Hotel Shops, Will you get Reimbursed with no Hassle?

I am interested in getting into the hotel shops. I would have to spend hundreds of dollars and not be reimbursed. Also, what companies have the? How do you ensure you are paid?

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 would suggest that you start getting into hotel shops by doing a couple lower end shops in your area first before you venture out for the higher dollar shops. You are right, it can run into hundreds of dollars and you want to be very sure you know exactly what you are both doing and getting into before you start spending a lot of money on the front end. Some are fairly easy, and once you do a couple, you'll have a good idea what is expected.

However, I've had resort shops that I thought were a major score to get my hands on, but in reality, I had so much to get done on the shop, I thought I was going to fall flat on my face before I just collected all the information they wanted, and that did not include writing it all up. There was the very real realization that I was among the exhausted hired help, and was in no way on vacation. That said, a good shopping partner can make those more doable, and I did not have that at the time.

As to reimbursement, I've done many such over the years and only had a problem with one. That one ran into months of back and forth before I got paid, and it was several hundred dollars. There is always that hovering over all mystery shops. You do need to make sure you can cover it if the reimbursement hangs up for whatever reason. I would also suggest doing a few smaller shops first with any company you are thinking about working with that would cost you money on the front end. You really do want to know how their shops go and what their editors might be likely to flag before you start pulling out your wallet for the big bucks.
I've never had a problem with a hotel shop. But I agree with Ginny, it can be a bit of work. I wouldn't do it if I wasn't going to be around the hotel, at least a good percentage of the time to hit all of the required interactions. I've done resorts, overnight, stays two days, days and all kinds of things in between. But you do need to have solid narrative and make sure you have the right names and pictures etc. It can be a lot of work just for reimbursement. Unless you can benefit from the hotel points or something else.
Thanks. I agree with all of that. I have done about 70 shops in the past three months. I wrote an entire dissertation. I am also a freelance writer in my spare time. It amazes me when I get the best response to my shops in the world, then turn around and get an ok response. I even get editors asking me for information that I already put in my report. That is why I am a little nervous. I did a carpet cleaning shop. I paid $250 up front. The workers did not do their part. I couldn't make them follow the procedure. That put my pay in Jeopardy. The company just contacted me, for a shop, which was completed over a month ago to ask me a question about it, when I contacted them the day of the shop, while the workers were at my home to tell them about the issue and wrote it in my report! So again, I am leery. Sometimes some things happen that you can't control. Do they do partial payments? Do you know who has the spa, hotel and casino shops?
@acharmm wrote:

Thanks. I agree with all of that. I have done about 70 shops in the past three months. I wrote an entire dissertation. I am also a freelance writer in my spare time. It amazes me when I get the best response to my shops in the world, then turn around and get an ok response. I even get editors asking me for information that I already put in my report. That is why I am a little nervous. I did a carpet cleaning shop. I paid $250 up front. The workers did not do their part. I couldn't make them follow the procedure. That put my pay in Jeopardy. The company just contacted me, for a shop, which was completed over a month ago to ask me a question about it, when I contacted them the day of the shop, while the workers were at my home to tell them about the issue and wrote it in my report! So again, I am leery. Sometimes some things happen that you can't control. Do they do partial payments? Do you know who has the spa, hotel and casino shops?

I've always been weary about fronting that much money myself. I've been stiffed on exactly one job in 16 years of mystery shopping so I'm not sure why I'm hesitant to do this. When I look at the parameters...thats more work than I want to do. Now if they reimburse plus give me a fee in 3 digits...we'll talk. Straight reimbursement and ruin my relaxing trip? Nope.
Casino shops are an entirely different level from even complex hotel shops. Please post specifically asking experienced casino shoppers to fill you in on the god, the bad and the ugly of casino shops. From what I have learned from others, they can be a 24 hour marathon run followed my a heck of a ton or writing, with very little rest.

Sooo, i would suggest starting with a couple of relatively simple hotel shops (no spa, no multiple interactions at a list of venues like snack shops, gift shop, pool, gym, ) no poolside drinks or dining. Just plain vanilla hotel with dining and bar. For those try ACL and BB Solutions. Also, you need to remember that hotel shops FLY off the job boards. So the fact that ACL lets you see assigned shops with an option to apply as a backup shopper is handy to know. Finally, do NOT start with a Coyle hotel shops. Even for highly prolific writers those are challenging and can be exhausting.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
My advice is do a couple hundred more shops before even thinking of tackling a hotel. And do a very wide variety of shops.

Some upscale eateries, with many details, would be good training.
ceasesmith hit the nail squarely on the head, IMHO.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@ceasesmith wrote:

My advice is do a couple hundred more shops before even thinking of tackling a hotel. And do a very wide variety of shops.

Some upscale eateries, with many details, would be good training.
Yours is the best advice in this thread.
I speak from experience of having done at least a couple hundred casino/hotel resort shops. I also require triple digit fee plus reimbusement, and also gambling wins when applicable.
I have done super easy hotel shops and one moderately complex shop. I have looked over the requirements of they very complex or casino shops and can't bring myself to complete one. I am not sure how I would enjoy the hotel/casino and I am afraid that if I don't get someone's name, the shop will be void and I would be out a ton of money.

The easy shops I do just require making a reservation, noticing a few things at check in/ check out and mostly looking for cleanliness issues in the room. They require a breakfast and I think there are a few questions about the breakfast as well. It has been awhile since I have done any of these. Think like $250-$400 hotels, pretty basic with an onsite breakfast. The report is quick and the shop is easy. I would do these all day long. Some of the hotels are in local tourist areas that we like to visit so I get these every time that I can.

The moderate shop that I did one time was a boutique hotel. The rooms were expensive and I had to do lots of service checks which meant capturing names and descriptions of lots of folks. Some of the things that I had to observe were valet, host upon check in, concierge, drinks and an app in a bar, dinner with certain ordering requirements, a late night call after midnight, and room service in the morning. I think there were more. I was pretty busy doing this shop but it was still easy enough. Pretty easy report and did enjoy this shop. This is still nothing compared to the casino shops which are super detailed and specific.
In addition to what @ceasesmith said, I think that fine dining shops are the best practice for casino/hotel resort shops. Casino/hotel resort shops are a lot like all the other types of shops you've mastered, but they are combined into one big shop with a time limit. I've done some with over 1,000 questions on the forms, and they all required heavy and detailed narratives, and perfect grammar and spelling. Others have only a few hundred questions.

I prefer two or more night stays. Multiple night stays allow me to be more flexible with my interactions schedule. I doubt your shop would get rejected over one missed name, but absolute confidence that you will complete the shop is a prerequisite. Keep practicing until you have that confidence. Upfront outlays can be several hundred and sometimes over a thousand dollars. When you have the confidence and experience from a couple hundred shops of various types, see if you can find a shift visit for your first casino/hotel resort shop. That will give you a good idea of what to expect without fronting hundreds of dollars.
Good suggestions from others about doing fine dining shops for experience at report writing. Hotel shops are definitely a lot of work not a vacation.

Not a hotel shop but in response to casino shops comments and how long they can take.
I did a local casino shop that was not an overnight stay but required visiting the casino and dining. I enjoyed the dining; good food and the report was standard timing and service questions. The gambling portion took three more hours that I anticipated as there was a lot of time spent waiting for staff to be available. i.e. waiting for a cocktail server to come thru the slots area and finding four different employees to ask questions.
I wouldn't do this shop again as it took considerable time and a personal gripe was the smell. The casino had a non-smoking area and I sat in the non-smoking area but my clothes and hair still reeked of smoke and I had an hour drive home.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2022 08:18PM by 724PM.
Try Coyle. They are a lesson in endurance training. Try to start with a 2-night stay. You'll be typing for DAYS afterward. What color were the bell-hops eyes? What, EXACTLY did he say to you, after taking you to your room? What color was the carpet in the hallway? Unending BS.....
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login