How much to ask for travel bonus?

So I got an email about an urgent shop for a senior living center that needs to be completed this week. I have a few days off and was trying to pick up some extra shops, but this one is 52 miles away. The scheduler said all requests for extra $ for travel will be considered. I want to make an offer, but don’t want to come off as greedy, and I also don’t want to undercut myself. What would be an appropriate amount to request? I know I can also bundle and find shops in the same city, so I might work on doing that also.

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This question comes up all the time. Time us money. When you are driving, you are not otherwise earning money. My thought is the IRS rate of $0.58 for each of the 104 miles you will be driving = $60.32 plus $20 for the to (?) hours of driving. So, $100 plus any tolls or parking. You could, of course, bid less, but you have to decide what it is worth to you.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@myst4au wrote:

This question comes up all the time. Time us money. When you are driving, you are not otherwise earning money. My thought is the IRS rate of $0.58 for each of the 104 miles you will be driving = $60.32 plus $20 for the to (?) hours of driving. So, $100 plus any tolls or parking. You could, of course, bid less, but you have to decide what it is worth to you.

Have you had companies give you this much in travel pay?
The system myst uses is an excellent formula. I slightly adjust it by considering the original fee, mileage and time. As an example, the stated fee is $35, but Bob will not complete the work for less than $60. I then subtract a round trip of 30 miles and 45 minutes, as those numbers would have been included in a local shop. Based upon the OP's situation, $60 + 2 1/2 hours @ $20 per + 73 miles @ $.58 = $162. If, though, there is either more work of which I can depend or a non-shopping reason, I am flexible. Said flexibility, though, never exists if the job stands on its own; I quote my bottom line and hold it! I am completely content to not work, unless the money is acceptable.
It really depends on what a previous history has bit for a particular company and project. A good guideline is a minimum of $0.50 per mile, then work off that. Other factors can include: how difficult is the company needing to fill the shop, city driving vs. highway driving, weather conditions, etc.

This week, I got $300 for 80 miles round trip, or $3.75/mile. In the past, I received as high as $50 for 50 miles round trip, or $1/mile, with all tolls and parking paid.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
Yes. That is the amount that I require. Sometimes I get it. Often, someone bids less. Fine for them. My goal is to make money, not lose money. Each of us is free to set whatever rates we want.

Edited to add: For the company with PAD, I know how far (and how long it will take to drive there) that I will do for the base rate. I subtract that mileage and time before the computation. Since I have to schedule those at the convenience of the contact, I price as if I am doing just that one trip. I never know when my PAD will be accepted (or if), how long it will take to contact the client, whether the client wants me the next day or two weeks from now. So, ala carte pricing.
@Niner wrote:

@myst4au wrote:

This question comes up all the time. Time us money. When you are driving, you are not otherwise earning money. My thought is the IRS rate of $0.58 for each of the 104 miles you will be driving = $60.32 plus $20 for the to (?) hours of driving. So, $100 plus any tolls or parking. You could, of course, bid less, but you have to decide what it is worth to you.

Have you had companies give you this much in travel pay?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2019 06:12PM by myst4au.
Some companies negotiate, some do not.

Figure out what it's worth to you, and ask for that. If the company is one that negotiates, leave a little room for that, and say "Can you get close to XXX?" or even, "How close can you get to XXX?"

I'm currently bidding $225 (plus reimbursements) for 3 shops that need to be done today. Round trip 225 miles, 3 shops. If I don't get them, fine by me!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2019 07:36PM by ceasesmith.
I'm with myst on this one as my formula is similar. Except I use $.50 a mile for car expense to make the math easy.The minimum I will work for is a 2 to 1 income/expense ratio which comes out to a buck a mile. In addition, my goal is to earn a minimum of $100 for leaving the house. I don't know how much senior living shops pay or how long it takes but let's assume it is $25 and 1/2 hour. I would need a bonus of $75 for this 2 1/2 hour trip. If I could make a route of 2, 3, 4 shops my bonus can be reduced and I may or may not look for bonuses on the other shops.

I wouldn't worry about looking greedy. If your offer is within the parameters of what you need to earn and accepted, then you got what you deserve. If rejected, so be it and move on.

Of course, you have to negotiate from strength. It's a matter of need, urgency and timing, not on your behalf but on the part of the MSC and client.
A local senior living center shop IMHO should pay $75 minimum. I would then add gas and mileage expense to that plus $10 to $20 per hour of driving. That should give you a fair price.
With any shop its what I would do it local for then add drive time rate of $10 to $20 an hour plus gas and mileage cost. Any tolls also added in. You can negotiate down from that price based on other factors such as shops in the area or on route. Relationship and future/past work could also factor in. Other factors could be time it takes to be paid for shop. If its IPSOS for example figure 14 days most so more likely to do for a little less than HS Brands around 2 and a half months to be paid so would want a bit more. You have gotten good advice from others as well here. You will have to develop your own system and what works for you and the more you do it the better you will become.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
Buffalo, I especially like your remark that it would cost a little more if the company takes 2 or 3 months to pay.

Opportunity cost of money -- something many people here believe doesn't exist, but is a very real concept in economics.
@LIJake wrote:

I wouldn't worry about looking greedy. If your offer is within the parameters of what you need to earn and accepted, then you got what you deserve. If rejected, so be it and move on.

Of course, you have to negotiate from strength. It's a matter of need, urgency and timing, not on your behalf but on the part of the MSC and client.

I'll second what LLJake says.

FYI, the MSC likely has no concerns about whether you think they are stingy when they start with a ridiculously low price. They are in business and need to buy their product (your report) at the lowest possible cost. You are also in business, and need to sell your report at the highest possible cost. If someone can do it for them at a better price, that is who they should hire to do it.

Ask for the price you need. Try to be efficient with your time and vehicle costs so you stay competitive but don't give away your work over concerns that they may think ill of you if you require a fair price.
I had an MSC accept an offer to do a shop for mileage plus their fee, which was already pretty good. I don't even think it was a rush, but it was in a remote location as it was a "hotel" shop in the middle of nowhere because it was a cabin. Didn't require a stay, but I said I can travel here for mileage reimbursement, which was 100(ish) miles in each direction, and came out to an additional $120 or so on top of the shop fee and they didn't hesitate to accept it. Literally I heard back from them within 20 minutes with a yes.

That being said, I didn't take it, because of other things going on, mostly because it required a $200 or so OOP and I just couldn't front it. Now, I'm sort of feeling like maybe I could have upped that fee a bit. But, that being said, when I said I simply can't do it right now with the holidays they were very happy to say come back and do some shops for us after the holidays. So, the mileage for that one apparently didn't even make them blink.
Ever time I ask for mileage you would think I was asking them to pull their own teeth.
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