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 Is being MSPA Silver or Gold Certified Worth It?
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LoriB23
Valued Contributor

Louisiana
USA
110 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2007 :  12:46:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I must say, right after I turned Gold I could not see a change in pay and assignments. I would recommend doing it because,looking back it was a Great Experience.(The Gold workshop) I really enjoyed the experience of travelling to Dallas, The networking, and the stay. If I had to I would do it again. Now, to this date, I can see a difference from before.

Lori
MSPA Gold Certified
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ChrisT
Star Contributor

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  12:12:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Lori,

you can or can't see a difference from before? If you do, what?


ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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GNovello
Valued Contributor

Framingham, MA
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  1:59:57 PM  Send GNovello an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

I wanted to add my again about certification. First of all, I learned a lot at my Gold training and I do better work now. In fact, I may attend the next local class to see if anything has been added.

I can't say that folks beat a path to my door after I went Gold, however, a few of my schedulers refer me to their buddies and always mention that I am Gold. My phone rings more often these days, plus I sometimes get offered some nice shops that aren't advertised.

Good Luck!

Regards,
Guy Novello
Gold Certified
Full Time Shopper
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Pam957
Member

Northridge, CA
USA
20 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  10:20:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Waving at Alana Marie. I sat 3 seats from you at the Costa Mesa show.

I learned quite a bit from the day, but the most fun was meeting the other shoppers. I was lucky enough to have 2 schedulers sit at my table at lunch. That hour alone made the day worth it.

I have seen a few more opportunities now that I'm Gold certified than I did before and I expect more as time goes on.


Gold Certified Shopper in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley
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Cinthia
Member

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2007 :  07:43:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I won't be gold certified until next month (yay!), but I have already seen an increase in offers since I've become silver certified. I get a lot of personal e-mails from schedulers asking me to pick up local shops, and I barely got that before.

Cinthia
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PeninaD
Valued Contributor

Stroudsburg, PA
USA
216 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2007 :  5:40:59 PM  Send PeninaD an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
IF anyone will be at Philly this weekend, I'll be seeing you.

With just Silver, I have begun to see some calls and e-mails about jobs that are not posted, but I take it that is a combination of my history of filed reports, as well as being in a really spread out area with perhaps fewer MSers than I initially imagined, but I am truly prepared to gain a lot from the seminar both in technical information, tips, and perhaps in making some connections.

And yes, I am hoping that this will get me some of the bigger commission assignments too.

Penina
MSPA Gold
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Mery
Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2007 :  11:37:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well it depends on what makes something "worth it" to you. If you are a serious shopper or want to be, then I think it is definitely something worth considering. I have seen a significant increase in notices and jobs posted for Gold shoppers only, and I started to get a lot more phone calls as well. I also feel that schedulers are more likely to trust you and let you do last minute assignments, etc. Of course, being certified is not the only way to gain a company's trust, but it is a nice way to get your foot in the door.

Mery
MSPA Gold Certified
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Carl25782
Contributor

The Woodlands, Texas
USA
62 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2007 :  7:30:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think I'll go for my silver cert and see how it goes (if there is any more nibbles). I'm registered with about 50 companies and will begin the laborious process of informing each of them when I get my cert and see if that generates any interest.

If not, I doubt I'll "go for the gold" to coin a cliche.

You guys are great. Thanks for all of the good information.

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Carol C
Star Contributor

Washington, DC
USA
436 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2007 :  10:05:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
At the annual conference this year, someone from JobSlinger/Sassie showed us what the schedulers see when they are looking for shoppers. The Gold shoppers were clearly highlighted. Given that schedulers may be scheduling several hundred shops at a time, they may not remember the more subjective factors. Gold certification is something they can pick out quickly, and some may not go beyond that unless there are no Gold shoppers.

Washington, DC-area Gold Certified #cr5xij
MSPA Rookie Shopper of the Year 2007
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LoriB23
Valued Contributor

Louisiana
USA
110 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2007 :  10:43:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can see a difference in selection of shops and pay. I would say to all thinking about it. I would do it again!(No doubts about it.

Lori
MSPA Gold Certified
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Betsy E
Valued Contributor

Birmingham, AL
USA
170 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2007 :  7:54:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Halfway through the year and I haven't seen a difference between silver and gold cert. I'm silver at the moment, and want to see this year if I would recoup the $$ for the gold cert. Not so far. I've been offered lots of jobs and I've been taking fewer of them, and have been called often by schedulers. I don't see the need to go for gold, at least not in my area. I've been silver cert for a while now. Before y'all jump quickly from silver to gold, try to see how it goes in your area, especially in a non-super-saturated market. I would recommend silver, as it definitely opened many doors for me; some companies send notices only to certified shoppers.
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Erik K
Valued Contributor

NY
USA
209 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2007 :  09:50:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Mery,

Without violating any ICA can you give any examples of jobs posted for Gold shoppers only?

Thanks.

quote:
Originally posted by Mery

I have seen a significant increase in notices and jobs posted for Gold shoppers only.

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JanB27
Star Contributor

OH
USA
4831 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2007 :  12:55:47 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I became Gold in May and have not received any offers that specifically state they are for Gold only, or that as a Gold shopper I am receiving the offer first. I do receive some notices before they hit the boards, or that are only offered to me, but no mention of Gold.

Jan
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JanB27
Star Contributor

OH
USA
4831 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2007 :  3:10:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
That is just an example of my ignorance in these Gold matters! You certainly were kind enough to send me the information about a company- I just wasn't aware that they only used Gold shoppers. Thanks for the correction, Pam.

Jan
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LucyL
Apprentice

Corona, CA
USA
3 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2007 :  4:00:28 PM  Send LucyL an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been shopping for over a year and have my silver certificate. I understand you have to attend a Gold Certification workshop to get gold certified. What does this all-day certification workshop entail? Is there a test at the end of the day?

Thanks!

Lucy L.
Southern California
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2007 :  4:15:38 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey, with my memory these days, I thought I might have thought I did it and did not.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Carl25782
Contributor

The Woodlands, Texas
USA
62 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2007 :  03:14:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am not certified either Silver or Gold but I would think that when a scheduler sees you are Gold, they may steer a bit more work your way because of
  • Your Certification level

  • They know how much you spent and probably would like to help you recoup some of that money--the schedulers I know anyway

  • It covers their "butt" if they assign something to a Gold member and it goes wrong--they can tell their boss well John Doe was certified....
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2007 :  04:03:37 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think that I have more opportunities since I got my Gold Certification. Cilla

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Betsy E
Valued Contributor

Birmingham, AL
USA
170 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2007 :  12:25:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
For those company(ies) offering shops to Gold shoppers only, it would be helpful for me, and many other silver cert. only shoppers, to know two things:

1. Are shops from this/these company(ies) open to people from ALL parts of the country, or only big cities? To be more clear, if I have to travel several hundred miles, that eats into any shop I'd be able to do in a large city, regardless of whether I can apply for the shop

2. Do the shops pay enough to recoup the cost of the $100 fee plus gas/food that someone must pay in order to become gold certified?

Thanks in advance for any info. Still would like to hear from those in mid-size cities like me, and whether they have seen a jump on shops that would pay for the gold certification. I can't pay that much to not see a worthy return on my investment. There are some nice shops I hear people talking about (spas and golf especially), but not available to someone like me not living in a metropolis.
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Karen in IL
Valued Contributor

Kankakee, IL
USA
148 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2007 :  3:13:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm a midsize city person. I've seen a jump in the number and quality of shops since getting my Gold in February. Much more in the fine dining department, and also I'm getting more shops that I apply for that before I'd never hear back on.

Also, mileage to the class as well as the class fee are deductible as a business expense. A nice meal is included in the charge for the class. So that definitely helps.

karen

Gold Certified
Shopping Kankakee and surrounding counties
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