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 Shops you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
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DeborahL
Member

Hampton Bays, New York
USA
12 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  4:08:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Definately no more gas shops for me. I just did my second at the same location and it will be the last. The pay is not worth what I spend and taking a picture of the gas pump makes me nervous that they will think I am scoping them out for a terrorist act or something. I take it from the car, but I am still afraid of being seen. Besides, gas everywhere else around here is $2,31, but it's $2.95 at the "target" location. Plus, getting a receipt for a pack of gum gets you some strange looks.

Deborah
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HeatherN
Valued Contributor

New York
USA
142 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  9:03:48 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I also won't do any $5 shops and I won't do shops that require an ungodly out of pocket expense for a pittance of a fee in return. That's no treat. That's a trick!
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SheilaW
Star Contributor

Fairfield, CA
USA
881 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2006 :  9:06:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Toilets.

Sheila, NoCal
Proudly shopping Solano County including Travis AFB.
Gold Certified.
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MelodyK
Apprentice

Knoxville, TN
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  5:25:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently did the dreaded shop that requires you to carry around a large object to get an employee to offer you a cart. In addition, I had to pretend to purchase an expresso machine. By the time I got the comforter and the expresso machine in my cart, it was full. I still had to get names of everyone in the store. Plus, I had to ask about an additional item. I actually had people offering to get me a second cart. The kicker, you have to put it all back before you check out. Do you think they knew I was a mystery shopper? And the input, oh my gosh! Could they make it anymore confusing if they tried? Never again!

But, I think it probably isn't as bad as the emails I get looking for a shopper to go to a restaurant's bathroom with a ladder, mirror, and camera! Has anyone ever done that one? I'm guessing it isn't a mystery shop?

Melody
Silver Certified, Shopping East TN
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ChrisT
Star Contributor

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  8:46:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
An engagement ring shop that pays $20 for a couple, and requires 2 pages of narrative, when I did that same shop as a hidden video shop alone with NO narrative need for over 2x as much!

ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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Deb ShopJumper
Member

CA
USA
34 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2006 :  11:21:34 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Blind movie theater check in a small town. I had to buy tickets for two matiness and three evening showings of the same film. I was going in and out all day long, to the bewildered looks of the theater employees. The best excuse I could think of was that my ex-boyfriend played a small part in the first 15 minutes of the film and I wanted to see him over and over... (ah, young love )

Deb
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Carol C
Star Contributor

Washington, DC
USA
436 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2007 :  6:52:53 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did that home improvement one once, and never again! It required an incredible level of detail for a low fee. To make things worse, the address given was a nearby town, but it turned out that it was really in a town much farther away... uphill... which I was doing on a bicycle.

I also won't do purchase and return shops, bank shops, or any shop in which I don't end up with something I actually want (as opposed to just a fee). I figure that if I am going somewhere just to mystery shop, the time required to get there and back, plus the time to do the shop and write up the report, is probably going to outweigh the pay. However, if I am, for example, going to a restaurant I like, the only time I count as "work" is the time to write up the report, which makes it much more likely that the pay is enough.

Washington, DC-area Gold Certified #cr5xij
MSPA Rookie Shopper of the Year 2007
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TiffDeBolt
Member

USA
17 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2007 :  8:47:53 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will no longer do any meal shop for reimbursement only that does not even cover the meal.

Tiffany
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CaraR.
Valued Contributor

VA
USA
146 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2007 :  10:30:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty new at this, but my list of DTS (Don't Think So) shops is getting longer every day.

*I haven't seen a "toilet picture" shop...and I'm not looking for one!

*I did one (bonused) pizza mutilation shop. Due to a series of unforunate events, that shop stressed me out WAY more than it was worth. And the pizza wasn't even good. Bleh!

*One day, I was 50 miles from home doing some shops that I accepted because I was SURE I'd find other shops in that same area. (Yeah, I've learned my lesson!) I didn't find any extra shops beforehand, but I had just registered with a new company. So, while at the library to input said shops, I looked for other shops. I found one w/ the new company that I could do nearby *that* day. I completed the extensive on-line training and passed the test, then realized I'd be loco to do the job. I'd have to PAY to print the paperwork at the library in order to earn a meager $10 (including the reimbursement) for a shop that was very involved. NOT!

*I'm getting to the point that I won't do anything for less than $10 either, except for some local shops that are super easy and are scheduled through my favorite company. I get a lot of work through them and they are always super nice to work with. I'd rather do 100's of $9 shops with them, than deal with a few high-paying jobs that are a pain in the neck for a company that isn't "user-friendly"!
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2007 :  05:28:23 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
No pizza mutilation! The first time I read the instructions for this shop I thought someone was being daft to see if anyone would take them up on it. (Like the "no sheep, no llamas" rule) Once I realized that they were quite serious, I remembered that I dislike the product, but not enough to mutilate it.

No gas station shops and no food shops where I cannot eat the food. No shops where I have to fax to a non-tollfree number.

Finally, I do not do "reveal" shops. Even in a large metropolitan area, I will not do these. I shop for a living. Part of my business plan is anonymity .

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Carol C
Star Contributor

Washington, DC
USA
436 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2007 :  06:38:51 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cilla, as usual you and I like completely different shops. I love pizza mutilations. I like pizza, and I've done so many of them I can do the mutilation in about 3 seconds at this point. I grab the one that will deliver to my house as soon as it appears on the boards. I'll do ones elsewhere if I'm going to be in the area. I've even got a belt, so I can strap a pizza on my bicycle rack. I much prefer the pizza dissection shops to the nondissection shops, because dissections can be done as carry-out--meaning I can do them even at locations outside of my delivery area, and don't have to wait around on a street corner somewhere for a pizza delivery.

Oh, and did I mention, I really like reveal shops, too?

However, I do have a tip for shops that require faxes to a non-toll-free number: FaxZero. FaxZero will allow you to send up two free faxes a day, with up to three pages per fax, to any number in the US or Canada. They accept either PDF or Word DOC files, so you can scan to PDF, or scan to a JPEG and insert it into a Word DOC. You then just upload the PDF or Word DOC to the FaxZero site. Yeah, there are apparently ads on the cover page when the MSC receives it, but any MSC that wants faxes to a non-toll-free number had better be prepared to put up with those!

Of course, I discovered FaxZero the night I had hastily accepted a very lucrative shop from a new company, and then figured out they required a fax to a non-toll-free number. The line I use for faxing doesn't even have long distance service, but this worked for me.

Washington, DC-area Gold Certified #cr5xij
MSPA Rookie Shopper of the Year 2007
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MargeI
Star Contributor

Middletown, MD
USA
900 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2007 :  08:32:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have a new nominee for the ten-foot-hall-of-fame:

"NO HASSLE DEPARTMENT STORE EVALUATIONS" that require you to interact with six associates in six different departments, make a purchase in each of the six departments, with no reimbursement.

I wonder what they would consider a hassle.
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Mery
Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2007 :  09:49:50 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Purchase and return for a massive television, where the return is a half an hour later. It was pretty humiliating. I did about six of them. At one of them an employee gave me the last one off the display, and he had to take it down, and was panting and heaving. He was going crazy, dusting it to look all perfect and putting it in a new box. He was so excited and proud, and I brought it back thirty minutes later LOL. I felt awful.

Mery
MSPA Gold Certified
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CaraR.
Valued Contributor

VA
USA
146 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2007 :  12:21:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am realizing TODAY that what I won't do varies. DH has to go to a meeting this evening in a town about 70 miles from here. He asked me if I would be willing to go (with the kids too) and make a day of it, IF I could find some shops along the way. (If necessary, I could ditch them in a store/library nearby in order to do the shop alone). I tried. I really did. I found a purchase & return shop. No, thank you! I found found five (of my favorite) FF lunch shops. I could have chosen two in one city or three in another. It would've offset the cost of gas for his trip! Well, I just couldn't do it! I've been having trouble with sour stomach. It hit me yesterday at lunch and I haven't felt well since. Nope! I'm not going anywhere near a food shop today! UGGH! So, here I am *not* making money on a day that I could've made money. Oh well!
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2007 :  4:14:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Carol C,

Good thing that you and I like completely different shops, since we are in the same market Ain't life, and diversity, grand? You are more than welcome to my lifetime supply of pizzas in need of mutilation. However, you may not have my share of the beer to "go with."

BTW, I am consuming the lifetime supply of broccoli of a former President, and someone else has signed up for my lifetime supply of cooked green peppers.

Many thanks for the info about fax resources. You are great.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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CarolSue
Member

San Jose, CA
USA
46 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2007 :  7:26:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My "I Don't Think So" List!
1. Cell phone shops (tried it, didn't like it)
2. Clothing stores catering to people half my age where I have to "try something on" and we all know nothing they carry would fit me. I did one of these as a favor. Never again!
3. Fast food shops that require too many split-second timings and don't even let you order what you want.
4. Bank shops where you have to discuss investments and stocks. I know nothing about them.
5. Probably apartments and new houses. Never did one, but probably never will either.
6. Probably never a "reveal shop"
7. Bar shops only
8. Fitness shops
9. Ones that are more than 10 miles away from me unless the pay is good or I can group several up.
10. Shops that require you to buy a $500+ item (ex. a handbag) and return it. $50 is my limit for this.
11. A shop where you photograph anything (especially a toilet or your dinner and must still remain anonymous!)
12. And I wish I knew which Home Improvement shop you all are talking about that you have to shop a dozen departments and carry around and return a huge item. I'm scared of ALL home improvement shops now!

On the other hand, I like the Grocery Store and Drug Store shops. I have to go there anyway and even though I have to interact with 6-8 people, it's not a big deal. And I love the sit-down dinners, even if they are only reimbursements. And I like most other re-imbursement shops because I am on un-employment and you don't have to report re-imbursement pay.

Carol Sue
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CarlaR
Trainee

New Mexico
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  12:45:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A reimbursement only bar shop with lots of instructions shows up almost weekly in my email. I love the restaurant but would never go there for a cheeseburger (won't reimburse for the good food!) Plus, it looks like you have to say some specific lines that I would never normally say. I'd be spotted for sure.

I'm not poor enough for a "will work for food" sign yet.
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ChuckL
Member

Joppa, Maryland
USA
19 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  05:07:51 AM  Visit ChuckL's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DeborahL

Definately no more gas shops for me.
I agree with you. I am stuck with 4 more of these and when I am done, I am DONE! I have a total of 6 to do. The first 2 I did were ok. I don't generally use these gas stations anyway so I don't mind, but it's just too much running around the station taking pictures.
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TaraSue
Star Contributor

Fort Wayne, IN
USA
384 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2007 :  06:24:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
that gas shop called me ysterday... I said no you did not pay me for the last one, scheduler said oh well thanke have a nice day :-(



watch out for competitor pizza... if they have a wrong number store number even if they ARE in business they will NOT pay

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Mery
Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2007 :  08:18:42 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow, Carol, if I didn't do any of those shops I wouldn't be making any money I will basically do any type of shop though, unless the pay rate is offensive or it's humiliating. And I may keep doing humiliating ones if the pay is good enough. I'm just a shop-a-holic.

Mery
MSPA Gold Certified
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