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 Lower shop fees debate - Low Paying Shops
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Rourke
Member

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2004 :  6:34:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The Gold certification is an encouraging first step in that direction, albeit a small one. It is simply a weekend of going over the basics of Mystery shopping in general, not a very in-depth program. Certainly not an ongoing one. At this point, a Gold certified shopper is preferred to no certification at all, from a scheduler's point of view. But mainly it is a way of telling that a person is willing to go through the trouble to attend and pay the money, and thus shows a level of dedication.
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Paula Kutka
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1671 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2004 :  8:56:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rourke

The first company to create an elite class of shoppers, and market this approach successfully, will rise to the top.
The first company to create an elite class of shoppers and pay this elite class of shoppers accordingly will rise to the top. What's coming if you read any labor statistics is a people shortage. If you want the shoppers, you are going to have to figure out a way to attract them. There will be competition for a shopper's time not just in the shopping world between companies but between other opportunities in general and shopping. Higher money gets my attention combined with interesting assignments. It seems from the shoppers I know that there are companies that shoppers will go to the moon for because they are compensated well and have interesting assignments. There are other companies that alot of shoppers won't pick up the phone for because the money is not there and the assignments are unsavory.

Paula
Gold Certified shopping the Houston/Galveston area and IAH Airport since 2002
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DeeDeeRose
Valued Contributor

Florida
USA
152 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  06:18:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently saw on a self assign site some telephone shops that paid $2. They got snapped right up and I'm sure those people saw it as an easy $2. I didn't sign up on the principle that it keeps fees lower. Am I wrong to think it should have paid a min. of $5?

MSPA SILVER CERTIFIED rvcg5f
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Liza
Member

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  08:07:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
GailGibbsYoung, I think you make some very good points. Thanks.
"Well, after only 3 weeks of MSing, I am amazed at the folks who do it full time (!), out of necessity for income, and I too, wonder if I am missing someting on where and to whom to apply for jobs that could accomplish that goal...But after and based on 30+ years of marketing and sales, I cannot believe how low the fees are, considering the hours spent, the basic equipment required, and the skills needed to be successful."

I have been trying mystery shopping because of all the hype that's being bantied about it. I must admit it's much more difficult and less than attractive once you really see how it's working. Maybe it's just my timing, but I spend an aweful lot of time looking for shops. That's time away from the kids, housework, etc.

Yes, I guess I am one of the newbie shoppers and have yet to be impressed with the systems that are in place. In fact, I have to laugh that one shopping agency keeps sending me email for shops that are on the other end of the state! I am not traveling over 100 miles for a $15.00 shop! Most of you know my position on shops for less than $10.00, so I won't bark up that tree.

I am investigating merchandising instead. I have already been able to hook up with two companies and have worked several locations. Checks soon to arrive!!! And I am already on the slate for the month of September for a several week project. These companies are paying a fair wage and the work is interesting.

Merchandising Northeast Ohio
MSPA Silver Certified
20+ years Retail Management Experience from Specialty to Department Store
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EmilyMtr
Valued Contributor

Vancouver, BC
Canada
204 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  08:47:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
DeeDeeRose, I started this topic on another thread but everyone was talking about a specific $5 shop, and my comment got lost in the middle. But this is exactly what I was talking about. I got an email from a high end car dealer (where the cars go up to $100K!) and they required 3 that's THREE phone calls to be made, (and recorded) for $3. That's $1 per shop. It really makes you wonder how much the car dealer is paying to begin with and and how much of the profits go elsewhere besides the shopper. Without us, there would be no report. $1 for doing a job is absolutely an insult and downright ridiculous. What do you all think? Who snaps up these $2 jobs as DeeDeeRose mentioned? Sure you all say you can sit in your bathrobe and do this job with a cup of coffee, but the principle is that you are working for someone for practically nothing. I've done phone shops before for a different company with a different product background and I sure got paid a lot more than $1. This shows respect that we are valued as employees who are required to write a report and we are getting paid for this. We are not doing it for practically nothing! Am I overreacting or what? What do you experienced shoppers think about this? By this way, I've been shopping for almost 2 years.
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  10:02:08 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'll admit that I have snatched up a few of the $2 phone jobs because I can do 10 of them in 15-30 minutes. Only yes/no questions and minimal comments. That translates to $20 for less than a half hour of my time, and I don't have to waste time and gas to drive somewhere.

Now, if I was offered a phone job for $2 and it required a certain investment of time and asked for a full report, then obviously that would be outrageous. This is the problem. Companies out there are asking for a ridiculous investment of time and paying fees akin to slave labor. Shoppers, PLEASE, PLEASE don't take these jobs! If you guys only knew the fees some of these companies were being paid in relation to what the shoppers were paid, you would be incredulous. WE are the ones out there doing the legwork, WE are the ones spending our valuable time writing professional reports, WE are the ones asked to purchase expensive computers, digital cameras and recorders in order to do these jobs. Why the heck are we not being paid fairly? Because people continue to pick up these low-wage/high labor jobs!! STOP! Just stop. That's all I can suggest. The companies will eventually get fed up with all the undereducated yayhoos looking for an extra buck, and they will be forced to be fair with their fees.
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Tom
Contributor

USA
211 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  10:03:38 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is only one reason for low shopping fees...that is the shoppers that take them...the shoppers that do these minimal fee based jobs are directly responsible for low and lowering shops..
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DeeDeeRose
Valued Contributor

Florida
USA
152 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  10:27:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The $2 phone shops I was referring to were to car dealerships also. There wasn't much involved and they probably wouldn't have taken a lot of time but its the principle of doing work for someone else, and then our time to fill out the report and print out the required signed paperwork that needs to be sent to the MS co. In the real world and the cost of survival these days I think $7 for that particular shop would have been more fair. I've only been shopping for 6 months but I've made some decisions already about what I will accept and for how much against what my costs are. I would do a gas station shop for $7 during daytime or evening hours, but not between midnight and 7:00 AM as I was asked to do and that was the increased figure to entice me to do it during that period of time. I'm not getting out of bed for $7.

MSPA SILVER CERTIFIED rvcg5f
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  11:51:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A few days ago I accepted a reveal shop/audit that I had done several of for the same company last year. I just noticed that the pay is now $2.00 lower than it was when I did them before. I'll still do it because I have committed but it is very disappointing.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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JoyB
Valued Contributor

Cherry Hill, NJ
USA
212 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  3:58:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
UpstateNYKat would that be for a certain sub shop??

I just made the hard decision to turn back a shop it was a MS/revealreward/census audit. It paid $2 less than last year but the kicker was when I looked at the census it was very much more detailed than last year.
It really bugs me when you can not get a look at what you are accepting until after you accept the job. I would never have taken the job for the money if I had known the census included such things as naming each chip type on the racks.
I hate when a company adds all kinds of new details to a shop that they want you to record and then lower the fee. And of course they don't tell you about the new details until they have you committed.

Gold Certified Shopper in South Jersey - Cherry Hill, Marlton, Voorhees, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, Berlin, Medford and other neighboring towns.
joy.bennett@verizon.net
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  4:44:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
JoyB,

You hit the sandwich right on the bread! Yup its the sub shop. I'm even more annoyed now because it was due today and I couldn't find the place. I tried calling but the phone number was doing something weird. I thought I knew exactly where it was so I went anyway. I was wrong about the location (I went to 1100 but it is supposedly at 1200). I called directory assistance and they have no record of the sub shop being on that street. So now I don't even get my sub or my pay. I was going to have that sub for dinner and now my tummy is angry with me!

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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Michelle1975
Star Contributor

Newton, NJ
USA
549 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2004 :  12:51:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
JoyB, I did that shop/census a few days ago and I was not required to name each brand of chip, I was required to count the different types of chips.

Michelle
MSPA Gold 3knuvj
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Lynn_R
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2004 :  3:50:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I wish I had read this posting before accepting some sub shops. I had no idea the fee was lowered, and I wouldn't have done them if I had known.

I guess that's how they fill them - with shoppers that weren't around last year.
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MaryLou
Inactive

East County / San Diego, CA
USA
915 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2004 :  5:03:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom

There is only one reason for low shopping fees...that is the shoppers that take them...the shoppers that do these minimal fee based jobs are directly responsible for low and lowering shops..

Hey! That's what I've been saying all along too! How did I miss this post from one of my favorite posters?

Love him or hate him - Tom may be cranky and confrontational, but he is rarely wrong about this stuff.

Here's to no more low paying shops.
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Amber J
Star Contributor

Mesa, Arizona
USA
628 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2004 :  11:47:50 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Today I received an offer to do a "Mart" shop and it involved so many in depth details and the company only offered a $5.00 fee with a $1.00 reimbursement purchase, and they wanted me to drive over 20 miles to do it. I told them absolutely not. It was just embarrassing to even have them offer it. Plus you had to take a test to get the shop anyways. It is getting ridiculous.

MSPA Gold Certified

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MissEllen
Valued Contributor

NY
USA
150 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2004 :  05:27:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Once upon a time, as a newbie, it was about gaining experience. Fast forward two years and I will not do the shops with low(er) fees. It is my hope that the newbies take them, not experienced shoppers. As an aside, getting silver certified helped me get better assignments, and I hope getting gold certified (10/16/04 in NJ) will be worthwhile too.

Ellen
gold certified
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Melanie_ In_ NJ
Trainee

NJ
USA
5 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2004 :  08:28:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Speaking as someone who was not around last year, (Hey, Scrubs is one of my favorite sitcoms, I don't mind the term "newbie") Because I am new at this, that does not make my time any less valuable than a seasoned shopper, nor does it make the quality of my work substandard. I spend between one and four hours entering a report, depending on how detailed it is. Also, it only took me one $15 shop, where I had to record the interactions with 13 employees to realize I won't be doing that again. I have two children at home (three if you count my husband) and I don't have time to mess around. I put as much intergrity into my $20 shops as I do my $200 shops. I recieved my Silver certification one month into this. I value the advice on Volition. But it seems instead of placing the blame on the people who are new to mystery shopping you should place the blame on the companies who choose to continue to lower the pay scales. It has been my experience that most companies provide their shoppers with a comment section in order to express any personal comments with regard to your shop experience, in addition to the report. To me the solution is simple stop taking low paying shops and then tell your schedulers why. I can't imagine anyone sticking it out just for the heck of it, it's too time consuming. Either you like mystery shopping or you don't, either you are good at it or you're not.

Melanie Silver # i6qijw
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MrScott
Member

San Diego, CA
USA
10 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2004 :  10:46:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am considering attending the San Diego Gold conference, if not for anything for the networking opportunities. I of course will learn valuable information as well. For those who have already attended, I am sure this subject of low and declining fees has been discussed. What has been said about it? Is there real action on this. Do the companies that come to these events offer real justification that despite higher costs of doing business the fees go down? Do you get a secret handshake so you can get a higher fee?
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Tonya7609
Contributor

San Francisco, California
USA
84 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2004 :  8:13:20 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote

The reveal/audit shop was waaay to much detail and time for $5 food reimbusement plus $10 fee. No way. A sandwich alone costs more than $5 around here.


MSPA GOLD Certified
Shopping the East Bay & San Francisco area since 1994
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MikeSLU
Star Contributor

SE
USA
319 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2004 :  9:42:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
and the latest from the 50 cents phone shop place is $5 for a shoe purchase and later return. The previous company paid $11 without a mandatory purchase and another visit for the return portion.........
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