top five favorite companies

Has anyone had experience with a company a daily lodging and food allowance when performing a route shop that is for several nights?

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@ctalbert wrote:

I live in Kentucky. Were are you from?
Do you do the Dougie?

OP, five good companies ("favorite" changes month to month) are Ipsos, Merc Systems, Jancyn, RCMS, and Coyle. Five that need to have something extra enticing to do are Sentry, GFK, Intellishop, Market Force, and Cirrus.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
I live in the Ogden, UT area. I have done some work for Coyle and have enjoyed working with them. MaritzCX has been good as well. I am having problems with Market Force and their stringent QC procedures that do not allow any cures for errors that they detect.
I don't agree bgriffin. Shellbee isn't asking for specifics on your shops, she is asking about companies in general. I personally, like Marketforce and Intellishop but I have only been mystery shopping for about six months.
By the way, do all mystery shop companies offer shops in all the states? If not, how do you find the ones specific to your state?
To answer your question, no not all mystery shop companies offer shops in all states. Some do and some don’t. The only way to figure out what areas the companies shop in is to sign up with them and check their boards. You can check Jobslinger to see what companies are offering jobs in your area to get an idea. I did that when I was new for the first few months and it helped to guide me some.
I just don't understand how you guys can do 10 or 20 shops in one day. I can barely stay caught up with 5. and my brain feels fried after analyzing the questions on some to figure out what they want and how they want it. Complicated by the fact that sometimes when you read the guideline and pre-read the survey and still can't remember all the questions.I did one today, with no reimbursement and it should have been, but alas I needed to do a first shop so I could get rated and they actually wanted narrative on basic stuff. How the heck can you possibly pay someone a latte and cookie and 3 bucks and expect a narrative? really? a cheap MSP that's where. after I'm fully established they can kiss me goodbye on anything under 10 or 15 bucks profit or no reimbursement unless it's easy and I really really want to shop there.
It takes practice, practice, practice. This really is a job, lol. Actually, I think that 20 shops a day may often be 20 very quick shops of the same sort, with chances to sign on and enter reports throughout the day and/or negotiated extensions of report time. However, there are some very serious road warriors among us who will do 15-20 with some narratives, a day on a regular basis.

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.
@daveg43 wrote:

I am having problems with Market Force and their stringent QC procedures that do not allow any cures for errors that they detect.

How many errors are we talking about? There are a limited number of errors you can make with MF before they cut you off. They are so easy to work with and so many new shoppers sign up every day that they don't keep shoppers who make errors more than a few times.
One error but it invalidated both shops. I find that Maritz and Second-to-None are much easier to work with and much more professional.
my full time job may be downsizing and my specific position may or may not get axed. The unknown is very scary. I am so glad I found this site and am building my shops. I may have to expand my routes. I am hoping that this can become my full-time job if needed.
@shellbee wrote:

my full time job may be downsizing and my specific position may or may not get axed. The unknown is very scary. I am so glad I found this site and am building my shops. I may have to expand my routes. I am hoping that this can become my full-time job if needed.
I'd build up a nest egg rather than depend on this being a full-time job. How much do you need to earn a month? $3000? $5000?
This job can feed you, yes, but it can't pay the bills, especially if you are new. My advice invest in passive income builders. For example, while you are still earning you need to buy a rental property if your credit is decent. The minimum credit score required to purchase a house is 640. There are multi-unit dwellings available. For your first one, I'd buy a triplex or a quadplex. You can live in one unit and rent the rest out. Buy a couple of vending machines. Remember to diversify, as you may lose a tenant to moving or have to kick one out. So you want enough passive income from other sources to cover you if that happens. There are other forms of passive income as well. Containers (shipping), ATM machines, self-serve car washes (pay attention to the location if you chose this one as some areas don't do well.) Index tracking and stocks can pay dividends as well, but it takes a large investment to make a lot of progress. Then the income from shopping will be "gravy". Start putting yourself on a budget. Use grocery shops to purchase household necessities. Gas shops to pay for gas. You get the idea. This will free up income to go elsewhere if nowhere else right away except savings. One more thing, be patient. It takes time to learn how to apply these principles and then to begin implementing them. I can share some resources with you if you are willing to learn. Websites, contacts, pdf's. I just started learning myself. The first thing I did was learn about credit. Then I lost my W-2 job. But despite this, all of my credit is 100% paid on time. It's harder to get a negative off than it is to bring your utilization down. Pay the $25 a month minimum no matter what, even if you can't pay the balance down. My cards are basically maxed but they are paid on time. This month I was able to use income from shops etc to pay for shops so next month I'll be able to pay them down. It's a process and it takes time.
$3000 is what I would have to earn. Probably should start that nest egg

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2017 12:46AM by shellbee.
You can make $3000 a month, not including reimbursements. You can find shops that will reimburse you for most of your basic needs, but you need to be willing/able to work it.

* Find the MSC's that do groceries. By doing a bunch of these shops (they aren't bad once you've done a couple), you can do a handful of these shops each week, get all the groceries you'd need and be reimbursed for them (plus a little extra) within two weeks.
* Find account opening shops at banks. Get a checking an savings account just for shopping. Only use that checking account for mystery shopping expenses - after first putting what you need into your regular account.
* Lots of shops require no out-of-pocket expenses. I like apartments and car dealerships, once they are bonused.
* Play the end-of-month game. After a couple of months, you'll see patterns in terms of which shops tend to be bonused and which don't. The MSC's I use that offer casino, bank account opening, and apartment shops in my area don't have much difference in pay at different times of the month, so I like to do those at the beginning of the month. Bank inquiry, gas station, car dealerships and a few others often pay significantly more at the end of the month, so I'll grab them at that time.
* After you've been going strong for a couple of months, you should be able to accumulate more in your shopping account than you really need. Consider investing in video equipment. Video shops pay well and often have much shorter narratives - allowing you to do more shops (and earn more money!) in a given day.
* Often my most profitable days are 12-14 hours driving in rural areas, hitting 5-15 shops with hefty bonuses. If you can leave home for a full day, expanding your shopping radius to 200 miles can really open up options.
* Don't be afraid to ask for a little more to do a shop... Be really nice to the schedulers and they'll start calling you when they really need to get a shop done - which can translated to really good pay.
Other:
* Entertainment: you can shop amusement parks, bowling alleys, movie theaters, casinos and more.
* You should never have to pay for regular car maintenance or take-out pizza.
* Once you get going, you could find your self secret shopping three meals a day (for one or two people).

.


@shellbee wrote:

$3000 is what I would have to earn. Probably should start that nest egg

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I secret is not a MSC but search platform like MSJobBoard.com or Jobslinger..

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
@F and L TeleComm wrote:

This job can feed you, yes, but it can't pay the bills, especially if you are new. My advice invest in passive income builders. For example, while you are still earning you need to buy a rental property if your credit is decent. The minimum credit score required to purchase a house is 640... Then I lost my W-2 job. But despite this, all of my credit is 100% paid on time. It's harder to get a negative off than it is to bring your utilization down. Pay the $25 a month minimum no matter what, even if you can't pay the balance down. My cards are basically maxed but they are paid on time. This month I was able to use income from shops etc to pay for shops so next month I'll be able to pay them down. It's a process and it takes time.

Someone here recommended a site awhile back that has been invaluable to me for rentals: biggerpockets.com. I second the advice to get a duplex or fourplex to start with - and live there. Screen your tenants really well and don't fall for sob stories. If you're able, get one with a fenced yard and ALLOW two dogs -- most landlords don't and usually the tenants will be so afraid of not finding another place that does that they'll keep your place up.

Use the snowball method to pay off your credit cards - minimum on all but the lowest balance card. It makes more sense to pay off the highest interest rate first, but most of us who have had credit card debt aren't disciplined enough to do so.

MSing full time is difficult. It's doable, but the per-hour rate when just starting is abysmal once you figure in expenses, including taxes.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
Suppose I end up on unemployment. Will mystery shopping and merchandising during that period of time be ok?
why not? When I lost my full time job in 2009 I started doing mystery shop. Of course it is not replaced my salary I lost but still something. I can not get $3000 per month as another guy said (I am in relatively small city in PA, not Pitsburg and not Philla) but still money.

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
I would ask your contact for unemployment benefits. You will have to report the income and you could get in trouble if you are seen to be deceiving the unemployment office...

@shellbee wrote:

Suppose I end up on unemployment. Will mystery shopping and merchandising during that period of time be ok?

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@gene wrote:

why not? When I lost my full time job in 2009 I started doing mystery shop. Of course it is not replaced my salary I lost but still something. I can not get $3000 per month as another guy said (I am in relatively small city in PA, not Pitsburg and not Philla) but still money.

Unless you are tied to your town and can't go on day trips, you ought to be able to make $3K. It might be a matter of finding the MSC's that have the most shops there.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I am not tied and doing trips at least one time a week up to 60 miles one way but still can not get 3K a month

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
What is a town near where you live? I'll look at my MSC's.... I tend to stretch my radius to 200 miles - if the money is good.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
That are the MSC that offer shops in my area: ardent, intouch insite, shared Insight, Goodwin, ICU Assoc, The Quest For Best, Bare, AKA Beyond Hello, Market Force, Sinclair, Intellishop, RBG, iccds, A Closer Look, Second to None, ISPOS, BES, SEE, Customs Risk Solutions, technology shopper, HS Brands International, amber arch, Reflections MS.com, athpower, International Service Checks, Maritz plus apps like Mobee, Field Agent, Gigwalk, Observa and Easy Shifts. I signed also with others you discussed above but not everyone has shops in my areas..

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2017 03:46AM by gene.
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