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

Orlando, FL
USA
626 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  05:46:51 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did the $10 reimbursement only pet store one. It wasn't bad. I saw the shop come up, I coincidentally needed dog food that day, so I took it. It paid for over half the price of my bag of dog food. I only had to ask a couple of questions. I'd do it again, if I needed pet supplies.

i've only done two reveal shops. They were at furniture stores, and the employee had to try and sell you some expensive grandfather clock. Both salespeople failed, but I needed to look for a sofa anyway. I enjoyed these much more than I thought I would, and the pay wasn't bad.

I have yet to do a purchase and return. I just don't feel right about it. And I won't do my favorite grocery store chain when we have to pretend to have a customer service issue, like stale pastries or rotten fruit.

The weirdest shop I've ever gotten an email for is similar to the the large item one. You had to either go with someone who was physically impaired in some way, like in a wheelchair, broken arm, etc, be that way yourself, or pretend to be. No way. I'm not that good of an actor.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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Iron Chef Toni
Star Contributor

Plano, TX
USA
456 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  09:10:22 AM  Send Iron Chef Toni an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
No more college bookstore shops. I did two in one day, the first was a breeze. The second one was managed by a woman that I think was a librarian for the nazi party in a former life. When she handed me a book, I looked at it to note the price and put it back on the shelf in the same stack that she removed it. She accused me of putting in the wrong place and literally screamed at me.

I noted it in my report. Feedback was that I was "overly critical".

Toni
Gold certified in N. Texas
Now doing Merchandising!
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Tara D
Contributor

Ballwin, MO
USA
88 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  09:27:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I need to make an addition to my list: CoRI phone shops. I did a few just to try them, and boy do I regret it. First their website was down, and now their phone system that you have to dial through isn't working properly. So much effort.

I was curious what they were like, and now I know. A big pain in the patootie, in my opinion!

Just my

Tara
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Ron de Sacramento
Valued Contributor

Sacramento, CA
USA
214 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  1:30:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Purchases and returns. I did one a month ago (or so) that really screwed up my credit card. Seems that after I did my return, at every location (GAS/ATM/etc), the card was not accepted or had to be called in.

I went to FF place where I know the Manager (not as well as I would like to but that is another story). Prior to making my purchase, I told her about my card being refused and asked her to run my card for my purchase. She told me she got the screen to call in on the card and told that she would authorize the purchase without a call.

I politely asked her to call as a favor because I wanted to know the reason. Turns out that this card is now being tracked because it was my primary Purchase and Return card.

Besides this, the sales associate that day had a crushed look when I returned 45 minutes later with the return. She had been very helpful in selecting the item and I feel that invalidated her sales training.

Yes, maybe a return is useful training too but not always.
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  7:31:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am doing my first grocery, ask about rotten fruit/stale bakery return tomorrow. I was dreading sounding like an idiot consumer, but after reading some of y'all having to actually return an item; I'm counting my blessing! Now I just have to worry that I won't be IDed as a MS because of that particular scenerio!

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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Bill Kapelli
Star Contributor

Kissimmee, FL
USA
281 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  4:13:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Connie, I have conducted that one, using sour milk as the scenario. It was a breeze. They fell all over themselves to rectify "the problem." You'll do just fine.

Bill Kapelli
MSPA Gold Certified
Kissimmee [Metro Orlando], FL
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  5:14:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bill, you're right. It was a breeze. I used a bad watermelon.

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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Jennifer G
Trainee

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2006 :  8:59:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do a lot of apartment shops. I like the higher pay. But I went to a "c" property inadvertently once too. It was more of an "F" property. It was truly terrifying. Then while I was there, a fight broke out out front! I was trapped inside. There was NO WAY I was going to walk out in the middle of that and literally risk being shot. I stood in the building crying I was so scared. I got out my cell phone and called 911. The police knew right where it was. As the fight died down, the police cruiser was arriving, sans lights or siren. Obviously a common occurence. I emailed the scheduler LIVID. I had failed to get backup and there was no way I was going back. They paid me anyway, good thing or I might have sued or something. Then they lost my report! I got paid, so I didnt' care much about that. I'd thrown it away already.

I won't do phone shops that pay pennies either. I do no shop that pays less than $10 unless I'm going there anyway. I will do no shop that pays $5 even if I'm going there (Stride Rite comes to mind.) I also hate purchase/return shops, but I'll take them if they pay enough. A huge sports retailer shop is a nightmare. You have to shop like 8 departments and get names etc. There is also a purchase and return. They want it all. Forget it. Plus, once I lost my receipt, so they got my report and never paid me. I guess they lost a good, reliable shopper over that one, eh? I won't cut up pizzas anymore either. Or take pictures of potties. Or covert ice cream pictures, what a joke those are. I did one. I love the ice cream, but I'd rather just buy my own and skip the covert pictures.
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TamiH
Contributor

TN
USA
57 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2006 :  9:06:41 PM  Send TamiH an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
The shop I probably found the most work for absolutely no money was with a certain home improvement store where you have to get like 6 employees names, 2 cashier interactions, have 2 people show you where an item is, remember what department each was in and I can't remember what all. I no longer shop for this company anymore though. They did not pay me for 3 shops I know I did correctly. I told them 3 strikes and no payment for something I completed correctly and I was not willing to risk working for free and not knowing if I would get paid any more. Two were gas shops and the other an apartment shop. The details are too lengthy to get into.

I am not crazy about purchase and returns - especially when it means I have to take back a pair of shoes! There is an occasional purchase and return I will do if on different days and in my schedule. Going back after 20 minutes is absurd!

Tami
Gold Certified
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HeatherFish
Valued Contributor

PA
USA
122 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2006 :  10:56:20 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is one shop I will not do unless the fee gets really high and even then it isn't usually worth it.

It is a department store and you need to get a bunch of people's names to see if they acknowledge you. then, get three different inquiries from different departments. check restrooms, and fitting rooms, check for certain products in stock.... and they pay a whole five dollars. after doing a few of these, (more than five dollars of course) i still dont even come close to the maximum time they say it should take. I know store layouts and rush and it still always takes me way longer than they say it will.

i also hate some of the purchase return shops. especially those that the return is not required, but you don't get reimbursed. particularly a very wealthy clothing store that you cant get even socks for under $10, and the shop didn't reimburse and the fee wasn't that great either.

i actually like the gas shops and try to schedule one every mystery shopping trip. i need gas anyway. (i put in 5 or 10 bucks so i don't look suspicious by paying one dollar.)
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MelissaC
Member

Dublin, Ohio
USA
22 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2006 :  07:29:02 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will never again do a shop at the grocery chain that is known for only selling the basics..I had to make a required purchase of at least $5, fill out what is quite possibly the most repetitive form ever,and upload a picture. All this for a total of $10.I'm going to have to pass on the next one..
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Cindy in Indiana
Star Contributor

South Bend, IN
USA
277 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2006 :  10:21:03 AM  Send Cindy in Indiana an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will very rarely complete any shop for Corporate Research. The pays is almost always too low. When the shops are bonused, the pay is just average but not outstanding. Also, I've had to fight for my payment many times with this company. Not worth the trouble IMHO.

Cindy
MSPA Gold Certified #hp4ksf


Happily shopping Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan since 2000.
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Pat S
Valued Contributor

San Ramon, CA
USA
142 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2006 :  11:14:51 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The one I won't touch (again) are the fast food ones where the reimbursement is less than the minimum that has to be spent. Add the low reimbursement to chump change pay and I can think of better ways to make $2 an hour .
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2006 :  3:52:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the issue with the $1 reimbursable shops is that in most areas, especially mine, the company that you do these shops for always have the price of gasoline about $.10 over their competitors. So, it doesn't make sense to fill you're tank all the way, especially if you're taking them on regular pay. That's why I wait until these shops are at least bonused to $20.
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Renanah
Member

Tulsa, OK
USA
10 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2006 :  1:54:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think whatever the industry or business being shopped, the time requirements make it or break it. The shops that require me to stay a minimum of 30+ minutes sometimes make me feel like I have "Shopper" stamped on my forehead. Like the one I did yesterday where I was the only customer in the store, and had to return to the fitting room over and over just to kill the extra time.
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CherylCLK
Member

Virginia
USA
32 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2006 :  7:45:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is a gas shop I did once, and said never again. Then they offered me twice as much to do another one... and I remembered why I said never again! It took me 1 1/2 hours to complete, the forms are not laid out in a flowing manner, alot of in and out.
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HeatherShops
Star Contributor

Lake Placid, NY
USA
277 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2006 :  07:34:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will not do shops for $5 and I won't do shops with no fee and reimburement only. There is a company that offers ff shops for $7.50 to do both DT and WI when they used to pay $8.50. Yep I will not do those either.
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ChrisT
Star Contributor

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2006 :  2:45:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Heather, I believe it started out at even more than that but the starting pay has consistently gone done over time. I wait till they've gone WAY up---I got one for $20!

What's funny is people will do the InNOut for $4. I know it's better than that other one, but still my times worth more than that. Or even worse, they'll do a fast food chinese at a mall for JUST reimbursement! To all their own, but fast food for reimbursement only?

I won't touch Bank shops(or cell shops with that one company that does 7.50 dt/wi ff). I just have an aversion to them. (Unless HEAVILY Bonused!)

I just got an email asking me to help out on and offering a measly $5 bonus above the bidding range of $8-10. What's funny is they say I am w/in 75 miles of the shop....ummm...like $5 is even enough for gas..lol, maybe a $20-50 bonus and ya'd have me

ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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BrianT
Member

Indianapolis, IN
USA
32 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2006 :  3:02:46 PM  Visit BrianT's Homepage  Send BrianT an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
1. No "Purchase $75-$100" and you *may* return after 24 hours.
2. No FF without a reimbursement including one of my fave fast food chinese food outlets where a 2 entree combo is required. They pay reimbursement only at $7, which does NOT even include a small drink (which comes to $7.10).
3. No "super easy phone shops" where you have to call a pizza company using the MS company's 800# that doesn't work half the time, and won't let you play it back and fill out a long form for $0.50 each. Woo hoo!
4. No CORi
5. No strip mall shops where photos are required but the location is, "somewhere near I-65 and Chicago, IL"

I'm learning more and more. I'll do a shop and then if it stinks, won't do it again, ever.

Brian
MSPA Silver Certified
"I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; Yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers."
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CarolShopsNTX
Valued Contributor

Dallas, TX
USA
143 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  09:16:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The sad part is that there are more and more shops that I am simply passing up due to bad experiences. I need the money, but I just cannot face one more round of many shops. I guess that's why there is always a need for "fresh blood."

I am also getting very tired of being turned down because I am "too old" for a shop. I still go to rock concerts, hang out in youth oriented restaurants, get drinks in bars, and shop in youthful clothing stores even if it is for my kids.

Shopping North Texas and sometimes Central Colorado! MSPA Gold
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