The platinum line

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fraserbooks

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#1
A bit about me.

I retired last year at 65 and quickly became bored. There is only so much daytime T.V. you can watch. So I decided I would see if I could earn some money at home for some treats for my husband and I so this diary will be an attempt to see if there is anything better out there than the DIY department in B &Q.

I was lucky to start this year with a £5.00 prize from the money shed. (Thank you Jon.).

This month I am participating in the Royal mail posting panel. I get paid in stamps and love to shop vouchers for posting and receiving letters. I am also keeping a spending diary for Ipsos Mori. I find It is good to look at both sides of the balance sheet and it is sobering to see just how much basic food costs now.

January 4th

I participated in a study from prolific academic, a site run by Cambridge University to find participants for studies, on the ageing brain and language. I was quite good at the vocabulary test and another test which involved understanding sentences with words used in an unusual sense. However the final section involved listening to five or six unrelated sentences and picking out the words starting with a certain letter and I was embarassingly bad at it.
I also had a rare 50p survey from youGov. Despite its name this is not a government site but a site that conducts polls generally on political themes. On the plus side you never get screened out and the surveys are short and easy to complete. On the downside the minimum payout is £50.00 which can take several years to achieve. According to the Guardian it was set up by Nadim Zahawi the conservative M.P. for Stratford on Avon who claimed parliamentary expenses for heating his stables on his stud farm.
 
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Karonher

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#2
There are a lot of other good sites. Populus send quite a few and they are normally high paying for surveys - £2, £3 or sometimes £4. If you have a mobile phone and are out and about a lot there are a number of apps that you can earn from. Streetbees and one where you photograph shop job adverts but I don't know what that is called.
I am sure there is a list of survey sites - possibly one a post from Katykicker - and you may find some of them good earners.

There is mystery shopping and certain ones pay towards meals and drinks out so that could be a cheap day if you like the idea of it.
 

skint

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#3
I did my first mystery shop today and I enjoyed it.
 

fraserbooks

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#4
I did a shop audit today. Basically I had to go into a supermarket and count the facings of chilled products and take some photos. I did a few mystery shops of stately homes last year which my husband and I enjoyed but we ended up treating ourselves to some very expensive cups of coffee.. I am glad you enjoyed your mystery shop skint. Mine always seem to be shops like Waitrose rather than Lidl or Aldi so I could end up with expensive tastes. I have one coming up to ask for a pair of shoes for about £80.00. Unluckily it does not include product purchase.

I do find I get screened out of a lot of surveys probably because I am retired on a lowish income and my children have all grownup. I had one today. The first question was is your income under £75,00 a year before a screen out. I wonder how many people earning £75,000 a year want to do a survey for £1.50.

We waved goodbye to our daughter this morning as she is off to Seville, working for ten weeks in a bilingual school with the Erasmus scheme. She teaches English as a foreign language. This time last year we went with her to Austria to help her with her luggage and it was snowy. This time she has packed summer clothes. She has had lots of offers from people to help her bring her luggage home at the end of her placement.
 

fraserbooks

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#5
Well I did my mystery shoe shop today. The bad news is that I gave into temptation and bought a pair. They were half price in the sale but still expensive. Yesterday I had to pick up some tablets from the pharmacist and I spotted two jobs for job spotter on the way and then did a Vypr steer in Boots while I was waiting to be served. Very money shed.

I also had an E.mail from Red wigwam inviting me as one of their "good mystery" shoppers to make a video for their website inviting other pensioners to join. I feel a bit too self conscious to do it but it is good that agencies are targeting older people.
 

katykicker

I am a 20 something stay-at-home-wife from Essex.
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#6
Sounds like you're off to a great site!

Sounds like you've already found some survey sites, I have a big link in my signature if you want to use that too!

Good luck and looking forward to seeing how you do!
 

skint

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#7
Well I did my mystery shoe shop today. The bad news is that I gave into temptation and bought a pair. They were half price in the sale but still expensive. Yesterday I had to pick up some tablets from the pharmacist and I spotted two jobs for job spotter on the way and then did a Vypr steer in Boots while I was waiting to be served. Very money shed.

I also had an E.mail from Red wigwam inviting me as one of their "good mystery" shoppers to make a video for their website inviting other pensioners to join. I feel a bit too self conscious to do it but it is good that agencies are targeting older people.
I too suffer from that kind of temptation:rolleyes:.
 

mum2one

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#8
Sounds like your going great guns, I love the Royal Mail thou I’m on resting period.

YouGov - it takes time, average cash out about every 8 to 10 mths, they are good at paying out, even thou have to wait till £50
 

fraserbooks

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#9
Things have been very quiet this week. I have not been offered any mystery shopping close to home. I did get £5.00 for doing the Royal mail correctly delivered survey over Christmas and New Year. (very easy as there were three bank holidays in the two weeks.) If anyone else fancies giving it a go the website is here. https://rmselfrecruit.research-int.com/Questionnaire/qstIntroductionPrivate.aspx I don't get commission. Payment is in stamps and love to shop vouchers. I make about £15.00 a month when active. You get rested every few months.

Next week I will be attempting to do a cat food diary as a spin off from a Prolific academic survey. I could easily seem a bit eccentric photographing cat food tins in the supermarket.
 
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fraserbooks

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#10
Well I had the cat food study accepted and a bonus of £4.00. I think google has spotted my unusual interest in cat food advertising as I had an E.mail this morning suggesting I buy my cat a valentine present.

This month has been very slow for mystery shopping. This is my first year of doing this as I retired last March so I am not sure if this is normal or a sign of an economic downturn. My favourite discovery in January thanks to the money shed was job spotter. It seems a very easy way of making a few pounds but I still can't workout how they decide how much each job is worth. I think I will try to earn some money from a new site each month and then keep the ones I like.
 
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fraserbooks

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#11
I have been to Bath today hunting for crisps in Waitrose. I did not know before hand but Tuesday morning is specially for "slow shoppers". It reminded me of the slow children signs you used to see outside schools. The staff did seem extra patient. One lot of crisps were in the baby aisle which I certainly would not have found without help. I like Bath Waitrose as it is next to the central library so I can pop in there to write up my report and they also have a cafe with good coffee. There was a man by the Abbey playing the bagpipes in a kilt which must have been cold.
 

fraserbooks

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#12
Mystery shopping in Thornbury today a little South Gloucestershire town whose main claim to fame seems to be its the home of a very expensive nursing agency. The bad news is the shop I was visiting had a coffee shop both sides. However I did notice one was advertising for a trainee barista so job spotter paid for half a cinnamon bun. I do like the app especially as the submission was approved before I got home. I think it is my favourite money shed discovery.
 

fraserbooks

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#13
I received a £15.00 Amazon voucher today for a spending diary I kept in January. I had almost given up hope of getting the money. The project followed on from a survey I completed. I am also 80 points off a VYPR pay out but I am not sure it is doing my diet any good to keep checking for pictures of biscuits.

My daughter reports that it is now T shirt weather in Seville and that she is going on a school trip to Italica on Wednesday -the roman city just outside Seville. Here it is very cold and grey.

Another shop audit in Bath booked for Saturday.
 
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Jon

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#14
Seems like you are doing great things with Mystery Shopping @fraserbooks !!
 

fraserbooks

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#15
Thanks Jon. I am slowly getting the hang of mystery shopping. It's a whole new language. I now know what a gondola end and a shelf barker are. The Bath shop went quite well except they wanted a photo of the till point display. There was no way I could do that discretely. My plan to be super efficient and file the report from the library failed as I could not get a phone signal. Luckily I had taken a paper copy of the questions as well.

I had to turn down the offer of £100.00 fee to mystery shop a local car dealership as I don't drive.
 

fraserbooks

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#16
I am quite excited. I have been invited to attend a forum discussion on new ideas for a science magazine following a survey. It will be the first forum I have participated in and it will help satisfy my secret wish to be a journalist.
 

fraserbooks

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#17
We have had a lot of snow here in Bristol which means I have been stuck indoors for two days. I had to turn down a couple of mystery shopping jobs but I have a train station to check next week. I hope the weather is better. I was so bored that I got to a £5.00 swagbucks payment. I had an e.mail this morning saying that testable minds will be up and running on Monday. I hope the site is a success.

Our Postie had to struggle through the snow with a signed for letter from the Royal Mail survey panel which made me feel a bit guilty when I know it only contains a piece of paper and a tracking chip. I hope he gets some good feedback.

Update I have just been offered a mystery phone call just the thing for this weather. It can be done from the sofa if necessary.
 
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fraserbooks

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#18
I have had a busy week. I am beginning to forget I am retired. I did mystery shops for a train station and two bank branches. One good thing is no one thinks it strange if you are seen photographing trains and you never have to take photos in banks. The bank task required a short audio recording describing my experience which was a first for me. I had to ask for technical assistance from my son but I think it went o.k. My youngest son will be thirty next week so even my children are finding it harder to keep up with the latest technology and are becoming more sympathetic when I get stuck. I also had a task from street bees which involved photographing snacks. Why do a lot of home money making opportunities seem to involve food!

I have an invite for a focus group for a science magazine on Monday which I am looking forward to. It will be another first for me.
 
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Jon

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#19
I have had a busy week. I am beginning to forget I am retired. I did mystery shops for a train station and two bank branches. One good thing is no one thinks it strange if you are seen photographing trains and you never have to take photos in banks. The bank task required a short audio recording describing my experience which was a first for me. I had to ask for technical assistance from my son but I think it went o.k. My youngest son will be thirty next week so even my children are finding it harder to keep up with the latest technology and are becoming more sympathetic when I get stuck. I also had a task from street bees which involved photographing snacks. Why do a lot of home money making opportunities seem to involve food!

I have an invite for a focus group for a science magazine on Monday which I am looking forward to. It will be another first for me.
For all the focus groups I've been invited to I've never actually had one as a GROUP

I get there and it's always me plus the person running it. We chat, I get given cash and then I leave lol

Maybe it's a leeds thing lol
 

fraserbooks

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#20
I must have been lucky as all six people who had been invited to the focus group turned up and they each had some useful ideas to contribute. They included a freelance science writer and a science teacher. One topic familiar to any one who has ever started a blog was the subject of choosing a title. Could you call your magazine "future world" and include an article about dinosaurs without making it sound like a bad American theme park, would Science in the title scare people? We were given spoofs of various articles and had to fit them to suggested magazine titles. It will be interesting to see what the final magazine is called if it reaches publication. We were also all given £30.00 cash and some very nice coffee and cakes.
 

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