What's your hourly rate doing assignments?

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You may want to do a search for that. There was a thread (maybe two) about it a while back with a lot of good comments.

sestrahelena
Why would you feel bad? Each and every one of us has different goals/needs; some of us have years of experience, and some are just starting. Some of us specialize (I understand those who complete routes of video shops can earn big dollars; while others of us prefer quick shops at $7-11 each that we can pick off on the way to somewhere else), some of us route shop, some of us shop for lifestyle enhancements, etc., etc., etc.

And only YOU can determine what you are comfortable with.
On a decent day, my average is anywhere from $50-100 in an hour. But I usually go for shops that have a good bonus.
Sealford's rate embarrasses me and is the reason I'm mostly retired from ms-ing now. smiling smiley I still do shops here and there.

I just cannot get into them unless they are long-term repeat projects. Learning new guidelines for some mattress shop or some cell phone shop other three months doesn't interest me. I want to fall asleep reading the guidelines for so many shops.
I also find myself pondering the meaning of the universe or what these businesses are like, etc. when doing some shops. I'll be writing a report and my mind wanders - hence that $5.50/hour. smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2020 05:06AM by shoptastic.
i’m fairly new to mystery shopping compared to a lot of veterans i've seen on here, but i agree with ceasesmith - it all varies on your goals. for me, breaking down what i make shopping into an hourly rate can be a little upsetting - however i use shopping to fill in days i don’t have other work from another side job. i also feel a lot better when i remind myself there’s a lot less stress / you’re your own boss; my nightmare is i could be back in a cube, on call 24x7 with a horrible work environment - never again.

when i first found this forum i read a helpful post that stuck with me - it said something to the effect of “I don’t get off the couch for $X.” - only you can decide what amount that is.
When I first started mystery shopping I was working for one pizza reimbursement once a month. That was pre-internet. I took a hiatus for several years and returned to doing Mickey D level shops for about $7-10 each. Now I'm at the stage where it takes about $15 for me to think of getting out of bed and at least $20 to get me out the door. For the $20 style shops it has to be something I like, for example the additional free gas or the meal at the restaurant I enjoy.

For me to do a shop that is pure work I expect to get about $30+/hr that includes driving time, shop time and reporting time. Additionally I charge 65 cents/mile for distance. If I get a call from a scheduler, especially near month-end, I usually add on a bit of a bonus because I am fairly sure they are getting desperate. The amount varies depending on my relationship with the MSC, the distance/time involved and the ease/desirability of the shop.

Now that is me. What works for others is going to be different and may be more or less.
I route shop my local home area and do small towns outside of the metroplex. These usually have bonuses and I can dedicate 1-2 days a week to go 45-60 miles outside of my home area and pick up shops from different companies to make it a good deal. I try to average $25 per hour. I set a goal of $200 per day but do not always make it. I rent a small office down the street from my house. I do all my reports and work there. I also refinish furniture and sell on Offer Up etc. So it is nice I have a place to go to each day to work, but i have to do enough work to pay the rent. I look at things too like CharleyBuddy. I am my own boss, I do what I like to do and my stress level is always under 5.
I keep it simple when figuring out of a job is worth it. $1/minute.
So, average is $60/hour. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but the average for the day needs to be $60/hour.
I live in Southern California where there a a zillion shops. I rarely need to expand my radius beyond 15 miles. I watched somebody grab everything at $12 or less over the last couple of weeks. Apparently, they burned out because those same shops are back to $17-$20 this week.
I tried to keep it to at least $50 an hour. I try to bundle/route where I can. I also take a lot of easy shops to fill in downtime, like phone shops or easy shops w quick reports (MF).
I really have never figured it out.
I have only done 6? shops since the shut down.
One was returning my refundable containers. An errand I have to do anyway. No time is added to the errand, the report is simple-5 minutes
Before the visit, I have to line up all the containers, photo and submit the photos. That takes me a while. It paid $30- worth the lining up of containers.

One was a grocery store, had to talk to several people, so certainly added to my time. It paid $10 plus $15 reimbursement

One was getting my eyes checked. Report was more involved, but the errand was necessary and it paid $50.

Then I also got a Root Beer at A&W and took a picture of some display for $5 plus $2 reimbursement. That probably took 30 minutes of my time. I did the report while I sat there and drank the pop.
I am only taking jobs that are on my way somewhere right now.
Figuring how much I make per hour takes too much time and is not useful. I keep track of how much I make per job, and that is more useful to me. I average between $22 and $25 per job, and that includes several JIB jobs per month.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2020 03:42AM by AZwolfman.
I dunno. These days, I am adding a job and do this math: do I earn more at wage job or at IC gig? I also have this math: Tomorrow, I can do one gig that pays for a play day and play or I can do three gigs, make the money sing, and come home and do reports. I choose the one gig and play. Someone else would choose the money and play later (if ever).

In spite of myself, I am a business. [me. really! i was shocked when they told me.] I really should use next year to increase my fees and do the other things that increase the value of a small business. For the rest of this year, gigs will fit in somewhere, and I will get a kick out of beating my hourly wage/shift totals.

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus
I kind of suspect that most folks that are making $50 an hour or better are not counting their travel time and report time into the equation. Yesterday, I got a $60 grocery shop call after some other person flaked. It took almost an hour to get there and most of another back. I stopped along the way home and took some really nice nature shots in a wildlife park I cut through on the way back. I got to go to the park without making a special trip! I don't count that time on my trip. Anyway, the shop took 18 minutes and the report was submitted on the app in less than ten.
So, I either made the equivalent of $180+ an hour for my shop only, around $120+ an hour including the report, or what I actually believe to be my hourly rate... two and a half hours of actual work and travel time, divided in to $60, around $24 bucks an hour for an unplanned Saturday easy gig.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2020 08:20PM by JW.
@JW wrote:

I kind of suspect that most folks that are making $50 an hour or better are not counting their travel time and report time into the equation.

I include that. My travel time is next to nothing due to where I live. I have shops less than one mile from my house. Some are on my way home from my regular job (as in visible from the freeway). When I do a route on a day off or after work, it still needs to be $60/hour.

When bars re-open, I have jobs that pay $25 for a 2-5 minute interaction. I will text the owner a photo and some raw notes. He write the report. I miss doing those. I also do longer bar shops, which can take 60-120 minutes.
SoCalMama:
Tell me more about owners writing their own reports! How do those work? It sounds like having the fox guard the henhouse!
What about guidelines study time?

This is one of the most time-consuming areas for me and why I mostly like to stick with old projects that are repeatable (e.g., Five Guys, grocery shops, etc.).

I personally hate learning idiosyncratic guidelines for some one-off shop.

Do you ever ask for a bonus or renegotiate your rate after reading a set of tedious guidelines that were time-consuming to include the time spent on them? Do you factor that time into your rate?
No, no, and absolutely NOT. You asked for a price and agreed to it. Now you're stuck with the offer and acceptance.

N othing to keep you for asking for more on the next shop, though.
There seems to one of these threads every couple of months. Anyway, I’ll bite. If someone gets $100 an hour for 8 hours a day five days a week, I’m impressed. That’s $200,000 a year (and a bunch of’free’ hambugers).

Boasting about getting $100 an hour is pointless unless you indicate how many hours you actually work at that rate.

In the real world the average mystery shopper gets paid less than $28 an hour (the average hourly pay per hour in the US).

The percentage of mystery shoppers who survive on just mystery shopping fees is extremely low. If you want to boast reveal your monthly or annual income.

My question is how many mystery shoppers get paid more than $60,000 a year (the average US salary)?
@ceasesmith wrote:

No, no, and absolutely NOT. You asked for a price and agreed to it. Now you're stuck with the offer and acceptance.

N othing to keep you for asking for more on the next shop, though.
What about those shops you have to accept first before seeing the guidelines?

Sometimes you have to accept it with rate attached first.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2020 02:27AM by shoptastic.
@Book wrote:

My question is how many mystery shoppers get paid more than $60,000 a year (the average US salary)?
Sans reimbursements?

It might be very common with including the value of reimbursements. I don't count my reimbursements when estimating my hourly personally.
Yes.

You can cancel -- but that can result in harm to your reputation as a reliable shopper.

@shoptastic wrote:

@ceasesmith wrote:

No, no, and absolutely NOT. You asked for a price and agreed to it. Now you're stuck with the offer and acceptance.

N othing to keep you for asking for more on the next shop, though.
What about those shops you have to accept first before seeing the guidelines?

Sometimes you have to accept it with rate attached first.
@Book wrote:

There seems to one of these threads every couple of months. Anyway, I’ll bite. If someone gets $100 an hour for 8 hours a day five days a week, I’m impressed. That’s $200,000 a year (and a bunch of’free’ hambugers).

Boasting about getting $100 an hour is pointless unless you indicate how many hours you actually work at that rate.

In the real world the average mystery shopper gets paid less than $28 an hour (the average hourly pay per hour in the US).

The percentage of mystery shoppers who survive on just mystery shopping fees is extremely low. If you want to boast reveal your monthly or annual income.

My question is how many mystery shoppers get paid more than $60,000 a year (the average US salary)?

I only shop part time now. Currently, I make between $2,000-$3,000 a month, at most, shopping. I used to make over $50,000 every year when I shopped full time.
@SoCalMama wrote:


I only shop part time now. Currently, I make between $2,000-$3,000 a month, at most, shopping. I used to make over $50,000 every year when I shopped full time.

I guess to get those kind of figures you need good relationships with certain schedulers and get jobs which aren’t necessarily available to the masses.
@Book wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:


I only shop part time now. Currently, I make between $2,000-$3,000 a month, at most, shopping. I used to make over $50,000 every year when I shopped full time.

I guess to get those kind of figures you need good relationships with certain schedulers and get jobs which aren’t necessarily available to the masses.
That is absolutely 100% true.
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