A post Corona developement for me

I shop for three reasons, of which my primary is money*. In that category, since the country re-opened I have completed 26 shops yielding an average of $54 each. As this is the highest it has ever been, I am curious as to if this is an effect of other shoppers avoiding work that requires more narrative. IF an MSC is willing to pay, four of those job fees were in triple digits, a lengthy report does not bother me, but only if it is NOT filled with repetition. In addition, none of the work required travel beyond the norm.

Please share your thoughts.

* My other two reasons are lifestyle and the defrayment of non-shopping travel expenses. These, by far, constitute the bulk of my assignments.

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I'm only a part-time, more or less "hobby" shopper. I mainly do grocery shops, post office shops and some convenience shops, along with light merch jobs. I average a mere $250-$300/month, so not a lot. The virus put the kabosh on the grocery shops for a while, but since they have come back, I've kept busy with those, and with some nice, hefty bonuses! Not infrequently, one company's regular $11.00 fee can be had for a sum of $27!! I've done it multiple times. So I don't know if the virus has kept other shoppers in my area from doing these, but I enjoy the bonuses!
90% of the time I shop so I don't have to cook dinner and it lowers my monthly food costs. Obvi this past year, things have been down. If I shopped for money, I'd starve.
at COVID time I prefer doing shops that required very limited time to spend inside (no more then 15-20 minutes). In that case I am doing only banks (teller visits) some fast foods, like 5 guys, Wawa, Arby's and Sonic. I am doing also app shops, like Field Agent.

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2021 11:59PM by gene.
I will happily do just about anything on the 10-ft pole list for most folks for the right amount of money. I'm a hobby/part time shopper. So it either has to be something I need or want or has to pay well enough to justify my time.

I usually end up with a lot of well-paying shops that I can do towards the end of the month and do quite a bit of website and phone work.

I'm somewhere around 2,000 a month in fees plus reimbursements, but I have one MSC that makes up half of that.
As a full time shopper who gets all my income from this type of work, I have made more money post-covid than I did before covid. I have had the opportunity to travel more and do long work routes in other parts of the country. For example, I grossed $6000.00 over the past 12 days working out of state. I have been going to California one week out of every month and grossing $2000-$3000 a week every time I go.
I don't think I've done more than 2 or 3 non-bonused shops since the country opened back up. During the lockdown phase, I was doing mostly bank shops, all with bonuses. It seems to me that my area must be experiencing a shortage of shoppers since things opened back up. Other than Texas Roadhouse shops, which always get jumped on here, most of the regular ones that used to fly off the boards are sitting and sitting.

I'm just a p/t shopper who shops when my other "regular" self-employment businesses are slow. But I definitely am shopping more lately than I have in awhile, and making more per shop than I ever have. I try to make enough to pay my car payment each month, and I easily did that and more during July.

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 am still getting weekly checks from EDD for PUA unemployment. I have taken some shops but very few. Last week they sent me a note saying I was under investigation. They did not tell me what it was for, or how to contact anyone. Phone calls to them always result in a message to call back later when they are not busy. So will they ever ask me why I am not shopping more? To the point of this question, nearby my house are fast food shops requiring me to buy and taste a burger which I will not taste. The fee itself is way below minimum wage even when bonused. Bank and cell phone shops in this city require a long wait for service. There is a UPS store shop paying $7 but even tho it is not far it still requires travel time of 30 minutes round trip and the wait was 15 minutes on line. I see purchase return shops paying $12 to $20 but those are 2 trips with travel time. There are not yet enough shops within a one mile radius of each other to do more than one at a location. And yes, I have seen the high paying shops where pay could be $50 per shop but these are in far flung areas no where near where I live. I suppose if I wanted to spend a week on the road enjoying the scenery in California I could drive up north or east where it is over 100 degrees every day and do a 12 hour day to earn more money, not to mention the gas is over $4 a gallon. Since most shopping centers have turned into restaurant central it is a real challenge finding empty parking spots in them. Restaurants need a whole lot more parking spaces then the old retail shops they replaced. To top it off many charge a fee to park which decreases the $7 fee to $4 or 5 an hour.
I have noticed some shops at a greater price but here in flyover country, not too many of them.
I do MS as a hobby, too. I only do phone shops. I rarely shopped on-site and because of the pandemic, I haven't touched any onsite shop since last March. There has been no change in the fee for these phone shops but they did increase in number. Instead of like 5, I can now assign 20 of those.
Each day is unique. Despite best intentions and truly good planning, I must set aside plans to wait for bonuses and only complete gigs later in August. Just now, I cannot wait for bonuses because an expense that someone else should be paying *growl, snarl, menace, and otherwise express displeasure* has somehow become my responsibility. This should not be, but the alternative is to shirk a responsibility to enforce safety for something. I will not risk an expensive liability for that. I do not have enough vocal power to work extra shifts at my talking head job, so I must complete some gigs in order to assure a specific amount of money. With luck, I can get the one gig that is properly paid. This makes it possible to complete just two other teeny, quick gigs which fit neatly into available time and space.The three combined would cost little to perform and generate hundreds in profit. If unlucky, I will have to complete numerous shops that are time-consuming and underpaid. Are you seeing the domino effect? All those gigs would cause me to lose sleep, accomplish nothing at home, and be the one who consistently meets someone else's responsibility by paying with time, money, sleep, and home comfort. Wish me luck! Lots and lots of luck!

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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I have seen fewer shops and low fees. The amount of mystery shopping I have been doing is around 1/5 of what I used to do. The car shops are gone, most restaurant shops are gone, as well as all grocery shops.
I read on GasBuddy about highest fuel prices in seven years. That does not help for sure.
There aren’t as many shops in my area, but i seem to be getting better fees. Yesterday I did an apartment shop that had a $70 bonus, making the total slightly over $100. At all of the Five Guys i shop regularly my personal best fee is now $25 or more.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
No college students, no moms in morning hours when kids are at school, fewer older retirees, high unemployment take = fewer shoppers in large metropolitan areas
i stopped doing phone shops way before pandemic. If your call diverted to Far East you have lost time. I canceled few shops because of it. I can not pick any single word from them.

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
On the other hand, I have seemed to have more opportunities post covid than I did before. I have also been able to get more shops with higher bonuses.
I have noticed slightly higher shop fees in the past few months and more bonused shops. After the latest surge in covid cases I noticed lots of desperation from schedulers, with bonuses offered on shops that never had them before.
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