POLL: How long did it take you before you started asking for bonuses on mystery shops?

For me, I had no idea they existed and that you could even try to bargain for a higher rate.

My first shop offer was for $75 to tour a nursing home, which I rejected. I thought it wasn't too bad at first, but also hadn't seen the report guidelines yet. Then, I started doing Five Guys for $6.00. I did not know about bonuses for months. Even then, I did not know you could contact a scheduler to ask for more until people talked about it here.

I wonder how long it takes newbies to figure this out? How many base rate shops do they do?

To answer the poll q, I think for me it was four months or so. Do people ever go one year?

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

I started asking for bonuses as soon as I realized a shop was not worth the money. My second car dealer shop I got paid $70, with a bonus, I just stated I wouldn't do the shop for the price offered. Same with a assisted living shop, $70 is what I asked for and got. Both of these shops are time consuming and have lengthy narratives. I don't remember how many shops I did, but it wasn't many. I have never flaked, been reliable, have a good rapport with all of my schedulers and have been a 10 for years.
For my first about 15 years of shopping I never asked for a bonus. I completed solely family restaurant style shops so that my family could eat out and I could get mostly reimbursed.

When I finally decided to try and make money in this industry, I picked up my first gas station audit at $45 or $60 (can't really remember but I thought it was awesome) and it was right next to my house. That was when it occurred to me that I could make bonuses. So my first year of being more serious in this business is when I started to ask for bonuses (5 years ago). I realized that my work was valuable and was determined to make whatever amount I thought was worthy of the job offered. (Seems like it was much easier to get great bonuses about 5 years ago also.)

Today I rarely take a job at the initial fee amount with a couple of exceptions. If I'm new to a company I understand that I may have to take work at a lesser than fair fee to build my reputation with a new scheduler/s. Sometimes I will take a job at base if I'm interested in the work, it doesn't seem very difficult and if it's close to home or part of a route. Sometimes I don't ask for a bonus because the initial pay is acceptable - although this seems to be less and less likely as pay seems to continue to decrease while my local cost of living is increasing at an alarming rate.
I realized that the alcohol compliance shops paid lots of money for the amount of work.... Like $50 for work I can literally get done before the movie even starts kind of money. Ever since then, I've always pushed for more money and kept track of it.

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:

I realized that the alcohol compliance shops paid lots of money for the amount of work.... Like $50 for work I can literally get done before the movie even starts kind of money. Ever since then, I've always pushed for more money and kept track of it.
If you are under 30 yrs old I hope you get at least $30 bonus, fee plus reimbursement everywhere and in difficult areas more. I see some of them snatched for $15 fee and $10 reimbursement in expensive hotels. Hello, wake up!! There are also alcohol compliance in hotels in major metropolitan cities, major chains, and the MS will reimburse for the hotel and parking, with only narrative needed is for the alcohol compliance.
I started seriously mystery shopping about 9 months ago. Luckily, because I was on this forum, I learned within 3 months about bonuses. I ask on about half of my shops, and now refuse underpaying shops where I didn't before.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2020 03:56AM by Newton.
Today. I just stuck my toe in the water of mystery shopping in August, got more enthused in Sept./Oct. but have been mostly a grab-it-off-the-board creature since then (right now just supplementing my full-time job income). Have done a lot of shops for a fast casual client of a prominent MSC, today one of their overseas schedulers called, I finally dug in my heels and asked for more and got it. Just a few bucks extra but it's a start. Thank you to all of you, reading this forum is helping wise me up.
Has anyone ever asked for bonuses from EPMS (Ellis).$25 is really low..their reports are eternal!
Getting bonuses depends on the simple principle of supply and demand. The demand to get the shop assigned has to be greater than the shoppers willing to do it. If it is the other way around don't bother trying..
One of my very first shops (a golden arches) was highly bonused. After I completed that shop, I almost immediately began getting calls from that MSC, and I have gotten a Bonus on every shop I have been offered over the phone since. (Which is 99.99% of the shops I complete for them). I do due their fast casual Chinese shops at base. (They never get bonused around here, and it never hurts to pick up the occassional shop at base for that MSC). Once I knew, I could some times get a bonus I began asking. Therefore, I was shopping for less than 1 month when I requested my first bonus and I have not looked back.

Lady Marius
Canadian Mystery Shopper
I have been doing this for a year and didn't know this until today!! Are there certain companies we can ask bonises for?
@BSBRose21 wrote:

I have been doing this for a year and didn't know this until today!! Are there certain companies we can ask bonises for?

All of them. smiling smiley
If they are struggling to get a shop filled, bonuses can be negotiated.

@Mercy007 wrote:

Has anyone ever asked for bonuses from EPMS (Ellis).$25 is really low..their reports are eternal!

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Maybe I am bad at negotiating but most of the every day shops where I live do not have a bonus on them even when the scheduler sends an email saying they are desperate and the shop needs to be done today or tomorrow. I have offered to do some shops last minute if they can give me a bonus for time driving (not mileage in the urban areas but time as time is the issue). After many years of mystery shopping it seems like bonuses are loosening up here but still in low single digits and still mostly turned down.
@sandyf wrote:

Maybe I am bad at negotiating but most of the every day shops where I live do not have a bonus on them even when the scheduler sends an email saying they are desperate and the shop needs to be done today or tomorrow. I have offered to do some shops last minute if they can give me a bonus for time driving (not mileage in the urban areas but time as time is the issue). After many years of mystery shopping it seems like bonuses are loosening up here but still in low single digits and still mostly turned down.

You could also be competing against Super Shoppers like, MFJohnston, in your area, who isn't taking shops at base/low-end fees, but rather asking for bonuses and getting the shops over you.

At least, that's a theory I have. smiling smiley

I tend to think low fees are due to Desperation Shoppers taking the low-end and Super Shoppers (10+ year veterans who have good working relationships with schedulers, superior shopper skills, reliability, and a willingness to do shops at a reasonably bonused rate) taking the higher end.

Is your locale possibly saturated with Super Shoppers?

Who knows? Not I.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2020 02:31AM by shoptastic.
I only ask for bonus's if the job does not pay how much I want to make per hour. I let them know, and they can choose to accept, or not to.

I never ask for a bonus on a fair paying shop or something I legitimately do not need more money for as that makes you look bad.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
I ask for a PAD on every shop. It is a reimbursement for mileage (Or at least it is listed that way on the pay statements.) never income so it helps reduce the mileage costs but it also reduces costs taken off for mileage.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login