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Friday, December 30

677 Miles

677 Miles... That's the estimate my mapping software gives for the route I am taking today to complete 8 mystery shops.  It's the last weekday of the month, the quarter...even the year.  Mystery shopping companies are desperate.  Ever the opportunist, I'm piling into the Corolla for a marathon journey.  I can sleep when I die, right?

I am auditing two gas stations that normally pay $11 with a $7 reimbursement.  Today they are paying $73.50 each, plus reimbursement.  Then through another company I searched for nearby shops and came up with four:  two relatively paltry mystery shops ($16.50 each plus reimbursement), a $50 gas station shop and a $35 home improvement shop.  I also have two local restaurants where I have to snap photos of the drive-thru menu boards ($12 each).  In all I will earn $289 in fees, $15 in free gas and $6 in free stuff.  It's debatable whether the money is worth the effort, but all in all I can justify it:   I'll be out about $40 in gas after reimbursement, plus some wear and tear on my car.  The Corolla is approaching 130,000 miles and my cost of ownership, gas included, has been around $.20/mile.  Either way I look at it I come out ahead.

Anyone else think I've lost my mind?


  1. Nope I love all your ambition and wacky stories, I just don't think I could all of them , but maybe a few. Happy New Year!

  2. That is the highest I've ever seen a gas station shop. I've driven some pretty long miles for mystery shopping in a day but I don't think I've come close to that. You car cost per mile is about the same as mine. At the end of November my cost per mile was 20.347 cents per mile. That was counting the value of my car at zero. Considering you can also deduct the cost of your miles driven your actual cost per mile is even lower.

  3. I don't think most people figure that part out about the deduction, Andy. Sure, it costs me $.20 to run my car, but then I get to deduct $.55 per mile from my income. Nice arbitrage bonus courtesy of the IRS.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence in my sanity, Marilyn.

    It's been a long day. Time for sleep!

  4. Hello, it´s been a while but I still come by once in a while.
    I also don´t think you lost your mind, lol. I think you are inspiring and I wish I could the same (mistery shopping) here :)
    Regards, Mizé

  5. Good to hear from you, Mize. How've you been?