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 Mystery Shopping
 Gone 5 Years-Any Big Changes
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SherryDG
Star Contributor

Chicago Burbs, IL
USA
368 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2017 :  3:03:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been gone for about 5 years. I was silver certified and worked with quite a few companies. I think I am more nervous now than when I first started in 2006(?)

Any major changes with the most popular companies?? Dang, I had just better jump in and quit fidgeting!!.

SherryDG
MSPA Silver
Happily shopping the Chicagoland area

Iron Chef Toni
Star Contributor

Plano, TX
USA
462 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2017 :  1:27:36 PM  Send Iron Chef Toni an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Welcome back!

I've quit shopping. The pay just wasn't worth it. Also when I ex and I split up, it was difficult finding a decent partner for dining shops. He may have been a jerk sometimes but he was covert and gave me a full detailed report of the men's room condition so the client could not tell if the shopper was male or female.

I have started merchandising for one company part time and I really like it.

Toni
Gold certified in N. Texas
Now doing Merchandising exclusively!
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
367 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2017 :  2:11:15 PM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
The fees, since I began in April of 2003, have generally either remained the same or decreased; in addition, the work required has usually increased. As an example, I completed my first Kroger's shop in 2005 for $5 + $9 in food. Today, the report form is longer, but still pays the same, even though that amount has been affected my inflation. Why, you might ask: Supply and demand! I would not have the business any other way, as I am a dyed in the wool supporter of the free market system, but that does not mean I am willing to work for a pittance.

Today, 04/20, another change crossed my mind. In the beginning, it was not unusual for me to be given a week to complete a job. Now, though, some MSCs require I indicate a specific date AND that, for an eatery, I have a guest. At first, I tried to comply, but after three friends cancelled, which caused me problems, I decided I would not accept such work.

Bob
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MicahPage
Star Contributor

Norwalk, CA
USA
288 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2017 :  11:04:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Sherry,

Bob is correct. The pay has for the most part remained the same or decreased. It certainly has decreased with inflation factored in.

My observations are there are more shopping companies around now than 5 years ago. The companies that were awful 5 years ago, for the most part remain awful. The good companies still are good.

One observation, is that there are less MSC using Prophet software which is a beautiful thing. Prophet was awful. Better than some of these "home grown" systems, but when compared to Sassie, Prophet was heinous.

Another change is that MSC realize many people don't want to search a crapload of job boards since there are so many. So now you have the ISS platform that has multiple companies posting to the same site. That makes it much simpler to see quite a few of these jobs in one place. There are a couple of other "centralized" sites as well.

Micah
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DLampkin
Star Contributor

New York City, NY
USA
293 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2017 :  01:19:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm returning to MSing after a long break, too. The biggest change that rather surprised me is how much less traffic this forum gets. It used to be hopping, and considered the go-to place for info on MSCs, but I suppose that's not the case anymore. Questions sit unanswered for weeks, and many Feedback Request threads (on MSCs) haven't been posted to in years. It appears a bit more lively on the Merchandising side. I wonder where everybody is.

~~DLampkin~~
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Ed W
Contributor

Petaluma, California
USA
52 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2017 :  1:29:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Agree with other poster's, fees are the same or less or the scope of work is so much that you are paying some companies to shop by the time you factor in all your expenses. Luckily, I remember this before I push the accept/stupid button.
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SherryDG
Star Contributor

Chicago Burbs, IL
USA
368 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2017 :  07:36:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was surprised to see that MS'ers don't seem to be using this site as much as they used to.

I was pleasantly surprised to see familiar names in the responses

I've only glanced around, but I see technology seems to have stepped up a bit.

Inputting info from my smart phone-immediately. Kool, just hope my phone is smart enough!!

Like the idea of Gigspot..still need to digest some of this stuff.

I appreciate any info and thanks to those that have already given some great info

SherryDG
MSPA Silver
Happily shopping the Chicagoland area
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BeverlyAnn
Star Contributor

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2017 :  08:59:08 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SherryDG

Like the idea of Gigspot..still need to digest some of this stuff.




There have been a LOT of issues with Gigspot....it's talked about in several threads on another forum. Please do research on Gigspot before signing up!!!

BeverlyAnn
Silver Certified x6xbkn
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JoAnna81
Trainee

Oak Forest, IL
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2017 :  7:03:47 PM  Send JoAnna81 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi I also took a break for about 5 years after I had my daughter. I'm in Chicagoland as well.
Changes I have seen - fewer MSC's. Some have merged or dissolved and the same goes for the clients.
I used to do tons of bank, cell phone and donut shops and don't see any of those anymore. Some of the bank branches have shut down or the banks no longer exist. Most people know how to operate a smartphone so I don't see the smartphone shops I used to see. I'm not checking shops as regularly with as many companies as I used to so maybe there's better stuff out there and I'm just not searching enough. I see a lot more reimbursement only shops out there these days. Unimpressive fees so I try to be a little picky about what I'll take.

JoAnna
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3049 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2017 :  12:35:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have found that many of the people who used to post on this forum now are part of a mystery shopping group on facebook. For me that is too available to non-shoppers. Even though the group is supposed to be closed, my sister sees anything I post and she is not part of the group. To me Volition will always be the best source of information. The site is friendly, easy to use, and well-maintained.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
628 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2017 :  10:34:16 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have mystery shopped in years either, mostly because I don't have time. I work a full-time job and have 3 merchandising jobs. I still get emails from a lot of companies, and sometimes I'm tempted, but the pay isn't usually worth my effort on what would have to be my days off.I sometimes get emails begging shoppers to take shops that pay $5!! Even for something across the street you'd have to pay me more.

I do miss my trailer checks, they were easy and paid well, but I think even they have changed.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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DierigJ
Contributor

Cincinnati, OH
USA
86 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2017 :  04:21:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote

I have to agree with Bob about the SPECIFIC DATE being an issue. An open time frame made it much easier selecting a job especially when it's posted a week or so ahead of time. Like most, I have no idea what I'll be doing on a specific day a week from now or if an emergency comes up. For this reason, I've stopped shopping for most of these jobs. The added bonus of $2 or $3 to get a job done just doesn't get if for me.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1883 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2017 :  10:51:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SherryDG

I was surprised to see that MS'ers don't seem to be using this site as much as they used to.


They migrated elsewhere due to what I'm told was perceived as heavy-handedness and retaliation from a few schedulers, but there was a mentally ill poster there, so I think many are coming back.

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

Chicago Burbs, IL
USA
368 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2017 :  5:42:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
OMG ONG OMG

Did my first gas shop with a new company(new for me) and there is a good chance I am going to be arrested for stalking. I can't believe the amount of info they want. I still have to go back one more time and write down all the plate numbers for the cars in the lot...just about true.

Do they realize how long a normal customer is in the store???

I can see I will not be doing the volume of shops I did before. This will be kind of like a hobby thang!!

It used to be so darn easy. 165 was my magic number. I had done 165 Walgreens
165 Mc D's
165 USPSs
165 Dunkins
165 Gas Stations

And a whole slew of interesting shops-going in to a shop to see what they had playing on their tv (or was it to make sure it was turned on)....or taking pics of fast food franchises at night (checking for burned out bulbs)..definitely got adequate pay for the work required

SherryDG
MSPA Silver
Happily shopping the Chicagoland area
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1883 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  7:51:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Is that the gas station that just cut their fee basically in half? I do some for New Image Marketing and an occasional non-reveal one for Maritz IF I'm out on another job and need gas. And the 76 audit for the stations near me. It seems like the rest have gotten ridiculous.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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