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

Dunmore, PA
USA
80 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2005 :  3:36:47 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did one of the 'return the sink' shops once...the sink in question was a black polycarbonate sink that was pretty neat. My scenario had me bring it back, and say that I saw the same sink for less a a competitor. Manager asks how much, and I give him an oddball low quote.

He matches the bogus quote, and does another 10% besides!

Had to fight to get my pay for that one, since I didn't actually return it (no return reciept...but how does that make a difference? It isn't like the MC was paying for it). The operator of the MSC finally listened to logic...hey, I wouldn't have gotten the better price if I didn't bring it back, right?

So, the sink looks great in my kitchen, I got paid, and I now do bigger dollars work for that MSC...

I actually don't mind the pet store audit...the stores closest to me are always, organized and well stocked, and with a decent employee, I can do the 150 items in under an hour...they have the big labels on the shelves, the green dot for the items which makes them easier to spot (gotta watch that, though...make SURE it is the correct product...some managers will have the 'hole' filled with a similar product)...Also, don't use the computer trick...the goal of these audits is to make sure that the product is actually there, and not just 'on the inventory'...part of the manager's performance bonus is based on whether these items stay in stock!

Gas station audits can be a pain...but I like the three gallon reimbursement...fill two cars in a weekend, and do an ff or two at the same time...full gas tanks, full belly, and a hundred dollars or so net for two half-days of work.

Shopping The Poconos and Northeastern Pennsylvania
MSPA Silver
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PamelaS
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, CA
USA
147 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  10:14:52 AM  Send PamelaS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paula H.

The motorcycle shop might be fun. Wonder what the employees would think seeing this little old lady from Pasadena.
Ask about matching leathers and tassels for your bike.
Go Granny, go!

Shopping Los Angeles and Orange Counties. MSPA Gold Certification: 3qangd
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JoanLand
Member

Bend, Oregon
USA
33 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  1:07:55 PM  Send JoanLand an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Pet Store Audits-
I did them until one time the manage refused to provide anyone to assist me. I commented that the letter of authorization said, at that time, that the management was to provide someone to assist the auditor. He got very huffy and wanted to know what letter. I replied that it was the letter that I had already given him. Later during that same shop, he relented and sent someone to help me. We finished the audit in good time. As I presented the results to him for his signature, he apologized for his refusal to provide help when I entered.

Two weeks after that I find the same audit now says the manager -may- provide assistance. Knowing the manager did not want to provide assistance previously, I have since declined these shops. Here they pay $25 which is not enough if the audit will take up to four hours, as they will without assistance. BTW, the shelf tags are printed in a font so small it is almost impossible to read them when they are located next to the floor.

Joan L
Silver Certified shopping central Oregon
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JoanLand
Member

Bend, Oregon
USA
33 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  1:13:11 PM  Send JoanLand an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
$16 meal for two at a chain restaurant-
I did this shop some time ago. Fortunately, I qualified for the senior dinner for two program (I had to show identification to prove my age), so the meal allowance came very close to covering the cost.

Unfortunately, the quality of the food left a lot to be desired. The cod gave off a whiff of ammonia. That night I had a gastrointestinal upset, which I reported to the County Health Department. It was presumptively diagnosed as Norwalk virus. It will be a long time before I go back there.

Joan L
Silver Certified shopping central Oregon
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JoanLand
Member

Bend, Oregon
USA
33 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  1:29:27 PM  Send JoanLand an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Funeral Home Shop-
Yes, it was a funeral home I had to shop. I had to ask about some product to see if they would take a particular credit card. Not wanting to view caskets and get into a long, drawn-out sales pitch, I asked about guest books. They had one. The assistant manager didn't know if I could charge it to a particular card or not but offered to run it through and if it went through, then we woudl know it could be charged to that type card. But, if I did that, I would have purchased it, which I didn't want to do. (I was to decide not to buy it at the very last minute). I then objected on the basis of price. The same assistant manager suggested I could find something very similar at Target or Wal-Mart for far less. What a surprise to have him recommend a discount store. I reported my experience with the credit card, that the assistant manager didn't know what cards they could take, in the report.

Joan L
Silver Certified shopping central Oregon
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  3:51:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JoanLand

Pet Store Audits- Here they pay $25 which is not enough if the audit will take up to four hours, as they will without assistance. BTW, the shelf tags are printed in a font so small it is almost impossible to read them when they are located next to the floor.
WOW! I love this audit and snap it up every time it comes up... Only takes me about 1 hour to complete and verify with a member of management on a walk through at the end... I check every product at the shelf too... Once you do it a few times you know where everything is and it takes no time to get through! Sorry you had such a bad experience!

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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EloiseStone
Contributor

Redwood City, CA
USA
54 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2005 :  11:43:33 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Car dealerships. The pressure they put on you to buy the car makes it not worth whatever we get paid.
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ElizabethG
Valued Contributor

Chicago, IL
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2005 :  12:38:03 PM  Send ElizabethG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I like the car dealership shops, especially the ones bundled together. It's interesting and lucrative, and I can withstand the pressure.

Gold Certified yysqi1
Shopping Chicago and surrounding areas
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
626 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2005 :  07:45:15 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
The 2 car dealer shops I did were no pressure at all. They were very enjoyable. Too bad I can't really do them again. They get shopped every month, and they are the only ones i've seen in this area.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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KathleenV
Member

CO
USA
31 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2005 :  3:29:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I love the pet store audits. The store here put little green dots on the shelf label so that it's easier and quicker to locate each item. Management has always been easy to deal with. I refuse to do the bridal shops--too much time for not enough $$$$$. I also refuse to do the shop where you have to take pictures of toilets--especially having to get pics of the flush holes. Totally gross.
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DeeJay
Member

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2005 :  8:13:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ChrisT

here is an excerpt: "you will have to make a purchase AND return an item on the same day. The form requires several narratives....required to interact with a sales associate in the assigned department."
Oh, I fell for those, Rookie Mistake! I had signed up for 3 of them before I realized the pain I'd endure.
Oh, the memories.
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Rita Collins
Star Contributor

Michiana, MI
USA
518 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  3:10:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Take pictures in a public restroom? Bring a stepstool? Are you kidding me?

Rita Collins
Shopping Michiana
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TracyZ
Contributor

Buffalo, NY
USA
52 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  3:13:28 PM  Visit TracyZ's Homepage  Send TracyZ an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just did 4 of the restroom ones and will never again do. They were low paying but I scheudled a bunch in one town and did all in one day so it made it more worthwhile. Let me tell you all the uploading of pictures, resizing, naming pictures with job numbers, scanning receipts...ugh what a pain. I learned my lesson.

MSPA Silver certified since 2/05 mlx4ti.
Happliy shopping Western NY
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  3:35:27 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
This is the shop I had so much trouble with. If you choose to take one for this very low fee, take only one and then decide if you want to take more.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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.Dawn DE
Inactive

DE
USA
518 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  3:55:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just discovered that I have a terrible allergy. Everytime I read the phrase "flush holes" I sneeze violently and my index finger spasms over the delete button.........

Dawn
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TracyZ
Contributor

Buffalo, NY
USA
52 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  5:22:26 PM  Visit TracyZ's Homepage  Send TracyZ an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PamInCa

This is the shop I had so much trouble with.
What trouble did you have with it?

MSPA Silver certified since 2/05 mlx4ti.
Happliy shopping Western NY
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  9:01:34 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
The same problems you did with all the pictures. It was definitely not worth the money.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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.Kenthe Sub
Inactive

WI
USA
658 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  04:15:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
TNS Research just released numerous reveal shops for a fast food chain; these require the shopper to go in, order a sandwich (if I say the name of the sandwich I'll also be saying the name of the client so I'll let you figure out the sandwich since it's also a generic sandwich name) and, then, to present a certificate if the order-taker or any other employee "upsells" a drink and cookies.

Well, I selected 2 and was reviewing the paperwork, etc. Needless to say I have notified the company to drop the shops. The maxiumum expense limit is insufficient to even cover the sandwich and, if we wish to get the soda/cookies (even if offered) we pay the extra out of pocket and the danged shop only pays a fee of $10.00.

The reveal portion requires literally taking inventory of certain products.

I am the stupid one for not fully reading about this expense limit; I cannot envision doing any meal shop without being at least able to get a soda and having a reasonable reimbursement limit to cover the required sandwich AND soda.

Nor do I feel the work warrants even less than $10.00 and I wonder how the FF restaurant would feel if I bring in my own bottle of soda!

I realize this may get me booted off as a shopper for TNS but I cannot in good conscience be a part of such a ridiculous low fee shop so if I get dropped so be it.

At this low fee and forcing us to "eat" costs just to get a soda/cookies will hopefully force TNS/the client to pay bonus to get them done. I learned a lesson here...to ALWAYS fully read the shop requirements BEFORE even selecting one. Live and learn, I guess.

Ken - WI
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
626 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  06:19:29 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ken, I saw those sandwich shops listed in my area yesterday, and quickly ignored them, even though I generally like their food. And guess what? There are none left today.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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.Sandy C
Inactive

NM
USA
151 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  09:05:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did one of these last fall. In my area, the reimbursement is plenty to cover one of their original 6" sandwiches and a 20 oz soda. And although it stated "$5 REIMBURSEMENT" and I only spent $4.66, they gave me the full amount. Not a big deal, but every little bit helps!
I wanted to grab a couple this go round, but the ones closest to me were all snatched up right away.

Sandy
MSPA Silver Certified July 2005
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