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 Is being MSPA Silver or Gold Certified Worth It?
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Brian1134
Apprentice

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2011 :  4:57:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I had been putting off my certification for some time. After I completed it, I found that the $15 for silver certification was worth it. Immediately I got sent offers for shops that I had not seen earlier in the day. My wife and friend are also shoppers at the same companies and also did not see these same shops.

My wife picked up her certification and has found many more offers.

The cost of the certification for silver pays out just by subscriping to jobslingerplus. People will say Oh but you have to spend the money to subscribe. Yes, you will, but also you'll make more money. So you paid out a little bit, it wasn't more than a single shop that I've done.

For the gold, I can say that I have gotten $100 shops, so again, I'd say it's worth it if I can get more $100 shops than without.
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MelissaSiet
Contributor

Granger, IN
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2011 :  09:25:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can say since getting Gold certified in June I amhearing from company's that I have never heard from before, and receiving at least 50 more opportunities a day than before:)

Melissa
Certified Gold :)
Serving Indiana-South Bend, Mishawaka and some surrounding areas
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Nicole P.
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  02:56:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MelissaSiet

I can say since getting Gold certified in June I amhearing from company's that I have never heard from before, and receiving at least 50 more opportunities a day than before:)



I am curious how long you have been shopping, and how many firms you have been signed up with before doing the gold?

Nicole
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Nicole P.
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  03:00:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian1134

I had been putting off my certification for some time. After I completed it, I found that the $15 for silver certification was worth it. Immediately I got sent offers for shops that I had not seen earlier in the day. My wife and friend are also shoppers at the same companies and also did not see these same shops.

My wife picked up her certification and has found many more offers.

The cost of the certification for silver pays out just by subscriping to jobslingerplus. People will say Oh but you have to spend the money to subscribe. Yes, you will, but also you'll make more money. So you paid out a little bit, it wasn't more than a single shop that I've done.

For the gold, I can say that I have gotten $100 shops, so again, I'd say it's worth it if I can get more $100 shops than without.



I can state unequivocally that I have gotten, accepted, reported and been paid without hassle for shops in this range and higher without having the "vaunted" gold certification.

Nicole
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JayDolen
Trainee

Louisville, KY
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2011 :  12:09:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
So, I've decided to do the silver certification. I paid and have a link to the test. Is the material covered on the test embedded in the test itself or is it somewhere else or is it information I'm expected to know already? I don't want to click the link and take a test I'm not ready for.
Thanks.

Jay.

Shopping in Kentucky since 2000.
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2011 :  1:11:23 PM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jay, the Silver Certification is self-contained. You will go through a series of lessons and answer questions about them. It shouldn't take long to complete.

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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JayDolen
Trainee

Louisville, KY
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2011 :  8:36:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks. I went ahead and clicked into the test and found that it was exceedingly easy as I'm sure it was for anyone who has ever dressed themselves before. So, now I'm facing the task of going back and updating my Certification status with all my non-Sassie companies. Thank goodness JobSlinger did it for all of them.

Jay.

Shopping in Kentucky since 2000.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1889 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2011 :  8:29:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What I'm not seeing here is shoppers reporting that the Silver Certification was worth it for the EDUCATIONAL value. After all, isn't that what it's supposed to be -- training and education? I would be interested in hearing someone speak up and say that Silver Certification was worth the money for the education. The first rule is "Don't pay to shop." If it's educational, please let me know.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2011 :  8:47:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you were brand new to the MS world, it would be educational. As you've had a bit of experience, I honestly doubt you'd learn anything.

There is the "don't pay to shop" mantra, yes. In my office job, though, I did have to take some courses of training that were pointless for me since I already knew more about the software than the course covered, but it provided a certification my employer wanted. Those cost a whole lot more than the MSPA certification did. That didn't seem like paying to work, and this seems to fall into the same type of category.

I resisted it for a long time. Since I broke down and got my silver, I've gotten a number of job solicitations that specifically state they are only for certified shoppers. Not necessarily fantastic pay, no obviously understandable reason for requiring the certification, but additional shops that I would not even have seen without it. So for me, it was worth it, even though I didn't learn anything from the course itself.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2011 :  9:00:15 PM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
One reason that some shop offers are made first to certified shoppers is that the clients request it. Clients have become aware of certification and it is a selling point for MSPA member companies to be able to say that they have access to certified shoppers.

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1889 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2011 :  9:28:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandi G

If you were brand new to the MS world, it would be educational. As you've had a bit of experience, I honestly doubt you'd learn anything.

There is the "don't pay to shop" mantra, yes. In my office job, though, I did have to take some courses of training that were pointless for me since I already knew more about the software than the course covered, but it provided a certification my employer wanted. Those cost a whole lot more than the MSPA certification did. That didn't seem like paying to work, and this seems to fall into the same type of category.


Possibly in the same category, if you had to pay out of pocket rather than the employer paying, and if you work as an independent contractor.

I appreciate your candor regarding the education. Since it was initially billed as educational, yet the pass rate was higher than 99%, I was skeptical.

As Nicole stated before, we each have to weigh what works best for us. I went through (literally) months of training with SQM to reach their top level. There was no charge, and I actually did learn things. For me, I'm not seeing the benefit. Perhaps if I was inexperienced, didn't know a lot about shopping, and in a saturated area, I might have a different point of view.

ETA: Cathy, if you would share the names of those companies that offered jobs to MSPA-certified shoppers first, it might help those that are undecided. If they are companies that are well-known and well-respected, more might decide to attend. OTOH, if they are ones that are known for poor pay, untimely pay, or other problems, it would give shoppers more information to make an informed decision.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2011 :  07:45:39 AM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Julie, I do not have a complete list of companies that give preference to MSPA-certified shoppers, but several of them commented for this blog post: http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/why-you-should-be-mspa-certified

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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AmyRM
Member

Cary, North Carolina
USA
37 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  11:54:20 AM  Visit AmyRM's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
As a scheduler, I sincerely like gold certified shoppers. I am confident that a certified shopper is professional and cares about the work they do; enough to use the time and $$ to go "gold" with MSPA.

When I have to make a choice, certified shoppers get first dibs every time. It often makes my life a whole lot easier when I have a lot of applicants to chose from!

Amy
Confero™ Project Coordinator
Customer Experience Research, Rewards, Results
www.ConferoInc.com
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1889 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  1:53:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CathyStucker

Julie, I do not have a complete list of companies that give preference to MSPA-certified shoppers, but several of them commented for this blog post: http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/why-you-should-be-mspa-certified


Thanks!

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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JenniferML
Valued Contributor

USA
106 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  4:38:48 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In the two weeks since getting silver certified, I'm definitely hearing from companies that I haven't applied to before and for decent money shops too. Just accepted a $30 new car shop (without a test drive!) that I don't think I would have been offered before.

But did I learn anything new? No.
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SueB
Member

Portland, Oregon
USA
47 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2011 :  3:02:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think that if you are new, Silver is worth the time and $. My mother wanted to start shopping. Having her get her silver was worth my time, it significantly cut down in the questions she asks me about things.

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area
MSPA Silver Certified
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CathyStucker
Contributor

Sugar Land, TX
USA
75 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2011 :  4:11:56 PM  Visit CathyStucker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Silver Certification is a simple way for new shoppers to learn the ropes and for those with some experience to show what they know. Both things are valuable.

Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"
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MelissaSiet
Contributor

Granger, IN
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  2:31:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Nicole-Sorry I haven't responded sooner, I took a break form mystery shopping over the summer due to the kids being home. I have been mystery shopping since 2006, got certified in Silver right away. I am signed up with hundreds of companies and could do it full time if my schedule allowed me to. I mainly got certified gold because the gold workshop was close to me, wanted to see if it did make a difference, which I am offered about 10% more. The schedulers also contact me a lot to see if I can help out:) which usually I can, so I think it was worth it, made it back 2 weeks after the workshop:) to each it's own I guess.

Melissa
Certified Gold :)
Serving Indiana-South Bend, Mishawaka and some surrounding areas
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GloriM
Member

Las Vegas, NV
USA
24 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2011 :  06:42:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I personally felt getting Gold Certified was definitely worth my time and investment as I felt it made me a better educated shopper and it never hurts to get more advanced training.

Glori Mauro
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping in Las Vegas
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KellyNY
Star Contributor

Long Island, New York
USA
630 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2011 :  2:26:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Occasionally I have signed up for shops only have the app sit there for over a week and then I eventually get a notice that the shop has been filled. In those cases I always end up wondering if the schedulers are waiting for a gold certified shopper to apply.

Long Island, NY
MSPA Silver Certified
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