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 When do you ask for mileage reimbursement?
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Babette
Member

MA
USA
35 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2003 :  7:53:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would like to get feedback on when to ask for mileage reimbursement. I got an e-mail from a scheduler asking me to pick-up a last minute shop and mentioned that if it's far from me, she can negotiate to pay for mileage. What's the maximum distance you would drive before asking for mileage reimbursement? Thanks.

Gold #mzniib
Shops Southeastern MA coast and parts of RI

MrsKenna
Star Contributor

Oxnard, CA
USA
1641 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2003 :  9:27:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
25 miles would top it for me. That covers a few cities in my area. How far is it from you? Are you going to make a decent $$$ from it?

CALIFORNIA- Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura, Port Hueneme and neighboring cities
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Carosell
Star Contributor

Virginia
USA
286 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2003 :  9:56:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Oh MrsMcKenna…………In order for me to shop (period) I travel 25+ miles each way! [:p] Do I come out ahead…hmmmmmmmm I don’t think so. Of course I try to do multiple shops. I wonder if there are others like me. Should this be a new topic
MSPA Silver Certified

Cholle
MSPA Gold certified
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1768 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  12:02:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If it's a pickup shop, the scheduler probably won't balk at whatever you ask. Is it someone you know? If so, you could simply ask her to "add whatever mileage bonus she thinks is fair." At least you'll know what kind of person she is :-). You have to decide what distance is reasonable for you. I regularly go 30 miles north and 15 miles south, but charge if I have to cross the bridge.

On a good note, I did a shop for DSGAI the other day. Told the scheduler it was 40 minutes away, but that I would do it. She gave me a gas bonus that was more than the shop! Her idea. Needless to say, I was very pleased :-).

Julie
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Babette
Member

MA
USA
35 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  03:56:52 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all your replies. It was only 10-15 miles from me so I didn't ask for the mileage reimbursement, but it did come with a bonus and there were two shops.
I think that for those who live in heavily populated areas, driving more than 20 miles would be too far. But for those who are in rural areas, it won't be that bad.
Good thing that you mentioned DSGAI, do they always call just a few days in advance of the due date of the shop? I always get calls from them for shops that are due in 2 or 3 days. I'm wondering if everyone gets this call or should I start asking for a last minute bonus?

Gold #mzniib
Shops Southeastern MA coast and parts of RI
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MrsKenna
Star Contributor

Oxnard, CA
USA
1641 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  09:51:42 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Carosell! I guess it just depends on where you are located. I live in a medium sized city of 200,000 people and there is every possible store, restaurant, bank, etc. here! I try to stay within the surrounding areas here simply because I would lose money if I went to far. I've been fortunate not to have to travel over 25 miles for shops. The only time I've went over that was because I was going in that direction anyway!

Guess it just depends on where you are and how far you will travel without a mileage bonus. I've been asked to travel some 200 miles for a bonus but it wouldn't be worth it to me.

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

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  09:53:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In my area, traffic can be a nightmare. If it is an assignment, or route that must be completed in (or close to) rush hour, I request extra $$$. Tolls are also a factor (crossing the Verrazanno Bridge cost $8.00). So, crunch your numbers, and your weigh your costs vs. compensation.
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JoyB
Valued Contributor

Cherry Hill, NJ
USA
212 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  10:03:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't think that mileage is always the best barometer to gauge when a mileage reimburesement is reasonable. You have to consider if it is an empty rural road with no stops or is it in heavy city or suburban traffic with lights, construction, etc. I once turned down a shop for a store 12 miles away, the scheduler seemed incredulous that I would not accept it without a bonus. She said "its only 12 miles" However what she failed to realize is due to the road the store is on and the time of day the shop required, it would have taken 1 1/2 to 2 hours in travel time (to and from) that didn't factor in the 20 minutes for the shop. When you are traveling in a congested area even going a few miles can be extremely time consuming.

Gold Certified Shopper in South Jersey - Cherry Hill, Marlton, Voorhees, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, Berlin, Medford and other neighboring towns.
joy.bennett@verizon.net
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ShAndrews
Inactive

Inland Empire, California
USA
480 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  10:24:11 AM  Send ShAndrews an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Instead of mileage, perhaps you could negotiate a gas bonus charge. With gas prices so high these days (it has dropped from $2.14 to $1.95 this past week here, but that is still sooooo high), they might prefer to play a flat fee. Just a thought [:p]

Shannon R. Andrews
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping the Inland Empire, Southern California
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  10:40:52 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Joy, I can relate!!! From my house to midtown Manhattan is 5 miles. Ok, that 5 mile ride can take 1 1/2 hours, during rush hours. Lets do the math!! A rate of $.36 per mile x 5 = not enough to sit in that much traffic .
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RebekahTN
Valued Contributor

McMinnville, TN
USA
125 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  4:18:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There are very few shops in my hometown. For most of my shops I travel between 25-30 miles. There are pretty good size towns in 3 directions that are that far away. Then the other direction there is a town that far away but it is even smaller than my town. I can usually get 3-4 jobs there at a time once a month and do them. If I go on farther from two of the directions another 30 miles I come to college towns wich have a lot of shops and I go to usually twice a month. Luckily most places I shop for give me a window of close to a week and let me know about the jobs a week or so ahead of time so that I can group them.

Rebekah Blake

Shopping and Merchandising in McMinnville, Manchester, Smithville, Tullahoma, Woodbury, Sparta, Cookeville and Murfreesboro Since April 2003.
MSPA Silver Certified # xxfuj7
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Shasha
Valued Contributor

MS Gulf Coast
USA
241 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2004 :  09:54:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have not personally requested mileage reimbursement but I have been offered reimbursement. I had a scheduler who offered it before I could request it. If the job is not close to my home or work, I would request mileage reimbursement.

Just my
ShaSha

mystery shopping along the mississippi gulf coast & mobile, al
mspa silver certified
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.KenInSac
Inactive

Sacramento, CA
USA
104 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  9:21:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What is a fair reimbursement for a shop that requires a long drive, and is so far removed from any other shops that it must be done by itself? Would you ask for reimbursements for time, mileage, and gas? Or just one of these (and if so, which one)?

As an example, consider a 200-mile round trip that takes 5 hours (rural roads).

Ken

Ken
MSPA Gold Certified Shopper
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BlueAbe
Star Contributor

Mid-Central, Ohio
USA
2086 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  9:33:59 PM  Visit BlueAbe's Homepage  Send BlueAbe an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
If there's a shop I really dont' want to do, because it's WAY out of the way, but they can't find anyone to do it, I'll just throw out a random number. I did one once for $40 for mileage (I was just kidding when I said that, too!)..but it was a hour and a half away from me, and a hour and a half in the opposide direction in which I would be going, so I had to give up 4 1/2 hrs total (drive time, complete the shop, submit), to do the shop.

If a shop is less than 40 miles, and it's not last minute (has to be done today or tomorrow), I don't ask for much, if any. Usually what I'm offered. But if it's last minute, I figure a rate of $10/hr for driving, so if it takes me 2 hours driving, I'd request $20, as I would have to go in the opposite direction than I normally would. But I also consider the fee for the shop, too. If a shop pays $40, then I'm not gonna ask for much for mileage, unless it's a 2 hr long shop.

Gold certified since the beginning. Merchandising, Mystery shopping, & Court Research throughout Mid-Central Ohio.
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JohnV
Star Contributor

Bridgeport, WV
USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  9:59:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't charge for shops within 20 miles as long as the fee and reimbursement is agreeable and the requirements aren't a real pain. If it's further than that I figure .20 per mile from portal to portal and return. I use mapcheck to figure it. I live in an extremely rural state where a lot of driving is required. My biggest gas expense reimbursement has been $125.00. They offered it. Who was I to say no?
I have one that I ask for gas money even if it's across the street because I don't think they pay enough for what they require. They always agree.This is their way to get the job done.
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DEaton
Star Contributor

Troup, Texas
USA
335 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2004 :  08:00:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Carosell: I, too, have to do shops that are 20-40 miles from home. I live in a rural area, so the closest shops are at least 15 miles. I did some last minute shops (on a cold Sunday) a few months ago, that were both an hour's drive, and forgot to ask for mileage fee! I was a newbie then. But I had three in that direction so it paid off. The bonus is that I don't have to worry about congested traffic, I'm travelling rural roads, so a 40-mile trip can take maybe 45 minutes, considering driving through towns with traffic lights. No biggie. And my Jeep gets excellent gas mileage, which is good. I would definitely ask for a big bonus if I had to go over 50 miles, and a bigger one if I had to drive through Dallas!!

Diane
MSPA Silver Certified
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2004 :  11:11:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I live in a major metropolitan area, and just driving 10-15 miles can take 45 minutes by the time I navigate around traffic and across interstates. If I am asked to do a shop that is more than 15-20 miles away, and I don't have anything else scheduled in that area, I will certainly ask for a mileage bonus.

I think time spent driving is more important than pure mileage distance. As someone stated before, driving 15 miles in the city is vastly different from driving 15 miles in the country.
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CMilton
Star Contributor

North Haledon, NJ
USA
379 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2004 :  3:04:47 PM  Visit CMilton's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I really try to group my shops along my "regular" routes, which is pretty easy since I live in a metropolitan area, but I agree with other posters; mileage is not always a barometer of time invested....en route to NYC, my trip can take 30 minutes or, (like it did last week) three hours.

c.

celia milton
Gold Certified 2004, nzcy0k
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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2004 :  3:30:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've done a lot of long distance shops (150 miles and up to as much as 400 miles one way), and if the company is already offering a bonus, depending on the amount, I might not ask for more. However, one company that I do a lot of work for pays for actual miles. I usually use the rate of 0.365, multiply it against the actual miles, then bring my actual request down somewhat to what feels reasonable for the mileage and time spent.

I haven't found a mystery shopping company yet that actually pays the full IRS mileage rate, but some are willing to work with you to be fair and reasonable about it, especially for long distance shops.

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

SE
USA
318 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2004 :  6:08:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is a merchandising company that compensates over 60 cents a mile to allow for time spent driving as well as vehicle cost. They realize that time is valuable.

Why work when the vehicle cost isn't paid for, much less minimum wage salary????
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Dee in AZ
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
662 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2004 :  10:21:51 AM  Visit Dee in AZ's Homepage  Send Dee in AZ an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I regularly ask for a $25 bonus on shops that are about an hour's drive away. These shops are down by the Mexican border and it seems like companies have trouble finding someone in that area.
I use the $25 for an hours drive as a guideline. I generally get that easily and then pick up other shops in the same area from other companies (without requesting a bonus) which really makes it worthwhile.

Dee
Ardent Services
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