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Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2008 :  6:35:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been with Spar for 10 years now. My Dm's have always been great.I've had 5 in 10 years 2 retired, got a new one when they redid districts,she got promoted to a different division, my current one answers her emails asap and if I have to call her she answers her phone right away and if she doesn't have an answer she gets it for me.They give pay raises every year, unlike one other company I work for that doesn't no matter how long you've been with them. My pay is a little lower then 2 other companies and higher then one I work for. My only complaint is they don't have dd, have asked numerous times over the years about getting it, all employee's are IC's now.They used to have both employee or ic. My

Sue A
Silver Certified
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Ellen Christian
Star Contributor

Castleton, VT
USA
647 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2008 :  6:50:51 PM  Visit Ellen Christian's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I like Spar. My DM is nice and responds back to my emails. I don't particularly like being an IC versus an employee though. They are not my lowest paying job but they are not my highest either.

~*~ Ellen ~*~
Silver Certified ndkvcr
Merchandising, Demonstrating and Shopping in Rutland County, Vermont and Eastern Washington County, New York!
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KatherineB
Member

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2008 :  6:59:42 PM  Send KatherineB an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I realize that there all kinds of DM's out there and believe me I have had my share. I have had 5 years of experience with this company and I realize that "All you can do is all you can do" If I cannot complete something, I just write an RTS. Time given for some clients are impossible, but I seem to always got them in by the execution date and completed all that have been assigned to me. I have never called any of them and say, "I do not have time to complete this asignment" leaving any of them in a bind. I'm a smart merchandiser and don't complain that the assignments cannot be completed because of time constraint because there is nothing they can really do. The times are not set by the DM's and they only are given them to assign. I don't get stressed by them. Life is too short. They pay on the average but the work is ongoing and easy for the pay. Never had a problem with payroll, once you report, no forms to fax...Of course, I would want DD but we are IC's and I guess it's difficult with all the reps that come and go to keep up.


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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2008 :  04:06:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Let me clarify WHY I MIGHT quit. I have taken on several other companies since I hired on with Spar, all with DD and higher pay. Now I find myself wondering IF I can perform all my jobs with the high standard of work that I expect from myself. I have considered keeping all but one, unfortunately when I look at everything, Spar is lower on the "totem pole" AND since my daughter-in-law is already hired as my back-up and wants more work, they may be the one. I would stay on as her back-up, if allowed. I believe everyone needs a back-up because LIFE happens.

Marla
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SueMontagne
Star Contributor

USA
786 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2008 :  4:17:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
For myself, it's because I tend to be loyal to people. Companies come and go or get absorbed into other companies, names change, contracts are won and lost - but I generally work for one primary individual. In exchange for my pay, I give 110% - to the point where I work unpaid overtime, spend my own money for shipping supplies or double-sided tape or whatever, and make sure my store managers have my business card so they can reach me (or a least leave a message for first thing in the morning) 24x7.

If I have a manager who's enjoying the tile and the money and the perks who does not support me in the same way that he/she expects me to support him/her, I fire them. Then I move on.

If it's a company I like, like Spar, I keep my ear to the ground, and when that manager moves on, I re-apply. And the bad ones always move on

Take care -
Sue Montagne
Hair & MSPA Cert: Silver (70 - the new 30!)
"Retired" and LOVING it (mostly)!!!
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2008 :  06:42:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am lucky with my supervisors/people. I can't think of one of my supervisors that I would not recommend. Of course, this is only for the companies that I have work with for awhile. The new ones have to "prove" themselves. If Spar matched the others with pay, it will be more difficult to decide who I have to let go, if I get over-whelmed.

Marla
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.AnnieWulf
Inactive

USA
70 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  07:04:45 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sue, you mentioned having business cards. This is something that I've thought about getting. I don't know that it would really result in getting more work, but I'd like to be able to hand one over to department managers, for instance, with my contact information. But I have trouble figuring out what to put on my card. I work for three companies part time and do some IC work as well. I'd love to figure out something that would work for all situations. Don't know how the companies would feel about me leaving cards behind that don't mention them but I'm not getting any offers from said companies offering to reimburse me for getting cards printed. ALTHOUGH several of these companies DO mention leaving cards with managers.

I'd be interested in knowing what others in my situation do about business cards.

Annie
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SueMontagne
Star Contributor

USA
786 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  07:52:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Annie, my Spar business cards just have my name, my title (Sr. Marketing Analyst), and my business email address & phone numbers. They do not actually say "Spar," and I use the same card for everyone. I use these whether I'm an employee or an IC, primarily because even though I may be in one store one day for Spar, the odds are good that I'll be in that same store again soon for another company. Like you, none of my companies have provided me with business cards. Then I put a mini-resume on the back - "35 years Technical Customer Service management, 10 years retail management, 5 years marketing analysis."

But I make my own, and I make nice ones - four-color on parchment clean-edge cardstock, because I am often approached by other companies looking for professional reps, and that super-professional-looking card is what they have to look at when they're filling new positions, instead of a scrawled name/number handwritten on a scrap of manifest or cardboard.

This works! In spite of my advanced age and general decrepitude, I have my pick of work I enjoy.

Take care -
Sue Montagne
Hair & MSPA Cert: Silver (70 - the new 30!)
"Retired" and LOVING it (mostly)!!!
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  2:08:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sue, I hope I'm able to do as much as you can, when I get to be your age. You know what I mean. How did you come up with your title?

BTW, Happy New Year, I hope everyone has as good or better luck this year than last year.

Marla
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SueMontagne
Star Contributor

USA
786 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2009 :  7:23:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LOL, Marla, age is a state of mind. Most days, I wake up feeling 16. Some days, it's closer to 90. Depends on how much I pop and crackle when I try to get my rear end off the mattress.

My title is what it is because that's what I do. I analyze displays for market appeal, re-stock, re-set, or re-arrange to fill in OOS, and make recommendations. I use "Sr." because I'm willing to train anyone who wants/needs training, which puts me up there on the totem pole. Besides, "Sr" is what I AM - as in citizen and all that!

But I think anyone who is capable of managing their own schedule, projects, and taxes and teaching someone else to do same is entitled to call themselves a Sr. Whatever. It essentially informs people that I'm capable of working without supervision, and can supervise others. Spar doesn't care what I call myself. I'm an IC, after all! I could be "Queen of the May," "Chief Mugwump," or "Harley Great-Grandmama" if I wanted.

Take care -
Sue Montagne
Hair & MSPA Cert: Silver (70 - the new 30!)
"Retired" and LOVING it (mostly)!!!
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  04:39:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You have done alot of training of me on this forum. And I Thank you. I have figured out that saying that I am a Merchandiser, nobody acts like they know "what" that is. Maybe the Market Analyst will work better, hopefully they don't think "Stock" Market, as in Wall St.

Marla
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Sandra G.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
239 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  06:26:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was self-employed for a long time, having, among other things, a home-based business. When it came time to rename the business to get away from "secretarial services" because everyone now has computers to "business services", I had to consider what I do and what I want to do. (I now have a full-time job besides all this.) I wrote down all the titles for merchandisers and mystery shoppers that I had encountered from various websites and picked the ones I liked. I still have to explain them. I picked Independent Merchandiser, Franchise Compliance and Business Audits/Verifications. Maybe someday I'll get a little local work. I also kept remnants of my old business: Resume Master, Notary Public Will Travel, and Depositions. When I redo the card, I'll put Medical Transcription. I've had the training and I've done it before, but I just forgot it because I never had many of those assignments. Someday, if I become too decrepit to do merchandising, medical transcription may be my old-age job. On my business card, I also put Errand Services. There is someone doing it here, mainly taking medical supplies back and forth from the local hospital to a medical center 60 miles away, but I see a future in it as soon as people get it in their minds that it is something that can be done. I even offered free errands to people over 65 or handicapped people, and still didn't get any takers. My business card has my email address and my new cell phone number. People still try to call the old land line, so, through newspaper advertising and word of mouth, I am slowly changing that. I try not to make it obvious to my employer what I do on the side, although it's allowed, but I'm sure the word will get there soon. We know all the same people. Today, I have training for my first SPAR assignment, then I go finish up some work for Driveline. See you!

Sandra G.
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  06:31:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sandra, when we put titles on ALL we do as business owners, no matter what the business is, we look VERY busy. It's like motherhood, alittle bit of everything. I hope you enjoy your Spar job.

Marla
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Sandra G.
Valued Contributor

TX
USA
239 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2009 :  2:32:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Marla. I think I now have enough work to keep me busy until summer, when my other work lessens. I'll be registering with more companies before then, I expect.

Sandra G.
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2009 :  2:48:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I try to slow down starting in April/May and then hopefully pick back up in October/Nov. I do a farmers Market from May thru October. I just hope that when I slow down, I will be able to pick it up later and not totally miss out.

Marla
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Ellen Christian
Star Contributor

Castleton, VT
USA
647 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2009 :  4:42:49 PM  Visit Ellen Christian's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Anyone done the Walmart magazine racks yet? How complicated is this? I have 6 to do & I am the only one on my "team". Instructions say bring vice grips & pliers. What am I looking at for this? Most of my jobs don't require tools so I'm a bit apprehensive about this.

~*~ Ellen ~*~
Silver Certified ndkvcr
Merchandising, Demonstrating and Shopping in Rutland County, Vermont and Eastern Washington County, New York!
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2009 :  5:52:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes, I have done one and have another one to do this week. How did you get 6? Each one takes most of a full day.

Marla
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Ellen Christian
Star Contributor

Castleton, VT
USA
647 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2009 :  6:06:18 PM  Visit Ellen Christian's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
LOL not 6 stores - 6 magazine racks. Tell me what it was like. How hard. what's involved?

~*~ Ellen ~*~
Silver Certified ndkvcr
Merchandising, Demonstrating and Shopping in Rutland County, Vermont and Eastern Washington County, New York!
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2009 :  6:12:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
For those of you that have not done a "wing project", I will try to explain how to do it. First have a helper, this is almost a necessity. As far as tools, I used a utility knife, needle-nose pliers, and a rubber mallet would be helpful (we didn't have one on our first project). The directions on how to label and remove the magazines tell the story rather well.

Keep in mind these racks weigh about 20 lbs and there are 2 in each box, so the boxes weigh over 40 lbs. Your backs will be feeling this job by the end, if not before.

You will not need to remove the product from the endcaps, in most cases. The wings that we removed were the hanging type.
1.Remove magazines.
2.Grab the rack and lift. The rack should lift off easily. If not, you may need to use the rubber mallet to "tap" the rack upwards until it releases.
3. Set aside the old rack, on a pallet or L-cart.
4. Clean the bottom of where the old rack was.
5. Loosen allen bolt with allen wrench, sent in each box, this will align the hooks on side of rack.
6. Set new rack into place, start bottom hooks first, then the top ones. Your first few will take some learning, but It does get easier.
7. After installing new rack, install the "bumper" on bottom shelf, so that the rack does not move back and forth. The bumper is a L shaped piece of metal, attach bumper to shelf with plastic push screw.
8. Install stickers for magazines.

Hint: TOH means Taste of Home, these can be any Taste of Home receipe card booklets.

Hope this helps, If anyone needs more help, you may email me.

Marla
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Ellen Christian
Star Contributor

Castleton, VT
USA
647 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2009 :  6:25:49 PM  Visit Ellen Christian's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't have a helper to bring along with me. How long does each rack take? I have 6 racks. What are the pliers for?

~*~ Ellen ~*~
Silver Certified ndkvcr
Merchandising, Demonstrating and Shopping in Rutland County, Vermont and Eastern Washington County, New York!
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