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MsJudi
Star Contributor

New Jersey
USA
582 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2011 :  10:34:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Around here they pop up in the spring and summer, or at least that's when I've been lucky enough to grab some. They go really fast, so if you're not there when they're posted, they're gone. I enjoyed them also and hope they do them again.

Judi
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Brigid
Member

Chicagoland, IL
USA
17 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2011 :  10:46:11 AM  Send Brigid an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Has anyone completed the menu shops yet? Just wondering if we're supposed to get full menus without them being take out menus. Not sure how to ask the staff for actual menus!

Thanks!

Brigid
Silver Certified by the MSPA #gx8y6e
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DarleneH
Star Contributor

Cleveland, OH
USA
1322 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2011 :  08:26:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Luckily I got a couple of billboards, but one was on the freeway. I don't see how a passenger could take a picture even if I went 40, so I stopped on the side. How do you guys do them?
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ChrisThomas
Valued Contributor

USA
119 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2011 :  11:33:23 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
GPS and a high end zoom lense...did 12 in a 4 hr period a couple of times
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SandiA
Star Contributor

USA
495 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2011 :  09:29:08 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DarleneH

Luckily I got a couple of billboards, but one was on the freeway. I don't see how a passenger could take a picture even if I went 40, so I stopped on the side. How do you guys do them?



I just realized that they posted all of their billboard shops under name of the major city I live near instead of the suburb name that I'm close to like they did last time. I checked by town names and must've missed the ones I was interested in. I really enjoyed them. Darlene--I knew how to access the frontage road off the highway and took my photos from there.

SandiA
Celebrating 14 Years in the Biz!
MSPA Gold Certified since 2003
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2011 :  8:14:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm averaging about 20-30 minutes per shot, depending upon where they are. One benefit is that I've come to know the city very well. LOL. You absolutely can't do these without a GPS. Even then it can be tricky, and some of the neighborhoods are ones I normally wouldn't set foot in at night. I took my dog with me last time :-).

How can you do 12 in 4 hours? Or did you mean 6+6? It's always an extra hour to wait for the sun to set completely.

@Darlene, I stop on the freeway or on the opposite side of the freeway and shoot across. Sometimes you get lucky and there's an access road. Had a highway patrol come to visit me one time when I was stopped. Good to know that they're there if I need them.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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Crystal Bleu
Apprentice

Chatsworth, CA
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2011 :  09:09:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The billboard shops are my very favorite shops. I love that I can spend the time driving around in my car, listening to music, and I don't have to interact with anyone or write a narrative.

I don't have a GPS, but have never found that I needed one. I plan my route beforehand on Google Maps using the coordinates they give. Between my Google directions and the specifics on the shop directions, it's pretty easy for me to find the billboards. However, mine tend to be on major streets in shopping areas, not on the freeways.

Since I don't choose billboards that are more than 10 miles from me, I usually just do a daytime loop, go home or do my other shops for the day, then go back out for my nighttime photos around 9pm. I do a loop of 10 shops in about 2 hours in the day and then 2 hours at night (sometimes it's quicker at night because I already know exactly where the billboards are from the daytime photos). I also tend to do the majority of the report after I take my daytime photos, so when I get home at night I only have to answer the illumination questions and upload the night photos.

Of course, if the billboards you're assigned are far from where you live, the time becomes a factor. I'm fortunate that I have several in my local area.

Crystal Bleu
Silver Shopping the San Fernando Valley
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Ms.Baker
Valued Contributor

Evansville, IN
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2011 :  09:11:37 AM  Visit Ms.Baker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
How a company rates with me is their location in my favorites. When there's a problem, they move to the bottom of the list. Mintel has been at the top of my list for almost two years now.

Quick pay and easy work.

Shopping the Tri-State area
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DarleneH
Star Contributor

Cleveland, OH
USA
1322 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2011 :  08:34:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yeah- just checked and there were a few new billboards pics by me!
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PennyC
Star Contributor

GA
USA
658 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2013 :  08:44:30 AM  Visit PennyC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just wanted to share - I have been super happy to complete shops where I am checking a PO Box these last few months. Operating without restrictions on taking children along, and/or times of day have been helpful for me as of late!
I have never had any payments issue - just check in the mail. I watch them on the website pay me twice a month.
Marcella is very nice to work with as well.

PennyC
MSPA Gold Certified 5/04
Shopping Gwinnett, Hall and Jackson Counties in Georgia
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2013 :  1:19:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm glad someone is excited about the billboard. That just looks so hard, especially the night ones, near the highways. I love their banks and super easy baby ones.

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2013 :  1:36:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Connie, they pay very well. And as long as I can bring my dog with me, I'm okay heading into neighborhoods that I would otherwise not visit. I take a lot of photos of each board and send in the best one.

As for service, they are at the top. They always respond, are quick to assist, and you won't have any payment issues with them (on the contrary, they are trying to have me invoice them for 6 months of monitoring something that did not show up). Mintel is one of three companies that I don't usually share with others .

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2013 :  7:04:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Julie, I don't have a dog. The billboards around here by the freeways with no intersecting streets. Even if I find the billboard going 70 mph, I would have to find an exit and then figure out a safe place to take the picture, if I have telephoto lenses. Nope, it's not for me. Luckily, I'm still on the baby and c.c. projects.

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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Harvey S.
Star Contributor

Glen Mills, PA
USA
439 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2013 :  7:10:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I advise anyone doing a billboard shop to know where the billboard is before accepting. I did a few which were on local streets and were fine. One was on a major highway. I had to find a way to stop on a divided highway, over a hill, and without a shoulder. Never again. It is simply not worth the risk to my life. And that was with a telephoto lens. Everyone has to make their own decision. I just urge you to make an informed decision.

Harvey
Southeastern Pennsylvania Northern Delaware,"South" Jersey
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Heather C.
Valued Contributor

Montreal
Canada
196 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  05:20:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm curious, for those of you doing the baby assignment, how often are you sent mail? I signed up last fall but so far I've only received one piece of mail. Is that normal?

Heather
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Harvey S.
Star Contributor

Glen Mills, PA
USA
439 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  05:30:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did several different "baby" locations for as long as a year each, and the amount of mail received was highly variable. I never got more than 3 pieces in a months at any location. For some locations, months would go by with no mail at all. I rotated off all assignments, but would gladly do them again.

Harvey
Southeastern Pennsylvania Northern Delaware,"South" Jersey
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  5:14:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It really depends on the scenario and maybe zip codes? I have several and some have one piece in the beginning, then nothing. Another box have stuff more often.

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2013 :  08:44:46 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
When you do a job for Mintel, remember to invoice them even if you have no extra expenses. You can do it on their website.
Fortunately, I called about a concern on last night's shop and the Account Manager talked me through the process. She indicated due to timing, she would get in on the payroll today.
Most places I shop pay off the completed shop. If I had not called, I might not have been paid.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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SandyKMac
Contributor

Dallas, TX
USA
62 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2013 :  3:31:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
One of the secrets to the billboard shops is to click on their link to maps. It usually has the GPS and when you go to the street view, you can see the billboard. I look at the exact position on the map, go to the street view and check out everything around it and then I know what I'm looking for. The one time I did it, there were several billboards near the one I had to photograph and by scoping the whole thing out online before going, I was able to get the right ones done.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2015 :  4:17:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Dear Mintel, I love you. That is all.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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