spend 45 minutes onsite. Leasing professionals who are poorly trained often have me out in less than ten. The only times I spend that much time on site are when I am touring high-end apartments with rents over $4,000 a month.... I have done hundreds of visits with the MSC notorious for very, very long reports.


@lbtweety47 wrote:

I shop in the Phoenix area - zillions of apartments and not one of them has taken me less than 45 minutes on-site. Just the tour alone us usually 20-30 minutes long. Not sure how this shopper does these in 15-20 minutes. Additionally, one MS company has such a redundant report that it alone takes an hour. Just how do you do $60 apartment shops in under 15-20 onsite and same for report?

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Sorry to have to ask, but what is JIB? Doesn’t ring a bell with anything around me, but maybe I’m just dense!
Jack-in-the-Box

@dkreines wrote:

Sorry to have to ask, but what is JIB? Doesn’t ring a bell with anything around me, but maybe I’m just dense!

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
The shop takes about 30 to 35 minutes, but the report takes me an hour or more. I am hoping the companies reduce the questions because of redundancy. I get burnt out completing the reports. lol
Helllo,

Is the PV 500 equipment worth purchasing?
I been thinking about it for a long time but cant bring myself to spend the money.

Thanks
Mine has paid for itself dozens of times over.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
But that is entirely dependent on your shopping radius. If you shop in Copper Harbor, MI and only shop in a 20 mile radius well no it's not gonna be helpful. If you shop the entirety of South Florida absolutely.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Most apartment tours do not take long - I get tours on 95% of my visits. However, the tour itself is 10-15 minutes. The rest of the visit totals about 5. Some are longer by a few minutes. Sometimes the leasing professional fails to offer a tour.


@lbtweety47 wrote:

So you are saying they do not offer to give you a tour - ever?

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I'll admit I am very rarely out that quickly on apartment shops. Most of mine run 25-30 minutes.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Absolutely.
Living near a larger metropolitan area helps. Expanding your shopping radius may be important.

I would suggest, before investing in the video equipment, locating MSC's that offer video shops in areas you are willing/able to travel and verifying that you will have work.

@bgriffin wrote:

But that is entirely dependent on your shopping radius. If you shop in Copper Harbor, MI and only shop in a 20 mile radius well no it's not gonna be helpful. If you shop the entirety of South Florida absolutely.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
The video shopping world is VERY different from the traditional shopping one as well. Instead of working for 100 companies you work for less than 10. Relationships are much more important, which is a double edged sword. It also ruins you for a lot of traditional shopping.

For instance in the video world if you are from Miami and taking a trip to Phoenix, most video schedulers will give you preference over local shoppers. It adds a new face and extends the rotation for local shoppers. If they have a quarterly shop and 4 local shoppers and they get 2 new faces in to do the shops then the client sees the same face every 18 months instead of every 12. Plus they want video shopper's trips to be viable. If they're not then video shoppers stop travelling and they run out of shoppers.

For traditional shops many schedulers take the opposite approach. They have a you're not a regular here giving you shops doesn't do anything for me, and they have no vested interest in your routes being profitable.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
NOTE: If a shopper lives in the middle of nowhere (one of those places where I get $200 bonuses for gas stations and where there are NO cell signals), it will be difficult to make much money shopping. There are not many opportunities where there are not any businesses. Those who do make it work are going to have long drives and really focus on building routes.

This would be me. I lived in a populated area until last August when I moved to watch over my mom. Now, its 20 miles to WalMart, 40 to the nearest town with over 10,000 people, 120 to the nearest city. I have driven distances for shops but it is clear to me that I haven't asked for nearly enough money. Usually, I break even but that's about it. Thanks for all the information you have shared!
Dunno why you think that. I was simply agreeing that there is ambiguity in describing your pay as an hourly amount. It’s as reasonable to take it one way as another. A person who gets a certain hourly rate is not “making” the amount before expenses. That would be to exaggerate, at least in my understanding of things. It’s just nuance.

I thought I expressed that I take a fuller view of valuing my work time. I don’t have hourly goals but work toward making enough to meet my larger needs. I have beds growing into a full time shopper since January, roughly increasing my gross by 50% each month. I wish that were a sustainable rate. Math is tricky that way.

@bgriffin wrote:

I'm going to guess, and I certainly could be wrong, that you have a "regular" full time job and MS is a side income. Most members of my family are or were people who are self employed and bill by the hour. People who are familiar with that business model understand that $60 an hour doesn't mean if you work 2000 hours a year you'll pay taxes on $120,000. That's an employee mindset where they get a dollar amount per hour and that's the end of it. It's a difference in mindset and one of the things I was talking about in my earlier post in this thread. To be really successful in this business you have to switch your entire viewpoint from employee to self employed.
@1cent wrote:

Dunno why you think that. I was simply agreeing that there is ambiguity in describing your pay as an hourly amount. It’s as reasonable to take it one way as another. A person who gets a certain hourly rate is not “making” the amount before expenses. That would be to exaggerate, at least in my understanding of things. It’s just nuance.

That is exactly why I thought that. Because that is the veiwpoint of someone who thinks more of "hourly wage" and less of someone who thinks in business owner terms of "I need to bill x amount per hour to be profitable."

I absolutely do not mean this as an insult. A huge majority of people think the same way and it's because a huge majority of people do not have the mindset of an entrepreneur. And it's not that switching your mindset for that will suddenly make you more profitable, although it could help. What I'm talking about is a total change of how you approach your business. That's what will make you more profitable.

I am merely trying to encourage people to start thinking in a way that makes them more successful.

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

I park on a side street and complete two little reports just in time for a 9 AM store opening. Highly caffeinated, I zoom through all parts of that shop, use another nearby side street for reporting on this race, and return home at exactly 8:42 AM.

I do not video shop or make anywhere near $60 an hour mystery shopping. The closest I came was an investment shop for $125 which I thought was great until I had to speak with the first person a long time who introduced me to two others that I had to also chat with. All this was after a 15 minute wait before the interview. Then when I got to the exit I realized no one had actually stamped my validation although they did take it to validate so embarrassingly I had to back out of a queue of cars as did the 3 cars behind me and drive back within the business park. Then over an hour to do the report after the 20 minute drive home.
But I think this is one of the most professional threads I have read with a lot of great advice. I am impressed by all of you who have contributed with such well thought out posts. The one I got the most out of for my personal shopping life is the above one however where Shop et al was actually able to turn back the clock and finish her 9 AM shop and get home by 8:42 AM. Wow that would really up my hourly net.
Yesterday I averaged 70.00/hour. That's a rarity, most days it is between 20 and 30. I have a regular job for consistency. Mystery shopping runs between feast and famine. I am fortunate to have a wonderful boss and I can tell him I'm taking the afternoon off to do shops with bonuses on occasion. Yes, he knows I'm a mystery shopper. Like shopetal says every shopper has their own reasons and patterns that work for them. I've been shopping for 10 plus years and I still occasionally get great tips and advice from forum members.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away
I don’t get the “that” in “That is exactly why.”

The discussion was started in terms of hourly rates and I discussed why that doesn’t represent actual earnings for this type of work. I guess someone left a window open (whoosh).
@sandyf wrote:

@Shop-et-al wrote:

I park on a side street and complete two little reports just in time for a 9 AM store opening. Highly caffeinated, I zoom through all parts of that shop, use another nearby side street for reporting on this race, and return home at exactly 8:42 AM.....

Typo alert. Typo alert.

Back to your regularly scheduled thread....

The problem with winter sports is that - follow me closely here - they generally take place in winter. - Dave Barry
@myst4au wrote:

I am continually amazed by the auto shop that pays $20 (sometimes with a $5 bonus) and insists that it will take only 15 - 20 minutes on site. Are you kidding? Has anyone ever managed to complete a new car shop in 20 minutes and have it accepted? "Test test drive not required" - sure, but if one is offered, take it. 20 minutes on site is absurd.

I've done about five or six of those. They take an hour. My first mystery shop waa one of the $20 ones, but I won't touch them without large bonuses.
@myst4au wrote:

I am continually amazed by the auto shop that pays $20 (sometimes with a $5 bonus) and insists that it will take only 15 - 20 minutes on site. Are you kidding? Has anyone ever managed to complete a new car shop in 20 minutes and have it accepted? "Test test drive not required" - sure, but if one is offered, take it. 20 minutes on site is absurd.

I've done about five or six of those. They take an hour. My first mystery shop was one of the $20 ones, but I won't touch them without large bonuses.
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