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$2-$5 Phone Shops: Are they really that bad?

If you read the discussions on www.mysteryshopforum.com, shoppers either love or hate the phone shops that pay between two and five dollars. Until recently, there were shops I wasn’t crazy about. I was looking at them as individual shops rather than trying to create a “route” of them. Real life entered my shopper’s world and I gained a new appreciation for these shops.

I had received a summons for jury duty. Where I live, being a self-employed, sole proprietor, independent contractor is not a valid reason to be excused from jury duty. The best I could hope for was getting delayed to later in the year. Given the choice, I opted to get the duty over and done with. I went to see the Clerk of Court ahead of time to see if there was any way I could be accommodated.

After explaining the nature of these shops to her, she took me to see the county’s Chief Judge. The judge understood how deferring my service to a later date wouldn’t work—it was simply postponing the inconvenience. Long story short, I was allowed to do phone shops from the courthouse when I wasn’t on a jury.

Now for the math—these shops are short. Generally the call and report won’t take more than 10 minutes. If we assume the average shop is $3.00, and doing 6 shops per hour, that’s $18.00 per hour. Assuming 3 hours per day [to allow for interruptions, being in unfamiliar surroundings, etc.], that’s $54.00 per day or $270.00 for the week. While it’s not as much as I’m used to earning, it beats making nothing.

These shops are available on Shoppers View, Reality Based Group, and I’ve also received some from independent schedulers.

Questions, comments, or thoughts about this article? Email the author: james@mysteryshoppermagazine.com

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