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April 2017

Mystery Shopping Update

I have been shopping since mid-February and am doing quite well.  I have flaked a few jobs. One of those jobs were because of the directions, and that company when immediately off my list.  Another job was gotten and done through an app and they wanted a better picture of the receipt.  A month after the job.  They are off my list too.

I have a love/hate relationship with one company, and am very selective on what jobs I do with them.  Love the fact that they pay twice a month, hate their directions and most of their jobs are complicated until you get the hang of of them.

I don’t do audits.  I’ve done one, and it was fairly easy, but I like staying in the shadows.

I am very selective on restaurants.  I’ve done one compensation only and never again.  I prefer restaurants that pay a flat fee and let you decide how much to spend.

The first retirement home bothered me a lot, but the second one was good.  I’m going to do more.

I’ve done two car negotiation jobs.  Those take specialized training, and even more complicated.  I bombed my first one, partly because I don’t think on my feet well yet.  I still got paid for it so it wasn’t a flake. The second one I managed to get $500 off, so I felt good about it.  I’m spacing those out because they take two trips.  Plus they are hard.

The other two flakes were a difference of opinion between the MSP and I.  I think I did them correctly, but I was so new to mystery shopping then, I didn’t think it was appropriate to argue.  I’ve done another 16 jobs for them that I did according to their guidelines so we’re all good.

I will admit I prefer phone and internet jobs to going out face to face.  I also think I end up making more money on those.  I’ve done a bunch of internet chat jobs at $5.00 a piece.  As I shop, I’m getting better at finding jobs that take less energy.

Pillpack replacement -- Pill Suite

I loved the convenience of Pill Pack but at $3000 more and screw ups, I had to leave.

See It works.  I've been using it for a month.  You have to do the work yourself.  It comes with a sorter, a sealer, and 4 rolls of pill packages.

There is some tricks to the pill packages.  You have to be careful with you pull the package of the roll, I frequently pull off an edge that seals things.  No worries, just use the sealer on that side, though open the package can be harder.

Also, the packages themselves stick together.  I've found that if you rub the solid edge together, it comes apart easier.

Runs right around $40.00

Well worth the savings.

What this Quality Assurance thing you are doing?

My Johns Hopkins job pays well, but I frequently don't get a lot of hours, I am sitting at 4 hours for this week, and I don't see many more coming in.  I need a bit more cash if I want to show dogs, so I started Mystery Shopping.

Yes, I go into retail places and critique the service, food and the facility itself.  I also do phone and web shops, which I like the best.

The higher the pay, the longer the job, and more questions you have to answer.  Last week, I did a phone shop that will pay $2.00  I had to record a call to the store, and pose as a typical shopper asking questions. No narrative.

I have to go into banks, and pose as a typical customer.  Those pay higher if you have to open an account. I get from $15 to $60 according to the complexity. 

I do a lot of new car shops, going in and asking for a particular model, I have even done a negotiation shop. 

I started in February, have gotten paid for all but two shops which I screwed up, well I think I did them right, but it didn't seem worth it to complain.  I have taken in several hundred dollars, and am owed more. So far, all have paid as scheduled. 

The fun part, is that I am an independent contractor and I have to keep up with everything, including the taxes.  There are dozens of companies to work for, they pay by check, PayPal or direct deposit. Some pay twice a month, but most pay once a month and they pick the date. One company sent me over $50 via direct deposit for the jobs I did with in March, and I didn't get an email and can see know where on their website that I got paid. Love them and love their shops. They have a restaurant shop that is easy to do and don't seem to have a limit on visits. 

So far, since mid February I have been having a small but steady income stream.