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 Is being MSPA Silver or Gold Certified Worth It?
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  09:21:25 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Chris, you are correct.

The company who is scheduling these is a great company and pays super fast.I got the shop for the cats, which is the same company that does the dog shop. I only wish I would have gotten more that two of them. Marge, these jobs could not be any easier and they do pay great! So, I am with you.

Edited to add: Make that three of them.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Eric in Tampa
Valued Contributor

Shopperville, FL
USA
193 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  6:09:47 PM  Visit Eric in Tampa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would think that in any industry that you are in, why not strive for greater education to improve yourself while at the same time, meet new colleagues? That is why I think that the Gold Certification is beneficial to both new shoppers and seasoned shoppers.

I recently completed my certification at the July Jacksonville, FL workshop and had a fantastic time. Everyone in the whole setting made me feel very welcome and incredibly confident in recognizing the industry as a whole and fierce competition for shops on the local level.

Nonetheless, I'm a firm believer in consistent training for yourself to improve your MS game. Gold is so worth it!

Eric
MSPA Gold Certified, 2007; IMSC Certified, 2012 (Chicago), 2013 (Atlanta), 2015 (Las Vegas).
Undercover Essentials Video Certified, 2012 and owns PV-500 ECO. Nevada Work card (expires 2020).
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  10:01:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have seen better shops since I took the Gold Certification. I guess the best ones were test shops of trendy restaurants while on vacation in Paris. I was their first shopper, and I can tell you that they NEED the program really badly!!!

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  10:43:42 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Servanne, Woo hoo! Tell us more....

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

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  10:55:50 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Let's just say those were themed restaurants, one with a movie star theme, the other with a rock star theme... Yep, that's the ones!!
Well, amongst a lot of other things, the server had a button on his shirt that read " I love porn". Yeah, it wasn't so good...

I know for having being told by the owner of the scheduling company, that thanks to my gold certification, I was given almost a week after the shops to report them. (no laptop) They just assumed I wouldn't flake because I was gold!

And then there is the plethore of e-mail invitations that were not here before as well as the better paying shops, the bonused shops, etc. While anybody can get those one way or another, I just feel that I have to "work" less to get them scheduled ( not that I work less , but it's easier to get them!!)

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2007 :  07:30:05 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Servanne

Well, amongst a lot of other things, the server had a button on his shirt that read " I love porn". Yeah, it wasn't so good...
That must have been some report to write up.

You are right, the companies do seem to feel safer when they see the Gold behind your name. One scheduler recently told me they scanned their emails, looking for the Gold shoppers first.

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

Charlotte, NC
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2007 :  08:38:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What a wonderful validation of the Gold, Servanne -- now I'm really looking forward to it!

Debra
MSPA Shopper of the Year 2009
Video shopping in the Carolinas and throughout the US
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Leanna
Star Contributor

TX
USA
268 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2007 :  09:42:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am going to save my pennies, and if there is a Gold workshop in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area next summer I will go. I am not even going to attempt any trips with the kids in school, but if I am still MSing next year I will go and stay with my sister who lives in Ft. Worth. By then if I am still doing the work my husband will see the value of the 'upgrade' and will be happy to see me do if if that is what I want. Right now he would be like.. $100? but next year he will say.. "yes, I can see you are committed and should do it." The fee isn't all that high.... I am just a small town girl and actually don't like traveling to the city!

Silver Certified shopping East Texas
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2007 :  1:29:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have just gotten word that Informa has some very well paid shops in my area that state a that "priority will be given to for MSPA certified shoppers."

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Ravoni Rondeno
Apprentice

Aurora, CO
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2007 :  5:23:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm a newbie to MS and i agree that being certified is definitely worth it. I just got Silver Certified 2 days ago and I applied for jobs that I couldn't get before. I edited my profile with my ceritfication # and got 3 jobs lined up immediately. It's a beneficial investment.

Ravoni Rondeno
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Erik K
Valued Contributor

NY
USA
209 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2007 :  6:45:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
For the first time I saw the following on a SASSIE board:

You must meet the following qualifications to apply for this shop:
* Your Shopper Rating must be at least 9
* You must accept Paypal payments
* Your MSPA certification is Silver or higher

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Leanna
Star Contributor

TX
USA
268 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2007 :  7:19:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A week after getting my silver and updating, I was offered my first time share shop with a nice fee. I had not applied for this shop, I was directly offered it. Pretty cool! It is with a 'fast pay' company too, but up until now I had only done 'work for food' casual dining shops for them....

Silver Certified shopping East Texas
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Carol C
Star Contributor

Washington, DC
USA
436 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  7:35:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently did a flower delivery shop that was specifically for "Gold certified and above." (I'm still wondering about the "above" part!) It was reimbursement only, but I loved the chance to get roses delivered to my domestic partner in my name but on someone else's dime. I managed to keep them a surprise until she received them, so it was a "mystery" shop in more ways than one.

Oh, and I did finally get one of the dogfood shops, even though the company doesn't recognize MSPA certification. I just had to wait until another shopper canceled on one.

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

Stroudsburg, PA
USA
216 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  03:59:36 AM  Send PeninaD an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Since going Gold, I have seen some of my old standby companies now give me one or two day heads up when they post assignments, and other companies that I could not get a foot in the door suddenly contact me with high paying assignments.

I have more than made back my 'tuition' for the Gold Seminar in under a month. Well worth it for the information, networking, and opportunities.

(Plus it was a whole day with all adults! Stay at home parents will totally get that)

Penina
MSPA Gold
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  05:01:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PeninaD

(Plus it was a whole day with all adults! Stay at home parents will totally get that)
That alone was enough for me!!!!!

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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PaulaJ
Member

Cordova, TN
USA
39 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  06:31:38 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just earned my gold certification last weekend. I can't wait to see if it makes a difference or not. I've only been shopping part time for the last few months, but I'd really like to add more assignments and try some new things. I love the flexibility of this job and it fits really well with my schedule! Now I want to concentrate on shopping smarter and making more money.

PaulaJ
MSPA Gold Certified 09/2007
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JNorthup
Valued Contributor

Toledo, OH
USA
165 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  09:28:26 AM  Send JNorthup an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
To all of you here that were recently Gold Certified, you WILL get more jobs! It pretty much got me work ten-fold! I don't always get every job I request, as there is always some competitor shopper with a Gold certification in my area too. I get some, I lose some, but overall, I think Gold Certified shoppers get priority over non-certified shoppers.

Josh
Gold Certified
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Carl25782
Contributor

The Woodlands, Texas
USA
62 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2007 :  08:21:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Did you notice any bump when you got your silver?
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2007 :  11:20:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Carl25782

Did you notice any bump when you got your silver?
I got Silver Certified within a few weeks of starting shopping. Back then I also had a "real" job, so I did not shop much. However, I noticed that my applications went through a bit better. It could have been because I had more experience.

Since then I have quit the boring "real" job and I shop full time. I have also become Gold Certified in April of this year. Look back a few pages, you'll see why I think being Gold is invaluable. I definitely think that while the certification courses may not be very enlightening, they do show your commitment to this job.
It is worth the small fee, the workshops are fun and the return is tenfold.

Heck, I just got scheduled a $150 haircut and manicure shop for Gold shoppers only! Just that makes it worth!

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  04:21:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cilla

I have just gotten word that Informa has some very well paid shops in my area that state a that "priority will be given to for MSPA certified shoppers."
I am not "for" or "against" certification. I believe if a person has the right qualifications, they will get assignments, and bonuses, and calls from schedulers wanting their services. I believe hard work and perseverance go a long way. Many people like me have previous work experience that helps them be successful in this type of work.

I have applied, and received, many assignments that were advertised as "priority will be given to MSPA certified shoppers" (even the one you here mention).

Even so, I will probably get certified sometime in the future. It certainly wouldn't hurt me. No matter how much we know, we can always learn more.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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