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 Does the volume of Mystery Shopping change during the Holiday Season?
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ValerieAk1
Valued Contributor

Woodbridge, VA
USA
105 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  07:20:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am so glad I am not alone. I did very well last December, but so far there are not a lot of shops posted. I have 10 scheduled for December and I'm starting to get nervous about not making my goal for the month. I really don't want to start accepting those low paying jobs that I normally wouldn't touch.

Valerie
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AShuman
Star Contributor

Gastonia, NC
USA
448 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  04:18:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm thinking I'm going to break a record this month...

So far this month I have completed 52 shops in 12 days. Many of these were bonused, last minute jobs that schedulers contacted me for.

I've worked for two 'new' companies that I signed up with ages ago, but never got a job from and have three new companies in the next two weeks.

Still two weeks to go, with a packed schedule, and in January... I'm taking a week off to recuperate!

Alison
MSPA Gold 2006
Shopping Greater Charlotte, Gastonia, and the Upstate of SC.
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  05:39:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well I have to say that my schedule filled up rather quickly... It has not been as busy as last month but I think some of that is due to rotation for some companies... So far I have done 24 mystery shops on top of my merchandising work and I have 12 more shops scheduled so far and 10 more merchandising visits for the month.. I am not booking as much next week due to getting ready for Christmas with a 3 1/2 year old.. We have tons of baking to do next week!!!!


Merry Merry to All!!!!

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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SelenePN
Star Contributor

Fairfax, VA
USA
942 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  08:14:21 AM  Send SelenePN an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes, for me, it's also busier than usual. In Nov, I had 72 shops, which is more than the average 60/month. In Dec so far (12/16), I have done 48. However, the remainder of the month will be very low, as I am heading to a "in-the-middle-of-nowhere" town to be with my husband's family for X'mas. I have been looking for shops in that area and no result. I am very bummed because I am missing out all the shops in my area!!

Thanks,
Selene
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
626 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  12:40:38 PM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have only done 16 jobs so far this month, which is way low for me. Well, a little less than half my usual volume. How do some of you do 50 or more?

I have started doing some merch. work, which is steady, but I way prefer ms'ing. More fun, less work, but not steady work.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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SelenePN
Star Contributor

Fairfax, VA
USA
942 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  3:25:55 PM  Send SelenePN an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
In my area, at least, there are still those monthly assignments that are usually there, plus there are holiday only (e.g., Thanksgiving, X'mas etc) assignments. So there are more assignments than usual. Also, I don't spend much time on X'mas shopping for my "real life", so I can afford to take more assignments that other shoppers do not have time to take. From what I have read on the postings so far, there are many people who are taking a break in December.

Thanks,
Selene
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2006 :  4:55:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, I got about the same amount. But, I did realize there were more postings this month than normal. So, I was going strong earlier in the month. However, nothing was really bonused that much compared to last year, so I am weaker than usual for this past week.
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Judy in VA
Star Contributor

VA
USA
836 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2006 :  06:41:23 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I received a record number of calls from schedulers this year, two to three days before Christmas, begging me to complete last minute and "dropped" shops. The bonuses weren't as much as years past, but the money wasn't even the issue. There was no way I was going near the malls, as much as I like these schedulers and MS companies.

I would have accepted the shops if the schedulers could address my cards, bake, wrap, clean and decorate my house.

MSPA 2007 Shopper of the Year
MSPA Gold Certified
Specializing in recorded and unrecorded phone shops
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MichaelinNH
Star Contributor

New Hampshire
USA
488 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2006 :  08:12:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As far as seasonality goes, January seems real light for shops so far. Not sure if shops are getting scooped up quicker by people with large credit card bills pending, but it seems several companies that are normally posting by the 20th of prior month have not set much up yet. At least in Northern New England.

MSPA Gold 8/9/2006 MSPA Silver 6/23/2007
Video Shopper Certified 6/9/2011 NV Workcard R-061144. Shopping 50 States, Puerto Rico & Canada.
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MicheleinBK
Member

Brooklyn, NY
USA
27 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2006 :  4:35:46 PM  Send MicheleinBK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have 127 shops scheduled between now and 1/17/07. I am planning to take the last two weeks of January off, but then again, that's when all the jobs start getting bonused...
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JenniferWilcox
Star Contributor

Oklahoma City, OK
USA
314 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2006 :  5:40:09 PM  Send JenniferWilcox an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MicheleinBK

I have 127 shops scheduled between now and 1/17/07.
127
dear lord
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MichaelinNH
Star Contributor

New Hampshire
USA
488 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  4:32:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
127...got me beat

8 today. 10 tomorrow and another 50 or so so far, but there will be more as the bonus amounts increase.

Any major clients shift companies? Is there any specific time of the year when clients tend to move their business from one company to another?

MSPA Gold 8/9/2006 MSPA Silver 6/23/2007
Video Shopper Certified 6/9/2011 NV Workcard R-061144. Shopping 50 States, Puerto Rico & Canada.
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  5:54:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the volume so far has been quite light for me. A lot of clients ending their program, especially banks. I know that at least 2 banks in New England that I routinely get postings for have now ended their programs.
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Heather86
Star Contributor

Bourbonnais (S. of Chicago), IL
USA
2015 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  6:19:24 PM  Visit Heather86's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I worked more in the last week in December than I have for the past 6 months. My choice completely. Work has kept me very busy and I have taken a break from shopping with a few exceptions. This week I had no plans and was home from work, so I took some last minute shops.
A scheduler called me to do some and asked when I could do them. I replied "today" She was shocked.
I agree with Michael - credit card bills are coming for the second month in a row with high balalnces.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  08:00:25 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am so glad December is over. I did not have one day off. Not Christmas eve, not Christmas day, nothing. It is always busier this time of year, but with Tony in the hospital, it has been rough.

This is the time of year that companies change clients, however, it can happen at any time during the year. Most contracts are 6 or 12 months, but some clients check out a few companies before signing an actual contract. I have not seen any of the major companies with any recent changes.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Debbo
Star Contributor

Charlotte, NC
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2007 :  4:47:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just received a rather sad email: a discount department store has changed MSCs, and the detailed purchase/return shop is now paying $7, down from $10. Any hope that this is a wild aberration???

Debra
MSPA Shopper of the Year 2009
Video shopping in the Carolinas and throughout the US
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JeannieGA
Valued Contributor

Alpharetta, GA
USA
216 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2007 :  8:24:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Nope. Having been a shopper for over 5 years fees continue to drop every year. Until shoppers "refuse" to take the low paying jobs it will never change. With the continue influx of new shoppers and individuals financial status many shoppers "justify" why they take the low paying jobs. They suggest that with route shopping they can bunch 4 low paying job and make a decent per hour fee. The internet made certain wonderful changes for shoppers with on-line reports, job boards, etc. but it also allow for more shoppers which decreases the overfees. I have my own minimum fees and that is why I only shop for those companies that still value their shoppers.

Jeannie in GA
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2009 :  08:44:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This year Thanksgiving was relatively late, leaving a shorter window between when shoppers/shcedulers return from that holiday and when they begin to shut down in anticipation of Christmas-related events/travel. All of a sudden I am getting frantic cries for help on overdue November shops (Apparently a whole bunch of flakes last week?) and seeing some hotel shops that usually just evaporate before they even hit the ground go unclaimed for over 24 hours.

If I were a scheduler this year, I would go into "December Panic Mode" early!

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Lori CA
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, CA
USA
105 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2009 :  1:09:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Based on the 20+ shop offers I find in my mailbox every day, it seems that the schedulers are having trouble finding people to do shops right now. This could be the holidays, fees, weather, or all of the above.

One scheduler actually sends cell phone shop offers several times a day, but the fee ($9) is just too low for the time and distance involved.

MSPA Gold Certified
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1850 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2009 :  9:15:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Lori, I think that's a major factor -- the pay. Frankly, my time is more valuable in December than it is in January. A few schedulers understand this. One of my favorites (SI) seemed to understand this and bonused everything early (and heavily, in many cases). There are only 2 jobs total left in the whole state. Other companies haven't figured this out yet, and are still offering piddly "bonuses" that don't even cover gas and are in the begging state. Begging only works for schedulers who have built positive relationships with their shoppers, or on newbies.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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