Profit Vs Free food

Three brief, easy $15 shops, close to home, in a day and you are more than 10% towards goal. Nothing to sneeze at ! Even better if some of those are easy bank shops that will help you to qualify for $35 and $50 and shops, eventually.

And, THAT is why bank shops are soooo worth it. That is how I get to do 2 $55 10 minute bank shops this week, plus a $35 one, all with very short reports and within 2 miles of home or one block of a paid parking shop. Logistics, logistic, logistics; that is the name of the $$$$ MS game.

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 05/13/2019 03:08PM by walesmaven.

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@Monk-N-Nut wrote:

If the products aren't something I want or choose to gift, it gets sold off on eBay.

Unless you take one of the cannabis shops. Probably best to leave that off Ebay...
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@Monk-N-Nut wrote:

If the products aren't something I want or choose to gift, it gets sold off on eBay.

Unless you take one of the cannabis shops. Probably best to leave that off Ebay...

If you take one of the cannabis shops and then take some of the cannabis it might ruin the rest of your day for mystery shopping. Of course it might help with the reluctance to do interactions.
LOL! Just now, I am venturing into cannabis country... for reasons that are unrelated to cannabis and cannabis shops. I will not do anything with cannabis, but I will pass a bunch of dispensaries and ads for the stuff. When I see that, I hope I won't bust out laughing because of y'all... You are too funny!

I will also pass numerous other shops, but I will not have time for any visits and reports. Someone else will do those. I will wave at those shopped locations and keep moving toward my beloved destination. Fortunately, there are a few shops a little closer to home that are incurring increased bonuses. I can fit those in... soon-ish...

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. - Peg Bracken
Maximizing Profit:

* Sign up with more MSC's. If you are not signed up with every MSC, you don't know what shops you are missing and therefore can't maximize your profit. You can't make money of shops that you don't know exist.
* Routes, routes, routes! When you leave the house to shop, don't go somewhere for just one shop. Rather, go for a bunch that are all right next to one-another or along the same roads.
* Expand your geography! The best-paying shops are often in locations where nobody else wants to go. Be the one willing to travel to Timbuktu and you'll be paid for it. If enough is not offered on the boards, ask for it.
* Negotiate! Know what you think your time is worth and don't work for less. If you are called or emailed to do a job, ask for a little more than what you think your time is worth. (You might be under-valuing yourself. Some MSC's will never take your offer, but will counter and this leaves you room to bargain.)
* Figure out what you do well and capitalize on it. I can write well and type quickly. So, I gravitate towards higher-paying shops with narratives. Some folks are really good with their smartphones, so they look for shops that can be done on an app. Some folks do high-end luxury well. (I don't.) I do cars, new homes, apartments, and casinos well.
* Video! Think: Half the work, double the pay. You wanna break $500 in a day with some regularity?
* Learn the value of filler shops! So, you build a $300 route with some cushion-time built in - just in case something goes sideways. Then everything goes smoothly and you find yourself way ahead of schedule. Do you have a list of quickie shops along your route that you can self-assign? Suddenly, your $300 day can be a $400 day!
* Answer the phone! If an MSC calls, they want something. Often, they are willing to pay for it. You won't find out how badly they really want it done, if you don't answer the phone and ask for what your time is worth (or a bit more).
* Take the Initiative! If you see a job that is not getting filled (perhaps it is in Never-Never Land?), contact the scheduler and make an offer.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Also, learn how and when to ask for bonuses.

None of the shops I do have a base pay of $75, but that's what I end up getting.

And driving here isn't all bad -- 45 miles is actually 45 minutes, not 3 hours!

I'm driving 4 hours each way today -- and have 4 shops, one at $140, one at $50, one at $75, and one at $30. Base pay was, respectively, $60, $12, $8, and $12.

For some shoppers, that would not be "worth it". To me, it is.
The food shops that I do come with a fee. They allow me to avoid the grocery store. That's a savings in itself.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
GREAT tips. @MFJohnston - I thought I was signed up for all MSC but I don't think I am. Definitely going to start with that. I also don't typically plan routes.. I work a 9-5 M-F so there's not much time after work for me to do many shops. But I guess I could try to do a route from my work to home (about a 30 minute drive).. weekends I can definitely do more shops. There are also plenty of shops that sit on the boards for ages that I'm tired of seeing. I'm sure no one wants to do them lol.. I don't either.. but I guess to pay down this debt I'm gonna have to at least try to do some shops I don't like..

I also won't lie I'm quite guilty of not answering scheduler's phone calls when they call me personally. Usually the ones who are calling are because I have done a lot of good shops for them in the past. I usually listen to their voicemail and when the price isn't good enough for the distance I just don't call back. But maybe I should start asking for more money and try to build a route so it's worth me going over there.

@ceasesmith that's definitely worth it to me! a smooth $295 bucks!
Route fillers can hinder a good route, particularly one at a quarter's end with lots of mileage to rural areas. For example, if I see a string of gas stations for 50-75 a pop on a board, I whip out ye ole Bing Maps and see how many I can fit together before the end of a shopping day. I have to look at getting to as many as possible in the given trip before the sun goes down, and factor in any stations that close at five. If I take the time to get a low or non-paying lunch, or a $7 convenience store, that could cost me the time to get to a higher paying shop. Fitting in a meal can also mess up the route because the times are generally not flexible. Am I making good time, then have to sit and read for half an hour before I can go through the drive-thru? Can't do it. If it's an "any time between 11 am to close..." shop and I know I will pass by after lunch sometime, it will fit in better. If there is money attached that at least brings it to the ballpark of the rest of the route? I can make it happen.
I think we are defining "fillers" differently. When I am on a route, I will have a side list of shops that I can self-assign and perform whenever I want. So, if I find myself ahead of schedule, I'll refer to that list and see what I can add. "Fillers" do not add extra driving time and they do not prevent the completing of the main shops on my route.

As an example, a couple months ago, I was running a route with several USPS shops. I found myself near my next location, but needing to wait 20 minutes before making my next stop. I referred to my list and noticed that I had one of my "fillers" two blocks away. I did the 10-minute filler shops and made $15 while waiting to visit the next post office..... When I was in California in February, I had two straight new home visits last under 20 minutes - I generally schedule over an hour for each. Finding myself ahead of schedule by over 90 minutes, I referred to my filler list and picked up four quick shops as I drove to my next destination (which had an appointment). I still arrived early for my appointment, but made $75 in the process.

Using filler shops does take planning. However, the benefits for a route shopper are huge.


@heartlandcanuck wrote:

Route fillers can hinder a good route, particularly one at a quarter's end with lots of mileage to rural areas. For example, if I see a string of gas stations for 50-75 a pop on a board, I whip out ye ole Bing Maps and see how many I can fit together before the end of a shopping day. I have to look at getting to as many as possible in the given trip before the sun goes down, and factor in any stations that close at five. If I take the time to get a low or non-paying lunch, or a $7 convenience store, that could cost me the time to get to a higher paying shop. Fitting in a meal can also mess up the route because the times are generally not flexible. Am I making good time, then have to sit and read for half an hour before I can go through the drive-thru? Can't do it. If it's an "any time between 11 am to close..." shop and I know I will pass by after lunch sometime, it will fit in better. If there is money attached that at least brings it to the ballpark of the rest of the route? I can make it happen.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I teach full time. I do my long routes on weekends and days off.

@Kristylynnr wrote:

GREAT tips. @MFJohnston - I thought I was signed up for all MSC but I don't think I am. Definitely going to start with that. I also don't typically plan routes.. I work a 9-5 M-F so there's not much time after work for me to do many shops. But I guess I could try to do a route from my work to home (about a 30 minute drive).. weekends I can definitely do more shops. There are also plenty of shops that sit on the boards for ages that I'm tired of seeing. I'm sure no one wants to do them lol.. I don't either.. but I guess to pay down this debt I'm gonna have to at least try to do some shops I don't like..

I also won't lie I'm quite guilty of not answering scheduler's phone calls when they call me personally. Usually the ones who are calling are because I have done a lot of good shops for them in the past. I usually listen to their voicemail and when the price isn't good enough for the distance I just don't call back. But maybe I should start asking for more money and try to build a route so it's worth me going over there.

@ceasesmith that's definitely worth it to me! a smooth $295 bucks!

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I do not have weekends and days off that I can give to routes or shops. I can only do what I can squeeze into bits of time between two persons' work and life schedules. As I experience it, this is fabulous. It is amazing that I can do any extra work at all! I am satisfied.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. - Peg Bracken
@Shop-et-al Same here, I don't really get days off. Just weekends and nights!

@MFJohnston how did you establish a list for fillers? Is it a specific company or a specific type of shop?
On the topic of fillers and how to know what they are, that takes planning while you are planning your route. What I do is anchor my route with some shops that are worth the distance. Then I start filling in with hopefully other high paying shops. It takes checking job boards and reaching out to schedulers. After that I should have a list of things that I have either requested or can self assign. once all the requests are assigned then I have an idea of how much time I can devote to shops that I can potentially self assign. If I have a route of gas stations taking me 400 miles round trip, then I also know what self assigning jobs are available if I am ahead of schedule because I have checked all job boards that allow me to self assign. I don't bother with food shops. They have specific time requirements, typically. I keep myself free to make money and either take my lunch or buy it. Also gas stations which are my most lucrative routes, will keep me in snacks and drinks anyway.
Routes don't have to be long drawn out affairs either. I am a fan of mini-day routes which are usually under 100 miles. I live in a place where there are a lot of suburban cities. I can drive to one of those and pick up several shops and make 80-140 for the day, which I consider acceptable. It just depends on what is out there and also on thinking in terms of routing instead of thinking in terms of individual shops.

The other day I was 40 miles away and ahead of schedule. I opened my phone and all my little jobs apps and they informed me of several dollar store shops along my route. I cleared another 40 dollars. Be flexible, get familiar with all self assigning companies and pretty soon it will be second nature. I love route shopping. I love getting out of the city and driving through the countryside. I love all of the different experiences. Every day and every route is different. I enjoy meeting the locals too.

Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and forget the food shops unless they are well bonused. Start doing all kinds of different shops and for the love of god, answer your phone when schedulers call. smiling smiley

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
As I am filling in the "main" shops for my routes, I make a note, by location, of shops that I see that would be really fast, but not worth scheduling. They often pay $10-$20. Most any MSC can have them. I strongly prefer shops I have done before and they must be something I can self-assign. They can be quick bank inquiries, gas stations, drive-thru's, etc. The key is that they are right next to visits I already have and/or along roads I'm already taking.

@Kristylynnr wrote:

@Shop-et-al Same here, I don't really get days off. Just weekends and nights!

@MFJohnston how did you establish a list for fillers? Is it a specific company or a specific type of shop?

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
walesmaven, Would you suggest bank shops for newbies? Are you just gathering information for opening an account?
Customer Service Experts has list/route (10-14 shops, $13/shop and reimbursements for the dining/retail shops) shops at Miami Airport. I got an email from the scheduler and they're looking for shoppers to do them. The scheduler that schedules these shops is fantastic and super helpful. You don't need to be flying! They'll provide you an escort to get you past security. Parking is also reimbursed.
I am not against cannabis shops and would happily do them, but with some of the govt gigs I take....the 7-10 yr checks and the pre-empl screenings and all... I just can't take a chance that I would get passed up due to recreational edibles.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2019 08:47PM by Monk-N-Nut.
Kristylynnr No, not all non-food shops are worth it, imho. For instance, once I did a comic book shop, because we had dinner plans in the area, along with a shaved ice shop for dessert. The comic book shop was not hard at all, but I will never take one again. There were too many pix and it was hard with the clerk right there.
Krysty, when schedulers call, it means they really, really NEED to fill the job! Listen to the message, and call them back! "Wow, I'd love to do that shop -- but you know, I'm already scheduled up to the gills. I'll see if I can work it in. What's the MOST you can pay for the shop? What's the HARD deadline for it?"

Schedulers are very, very busy people. They will eventually stop calling you if they don't ever get any response.

Oh, and my $215 day turned into a $300 day (plus $40 in reimbursements), with NO additional miles, because I answered the phone when a scheduler called me while I was on the road. Picked up two more $35 fast food shops -- in places I was actually driving right past anyway!!! And while I was on the phone with her, we scheduled 6 more of those shops for later in the week.

Win-Win!!!
Whoa nice!! Yea I'm definitely going to start picking up the phone when they call back and see if we can reach a fair price.. thanks smiling smiley and congrats!
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