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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 - 12/22/2008 :  08:47:34 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I haven't taken the new one and don't think I can even see it, so I wonder what the change is.

Chris, I think the other shoppers in your area are lucky you are not certified. You are already such a great shopper and have so many opportunities open to you, if you were Gold, you would be knocking everyone else out of the water.

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

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2008 :  09:59:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PamInCa
Chris, I think the other shoppers in your area are lucky you are not certified. You are already such a great shopper and have so many opportunities open to you, if you were Gold, you would be knocking everyone else out of the water.
Heheh...Thanks Pam....Yeah..I have more than enough work. With my other responsiblities, I've had to cut back somewhat. I've just been working with this one company that gave me a simple web shop, where I got paid more than for some shops where I have to go in person! I also had a phone route shop(6 calls, paid for each) and a easy route shop at a mall(5 shops in one place(and valet was one of the shops and paid the same shop fee---so easy)!).

I'm sure if I got gold I'd get even more. But until I have more time to dedicate to shopping, I think I'll hold on to that $99

ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2008 :  04:05:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I keep telling myself that as soon as I don't have any work I'll look into getting certified - so far more work then I can handle, still I do wonder what I'm missing.

One of these days I'll look into it.
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2009 :  06:49:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I actually shop for one MSC that pays an automatic $5.00 "bonus" for gold Certified shoppers.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
628 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  10:59:07 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wish I had more work than I could handle. I think Orlando has a glut of shoppers. If you aren't sitting on your computer all day, you miss shops because they get snapped up almost as soon as they are posted, with few exceptions. I'm silver certified, and just haven't felt the need to "go for the gold".

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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PamBam
Star Contributor

Schaumburg, IL
USA
317 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  7:22:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm "getting" Gold certified even as we speak. :-) Getting towards the end of the second DVD and the fact that I can write emails while Cathy talks to me is a good description of how experienced shoppers will find these DVDs. Nothing new here for the experienced. Actually, these DVDs would be great training for new shoppers - but new shoppers are not GOOD shoppers and so it would be wrong to give them the designation of "gold certified" and the meaning of that term that we are trying to communicate.

I think these DVDs should be for SILVER certification - if you are experienced enough to be "gold", these DVDs are way too basic. I'm glad I can become gold certified through these DVDs since I've never been able to make a workshop - but if I was MSPA I'd require advanced workshops with video mystery shopping, using DVR, advanced narrative, etc. - to qualify people as Gold.

Isn't it good I'm not with MSPA? :-)


MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping domestic and international locations since 2003
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2009 :  07:29:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The comments of PamBam are just the sorts of things I worried about when I saw the DVD Gold Certification idea. Even as a relatively new shopper, much of what I saw and heard at the workshops that I attended was pretty fundamental. (I had done about 30 shops, in a wide variety of situations, when I attended the gold Workshop in late 2005.) However, it was the comments of experienced shoppers in the audience and the interactions with schedulers and editors that really taught me a lot and sharpened both my skills and my determination to strive for excellence. I cannot imagine how that could be replicated in a DVD presentation.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Irene_L.A.
Star Contributor

Valencia, California
USA
922 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2009 :  09:59:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think it more benificial going to a event to get your Gold....the networking alone, is worth it. We work alone so much, that being able to meet and discuss in person is worth the cost.....plus, I think $100.00 is too much for a DVD.

Irene Eichel
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ChrisGA
Member

Jesup, GA
USA
14 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2009 :  2:34:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
So far, I've done about 8 shops in the last few months and have signed up with a lot of companies. On some of the job boards, it says you are not qualified for any shops in your area. If I get the silver certification, will I be able to get some of those shops? Am I wasting my time going for the silver and should I just go ahead and do the gold? I want to learn what I need to, but I really want to be able to get the jobs in this area and not see that "not qualified" screen again.
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Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50247 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2009 :  3:20:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have already made my feelings known many times about the certification program. However, for the newer people, I think it is a complete waste of time and MONEY. It might be good for a newbie who has absolutely no experience. If you are dead set on going for the gold, I would skip the silver. Only problem is, I do not think you can do that. I may be wrong but someone else will know.

You will find, in reading this topic, that people either think it is worth it or are dead set against it. I guess it comes down to a personal choice. Will it get you more jobs in the area that you live in? If you live in a big city, they are saturated with gold shoppers. If you live in the boonies, you probably have little competition........and it would be of little value.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2009 :  7:09:56 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Quinn is correct, you cannot get Gold certified until you are Silver certified. He is also correct that it is a personal decision. I have completed too many jobs to count, but if I had to do it again, I would say, next to my GPS, it was the best investment I made in this business.

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

San Diego, CA
USA
5 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2009 :  9:16:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I usually don't post to forums unless, but I couldn't help myself. I think education is the only investment that never loses value. Even if it doesn't translate to more money, education is never a waste of time. Of course my husband calls me a "class junkie" since I can never go too long without taking a class in something. Fortunately mystery shopping pays for my "habit"

Holli H
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Irene_L.A.
Star Contributor

Valencia, California
USA
922 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2009 :  08:16:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I want to add, that it is always to your advantage to become certified, either silver or gold. Education is always a plus, shows the companies your serious, and the knowledge you get is for your good, and you never know what shops you might stumble upon, and wish you were certified. I'm still trying to take the SQM level steps to do their wonderful hotels and spa's....very tough test (9 of them) to get through, and I'm on four....oy vey!!

Irene Eichel
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SherryDG
Star Contributor

Chicago Burbs, IL
USA
368 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2009 :  10:16:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm going to find out for myself if the gold is worth having, I'll order the dvd as soon as I know I have some time to devote to it.

I went ahead and ordered the MS book by Stucker a few months ago since I needed another purchase to get my shipping thru amazon-and I have only read 3 or 4 pages...so the dvd wouldn't have a chance right now.

I'll make a goal to have it done by the end of April...that way I'll get it done by the end of May...

SherryDG
MSPA Silver
Happily shopping the Chicagoland area
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ChristiRose
Contributor

Indiana
USA
79 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2009 :  8:05:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I believe that getting silver certified helped me. I know for a fact that I get assignments over someone else I know in my area that applies for the same jobs. Of course there may be other factors, but this person has a college degree and I don't, so if anything I'd be the one at a disadvantage. So I can only guess that my certification is what's helping me. I have also been emailed by a few companies who got my email address from MSPA.

Christi
MSPA Silver Certified
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Irene_L.A.
Star Contributor

Valencia, California
USA
922 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2009 :  1:11:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just helped a friend get started by recommending her to an up scale restaurant Co. I work for. She is not certified, and cannot get a job with them. When I joined this Co., I had my silver and had no trouble getting jobs, so, that says it all. I have business cards printed that say certified, and send them along with my receipts, looks more professional. The other thing is go for at least the silver.

Irene Eichel
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1433 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2009 :  1:43:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It occurs to me that this will be a great question to raise with all of the account managers and schedulers that we meet during our Las Vegas Shopper Conference in October. We will be interacting with schedulers from both MSPA and non-MSPA companies, so this should give us some added perspective on whether or not certification makes a difference when they are assigning their shops.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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BigMikeyP
Star Contributor

Chicago, IL
USA
336 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2009 :  4:41:21 PM  Visit BigMikeyP's Homepage  Send BigMikeyP an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
After reading some comments on this topic, I am still debating whether I should become at least Silver Certified. I've been doing shops for 10 months and have been getting more as I've been signing up with the companies (and I have a full-time job among other commitments). I know Chicago and the surrounding areas have a bunch of jobs out there so I know I would keep busy either way.

Thanks everyone for your input...I will let you know my decision which I hope to make before summer.

Mike P

Silver-certified Mystery Shopper covering the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas.
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Diane H
Member

McCook, NE
USA
22 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2009 :  7:23:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, I have been shopping for 31 days now, in a rural area, no less . . . . . and decided to at least get silver certified this past weekend just to see if it makes any difference in what I am offered. I really doubt it will make any difference at all because there is next to no demand where I am. But I figured that once we retire, we will move to a metro area and I will probably continue with some msing.

Diane from way out in southwest Nebraska boonies!!!!

MSPA Siler Certified woooooooohooooooooooo!!!!!

Diane H
Randomly wandering southwest Nebraska knowing that eventually better things will come!
MSPA Silver Certified
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MichaelinNH
Star Contributor

New Hampshire
USA
488 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  11:45:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have had both certifications for a long period of time. I do get e-mails indicating that I am being offered something because I am Gold certified, so maybe I get it earlier. But at some of the fees they offer; I would pass if it was silver, gold, plantinum, diamand, titanium...

MSPA Gold 8/9/2006 MSPA Silver 6/23/2007
Video Shopper Certified 6/9/2011 NV Workcard R-061144. Shopping 50 States, Puerto Rico & Canada.
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