5 Guys

I’ve been mystery shopping for almost a year and I have learned a lot from everyone here. But there are so many things that I still haven’t figured out yet!

There is a 5 Guys location that has TEN shops listed for December. They are $25 each and three of those are accepting offers. I thought they must be desperate for shoppers so I offered to do a dinner shop for $50. My offer was declined within an hour. I have done the same location once before for $40 but I also had a $40 hardware store (same MSC) and a $50 teller shop (different MSC) on the same day so it was worth the drive. So anyway, do you think they saw I was being greedy so they declined? Or was it because I had already done the same location for $40? Or maybe I was wrong to assume they need all ten shops completed in 2019?

If it matters, $50 would have more than paid for my gas but the round-trip would have been over well over 100 miles and I’m guessing they can see that. I would have been paid very little for my time. In hindsight I realize it wasn’t worth doing even for $50 but I’d like your opinions on why it was declined.
Thanks!

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I've gotten large bonuses for Five Guys, but have never been paid $50 for one. I can't answer your question definitively, but I'm guessing that's just out of the ballpark for them. I don't think they're that desperate. They do look to see how far the shop is from you, but they're probably calling shoppers who live closer to see if they can get it done for less.

There are two shops in my area that I do on a fairly regular basis. Both were bonused way up (to the same fee) for the balance of December and were also on make an offer. I put in an offer for $2 over the (new) base fee for the one nearest me, and it was declined, even though I'd gotten that much for that shop before. I probably would have gotten it had I offered $1 more. Then I put in an offer for the one that's significantly farther, for $6 over the new base, and it was accepted. But I'm betting that if I'd gone even $1 higher, they'd have declined. You kind of have to keep track of what they accept and what they decline, and also not assume that because you got $XX for a certain location that they'll give you that again. I think some folks develop an intuition about these shops and figure out just how much more to ask and not be turned down!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Thank you BirdyC. It looks like my thinking was way off! I had no idea that sometimes $2 over the listed price might be too high! I appreciate the information.
When it is 'make an offer' anyone can put in a bid. It is likely that others will put in a bid higher or lower than yours and if they have successfully performed in the past the MSC will turn down all offers higher than the lowest and only let the lowest bid have the shop when they reasonably can expect no lower within the time frame. This is why I rarely bother with that MSC's 'make an offer'. If they get serious they will call and I can lock in a decent bonus at that time.
Step up gradually next time and see if they’ll bite, such as $41 instead of $50. If they accept for $41, push for $42 next time.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Tarantado wrote:

Step up gradually next time and see if they’ll bite, such as $41 instead of $50. If they accept for $41, push for $42 next time.

Exactly!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I have one in an outlet mall which is a nightmare to get in and out of during any type of busy season so pretty much all the time and I have done an offer of 4.00 over and been denied.
Timing is also key. Five Guys is always scheduled Thursday – Sunday. An offer (unless low-ball) made on Tuesday or Wednesday, to shop on Thursday or Friday, is not likely to be accepted since there are two more days to get it done. I’ve had better luck making an offer on Saturday, to shop it Saturday or Sunday. Rare, but in a pinch, the MSC will push the shop days to Monday - Tuesday. If that happens here, while the fees go high, the location is undesirable.
@Mert wrote:

Timing is also key.

I agree. I usually wait until there are only 2 or 3 days left in the cycle before I make an offer or answer the phone. E.g., offer on Friday for a Saturday or Sunday, when Sunday is the last deadline for the month.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
We can talk about how the MSC bases their fee structure/bonus acceptance all we want. For me it still comes down to the question of what it takes to make it worth it to me. If I’m interested in a shop and I can make an offer, I put what it would take to make me feel good about that transaction. This changes, of course, based on my circumstances at that time. It has never occurred to me to bid just a couple bucks over. I find that if they aren’t wiling to pay me the requested fee, I’m fine with not doing the shop. They accept maybe half of my offers. I do shops at the offered fee as well, if I’m filling in with other shops/errands, or already driving by an easy shop.
@Stephanieteaches wrote:

It has never occurred to me to bid just a couple bucks over.

If they've already raised the base fee to, say, $20 and the shop is 2 miles from me, it's certainly worth it to me to bid $2 over that base fee. It would be stupid not to put in a bid. Or maybe stupid not to take it for $20, which I sometimes do if I'm doing the shop alone. Or sometimes I'll take it at a new, higher base fee if I'm craving Five Guys (which is every couple of months).

OTOH, I'm not going to bid $2 over an $8 fee to do the shop.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Maybe, just maybe, this MSC is getting smarter during the holiday season when there are fewer shoppers available and bumping up the fees ahead of time. I am seeing very high fees ~$25 similar to DonRoon as the starting pay.

January shops for the same locations are now being posted at their normal rates of $6-8...
I have read on this forum that some have said that if you do a certain shop for a certain $ amount in the past that is pretty much your set amount (in their eyes). If you did this shop in the past for $40, they will deny $50. Again, this is from reading the forum, not from personal experience. In my area, Five Guys is snapped up quick, usually at base pay so I rarely do them.

@DonRoon wrote:

I have done the same location once before for $40

Kim
I have experienced the phenomenon of going with the previous "lower" rate before. There were times when I would get a last minute phone call and the need to complete the shop overrides the previous number. This was when I gave them the absolute minimum I would need to step away from family time to run out to do a dinner shop a few miles away.


@kimmiemae wrote:

I have read on this forum that some have said that if you do a certain shop for a certain $ amount in the past that is pretty much your set amount (in their eyes). If you did this shop in the past for $40, they will deny $50. Again, this is from reading the forum, not from personal experience. In my area, Five Guys is snapped up quick, usually at base pay so I rarely do them.

@DonRoon wrote:

I have done the same location once before for $40
I've never been "held" to the previous rate I've done a shop for. I don't think that's their rule. As macrophage says, I think it's a question of how badly they need a shop done and when you can do it.

Sometimes they don't give me what I ask for, and that's fine. Sometimes I do the shop for what they're willing to pay; sometimes I don't. But I've gotten more at some locations, sometimes a lot more, than whatever my previous "low" was.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2019 07:39AM by BirdyC.
I had a phone call to do a dinner shop at the crazy busiest mall in NJ while I was only about 3 miles away from it. Without mentioning that little fact, I told the caller my fee would be $25 to do it tonight (last Friday). They asked if I would consider less and I was firm. I truly had no desire to fight for parking and the mall shoppers at that point. They agreed, but said it was a one time exception due to the holiday business. Luckily I found a parking spot within a few minutes. As usual, the location was a hot mess, but I did it and will get my tolls reimbursed too..win win.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
The schedulers ALWAYS bring up the amount that I have previously received for the specific location that is being discussed. I either agree to do the shop for that fee or I tell them I have decided that I needed more. Sometimes they will give me the increased fee or, more likely, tell me that they can't go that high. If I am going to be close to a location, I ask for at least 35.00. If I am not close to the location, the fee is usually 50.00 but I get 100.00 for one location. I think the "Make An Offer" feature is an automatic feature with a set amount that will be accepted. I have had amounts declined , only to be accepted when I email the Help Desk with the same amount.
I really don't understand the Make an Offer button... it's poorly implemented.

You don't get an email if your offer is declined. I usually Make an Offer when I casually want to see if they'll accept X price for the shop and it's on my way home from work, but it pains me they don't send an automated email that an offer is declined and the shop is still there. If the offer isn't accepted, why not allow shoppers to request another offer?

It's a game of hide and seek!


@buteos wrote:

The schedulers ALWAYS bring up the amount that I have previously received for the specific location that is being discussed. I either agree to do the shop for that fee or I tell them I have decided that I needed more. Sometimes they will give me the increased fee or, more likely, tell me that they can't go that high. If I am going to be close to a location, I ask for at least 35.00. If I am not close to the location, the fee is usually 50.00 but I get 100.00 for one location. I think the "Make An Offer" feature is an automatic feature with a set amount that will be accepted. I have had amounts declined , only to be accepted when I email the Help Desk with the same amount.
Thank you all for the information. I have been getting phone calls from schedulers regarding this location. Since my $50 offer was declined, I just let them go to voicemail. Just now my plans for the afternoon fell through so I called the scheduler back. They offered $25 for a lunch shop tomorrow, same as what’s listed on the website. I declined and asked if they had a dinner shop for today. She said yes and offered $25. I told her I had done it for $40 before and she “submitted it for approval” (or some wording similar to that) although she sounded positive. Assuming it goes through, I’ll pick up a Jack in the Box and it will be about $40 in my pocket after I pay for gas. Not very good hourly pay but at least it’s something.....

Of course, now I feel like I should have asked for $50! Lol. Greedy!
Has anyone seen this new addition to the guidelines that Five Guys prefers that you order a burger? That would make the total $2 higher than the reimbursement for me.
The Five Guys jobs that I've seen are $6 with up to $12.75 reimbursement. Now that I found one MSC that offers them I will have to keep my eye on them to see if the fees go up. I did accept one job at this because it fits into my schedule & I'm going to be right near the shop for a dentist appt.
@Monsto08 wrote:

Has anyone seen this new addition to the guidelines that Five Guys prefers that you order a burger? That would make the total $2 higher than the reimbursement for me.

Key word is “prefer”. As long as the reimbursement doesn’t cover the cost of a burger, fries and drink, I’ll continue to order what does not exceed the reimbursed amount.
I prefer that they reimburse fully for the food and drink we have to order-- including the shakes.
@macrophage wrote:

I really don't understand the Make an Offer button... it's poorly implemented.

You don't get an email if your offer is declined.

I made a ridiculous offer a couple of days ago for the last date in the range, which was accepted. I did not get an email. I logged on and saw that the number of jobs that I needed to do was not what I had expected.

There's no logic to their system.
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