No one really makes a "good deal" (I assume you mean a good deal of $$$) out of submitting models to PB for Playmate. Remember they only use 12 per year, and the competition is fierce, and they come from all sorts of places. Sometimes, like Jenny McCarthy or my friend Laura Cover, they just walk into a PB studio on their own. Sometimes an existing Playmate refers them, often times they are sent in by photographers. Another way is that they are discovered by Playboy editors who show up as judges at events like Hawaiian Tropic or as a result of a theme search (Girls of GarageGlamour?) for the magazin. And of course some girls just mail in their own photos. Then you have all the ones who graduate from the Special Editions or CyberClub (however they got there) to Playmate. Some of this can muddy the "discovery" trail, so sometimes no finder's fee is paid (for example, PB employees are ineligible). One requirement to get the fee, is that the Playmate must put your name on the data sheet she fills out, as the person who sent her in.
On top of that, its all about timing. Being in the right place at the right time to meet a prospect (meaning a girl with true potential and interest), and it also means finding her at a time when Playboy is ready for her as well. Someone who has the right personality and regularly encounters PB-type women for whatever reason, will obviously increase the odds of finding girls who get accepted, but its still a long shot as evidenced by some of the great women I see in other Playboy products who IMO, should have been a PM from the get-go.
I don't know if PB pays a finder's fee for any submission that results in a shoot other than Playmate, others on this board might know (I could find out, but its Friday nite!), but taking the above info into account, I think you can see how rare actually collecting the fee really is. BTW, if your goal is to shoot for any part of PB, submitting your discoveries with as professional-looking a shoot as you can muster will help both of you a lot. One word of advice though: Do not present yourself to a prospect as a Playboy photographer, or an official scout (and there are very few of those) unless you have the real business card to back it up. Word gets back to them and you may find yourself receiving a nice note from their legal department or worse. Just be honest, tell the girl what you want to do, do what you say, and don't show the images around without her permission.
Here's examples of two for whom I did get the fee, Jaime Bergman 1/99 and Tamara Witmer 8/05. Six years between them, and yes, I had submitted quite a few in the interim. Before them, my other one was Justine Greiner, 2/84. You can't count on that to pay the rent for sure.
Andy Pearlman Studio