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 Shopper Burn Out...Ever had it?
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NatrinaNC
Valued Contributor

High Point, NC
USA
159 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  5:58:51 PM  Visit NatrinaNC's Homepage  Send NatrinaNC an AOL message
How long does it take or how many shops before you feel you have reached your breaking point. How do you handle it especially when you have more shops to go? And if you have never had it whats your secret?

.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  6:08:16 PM
I try to keep several safeguards in place to keep from "shopper burn out". I keep a light schedule (to the best of my ability) in the sumer monthes. I have a bet with my husband, because we will be on vacation for a month. He thinks I cant last a week without shopping. I am preparing myself by doing research about the inner workings, sales philosophies and advertising of Fortune 500 copanies. I will read several books, that will help me improve my report writing techniques. If the books are helpful, I will share the titles with everyone. When you start to feel burned out,take a deep breath and enjoy other hobbies and activities. I do this every summer to refresh my batteries for the upcoming busy holiday shopping season.
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Shanna Hageman
Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
54 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  7:15:23 PM
I think it is easier to avoid burnout if you only accept jobs that you find enjoyable instead of everything within driving distance. When I first started shopping I was willing to try anything, but now I know what I like and what jobs are more trouble than they are worth for me.

MSPA Gold Certified loidjr
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MrsKenna
Star Contributor

Oxnard, CA
USA
1641 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  7:35:44 PM
Hi Natrina! I guess it depends on what you consider burn out. Last night I did two late night drive through window shops and for me I was burned out only because I am not used to being up that late and the fact that I was driving. I don't believe I'll be doing this again. I'm not the whipper snapper I used to be a few years ago!

Seriously, I have never faced real burn out cause I never bite off more than I can chew. There are so many shops I could do here but I have a full time job, part time job, mystery shop, member of this and that, and married so I have other things to consume my energy!

Take it easy! ColleenNYC!! Relax, I am going on a mini vacation next month and I was looking for shops in the area but I decided to forget it and enjoy myself!

CALIFORNIA- Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura, Port Hueneme and neighboring cities
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ShAndrews
Inactive

Inland Empire, California
USA
480 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  7:41:10 PM  Send ShAndrews an AOL message
I burned out about 2 months ago after I moved. The thought of mystery shopping actually made me ill (LOL)! So I took a couple of weeks off, and then was raring to go!

Shannon R. Andrews
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping the Inland Empire, Southern California
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LoriJennings
Star Contributor

Dallas, TX
USA
287 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  9:05:23 PM
I admit that I burnt myself out today doing 8 shops. (apartments, car dealerships, pools, and ff) Never again! I am really irritable right now, and everyone knows not to even try to talk to me for a while. I left at 9:30 this morning, and got home around 10 PM. I have a ton of reports to do. At least 2 must be completed before I can even go to sleep. I am not doing anymore shops for at least a week, except for the small one I already have scheduled for Monday.

I've only done this many shops in one day one other time. Taking a break for a while, and having some quality "me" time helped to get me back in the groove of things. When the reports are over, I'm treating myself to relaxing with a good book, and a glass of wine.
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JasonTX
Member

Pensacola, FL
USA
33 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  9:40:37 PM
This thread is perfect timing for me! I received a nice assignment for 15 Self-Storage shops in my town. I had over a 2-week window to complete them, and the shops and forms were very simple. BUT, somewhere around the 7th or 8th shop, it felt like torture to get out of the car and hear another storage sales pitch. I had to focus very hard to remain objective even though I was so sick of hearing about climate-controlled rooms and boxes! I finally finished yesterday and I was so glad that it was done! I need a break . . .

Shopping Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas
MSPA Silver Certified
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Elaine87
Valued Contributor

WI
USA
219 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  9:51:35 PM
I have been burned out from the Mcd's shops and haven't done any in about 2 months.With one of the main companies I do shops for,that is about the only shops I can do because of the area I live.Needless to say,I haven't made any money with them lately.But it got to the point where I just hated the thought of going to Mcd's anymore so I thought it would be a good time to quit since I was afraid that it may effect my ability to do the job fairly.I haven't even wanted to go on my own time which is upsetting to my kids.lol
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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  10:06:30 PM
I got close to feeling the initial effects of burnout when I was valiantly trying to complete 7 bank shops in one day, all over the Bay Area (literally, in one huge circle). Due to heavy traffic, there simply was no way I could get all 7 done, but I got 6 of 'em, and that 6th one was a bit difficult to focus on. I forced myself through it, and got everything down. Luckily, I've always had a good memory for details. My reports were all written (by hand) by the time I got home, so typing and submitting them was easy. The next morning, doing the 7th one was no problem.

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
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MandyMershon
Valued Contributor

Kyle, TX
USA
187 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2003 :  10:55:55 PM
Amen to this thread! I am up way too late entering reports forms tonight and my poor hubby feels the need to stay up and keep me company. He was grouchy today during the shops (he had to go with me to a few of them) and HE is burned out even more than me! Poor guy! But he only has to go on one more 2 person shop with me this weekend and then I have nothing scheduled after Monday. So then I can shop around for day care (not a shop--for real). I miss being able to shop for myself sometimes. I wish I hadn't had to return the $100+ pair of sunglasses today.

Mandy Mershon
Shopping Central Texas including Austin, San Marcos, and Bastrop
MSPA Gold Certified Shopper # nkbd8u
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Sandi In Mississippi
Star Contributor

MS
USA
1285 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  04:59:18 AM
A little merchandising mixed in helps this feeling, I think. My first merchandising (which wasn't truly strenuous) I came home saying, 'Durn, this is like REAL work.' But, having 2 or 3 of those mixed in during a week changes the shape of your schedule and makes things feel different. Also the suggestion to refuse shops which you honestly don't enjoy is a good one.
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MaureenLu
Star Contributor

Dallas, TX
USA
283 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  06:24:47 AM
I went through a little burn out a couple of months ago. I was still working at 3 other part-time jobs and I completed 90 shops that month. The next month, I quit one job (that was about 32-37 hours/week), and did 131 shops. By the end of the month - I was whipped! LindaC - I feel your bank pain. The day before we were headed out for vacation. I had 6 banks, 1 ff, and 1 retail. I had to slug through all the reports right away becuase we were heading out at midnight to drive to FL.

I told DH, "no shopping on vacation!" He said, "Yeah, sure." I didn't even open the laptop!

Since then we've had 3 more trips and I haven't shopped on any of them. I avoid future burnout by accepting only those pretty close by - no more driving all over. When I feel that feeling coming on, I just stop checking the boards so much (because I know I start overloading myself) and spend time with my wonderful husband!

MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
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CabrusoBros
Star Contributor

NC
USA
744 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  10:22:54 AM
Burnout is relative for each of us. I can imagine that there are those who do not suffer, however I would guess that might come only if it a part-time venture. Some MS full-time. Some work full-time elsewhere and MS part-time. Some MS part-time and go to school. Work doesn't even take into account family, friends, and hobbies. I think it wise to pace yourself no matter what you do. Any job has a breaking point. That is life. Remember to take time for yourself. Take a deep breath and hunker down. It will all work out in the end.
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LianeW
Member

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  3:09:29 PM
I like to diversify a bit - add in some merchandising and demonstrating. This allows me to be picky about the mystery shopping I do. Some mystery shops I just don't feel comfortable doing, or just don't want to do, so having something else to fall back on allows me be more selective. As much as I like the MSing that I do, I honestly cannot imagine doing mystery shopping as a full-time job. The demos and merchandising allow me to still be an independent contractor, but not have to be "undercover" all of the time!
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Dee in AZ
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
663 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  6:01:52 PM  Visit Dee in AZ's Homepage  Send Dee in AZ an AOL message
I go through a little burn-out every month around mid month. It seems like the majority of shops have to be completed by this time so I find the first two weeks of every month are incredibly busy for me. I work full time and do around 100 shops a month so it seems that I am doing nothing BUT work of one kind or another. The plus side of this is that the 3rd and 4th weeks of the month are much slower and I find time to relax and regain my energy. I try very hard to leave the last weekend of the month free. It is for me to catch up on other things or to spend with my granddaughter. This seems to work for me because when the new month rolls around I am raring to go once again! One other suggestion I have is to do jobs you like. I try to limit the jobs I do to the ones that I enjoy. I avoid apartment and bank shops for this reason. They are just not my cup of tea!

Dee
Ardent Services
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SAnne
Contributor

WA
USA
80 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  6:12:44 PM
I was surprised Friday when I went to the mailbox and found a packet with instructions for 6 bank shops. Wow, no phone call or email, they showed up in the mail!!! Well since they are due by 8/15 I am wondering how to get them done since school starts next week. Maybe a mini burn-out is around the corner. With 40 hours at school, 10 at part time retail job and a few at my merchandising job plus the 4 gas shop I already have booked it should be no problem!
It really is amazing what we can accomplish!
It will be nice when the paychecks come rolling in. My 16 year old daughter seems to always need cash for gas etc.
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Ann_S
Member

Sacramento, CA
USA
29 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2003 :  8:20:13 PM
I'm brand new to shopping, but it seems like to me that one of the perks of this job is that when you do experience burn-out you can take a break. Try that with a nine-to-fiver! I doubt any of us are in this to get rich, but rather to supplement our income and get some perks. So, if you are in burn-out mode, and everybody experiences that with everything they do - you can always finish up the shops you have, take a break and start again when you can feel interested and enthusiastic.

Ann
Sacramento Shopper
Silver Certified #zlvocg
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JanetVA
Trainee

Falls Church, VA
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2003 :  07:55:45 AM
I agree with Ann--although sometimes it is difficult to stay away from signing up for shops, Mystery Shopping allows great flexibility for taking time off. This summer I have several trips, a lot of family responsibilities and other commitments, leaving me little time to commit myself to shops. I've been able to leave most of the summer free to bounce back from some (I admit) burnout, but will likely jump back into the fray once my son returns to school. However, I do not depend on the income to support my family, so I am freer to slack off as needed. The only downside is that by putting off schedulers, they stop calling after a while.
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Nicole_in_PA
Apprentice

Pittsburgh, PA
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2003 :  11:28:04 AM
I can add a resounding yes to that question! I have been shopping for a little over 2 years and worked full-time up until a year ago. When I decided to stay home with my then 18 month old I figured I would keep shopping to keep some income coming in. I soon discovered that it was MUCH more stressful to try to shop with a toddler as well as to search for jobs, etc. I was finding that every naptime, or other "break" from my daughter I was running to the computer to try to get a job or enter a report. Finally I realized that I was not enjoying the quality time that I was supposed to get by staying at home and I have cut back significantly. I still shop when I can pick up some jobs but cut back on the workload until she is a bit older.
Nicole

Shopping the Greater Pittsburgh area (and it is great!)
Silver Certification 3jkvni
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KariC
Member

ME
USA
27 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2003 :  11:47:20 AM
I have burnt myself out but seriously looking at some of your posts what I really wish is that there were more opportunities in my area. There is a small city and a tourist area near me but seems like more and more people are signing up to shop and there are even fewer opportunities for shops. I did get burnt out running around a few months ago and took some time off. Its not really the actual shops that do me in its the paperwork and reporting and keeping track of things.

Kari
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Brynne_OH
Contributor

Rocky River, OH
USA
67 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2003 :  08:57:57 AM
I think for me burn-out is self regulating. If I feel that I have been shopping too much I'm not as aggressive about looking at the websites for more jobs. Suddenly come a few weeks later my schedule is light and I'm on the computer like crazy trying to pick up jobs wherever I can. It all seemd to have an ebb and flow.
Brynne

MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping Western Cleveland and Suburbs
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