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Depends on the gas statuon AND the MSC. One MSC offers both easy mystery shops and full audits for the same price. Make sure you check, and double check, the info before signing up; you might end up with a 30-60 minute shop intead of the 10 minute shop. Others are easier. Some offer gas reimbursement and/or inside reimbursement. Some offer neither. We can answer more accurately of you name the gas brand as to how that particular shop is.

Edited to fix spelling and spacing error.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2020 10:35AM by HoomanShopper.
I do a lot of unrevealed shops - I love them. I don't like revealed ones at all so I don't take them anymore. The unrevealed are generally quite easy. You just wander around checking the required areas, making a few mental notes and make whatever purchases are required. I'm in S. Georgia so I do a lot of Enmarkets, CircleK/Flash Foods, and Parker's.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2020 05:45PM by callinectes.
@HoomanShopper wrote:

Depends on the gas statuon AND the MSC. One MSC offers both easy mystery shops and full audits for the same price. Make sure you check, and double check, the info before signing up; you might end up with a 30-60 minute shop intead of the 10 minute shop. Others are easier. Some offer gas reimbursement and/or inside reimbursement. Some offer neither. We can answer more accurately of you name the gas brand as to how that particular shop is.

Edited to fix spelling and spacing error.

I do a lot of them in a route (NM,AZ,CO,UT) I do the brands in those areas that are audits,Mystery shop & reveal , the mystery shop only have almost disappeared here. The audit will take about 30 to 45 minutes onsite plus report time. Mystery shop and reveal I have gotten quicker because I take only pictures on site then use them to do the reports and not filling out the question sheets on site. . Depending on how many pumps you have to photograph for the shop with all the infractions photos (I take two of everything, Left right and Center,Overall and building) it will take 15 to 45 minutes plus report time. I am slow typist so report time with photo cropping takes about 30 to 45 minutes for me. When you do audits you need to add money to the bid price to cover the gas you would pick up on the Mystery shop rembertment.
Has anyone done one of the gas station shops for M F?
When I was looking at one, it does not give much information. I guess you find out after you sign up what your expectations are. Can someone please tell me if this shop is difficult to do?How long it normally takes? What expectations are? Thank you for any information.
Have you done other gas stations for the other MSC's? If so, the MF one is comparable. a few items easier, few more difficult. If not, the shop is much different from the normal MF shop. There are a lot of things to look for and a lot fo photos. If it is your first gestation shop I would suggest you allow about 45 minutes.
I've always steered away from these but the company with the post office shops has SO many near me that I made the mistake of signing up for four. With more than 80 pages of instructions (granted, lots were photos), learning new terminology, lots of printing on my dime, doing the shop/reveal itself and then now what is seeming like HOURs of uploading photos because there's no app for these, I figure I'm making $3.50 an hour. Do shoppers who do lots of these have tips to cut this time down? I can see how the shop itself can get quicker but it's all the uploading, renaming photos. And one of the four didn't have any gas so I lost $5!
How did it go, Happy? I'm doing my first gas station shops today and they will be my last!
Stick with one brand and get it down pat. Most stations are similar but all have a few different things they want. Once you have one down pat add a new brand and so on and so on. Each new brand will get easier than the last. As for the photos do them in the same order each time so they are easier to label. It is simply time to learn a new shop and will get quicker and faster. I do however suggest waiting and requesting bonuses on all gad station audits. A close by one should be $30 minimum plus any required reimbursements and the further out ones should be more how much is how you feel. I did one 6 hours away for $450 recently. Now it was past deadline and in middle of nowhere nowhere. I do however routinely get $50 to $100 per station. The only station I have not done do to warnings from forum members is shell. Last suggestion is a good digital camera unless your phone camera is top notch and you know how to easily transfer photos to your computer. Gas stations are laptop shops IMHO meaning they should be reported on a laptop or desktop computer. Good luck to all who are venturing in to gas stations.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
About the photos: either batch resize them on the computer or take them in a smaller size format if submitting the report on a phone. Smaller file size = SO MUCH FASTER and less data used.

sestrahelena
Also, search the forum for other threads because there have been lots of good tips about gas stations over the years.

sestrahelena
@barbage wrote:

If it is your first gestation shop I would suggest you allow about 45 minutes.

Or 9 months. I know it's just a typo but it cracked me up anyway. Imagine the amount of narrative needed for that report! And exact timings, of course!

sestrahelena
Thanks, friends, VERY helpful! I did stick to just one brand and am glad I did. But I also now feel justified in being frustrated in that each of these paid $12.50 sad smiley $30 would be a much more reasonable amount IMHO.
Thank you everyone for your advise. I have not done it yet. The pay is $25.00 right now in my area, so I am thinking about doing one just to see how it goes. I do not know which station it is for, but if it is a Shell, I will not do it. smiling smiley
@01Happy wrote:

Has anyone done one of the gas station shops for M F?
When I was looking at one, it does not give much information. I guess you find out after you sign up what your expectations are. Can someone please tell me if this shop is difficult to do?How long it normally takes? What expectations are? Thank you for any information.
I think the region matters as well. I have sworn off MF gas station shops because I'm in a high-population area where the client employs pump attendants at most stations, and the C-stores attached are often the size of a modest walk-in closet. Good luck getting those violation photos when you are being watched from stem to stern. About the only thing you can shoot is the bathroom and, once you've left, the sign/curb appeal photos (by going across the street later). No more of that.

Did my first one for Alta360 at end of September and enjoyed it quite a bit. Their client doesn't use attendants in my area and, at least at this location, the C-store was big enough to escape the cashier's constant gaze. Their first-half-of-the-month fees are awful though, this one was bonused at the end of the month.
This. ! Yesterday, I had to change the picture size setting in my phone. I dunno how or when it was changed, but for several weeks the images were too big for most reports. My beloved companies allowed me to utilize an alternate method of submitting images, but that should not have been necessary. At least I found out that there was an image issue for a few weeks that had not existed before.

If your images are small enough on the phone, you can [if time permits in your busy world] at least enter images and other basic information on the phone during a break. This way, you have completed some of your report before you get to a computer.

@sestrahelena wrote:

About the photos: either batch resize them on the computer or take them in a smaller size format if submitting the report on a phone. Smaller file size = SO MUCH FASTER and less data used.

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus
Ah ha! Tips on making reporting easier! Up my alley, since I am "tech challenged".

I do straight mystery shops AND revealed audits, in routes when I can. I dread (dread, I say! ) facing hours of report time after hours on the road.

I take a sheet for each gas station. I download the photos. I go through them and put the photo's number (assigned by my Win10 OS) on the sheet.

So my sheet for a non-specific station may look like this: Such & Such station, Bremerton, 10/13/20

Receipt photo (gas) #2470
Receipt photo (inside purchase) 2471
Overall 2472
Main ID -- side 1
Main ID - side 2
Canopy 2473, 2474, 2475, 2476
forecourt 2477 ("fueling island" )
Pump #1 2478
Pump #1 closeup ("bezel" ) 2479
(repeat for each pump) (if required)
Diesel dispenser 2502
Diesel, closeup 2503
Infractions: 2515, 2517, 2532


I don't know "cropping". I don't know renaming. I've never done either, and I know many guidelines say absolutely do not crop photos. I know some guidelines require renaming, but if the photo is going into a specific already labeled slot, why should I name it? I never have, and have never had a report bounced back (are you listening, IPSOS? ).

So then when I go to report, I have the sheet in front of me for the station. I just add the appropriate photo when and where requested.

I then staple my receipt(s) to that sheet of paper, and throw it in my banker's box that's labeled Mystery Shopping, 2020, for tax purposes.

Done, and done. And if they come back with questions, I have everything filed by date in that banker's box.

smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2020 06:59AM by ceasesmith.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Receipt photo (gas) #2470
Receipt photo (inside purchase) 2471
Overall 2472
Main ID -- side 1
Main ID - side 2
Canopy 2473, 2474, 2475, 2476
forecourt 2477 ("fueling island" )
Pump #1 2478
Pump #1 closeup ("bezel"winking smiley 2479
(repeat for each pump) (if required)
Diesel dispenser 2502
Diesel, closeup 2503
Infractions: 2515, 2517, 2532

So then when I go to report, I have the sheet in front of me for the station. I just add the appropriate photo when and where requested.

I then staple my receipt(s) to that sheet of paper, and throw it in my banker's box that's labeled Mystery Shopping, 2020, for tax purposes.

Done, and done. And if they come back with questions, I have everything filed by date in that banker's box.

smiling smiley

Great tip!!
BTW, after I upload each photo, I X through the # lightly, or put a check mark after it. Then, before I submit, I just double-check that every photo listed has a check mark; this merely insures I didn't miss uploading a photo.

smiling smiley
I prefer a digital camera. That way I can snap, snap snap while I am at the station and get moving to the next one. Three of each required as a minimum plus extra shots in case an editor asks. Between shops, I take a photo of the location's paperwork. (generally I don't print an entire audit form, but the top sheet gives me a spot to take notes and attach the receipt.) When I get home I copy the photo card into a "dump" file on my laptop. I create files for each station and rename and move the photos I need from the dump to the shop file. "Pump1..." Pump2..."Main ID " and so forth. I rearrange them alphabetically and scan for anything missing. I don't crop anything but will rotate them if I turned my camera to get the shot. Once I get paid I send the dump file to the Bin of No Return since I won't need to dig through it for additional photos to appease editors. This has been the fastest for me. I do long, rural routes where much of my day will be on the road, cell data will be spotty, and I do not have time to upload on site or to search for wifi between shops.
I also find it easier to use my digital camera than my phone camera. It can hang around my neck while I use my hands to do the paperwork. (It's a big ole Olympus) I upload all the photos when I get home. However, it is always a good idea to make sure you have the SD card in the camera before you go...as I found out recently and had to use my cell phone for all those photos and then email them to myself and then upload to my photo files. Doable, but a PITA.

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

Zen Shin Talks
What's an SDcard? I use a digital camera, too, but it's quite old, and I'm not sure it has such a thing. It has a separate cord that I plug into my laptop to download photos.
SD card is removable memory something like a flash drive, memory stick or CD but it's a flat little square less than 1"×1". Looks like a SIM card but bigger.

sestrahelena
@MsJudi wrote:

I also find it easier to use my digital camera than my phone camera. It can hang around my neck while I use my hands to do the paperwork. (It's a big ole Olympus) I upload all the photos when I get home. However, it is always a good idea to make sure you have the SD card in the camera before you go...as I found out recently and had to use my cell phone for all those photos and then email them to myself and then upload to my photo files. Doable, but a PITA.

No need to email them. Just plug the phone cord into the computer's USB and transfer them straight to the computer.

sestrahelena
I don't think I have any such a thingamajiggy.

smiling smiley

@sestrahelena wrote:

SD card is removable memory something like a flash drive, memory stick or CD but it's a flat little square less than 1"×1". Looks like a SIM card but bigger.
Or most androids and apples automatically upload them to the cloud for you as soon as you connect to WiFi.
I'm also partially tech challenged, but I always can figure something out. Thanks for the tips

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

Zen Shin Talks
ROTFLMAO

They would just disappear, as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't be able to find that particular cloud -- wait, is it the one that looks like a lamb? Or the one that looks like a camel?


smiling smiley

@nixkit wrote:

Or most androids and apples automatically upload them to the cloud for you as soon as you connect to WiFi.
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