Tuesday, March 26

Mystery Shopping Orgy

Sorry, I couldn't help myself with the title.  When is a good time to make money mystery shopping?  The end of the month.  When is the best time to make money mystery shopping?  The end of the quarter.  As the end of the first quarter of 2013 approaches, opportunity is everywhere.

Well, "everywhere" is relative.  I planned a trip to Birmingham a few weeks ago.  Between Birmingham and Tampa Bay are hundreds of small towns.  En route to Birmingham I completed about two dozen shops ranging from gas stations to restaurants to an auto dealership (service, not sales).  I was paid $81 plus a free oil change for one shop that took 30 minutes onsite and 15 minutes to report.  The ten minute gas station mystery shops that normally paid $6 in fees and $6 in reimbursements paid $18 in fees and $6 in free stuff.

Onward, I arrived in Birmingham on Saturday night.  My trip's purpose was to complete my regular merchandising route (it recurs roughly every 8 weeks) and to begin the eviction process on a drug-addicted tenant.  While in town, I found more restaurants, gas stations and payday loan shops.

Tomorrow I head back to Florida, but not before picking up a slew of deadline shops.  I start the day with another auto dealer.  This time I will be having the tires rotated and will be paid $81 plus the cost of the rotation.  I have a route of gas stations heading south and a super easy drive-thru lunch.

The month of March has been lucrative relative to the effort involved.  Fortunately, things don't fall off a cliff in April.  I already have 40 shops scheduled.  Most are the $6 gas stations, all of which are within a few miles of my house.  But I do have some more exciting jobs lined up as well.  On the 11th I begin a route that includes mystery shopping a Hilton Garden Inn, spending three nights at a timeshare resort in Gatlinburg, and eating at a themed restaurant while there.  Since the purpose of the timeshare is to attend a sales presentation, the rest of the time is mine.  I'm using the free stay to take my mom out of town for a short vacation.

Back to work!

6 comments:

  1. It is good to see that you are making good money from mystery shopping again. Once my job is finished I'm going to start doing more mystery shopping but I won't do nearly as much as you. I've never been able to put that many shops together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you go hiking, look at small towns along the way to the Appalachians, particularly if you leave towards the end of a month. The big money is usually out in the middle of nowhere, which might not be the middle of nowhere if you are on your way to somewhere.

      Delete
  2. You drove so many states and should have used a lot of gas. That should cut out a lot of your profit. Right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I rarely buy gas because I get it free at the gas stations I shop and audit. Likewise, oil changes and tire rotations are usually done as shops. My car is old so I do have to think about parts on it wearing out, but my cost per mile is much less than what the IRS allows me to deduct.

      Delete
  3. How much you could make on 500 miles route shop trip? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is hard to answer. Earlier this week I drove from Birmingham, AL back home in Clearwater, FL. I earned $401 that day and drove around 700 miles, but all my gas and food was free. I had to drive home anyway, so I planned my route with point A and B in mind already.

      Delete