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 Shops you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2005 :  11:50:16 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have a polished ten foot pool for:

  • Grocery shops because of the number of people you have to interact with. There is a nongrocery shop with typical grocery shop instructions. At least one scheduler posted it as a grocery shop. go figure.
  • Pizza shops because I like my pizza as hot as possible.
  • Apartment shops because of the incomplete instructions on the ones that I have done. Burned by incomplete information by more than one hiring company will make one skiddish.

There are a couple more that are about to join the list, but I will not post them here for ICA reasons.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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.Janet Sue
Contributor

Bayside, NY
USA
99 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2005 :  07:01:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will not do any major reimbursement shops. I can just see myself doing the eyeglass one where you have to order a pair of glasses and the company will give you a certificate for 1/2 off. My glasses at those stores would cost over $500.00.

I will not do purchase and return stores. I am not going to run up a credit card bill and hope that the credit appears immediately.

Right now, I won't do anymore restaurant shops where I have to pay
$35.00 or more and wait for reimbursement until the next month.

I do FF shops but only walk in places. I do not drive. So the DT are out. The WI are not that bad.

I personally love to do the bank jobs, especially the investment ones.
I have fun pretending that I have a lot of money. Truthfully, when I do have money to invest, I might use some of their suggestions. I still laugh about one advisor who told me to come up with an extra
$20.000.00 and then he could get me a better rate for a $100.000.00
investment. You know I keep $20.000.00 under my mattress just for such emergencies.

I try to do the jobs that have no cost for me or very low cost.

I have often wondered about the shops that require you to purchase 4 items in a department and then you can return them if you want. Has anyone done the cosmetic counters? I thought you were not allowed to return cosmetics.
Janet

Janet Sue
Silver Certified.
Shopping-Queens and New York City
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ShowAngie
Valued Contributor

Greer, SC
USA
164 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2005 :  08:38:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I totally agree on the eyeglass shops. I can't delete those fast enough from my e-mail.
I did one for another company that was a little more reasonable because it was at a discount chain. My son got a fairly good pair of glasses for only about 20 dollars out of pocket, and he did need new ones.
However, the ones I have seen lately for a major eye-glass chain aren't worth it to me. I wouldn't normally shop there because of their high prices, and even the 50% off coupon isn't enough of an incentive....
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DebMI
Valued Contributor

Michigan
USA
151 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2005 :  08:55:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LauraLohfink

found one today that asked for 10 names and titles plus number of people working in the store plus a lot fo other stuff. $5. No Thank You
And at least a 500 word naration of the shop from start to finish? If you miss one name the shop is void. No thanks!
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.DonnaMorehouse in CA
Inactive

Sacramento, CA
USA
287 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2005 :  10:29:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
No convenience stores in the scary part of town and no bus station shops. If they had them in a decent part of town that wouldn't be too bad.
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LeighTX
Member

Houston, TX
USA
36 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  05:36:58 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
No more restaurant shops, unless it's a *really* nice place. They don't reimburse enough to cover our meal, I have to pay a sitter, and the food usually isn't that great. Not worth it to me.

I also don't do shops after 5 pm, with few exceptions. I have young children and it's too inconvenient to go out in the evenings.

Other than that, my only requirement is that the fee be $10 or more, and I'll even lower that for a quick stop somewhere on a route I've already planned--note the key word there is "quick!"
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MechelleNga
Valued Contributor

GA
USA
199 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  2:02:03 PM  Visit MechelleNga's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't do shops, for under $15. The price of gas, has made me more fuel efficient.

I've stopped the FF shops also. I gained 10 pounds, before I knew what hit me. I work out too hard and long, to eat that stuff anymore.

Mechelle
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Alysha
Contributor

IN
USA
55 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  06:42:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LeighFL

No more restaurant shops, unless it's a *really* nice place. They don't reimburse enough to cover our meal, I have to pay a sitter, and the food usually isn't that great. Not worth it to me.
Yes, I'm finding that to be true too. I did one shop where the lunch reimbursement was $20 and you had to bring an adult. Well, I also needed to bring my kids unless it was on a certain day and I didn't think it would be worth it. It ended up with a $10 bonus and I made my kids order off the kids menu and my husband and I ordered waters so our food came to $19 for the four of us. That one turned out pretty well, but for reimbursement only, not so great.

I wish they would pay a better reim and I wish they would have more restaurant shops that allow you to bring an older child in place of an adult. I have an 11 year old who orders off the adult menu. I don't see how this would be any different than ordering with my husband.

I had another one where the fee is a flat $33 and you can bring a kid over 5 or an adult. I thought I'd make a pretty decent fee from this one, thinking I could keep the bill to around $20, but they have certain order requirements that made it so I made only $5. Still, no too bad, I like this restaurant and I was in the area for other shops anyway.

I'm really looking forward to one coming up soon where they pay a fee, a decent dinner reim. and also a bar reim. And my kids will be out of town so I won't need to pay a sitter. Woohoo!

Alysha
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Terra
Star Contributor

USA
443 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  12:38:47 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A 500 character narrative, as well as other conditions, was added to the $5 home improvement shop.... I'm definitely want to do one now!

MSPA Silver Certified #ectp6r
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BKellar
Apprentice

Grand Forks, ND
USA
3 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  5:15:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Okay, I think I have reached enough frustration to outdo the embarrassment factor and post. This is my second month mystery shopping. It is also my fiance's second month. Sounds pretty mundane, huh....until you're a type-A perfectionist that has to try EVERYTHING once...in 30 days we did--literally--70 shops for 15 companies.

This wouldn't be bad, except I'm from North Dakota. We drove to EVERY one. Total mileage in one month: 4500 miles. 3 reams of paper to print out directions, evals, etc (thank God I'm a college student). Got mostly 10's, but a few 8's. Sigh.

How is this relevant? At this point, I'm kind of fried--I can't think of many I WANT to touch with any length of pole. But, the worst are: telephone ones where you have to come up whether or not they asked "probing" questions...more than 5 fast food shops in a 3 hour period...anything more than 350 miles one way...and 7 page questionnaires for gas stations that DON'T EXIST. (Seriously--it hasn't been one in 3 years--and I agreed to go back and do it again).

Eeps. Honestly, for the whole thing, I think I put in over 100 hours of computer work/organization (you should see my spreadsheet ), and my fiance did over 75 hours of driving. For *hopefully* $300 profit.

If anyone wants to take a clueless but ambitious shopper under their wing, I'd be grateful
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MissChris
Contributor

CA
USA
80 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  11:33:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Okay, okay. I caught my breath now. My first month shopping I did shops in cities that were to far away and shops that others would not touch with a ten foot pole. I wanted to try the different shops out there and I had enthusiasm about it! Then you realize how much time you put in and look at how small the paycheck was.... well anyway... now I have my list of ten foot pole shops too!
p.s. that includes gym shops! too much pressure to join!
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Maureen5360
Star Contributor

USA
268 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  06:19:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Added to my list is a $75-300 purchase and return an hour later, on a major credit card, after 5 p.m. at a store that would involve a 75 mile round trip. Even better, that was the only shop they had available in a 3 county radius in my part of the state. No thanks.
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.Kenthe Sub
Inactive

WI
USA
658 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  06:59:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
One shopper co. I really like has one client that involves a purchase of a fairly expensive item - sunglasses. Optional return and if you return you must wait a minimum of 30 minutes.

I did one of these a year or so ago and submitted a fairly negative report. The client apparently did not like this report and I had to submit additional information 3 times, essentially saying the same thing but re-writing it. I finally just wrote that I'd furnished enough. I did get paid but I will not do this shop again.

I also discontinued my IC with CoRI after the slamming of phone shops (see separate thread on that one), extremely low fee shops, having to take a qualifying test before you can even see the fee and a snotty note from a staffer after I complained about my score being reduced because I did not even know I'd accidentally selected a phone shop due to the way it was assigned.

As IC's we do have the right to drop a particular type of shop or a particular client or even an entire shopper co./scheduler.
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Alison in Ontario
Trainee

Ontario
Canada
7 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  09:42:52 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm with Maureen on the $75-$300 purchase with return, not sure my credit card could take that muchabuse! Also, the coffee shop where I can't even pronounce the names (mucho mocha non-fat etc!), and it seems the employees are keeping an eagle eye out for m.s.

Shopping like crazy in Peel region & beyond
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Cindy in Indiana
Star Contributor

South Bend, IN
USA
277 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  10:50:54 AM  Send Cindy in Indiana an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I won't do the purchase and return shops that require me to purchase merchandise over $50. I've seen some today that ask that a purchase of at least $400 be made. Yeah, right!

Cindy
MSPA Gold Certified #hp4ksf


Happily shopping Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan since 2000.
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Cindy in Indiana
Star Contributor

South Bend, IN
USA
277 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  10:53:00 AM  Send Cindy in Indiana an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
KentheSub-

I did the same shop you're talking about. I gave a very negative report and had the same experience as you did. Apparently, this company only likes positive experiences. After many emails back and forth, the MS company was finally satisfied. Never again will I take that shop.

Cindy
MSPA Gold Certified #hp4ksf


Happily shopping Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan since 2000.
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Roswitha
Star Contributor

Pinellas Park, FL
USA
445 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  12:09:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I enjoyed the sunglass shops. I expected a phone call after I sent in the first two reports, one a glowing report and the second a very problematic report. Scored a ten on both - sweet.

I agree however, a large item purchase and return on separate days, with a purchase amount over $800 that I saw offered by another MSP is a ten foot pole shop for me. I certainly do not even need to try that one. I wonder, who would take such a shop and why?

My ten foot pole experience was a series of gas station audits. The amount of narrative was insane - even after 9 reports it still took a minimum of 45 minutes for the report. The fee in no way reflected the amount of time required for each narrative in every section. Unless the fee is tripled this one remains my one and only ten foot shop so far.
I have no trouble writing a lengthy narrative if warranted, but if a simple yes or no (and there were plenty in each section of the report) explains it all, then why beat a dead horse? I felt like copying their questions in the yes and no sections and repeating it back I was sooo frustrated.

Roswitha
MSPA Gold Shopping sunny Florida Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo .....
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Sarena11
Valued Contributor

Rancho Cucamonga, California
USA
133 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  12:14:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Shops I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole???

Hilli Dunlap shops! I'm SO done with them!!

No thanks on the purchase and return shops for $6...are they kidding me?


Shopping the Inland Empire in SoCal.
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FancyFran
Valued Contributor

South San Francisco, CA
USA
105 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  6:46:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know one ten foot pole shop - the one where you buy a two dollar bag of rice, and then a box for $4.29 (no reimbursement for box or contents)and ship it somewhere. The pay is $10.00!! I figure, with gas and time, you lose about $3.00 on that one!
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Vonette
Star Contributor

Walla Walla, WA
USA
867 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  7:49:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FancyFran

you buy a two dollar bag of rice, and then a box for $4.29
Wow, prices must be high where you are. I got the rice for under $1 and the box for about $1. But I agree that the shop is not very high-paying.
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