This sounds like a Coyle shopper!

I made an ANALOGY to giving someone a recommendation for an internist. Regarding your MSC recommendations: LRA and LQA are not viable options for someone with a full-time job. They are full-time and part-time employment opportunities that are not readily accessible. You stated in another thread that CHC was unethical and that you would never shop for them again. I said that these were terrible OPTIONS, not terrible companies. From your description of CHC though, it sounds like neither a good option nor a good MSC.

@MickeyB wrote:

@MSF wrote:

@SteveSoCal, if I said to someone that there were tons of great internists in town, I would not proceed to name three terrible options, including one that previously had their license suspended for unethical behavior. What would be the point of me giving them bad recommendations? Instead, I would just say that the best internists generally do not accept new patients, unless they are referred by another doctor. A few people essentially did the latter in this thread, which is wonderful, and most appreciated. I do not think the former type of response is wonderful or of value.

@SteveSoCal wrote:

Well...you are definitely being unappreciative of advice that's given here IMHO, and perhaps not understanding it's value.

Why are LRA and LQA terrible options? I’ve applied to both. I would consider an offer from LQA to be the utmost compliment and would be thrilled if they would work with me.

CHC never had their license suspended for unethical behavior? Can you please stop making up random stories to suit your own storyline? I get it, you think I’m full of it and just toying with you and making fun of you with my random suggestions. I’ve already apologized for obviously getting under your skin in a way that I certainly did not intend to, but come on making stuff up and calling two reputable companies “terrible” is unecessary and certainly not helpful. Even CHC is a viable option for some - to each their own.

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@SteveSoCal wrote:

@Niner wrote:


I still think $50/hr, which would be $75/hr before taxes, is a fair deal for writing about if someone used a pleasant tone of voice, or smiled.

That's exactly how I feel about it. These days I can't stomach footing the bill myself since I notice all that stauf anyway.

I started with retail around 2003, got a Holiday Inn about 2 years into it. and just got the hut in Bora Bora last year. It's a process...

Agreed. It makes me crazy paying for dinner now.

We went somewhere recently, in my head, I still had the following going on- the door is smudged, the server did not greet us immediately, her shirt is wrinkled...

At this point, I will mystery shop fine dining, since it's worth the per hour fee, luxury auto, since I buy cars, and luxury retail. Today we went to Louis Vuitton. The last time I was at that exact store, someone paid me to go there. I was paid to go to Gucci last week. I go there too often anyway. The gas stations, etc, not worth it personally.

You find what makes sense to you. Or, the shops find you.
Hey, just a thought. Look at the difference in attitude with the posters, maybe you can figure out why some people get those phone calls and job offers and others don't.
@MickeyB wrote:

A couple of years ago Steve wrote an article about how he MSed his way all the way around the world for $6 (or some small dollar amount) of outlay. Do you still have that Steve? I think it is pretty relevant to this discussion here... and it’s a super fun and aspirational read.

This was the original thread: [www.mysteryshopforum.com]

I was trying to make $5 off the assignment that took me on a round-the-world itinerary, and then followed it up with a longer article for MSM 3 years later, where I documented all I went through to budget another round-the-world itinerary:

[www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]

I can't believe that article was 4 years ago!...and how much my attitude on how travel MSing fits in my life has changed since then. I am no longer trying to make a profit from travel shopping. I just don't have the energy for it.

My next goal had been to achieve $50k in travel and dining reimbursements annually. I fell short in 2016 and clocked in at $49,218...and then my career got too busy to accommodate all of the MSing. I'm still spending $50k on travel annually, but happy to simply have a large chunk of that reimbursed and cover the rest from other income streams.

For 2018; My travel and dining expenditures were $53,795, but my reimbursements were only $38,717. I managed to cover all of the expense with MS income + a variety of other passive income sources, and was able to profit $239.21 on top of my regular paycheck...but I could have done whatever I wanted with that additional $15k! I simply chose to spend it on travel.

Part of that comes from finding myself in an amazing location on a paid trip, and then realizing it's a good value to buy myself more time there for a 'real' vacation. We added some extra nights in Tahiti after the Bora Bora assignment last year, cashed in a bunch of air miles and hotel points, and that whole trip only cost me $585 in the end. In December, I had 10 days in Japan that cost me less than $2k all-in after the reimbursements and fees had been applied, and I was only MSIng for 6 nights of it.

That said, if you have a full-time 50-week a year job, you cannot realistically take that many assignments. I spent over 90 nights in hotel in 2018, with only a small fraction of those being near Los Angeles. I estimate that I dedicate 25-30% of my time resources to MSIng annually, while it only accounts for 10% of my income.
@JessicaV1979 wrote:

I feel like this is a bit embellished. From my experience most upscale places don’t allow you to bring kids, so I can’t imagine that this woman was traveling the world mystery shopping with her two kids in tow. I couldn’t even bring my kids to the hotel shop I did at the Double Tree!
I call BS. Toddlers to a 4-star? Nope. " It’s like you go on an expensive vacation and then the bill vanishes." I have yet to do a resort shop that was like a vacation. Maybe they exist. Sort of like unicorns. More often, they're enjoyable work. Vastly different from a vacation.
"There are some hotel jobs in the Maldives, and when they pop up I’m like, How can I make this happen?" Implying that she was your competition, Steve. I doubt it.
"Recently I went to London for a week and stayed in three different hotels." Notice she didn't say a mystery shopping company PAID for her to go.

"I think, I think, I think" this is completely fabricated. Fake news. Surprised not to see affiliate links or referral codes attached. Too bad you have to sign up to make comments.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@MickeyB wrote:

What if I said it was Intellishop, or SQM, or Bare, or Maritz? As SoCalMama said, let's just say it is Marketforce.
I see what you did there [snicker]

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@SteveSoCal wrote:

[www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]
That is pretty amazing and inspiring. I didn't tag anything onto my last one because it was a company I haven't done that much work for and I was (needlessly) worried about getting everything done.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@SteveSoCal wrote:

[www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]

"Be careful what you ask for."

Dude, I've lived portions of your experience - arranging award travel, booking it, and then the assignment is cancelled or rescheduled. Juggling dates and assignments, and attempting to figure out when I need to travel to make everything "work". Hopping from one hotel/resort on to a three night, four day assignment at an international resort, with a connection, writing the final narratives for the first assignment in the lobby of the international resort while my amazing suite is being readied, while the owner of the niche MSC sends me numerous emails with follow up questions about my first hotel experience.

Travel can be grueling, as are back to back hotel/resort assignments, especially when you arrive home and still have to finalize your report/survey. One needs stamina when completing these assignments. Sure, the experiences are amazing, as are the properties, often in beautiful and exotic locations, but no one should kid themselves; you are definitely working. Those F and B hotel assignments are definitely less taxing than full-blown hotel assignments.

Cheers to that Bora Bora assignment. I got a little misty when the boat pulled away from the dock.
@iShop123 wrote:

I call BS.

Well..it's all in the wording. I don't expect the kids were coming along to London or Paris, or it was just the older son perhaps...and you definitely have to go to the specific restaurant in Paris to comment on the view, the gold leaf in the dessert, and such.

The particular assignments in the Maldives were done by me 4 years ago and I don't repeat assignments, so it's been evaluated 2-3 times a year since then by someone, and it's generally the best evaluator who can get there cheaply or already has plans to be there. It really is like a vacation because you just write up the meals and the hotel part is given to you for free.

For a similar resort, I used air miles to get there and asked instead of travel expenses to have the resort limo pick my guest and I up from the airport, and drop us back off afterward, plus allow for us to get massages at the spa. The hotel manager agreed to it and my bill for that near vacation was $0. I reviewed 3 dinners and one room service meal with 4 free nights at the resort.

It doesn't always have to be frantic reporting.
@Professional Guest wrote:

Cheers to that Bora Bora assignment.

I really liked the location for Bora Bora, especially for just snorkeling in the lagoon, but I also did the one in the Bahamas last year and thought the food was really good, with a very easy trip to get there....and Lanai is probably my favorite. If you can combine that with some hotels on Maui it's a good trip.

I don't think I'll ever do back-to-back full narrative assignments again. I would do 3 in a row when I was younger and it was exhausting.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@Professional Guest wrote:

Cheers to that Bora Bora assignment.

I really liked the location for Bora Bora, especially for just snorkeling in the lagoon, but I also did the one in the Bahamas last year and thought the food was really good, with a very easy trip to get there....and Lanai is probably my favorite. If you can combine that with some hotels on Maui it's a good trip.

I don't think I'll ever do back-to-back full narrative assignments again. I would do 3 in a row when I was younger and it was exhausting.

Lanai was nice, especially since it had gone through an entire renovation. The suite was amazing. And the Hawaiian artifacts and decorative items are museum-worthy. I was offered the Bahamas assignment but it wasn't as easy for me to get there. Will now have to request it after your recommendation.

I share your thoughts. I'm not in it for the money. I'm in it for the reimbursements. If I figured the amount of time/hours I spent answering the narratives/surveys, I would be making cents/hour in fees.

I've done back to back to back hotel/resort assignments. Once.
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