What are the most lucrative shops and what companies offer them? Also, is there a particular region for them ? We have been doing this for a while, but cannot seem to find the higher end opportunities. Please Advise. thank you. Dee
Well Dee, a lot depends on your definition of lucrative. There are many shoppers who view shops with non-monetary aspects as lucrative but, for the purposes of this discussion, I’ll confine lucrative to the purely mercenary aspects of any shop.
As a general rule of thumb, a video shop is going to pay more than a traditional shop for the same product. There are also more risks with video, which means the higher rewards. For example, a traditional new home shop might pay $25-40 while a video new home shop could pay $60-80 [plus travel].
Automobile shops can also be lucrative. In this case I’m not talking Nissan or Chrysler. Toyota shops start at about $60 for traditional and $135 for video. Porsche has video shops that start at $75 if you’re shopping for a used and $100 or more for shopping new. Porsche also occasionally has a route of shops where you actually have a Porsche registered in your name for 6-8 weeks. With careful planning, such a route can be profitable, you can pick up some additional shops, and you have the experience of having actually been the owner of a Porsche for a brief period of time. In the ultra-luxury market, both Lamborghini and Rolls Royce have shops that pay around $150 for a traditional shop. The downside to the Lambo and Rolls shops is that you must be male to complete them, in addition to having a suitably priced car. But that’s why God invented Hertz, Avis, Budget, and the other car rental places.
I have seen mentioned on www.mysteryshopforum.com some hotel shops that pay as much as $900. I don’t honestly recall if that was in addition to reimbursement or not.
Generally speaking, the more lucrative shops are generally going to be found in, or near, major metropolitan areas. You won’t find a Rolls Royce dealer in Manhattan, KS, but you will find four within a 50-mile radius of New York City.
I have seen an entertainment venue in my home town [a tourist area] where the shop pays $250 including reimbursement. I’ve been to the venue in the past and don’t really care to do the shop there, mainly because the number of interactions involved and the downside risk, in my opinion, is too great—that is there is more risk involved than I am willing to accept for a shop.
I would conclude by saying that lucrative can also be defined as making the best use of your time. This can lead to route shopping, and we at Mystery Shopper Magazine are currently working on a series about route shopping, which will available as an e-book.
Perhaps the best advice I can give is keep signing up with MSC’s, and do the best you can on each shop. Your reputation is your best bet to getting better shops.