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

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  12:07:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Pam ,

I'm not insulting the MSPA. I was just trying to clarify some points. E.g. saying gold are better than non-gold, is pure heresay (as they would say in court). Also, charging the same for dvd and workshop is a bit off mark; most likely as to not outrage workshop gold shoppers.

John, from the MSPA, himself said that there were two separate gold boxes being used so they could track and see how well the dvd certification does, and that they may have to retool it.

I do plan in the future of going gold. I don't live in Utopia as Servanne tried to point out, but I do believe that if there was no gold, then companies would have to go by reputation, and what normal companies go by, references and past work history; and shoppers would have $99 more in their bank account

However, since we live in the real world, I am not trying to tell shoppers not to go gold, that would be foolish. I'm just trying to point out discrepancies and false assumptions.

ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  2:14:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ChrisT
I don't live in Utopia as Servanne tried to point out, but I do believe that if there was no gold, then companies would have to go by reputation, and what normal companies go by, references and past work history; and shoppers would have $99 more in their bank account

However, since we live in the real world, I am not trying to tell shoppers not to go gold, that would be foolish. I'm just trying to point out discrepancies and false assumptions.
When you put it that way, it sounds pretty bad...I am sorry it came out wrong, I did not mean to imply that you, personally, lived in Utopia.
I meant that Utopia, like any ideal model of thinking, was not realistic. As you pointed out, we live in the real world where Gold certification does make a de facto difference, no matter how unfortunate one might find it. Therefore, certification becomes a valuable tool to market one self.

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

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  3:20:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I didn't take offense Servanne. I was just saying that I know that what I was saying was wishful thinking and obviously can't come true(but that if we didn't have gold it would be).

It's good to have spirited debate here.

ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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SaraB
Contributor

USA
66 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  1:16:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is a beneficial lesson in a Dr. Seuss story called "Sneetches on Beaches" that addresses if these "stars" that come with gold certification really make you better or more qualified than your fellow shopper.

Seeing as I have not met a fellow shopper who attended the workshop and did not pass the gold certification exam, (I guess there could be an exception) the idea of looking at the gold certification as a Masters degree in this field is stretching it. Masters programs usually do not have 95-100% pass rates. Yet gold certification does serve a purpose.

First, the company sees you are investing $99, not to get a DVD collection like the LOTR trilogy, just a regular old DVD. In scheduler-speak this translates to "I will do anything to prove myself for your company" (and money proves things apparently where work history cannot). You are perceived as more reliable for your investment. Remember this is not napster, you can't share this DVD with your fellow shopper to educate them. This DVD is to be treated like a Microsoft product so there is equality in that all gold certified shoppers pay $99.

Secondly, when you are audited by the IRS; your shop certification comes in handy. The IRS is not only pissed you aren't earning enough to pay taxes, but now you get to prove your shopping career is legitimate and you aren't lying on your tax returns. Plus, hey IRS dude: Id like to take another $99 off as work-related expenses! In your face! True I've heard of shoppers who earn over $10K without merchandising or working for a single company (so not an IC), but at the moment they are a myth quite like the abominable snowman.

Third, you get shopping priority with a small number of companies. But this depends on other shoppers NOT getting certified. Hence, the lesson from Dr. Seuss is that if every shopper gets stars, AKA gold-certified, the market becomes so saturated with certified gold shoppers that it loses its meaning and shoppers lose one way to distinguish themselves as more qualified.

Does that mean gold-certified shoppers want us all to get certified since the greatest benefit expressed on this forum is being given priority? Of course not. It ruins the system.

If this certificate does not give you priority due to the impending saturation of gold shoppers, is the $99 fee still reasonable? Oh, .
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  1:52:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaraB
True I've heard of shoppers who earn over $10K without merchandising or working for a single company (so not an IC), but at the moment they are a myth quite like the abominable snowman.


Yeah! I've attained the title of mythical creature! Wait...You don't believe in sacrifices, do you?

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

Orange County, CA
USA
1383 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  2:15:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaraB

Does that mean gold-certified shoppers want us all to get certified since the greatest benefit expressed on this forum is being given priority? Of course not. It ruins the system.

If this certificate does not give you priority due to the impending saturation of gold shoppers, is the $99 fee still reasonable? Oh, .


SaraB ~

I agree with you completely!

It's just a matter of time before everyone sees the reality of the Gold certificate. How big of deal can it be if ALL of us are gold? I know there are thousands of gold shoppers in my area. Now that everyone is Gold, I've worked a whole 4 shops this month! All of them are for companies that are not impressed or influenced by my Gold certificate.

What a waste of money!
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JanB27
Star Contributor

OH
USA
4831 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  2:31:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
SaraB,
Excellent points- and I love the Sneeches!

Jan
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  6:46:39 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kim, is that due to your choice in shops. Not liking or doing certain types of shops? There has been so much work around here for the last six months, there is barely time to breathe. I am not talking about $4 and $10 shops either.

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

Orange County, CA
USA
1383 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  7:01:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PamInCa

Kim, is that due to your choice in shops. Not liking or doing certain types of shops? There has been so much work around here for the last six months, there is barely time to breathe. I am not talking about $4 and $10 shops either.


No, I've shopped everything except apartments. (I have a problem with giving them my I.D...... just a personal choice.)

I just figured that you and the other Gold gurus have been taking all of them, and not leaving any for the part-timers who used to do 20-30 shops a month.

I won't deny that there are shops around, but after paying $3.60 for gas, I'm worth more than $10, and I'm not driving more than 20-25 miles (round trip) to find them.

I'm really glad that you are busy.

My dear, Pam, I love you dearly, but we will never agree on this subject. Hope to see you sometime soon, if you ever have the time.
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BeverBob
Valued Contributor

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
USA
132 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  7:01:28 PM  Visit BeverBob's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I tend to agree with Kim for now, Gold or silver is a joke.

Just another way for some, so called, company to make money off of our hard work.


Bob
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  8:17:24 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Awww... I love you too Miss Kim. It just seems so weird to me that we live so close and you don't stay swamped. Maybe we should get together over lunch and we can share companies. I hate apartments too, but only because I have done everyone within a 30 mile radius at least twice.

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

USA
1691 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  8:43:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you SaraB...you have captured the essence.

Mimi
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ElizabethG
Valued Contributor

Chicago, IL
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2008 :  10:16:45 PM  Send ElizabethG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BeverBob

I tend to agree with Kim for now, Gold or silver is a joke.

Just another way for some, so called, company to make money off of our hard work.





I'm sure you know that MSPA is a professional organization for the MS companies, not a company in itself.

Gold Certified yysqi1
Shopping Chicago and surrounding areas
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CarolynV
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
255 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  12:51:38 PM  Visit CarolynV's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I took the DVD gold certification test on Monday and am happy to report I just got the news that I passed,so I am now a gold MSPA shopper. Whether or not it means anything to an individual shopper is open for discussion obviously, but I am one happy camper now-yippee!. Now if I could only learn to type properly and without errors(ack)!!!!

Carolyn
Gold certified MSPA shopper in Oklahoma
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  1:21:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yeah!

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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JanB27
Star Contributor

OH
USA
4831 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  3:24:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Good for you, Carolyn! I hope it garners you the hoped-for results.

Jan
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CarolynV
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
255 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  4:03:38 PM  Visit CarolynV's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I already got an email from a scheduler who would not give me the time of day a couple weeks ago (or so it seems)... so so far,so good:)

Carolyn
Gold certified MSPA shopper in Oklahoma
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Aileen M.
Star Contributor

Naperville, IL
USA
410 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  4:11:08 PM  Visit Aileen M.'s Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CarolynV

I already got an email from a scheduler who would not give me the time of day a couple weeks ago (or so it seems)... so so far,so good:)

Congratulations!

Aileen Mullee
General Manager
Ann Michaels and Associates
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CarolynV
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
255 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  4:43:43 PM  Visit CarolynV's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you! There was a guy who posted here earlier this week who also took the test. I hope we hear back from him soon as well.

Carolyn
Gold certified MSPA shopper in Oklahoma
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2008 :  6:04:46 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
That is great Carolyn! Congratulations to you! Ok Tim, tell us the news.

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