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 How far will you travel to do a Mystery Shop?
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Houston, TX
53 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2003 :  08:22:22 AM
Julie from WA--I used to live in Silverdale. I really miss the mountains. And, since it hit 100 degrees here last week, I miss the weather!

I drive about 20 miles for shops; sometimes it is 45 minutes each way, depending on traffic. I drive only that far because I live in a huge metropolitan area and I don't know all the parts of town! I am able to get 40-50 shops a month, however. When I lived in Silverdale, I drove at least 60 miles to get the number of shops I wanted. (I had less companies then!)

MSPA Gold Certified cfstuc
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Bourbonnais (S. of Chicago), IL
2015 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2003 :  10:25:31 AM  Visit Heather86's Homepage
Well, since I usually drive 30 miles tog et to work each way, I would shop anything that wasn't too far away from my route home. I also would set up a shop or two 60 miles away when we would visit my mother-in-law everyother weekend. I have also done some shops over 300 miles away when I went to visit family. It all depends on where I am going.

Right now I am pretty much under house arrest. I had surgery and can not drive yet. My hubby has been supportive and will drive me to a couple shops that are local. So forthe summer, I will probably just take shops that are within 10 minutes driving time.

Terrible timing. Summer is when I do not have to teach and could get a lot of shops done each day, however, I have to pace myself and stay local.
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Valued Contributor

108 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2003 :  11:22:24 AM
Since I am a working, nursing mother, I limit the shops I do between the town I live in and the town I work in (30 miles away) and anything I can conveniently do in between.

MSPA Gold Certified
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Lawai, HI
676 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2003 :  2:56:45 PM
Martha you crack me up. I remember that original post and I did look up Opp. LOL You bring new meaning to the middle of nowhere.
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Sheridan, WY
16 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2003 :  3:55:38 PM  Send TinaA an AOL message
Add me to the list of middle of nowhere people. I live between Sheridan and Wyarno, Wyoming. Wyarno has 5 acres a bar and a post office the size of a shoe closet. I have been debating on running shops between Billings,MT 130miles and Casper,WY 130 miles and Gillette,Wyoming 100 miles. Since I work from home my schedule is somewhat flexible but since I am fairly new to this shopping stuff I still don't know how to pick or who to get them from. I see resets in Billings that I could do, then make a day of shopping of it. But who knows. I thought about these gas station audits I saw so I routed it out it would take me probably 12 hours of driving just to get to them all! I appreciate the thread it gives me good ideas.

Shopping Northern Wyoming..Sheridan, Buffalo and surrounding areas. MSPA Silver Certified nhpbqp
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Star Contributor

703 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2003 :  7:46:56 PM
It depends on the shop and all the details. I have traveled 1 1/2 hours each way to do an upscale dinner shop that reimbursed over $150.

MSPA "Go To Shopper" 2006
MSPA Gold Certified, July 2003.
MSPA Gold Certified Shoppers Panel, Washington, DC, November 7, 2003.
Specializing in hotels, resorts and restaurants since 2002.
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Vernon, CT
42 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2003 :  8:43:36 PM
The farthest I have travelled so far was this past weekend at 52 miles. I had multiple shops scheduled, but one was cancelled and that made it not as worth it as it would have been. I am normally staying within 20-25 miles of home. If I have to drive through our major city (Hartford) then it would depend on the time of day and if I woudl hit traffic. I might decide not to do any shops out that way because the traffic gets so awful!

Carrie Fornal

MSPA Gold Certification ouna7a
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Valued Contributor

Henderson, KY
110 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2003 :  04:12:54 AM  Visit JudithSGill's Homepage
I actually know exactly where Opp is! We used to drive to Florida through Alabama every year, and went through there. All I remember about it (I was a child) was the road took a 90 degree turn at this huge purple house. Really purple, like Prince purple!

Judith S Gill
Owner, Summit Scheduling and Editing
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95 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2003 :  06:51:07 AM
The distance I travel is only limited by the total dollars of the trip. I would caution the new shoppers to not just figure the cost of gas in you expenses. That may be your only immediate expense, but the rest of it will catch up with you later. That car will not last forever!
If you bought your car just so you could MS then you probably should use the 36.5 cents the government allows. That means for every 100 mile round trip, it is costing you $36.50. If you already had the car and are not keeping it just so you can MS, then you can probably use a more conservative 25 cents. That would make your expenses $25 off the top.
If you donít watch this closely, you will find you are shopping for fun and the MS company is the only one making a profit.
This post is intended not for the ones who post here all the time but for the ones who just read. It can get to seem like taking longer trips is the norm from reading most of the posts. Just be careful and you will be able to do this for a long time. Otherwise, the next time you have to buy a new car, you may decide it just wasnít worth wearing out the old one. If you really want to be smart, you will set up a fund out of your earnings for a down payment on your next car.

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Star Contributor

744 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2003 :  08:53:36 AM
I think distance you will travel really depends on where you have to go, what you have to do, how long it will take you to do it, how much time you have to commit to the travel, and how much money you would actually profit from the trip after expenses.

One thing I think services always fail to take into consideration is geography. Working on the east coast for a service based on the west coast, I was dumbfounded at how little they knew about the other side of the United States. (I don't care that it only looks like 25 miles on the atlas! You are talking about a 2-lane 10 mile an hour curvy road in the mountains of Georgia. That "25 mile trip" took me almost 3 hours!)
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Valued Contributor

170 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2003 :  10:04:09 AM
I have a 40 mile radius and thta's how far I actaully go most days.
I always account for my travel time when deciding what shops to accept, and I rarely will leave my front door for just one stop.

Northern CA full-time shopper
Proudly MSPA gold certified!
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