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 Feedback Requested: Market Force Information, Inc. (1)
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MsJudi
Star Contributor

New Jersey
USA
582 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2008 :  9:13:56 PM
You will receive an email from their Quality Control department if there is a question. Otherwise, no news is good news.

Judi
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GraceInCA
Member

Carmichael, CA
USA
19 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2008 :  3:26:07 PM
When I first got into mystery shopping four months ago, I was only working with one agency and needed to sign up for others. I collected the list of agencies from here and created my own master list, including logons and passwords. I even found a list of about 40 agencies using Sassie and then three or four other websites with lists and I incorporated those too. In total I think my list covers about 200-250 agencies or more; I am signed up with at least 150 or so.

Market Force is now the top of my short list of about a dozen agencies for whom I have done shops. They have consistently supplied me with over 90% of the work I've had over the past two months. And none of my shops have been for fast food.

There are ways of improving one's experience with Market Force, as well as with other agencies. For instance, I maintain a log and a calendar in Excel, so I know where and when and for whom and for how much. I have found that, with my slow dial-up connection, it's best to limit my digital shops to one a day; two a day only if I am ready to stay up until dawn uploading my pics and reports.

I also try to limit my shops to three a day on Saturdays, one a night on weekdays. (I work a 40 hour 8-5 workweek and this is just a side job to bring in some extra cash.) Market Force themselves limit one to four shops a day. I have once done five shops in one day and on another occasion I did three digital shops and a credit union in one day. Both of those took until the wee hours of the morning reporting.

One of the key things to do is keep a chart or list or map of the AREA CODES you prefer to cover. Then, when you see a listing of offerings, you can more quickly match up locations and dates to what you already have in your calendar/log, so that your shops are all localized to each other. Like maybe last Sunday I did two shops in the 95678 area code and next Saturday I'm doing two in 95833 and 95834.

Market Force releases a list of available assignments at least once each day. Sometimes its a short list, but occasionally its a really long list covering several cities. I try to log on and off of their website about every half hour during the work day when my calendar is especially bare. They will also assign up to three weeks in advance, where many of the sassie based agencies only assign about 7-10 days in advance. I always have my calendar and log printed out and ready when I'm hoping to grab a bunch of assignments.

It is also fairly important that one select the best date the first time you request the assignment. You are permitted to reschedule a shop only once.

Then there are the declines. Market Force permits you to decline offered assignments. Better be very sure you won't change you mind later, because Market Force won't. I usually just decline shops in those cities I have no intention of going to. If it is local but I'm disinclined to accept the assignment, I just leave it untouched. Someone else will snap it up or, if they later drop it, it will become available again and I might change my mind then.

Another great thing about Market Force is that the paperwork is available immediately you've accepted an assignment. Since I use a flash drive to hold all this stuff, because I use multiple computers for this stuff, I create a new folder in my Assignments folder and name it for the job assignment I've accepted. Then I open and save my CPI and instructions, printing them out later that day at home, labeling a file folder, and then parking all that in my accordion file with lid that I use to cart all my pending paperwork in. I've had only one shop where my instructions directed me to download updated paperwork the day before. I've also found it is a good idea to save your summary when you've completed the report but not submitted it yet. Then, on the off chance they contact you with a clarification request, you can go to your saved file and find out what you really said and respond more intelligently. This was learned, of course, after getting some clarification requests that were not satisfied with the first response. Ah well:)

I've never had a problem with payment either. The first payment was by check, while it took a few weeks to get the direct deposit set up. My second payment, due July 20th, was received July 11th by direct deposit. I am counting on my next check, which should be a fat $264. (I worked myself to pieces in July!)

I think another measure of success is the amount of work an agency generates. One agency gave me enough work for a scant two months and then that petered out, because I had done all their clients and it was too soon to return. None of my sassie shops gave me more than five shops in three months. If you use their assignment numbers as a measuring stick, Market Force assigns approximately 8,500 assignments every month. They are, hands down, the number one mystery shopping agency. Their software is proprietary and unique, comprehensive and easy to use. There is a wide range of shop types to choose from there, something for practically everyone, I think.

I am retiring from this biz in the next week or two. My husband has finally got a job lined up, although he hasn't started it yet. As soon as he starts working, I won't be able to do mystery shopping any more, as he will have the car for his swing shifts, during the hours I would have shopped. Also, it will allow me to go back to the fall semester, as I have five more semesters to finish out my degree. I will need my spare time then, all of it, for my homework. I am SO looking forward to that!

Enjoy, everyone! It has been fun. Volition has been a great starting point and the information and advice available here has been invaluable. If anyone has general questions on anything related to mystery shopping, you are welcome to email me. I won't go into specifics about agencies and their clients, but there is a great deal I can share, all the same. Good luck!

Silver Certified #owsifz
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PamBam
Star Contributor

Schaumburg, IL
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2008 :  12:46:25 PM
Good luck on your studies, Grace!

You've provided a lot of good info here for other newbies which will be appreciated. If school doesn't work out, Market Force should hire you in their marketing department. :-)

MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping domestic and international locations since 2003
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MarkFL
Valued Contributor

FL
USA
145 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2008 :  8:30:26 PM  Visit MarkFL's Homepage  Send MarkFL an AOL message
I am disappointed with Market Force. They were my favorite company at one time.
I noticed over the last several months, that the FF shops were not on my list. I decided to contact the help desk. When they replied, it stated I could no longer do the FF shops, because of a receipt being different than what was usual for a location I shopped. I looked up my receipt on my flash drive as well as the hard copy. The difference? It looked like a printer problem from the location. It appears every line skipped a space. I contacted the help desk and offered to resend the .jpg or mail in the hard copy. They declined and stated their decision was final.
I understand it is their right, just like mine, on what shops to offer or receive. It is just a little upsetting.

Mark
MSPA Gold Shopper and Professional Merchandiser.
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Hunter is shopping now
Contributor

USA
65 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2008 :  9:02:31 PM
I think MarketForce Information is a good company to work for if you love MSing.

You just have to make sure that you perform your assignments as scheduled and do everything correctly.

And hold on to those receipts. It is the only way you can prove that you went to that location.

Hunter
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PennyT
Contributor

CA
USA
56 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  11:49:23 AM
Market Force has been very good to me. I love that you can self assign and that they have many dates available. I like that the dates are times periods for instance 8/12-8/15/.
I recently shopped for one MSC and they wanted not only the date I was going to shop, but what time I planned on entering the store. That is way too inflexible for me.
On my 1st Market Force Shop I lost the drive-thru receipt. They were really nice about it and still paid me . Then.... yikes at another location I was not given a receipt and was recognized as just being in the restaurant. The employees said, "Hi, you were just in here didn't you get enough food." I told her is was for my mom. Well, at that point I did not want to ask for a receipt and I was hoping they put it in the bag like last time. BUT NO! they didn't.

YEAH for Market Force.

Penny in CA happily eating Fast Food

Penny in NorCal
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WarnerJen
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  2:38:34 PM
I had a receipt problem for the FF too. I didn't get any receipts for a couple of them, and because of that I'm no longer able to do the FF. Maybe its a good thing. It was starting to go straight to the hips. :)

Jen
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AmyK
Star Contributor

Marin County, CA
USA
426 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  10:05:16 PM
I've got a receipt issue too and I can't get clarification from MF. One of my FF receipts was rejected. I emailed the help desk and they told me that it was impossible for them to tell me why it was rejected and that I am responsible for sending them in correctly. My shop was accepted. I keep resubmitting the receipt but no one will tell me what's wrong with it. I've looked at the images and they scanned perfectly. I keep resubmitting in the hopes that I will annoy someone enough to respond to me. So far it hasn't worked.

Amy
Gold in SF Bay Area
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6514 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  10:25:20 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage
Amy, did you resize it correctly?

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Alan-Texas
Star Contributor

Arlington, TX
USA
519 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  10:50:55 PM  Visit Alan-Texas's Homepage
Keep in mind that Market Force has a 1 MB limit on all receipt uploads, as well as a .jpg and .gif requirement.

That said, you would think they would be able to tell you why they rejected a receipt. Surely notes have been recorded somewhere about it.

Alan A.
MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping the Dallas / Ft. Worth area since 2005
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RBSawyer
Contributor

Naples, FL
USA
86 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  06:41:03 AM  Send RBSawyer an AOL message
They had a problem with me but wouldn't tell me what it was and stopped offering all shops. They refused to tell me what the problem was due to "confidentiality". I never had a problem with the company when it was Shop-n-Chek.

Robyn B Sawyer
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AmyK
Star Contributor

Marin County, CA
USA
426 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  11:02:40 AM
My receipts are perfectly sized, etc. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the scan.

Amy
Gold in SF Bay Area
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AmyK
Star Contributor

Marin County, CA
USA
426 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  11:05:01 AM
That's interesting. I just went back into the MF website to check the scan log. My receipt has now been verified and accepted after two long weeks of being rejected. I did not change one thing when I resubmitted the receipt. It will remain a mystery.

Amy
Gold in SF Bay Area
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Alan-Texas
Star Contributor

Arlington, TX
USA
519 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  11:10:35 AM  Visit Alan-Texas's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by AmyK

That's interesting. I just went back into the MF website to check the scan log. My receipt has now been verified and accepted after two long weeks of being rejected. I did not change one thing when I resubmitted the receipt. It will remain a mystery.



I'm not assuming you did anything wrong, but just to double check: were you looking in the right spot? With Market Force there is one page to submit receipts and a completely different page to show if they have been approved/rejected. A job will continue to show up on the "Submit Receipt" page even after the receipt has been approved.

Alan A.
MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping the Dallas / Ft. Worth area since 2005
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DavidCar
Valued Contributor

Charlotte, North Carolina
USA
114 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  12:20:39 PM
MF is also one of my favorite MS companies just like other shoppers have said before: easy to navigate website, ability to self schedule, ability to reschedule shops, pays on time, online reporting is easy and online support and schedulers are wonderful. The only negative: over 90% of the available shops I see daily are FF shops. I do take the checkerboard FF shops but I won't do the big FF shops for several reasons. I do wish MF would have more audit type shops that require pics.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6514 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  12:20:58 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage
Wow, how weird. At least it is done....and the mystery lives on.

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

South Carolina
USA
5 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  1:23:35 PM
Hi -

In reference to not having a receipt to send in, I always check for my receipt. Once, I was already a couple of miles away from the FF place and realize the cashier didn't put the receipt in my bag. I called, explained that I didn't get a receipt, told her what I ordered and said that I needed the receipt because someone has to pay me for the order. It's never a problem for the cashier to reprint a receipt. Just ask for it as soon as possible so that the cashier doesn't have go back too far searching the transactions.

I've been mystery shopping for almost 8 months and love it. I love Marketforce.

Libby
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KarenS
Valued Contributor

Arizona
USA
104 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2008 :  2:54:50 PM
One of things I like best about Market Force is the daily email they send with available shops. In my area they send it out in the wee hours of the morning. It's so easy to check first thing in the morning.
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PennyT
Contributor

CA
USA
56 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2008 :  09:11:18 AM
Speaking of receipts, I did a FF for market force yesterday. This place always puts your receipt in the bag without telling you. I ordered chicken pieces and thought to myself I will eat one and then give this meal to a homeless person. Well thankfully I did not see any one to give it to. I decided to take it home and give it to one of my boys. I am so glad I did! I had forgotten about the receipt and if I would have given it away I would have had to hunt down and interrogate the homeless person demanding my receipt. Why can't this FF place have their employees wear name tags and hand you a receipt!

BTW I love how fast Market Force pays Via direct deposit.

Penny in NorCal
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LorettaG
Valued Contributor

MO
USA
112 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2008 :  09:48:21 AM  Send LorettaG an AOL message
Market Force was one of the first companies I started out with and I really like them. I am on a weight reduction program and haven’t done a FF shop in about three months, but I still pick up an occasionally shop with them here and there. I had a receipt issue once –the receipt flew out of the bag as it was being handed to me at the drive-thru—but I explained it and was not penalized. One time I was penalized, however, for not doing the drive-thru portion. I was the only customer inside the restaurant and I felt stupid eating my meal and then going through the drive-thru. I explained it, but my whole shop was invalidated anyway. All in all, I don’t have any complaints about MF.

Loretta
MSPA Gold Certified
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