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 My Mystery Shopping New Years Resolutions!
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Tristina
Member

Derby City, KY
USA
49 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  10:26:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My 2009 Mystery Shopping resolutions:

1. Accept no shops with single digit fees, unless they are phone shops.
2. Keep close track of my pay, by utilizing my spreadsheet/logs.
3. Aim for $500 per month, excluding reimbursements.
4. Use a separate bank account for mystery shopping payments & expenses.

Tristina
Gold Certified 2004
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  11:46:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TinaMarie

Reminder to everyone - go and jot down your odometer mileage NOW for year end 2008 and beginning of year 2009.

My new years resolution is to be less timid in picking up new shops.



Sorry! It was 5 below so I decided not to do it - but it is a great idea!!
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Kristi in VA
Valued Contributor

VA
USA
205 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  12:28:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I love New Year's Resolutions... sadly I always seem to do better at making them than fulfilling them. But here we go just in case!

1. Sign up with MORE companies. I actually did really well with this in 2008 and finally got to my goal income per month. Unfortunately by the end of the year it seems like all but about 2 of the companies that I added have lost most of the clients that I was shopping.

2. Stop overscheduling myself and remind myself that I'm doing this for extra income to do FUN things with the kids. Doing tours of every mall in the area to wait in long lines and listen to cell phone pitches is NOT fun for a 2 year old and a 9 month old!! That means it's not fun for me either.

3. Take fewer shops that require out of pocket expenses. It messes up our monthly budget too much.

4. Find some way to deal with paperwork!!!!! Stuff I don't need has to be thrown away instantly and stuff that I do need has to find a better place. How to do this when we don't even have a desk at the moment is a quandary, but I really need to figure it out soon.

5. Get Gold Certified. I'm not sure if the silver really helped me or not, but I want to make sure that I'm maximizing my opportunities.

6. Stop putting off reports until the last minute. Yes, it's easier to do reports after the kids are in bed, but that doesn't mean it has to be 1am. I need to get more sleep this year. I don't have nightly feedings as an excuse anymore. Why am I still awake most nights at 2am? Something needs to give.

7. MILEAGE LOG must be done! Especially months with route shops. I at least wrote things down for 2008, but adding up everything out of that little notebook for taxes at the last minute (and I know I missed some days of filling things out too) is not a good system.

Kristi
Happily shopping her way towards being debt-free!
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Sandra G.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
239 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  10:13:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It looks like I won't be going to a conference this year after all. Two relatives in different states are getting married. I may not even be able to afford the DVD.

Sandra G.
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BrandonS
Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
57 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  02:49:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandra G.

It looks like I won't be going to a conference this year after all. Two relatives in different states are getting married. I may not even be able to afford the DVD.


It's just the first of the year, STAY POSITIVE! You can at least do a few shops and make up the cost for the DVD. I know you could get it at least by March.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  06:25:54 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sandra, maybe you will get lucky and the conference will be in one of those states. Sign up with a few new companies each week and you could probably make up the extra money.

This year I will finish what I have started and continue to sign up with one new company each week. I have already found four this past week.

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

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  06:35:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
1. Seek out more companies that do video shops (added two in the past week).
2. Encourage the companies that I like to work for to experiement with video, if they are not already doing so.
3. Invest in replacements for my aging inventory of video equipment.
4. Attend the 2nd annual IMSC in Las Vegas.
5. Follow Servanne and Carrie's examples and develop more multi-day route shops.
6. Qualify for more hotel shops to support Resolution #5.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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JenOfOhio
Contributor

Olmsted Falls, OH
USA
73 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  4:35:47 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Get Gold certified since I have had the DVD sitting here for over 6 months. I hope it is still good!

MSPA Silver Certified - shopping the SW Cleveland, OH area
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BrandonS
Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
57 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2010 :  09:37:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My 2 main goals are to register with more companies, and get more info route shopping. I have some people I idolize on here for how they do it, and I want to be like them when I grow up!
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LisaSTL
Star Contributor

St. Louis, MO
USA
733 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2010 :  11:16:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't know about other route shoppers, but Brandon I'm totally offended at being called a grown up

Lisa
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
931 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2010 :  1:41:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well my goal is to just get back into Mystery Shopping. So many things have been going on in the past year (a move to new home, little one starting school, doing merchandising work...as an employee which kept me busy and now back to doing accounting work). I am still active with a few companies and did one shop last night, now working with some others to get reactivated and get back into it. Best of all the company I work for is moving in a month to a central location that will be shops galore at lunch time (well I hope so anyway, use to be tons available in that area) and after work. Excited to get back into it, missed it and you all.

I also plan to be better at keeping track of everything so come tax time the following year I can go through it in a breeze, and not have to spend 3 days going through everything to get it figured out.

Randi
Silver Certified
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CathyInCA
Contributor

CA
USA
96 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  06:15:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My 2011 resolution is that I will no longer spend more money on a mystery shop than I am reimbursed for items I don’t want or don’t need.

Cathy
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  10:54:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cathy, that is a good resolution.
Brandon, you can't grow up too much to be a route shopper! Any normal adult would not spend weeks on the road, away from home, sleeping in cheap (and I mean cheap!!) motels and putting 10,000 miles a month on a rental car!! All the while taking countless pictures of gas stations restrooms, some clean, some not so much...
Randi, I always figure that the two days I spend organizing my MS stuff at tax time is time well spent. Better those two days than messing up on my taxes and have some guy in a black suit and sunglasses knock at my door!

My resolution? Trying to juggle shopping, reporting, the IMSC, and volunteering at the school a little better so I can spend more quality time with my kids.

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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Jody B
Valued Contributor

Mankato, MN
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  3:08:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
To say "Thank You" more often when I'm out shopping. Even though we are evaluating service, a pleasant "Thank you" can really make someone's day.

Jody
Shopper in Southern Minnesota-the Little Twin Cities-A Lot Minnesota (Mankato) and beyond
Now Silver Certified!
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  3:28:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I need to say "Thank you" less often and let the person I was evaluating a chance to say it first.

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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JeannieGA
Valued Contributor

Alpharetta, GA
USA
216 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  10:55:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will not accept any jobs unless they pay at least $15. As a mystery shopper for over 10 years I have seen the fees continue to decrease. I have realized that mystery shopping may no longer be worth my time and effort. Some of the best companies out there make it worthwhile to continue to shop but they are very few.

Jeannie in GA
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2011 :  08:20:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Rather than say I won't take a shop with less than a certain fee, I concentrate on taking jobs where I make at least $10 per hour. I have a shop I do that pays $8.00. But the shop takes about 2-5 minutes and the report takes 10 minutes. So I am actually making about $32 per hour (not counting the driving time and gas). But I usually work these shops in where I will not be adding driving time or gas because they are on my way.

I have had shops that pay $100 but took over 5 hours driving, doing the shop, doing the report, etc. So that $8.00 shop is more valuable to me.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2011 :  5:12:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will not take jobs that are reimbursement only. A free meal is nice, but I can't pay rent or credit card bill with a free meal!

Jonathan B.
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2011 :  6:08:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan B.
A free meal is nice, but I can't pay rent or credit card bill with a free meal!


True. But you can use the money you would have used no matter what for the food toward your bills.

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2011 :  10:00:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm with Servanne, when you get a fee, you still need to pay for your food. Besides, your free meal is tax deductible, whereas you might end up paying taxes on your fee. Most importantly, you gotta eat! I gladly take spa and salon shops for the reimbursed products or services, office and computer stores for the needed supplies and ink cartridges. I scheduled a $80 reimbursement lunch for my hubby for his birthday this month; they will even put on a candle and sing Happy Birthday to him.

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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