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 Lower shop fees debate - Low Paying Shops
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GVargas
Valued Contributor

WA
USA
163 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2006 :  5:57:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The problem with dividing a $100 prize among all of a company's shoppers is that if there's 1000 shoppers, each one will only get an extra 10 cents. Hardly worth it. It can be much more tantalizing to some if they think they have the chance to win a larger amount like $100.
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Roswitha
Star Contributor

Pinellas Park, FL
USA
445 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2006 :  7:18:50 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Posted by Ron de Sacramento:
quote:
I just did this because I had another shop scheduled in the same Mall. The way I looked at it was that I got a quick bite paid for and five bucks to boot.
I don't know, Ron. The one and only time I took this one shop because I was going by there anyway (fee $4. plus $1. re plus $1. bonus pay) I ended up being furious at myself just like Jan.
The form was more involved than I expected and it just so happened the check I received was in a batch that bounced. Yes, the company fixed it for those that had to pay bank fees. I was "lucky" and read the post on volition, so I held off cashing my check and it cleared another month later.
So far I have not worked for this company again nor accepted any other shops from any company just because "it is on my way".

Roswitha
MSPA Gold Shopping sunny Florida Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo .....
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DeeJay
Member

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  5:39:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I guess everyone has their own way of thinking on shop fees.
I don't like getting nothing for the shop.
Recently, there was a fine dining shop where I would have to outlay over $200 for a lunch/dinner and answer a long survey.

The instructions say to allow 2 hours to complete the survey and well over 100 questions in detail.

There was no fee, just a reimbursement.

I suppose, if you look at it as a discounted price for a fine dinner, then ok, but I like getting paid.
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SoFla Kate
Valued Contributor

Fort Lauderdale, FL
USA
124 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2006 :  05:30:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
I suppose, if you look at it as a discounted price for a fine dinner, then ok, but I like getting paid.
I agree. At least let us break even. I'm amazed when I see shopper solicitations that tell you you have to order two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts and then the tip and oh, by the way, we'll only be reimbursing you up to $50.

I don't go out to eat that much on my own, so if I do a fine-dining shop it's work. If you can't pay me for my time -- and these restaurant shops take a lot of time to report -- at least don't put me in the red.


MSPA Gold Shopper
Fort Lauderdale and Miami
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AllysonMiami
Member

Miami, Florida
USA
11 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2006 :  08:54:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I could not agree more SoFla Kate. Obviously, we shop the same areas. Dining shops are hard work. They take a long time and require alot of detail. And then we are supposed to do them for the honor of being out of our cash for up to 60 days.

I did a couple of them when I first started and found that they were not for me. I suppose though that there are people who love them and that's what makes the world fo round.

It may not be as glamorous, but me, I would rather put gas that I need anyway in my car (if I buy premium maybe my car considers it a good meal), not be reimbursed but be paid $12 for the 10-15 minutes at the station and input time.

Allyson
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SoFla Kate
Valued Contributor

Fort Lauderdale, FL
USA
124 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2006 :  11:49:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have written restaurant reviews for newspapers, and they never said, "Well, you had to eat anyway so we'll just pay half your expenses."

I did a fine-dining shop in South Beach for a company that is arguably the best dining-and-hotel company around, and they paid the full cost of the meal plus a $15 fee. The meal took about an hour and a half, the report took two or three hours, and then there were the gas and the travel time.

I did a fast-food shop in town for another company that reimbursed me plus paid $12, and the entire shop took less time than it had taken me to drive to South Beach.

I'm not criticizing the first company, which is wonderful to work for, but this why I don't do fine dining any more.


MSPA Gold Shopper
Fort Lauderdale and Miami
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CMilton
Star Contributor

North Haledon, NJ
USA
379 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2006 :  12:59:42 PM  Visit CMilton's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't do my hotel shops or fine dining for the money; I do them for the experience that I would never have on my own. That being said, I don't do shops that won't reimburse for the entire cost of the meal, especially when they require a certain amount of courses.

I do my cell phone shops, retail and financial guys for the income, but as I notice the fees getting lower and lower, I too wait for the end of the month "no one is going to do this" bonuses.

celia milton
Gold Certified 2004, nzcy0k
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StaceyPH888
Valued Contributor

Port Orange, Florida
USA
197 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2006 :  1:16:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am picky about the shops I choose. I will not accept pay for less then $10.00. That is at least what my time is worth. You must remember that if you accept low paying shops, the pay will never change. If the company needs to offer bonus's monthly to have their shops completed, they will instead change the base pay for shoppers (as long as they still make a profit). I used to schedule, and that is how I could obtain higher shopper pay. Just remember this when making your decisions.
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2006 :  1:37:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Although there is one company that pays very low fees at the beginning of the month.. VERY LOW.. but would bonus very nicely when it got close to the deadlines.. Now they are not doing that.. I noticed over the last few months of 2005 that more and more shops were left at the end of the month, guessing shoppers finally caught on to waiting for the bonuses... The only thing I can guess now is that the MS Company went to their clients and asked for more money or less reports and the clients chose less reports... I hate that but I guess I understand... For this company, I guess the shoppers drew the line in the sand and the company drew a line in response... Oh well...

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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LauraInFl
Member

FL
USA
33 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2006 :  9:29:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I too am picky about which shops I take and how much fee is involved. If it is somewhere I would normally go I am not so picky, but if it will end up being out of pocket expenses not reimbursed I think more than twice about it.

I have only been doing this for three years but have seen a great decrease in shopper fees. Shops that paid $15 went down to $12 then ten and now are at $8. Some dropped the fee all together. I do think that part of it is MSC's greed. i.e. the fine dining that only reimburses $50, I know that the restaurant pays at least $150 for each report. Hmmmm....

Anyhoo---I find myself doing more and more merchandising jobs. At least I know what I will be making, don't have to be 'mysterious' :)
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Roswitha
Star Contributor

Pinellas Park, FL
USA
445 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2006 :  07:49:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is no way around it, as IC's we have to decide each and every time if this particular shop offer is worth it to us.
I enjoy the income and I enjoy the freedom of being an IC.

After shopping for almost a year I can say my shop fees have increased from an average of $9.72 a shop in my first month of shopping to $26.41 for last month, with the average month hovering around $21/23 per shop.
I have only once seen a company lower shop fees after I started with them. They decreased from 25 to 15 for one shop and from 35 down to 25 on another.
I find that the shop fee is only part of the equasion, driving distance, possibility of adding other shops for a mini route, time needed for shop completion, payment practises of the company and ease of communication with them, time required for the report and even whether a report must be in by 10pm that evening or has a 24 hr window is a consideration for me.

The restaurant shops are never profitable but whenever I am offered one that is enjoyable and has a full reimbursement plus a fee I do a little dance. I see restaurants and some types of reimbursement shops as bennies of the business - sometimes it's great to be MSing.

I think what helped me the most is that I am in a Metro area. I never spend my time looking for bonused shops but instead concentrate on finding the companies with the best fees. In some corner of my mind I think if they can't offer the shop at a decent fee to begin with I really don't care to do business with them or want to support them in achieving their goal of shops completed. On the other hand if it's a shop I would normally like to do then I am glad to help out if I can and accept with glee - that has only happened twice.
Since I cannot influence the fees except in some small way by hitting the delete button on the low fee ones, I exercise this right every day.

Roswitha
MSPA Gold Shopping sunny Florida Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo .....
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LauraInFl
Member

FL
USA
33 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2006 :  6:59:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Roswitha---
Sounds like you found the great companies with great fees :) What type of shops are you doing, i.e. car service, apartments etc? I'm thinking that I am not looking at the right corner of the MS business LOL
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Roswitha
Star Contributor

Pinellas Park, FL
USA
445 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2006 :  07:10:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Laura - another Floridian!
Actually, I don't think one person's approach to MSing will work for another, mostly due to difference in circumstances, preferences and the shop offers in your area. I did spend many hours searching, learning and applying, it was a process and didn't happen overnight.

Meanwhile, let me just say this, I was very focused on what I wanted to get out of MSing when I started. I had a monthly goal (monetary) and a time frame (max 3 months) to make it happen.

For the first three months I avoided restaurants like the plague because I could not afford them and discovered I really liked banking/financial shops.

At 10 months into ms'ing I have changed some of my strategies, learned a lot more about the business, can now afford to enjoy the "free" dinners and found that some reimbursement shops are great.
I'm not crazy about the retail shops because I get too tempted to buy while I am there. What's a woman to do when the new spring fashions just arrived?

I went for the Gold and still love doing a lot of financials plus an everchanging mix of other shops, some with tricky scenarios to keep it interesting. There's still plenty I don't know and haven't tried.

Of course I have a new goal for the upcoming 12 month mile stone. So yes, I will be doing apartment shops and I will look for a few more great companies to work with.
I know they are out there just waiting for me (just kidding).

Roswitha
MSPA Gold Shopping sunny Florida Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo .....
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.Lucas at LPInStore
Inactive

Harpers Ferry, WV
USA
103 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2007 :  11:25:56 PM  Visit .Lucas at LPInStore's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Please go to the "Shouldn't more difficult assignments = higher pay?" post, I have suggested a solution to this, and would love input.

Thanks.
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Laurie123
Valued Contributor

Cleveland, OH
USA
185 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2008 :  12:45:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
$5 for a purchase and return shop AND a test to go with it?? Have companies lost their mind?
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JanB27
Star Contributor

OH
USA
4831 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2008 :  2:37:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I received a rather interesting e-mail from a scheduler. This was for the low-cost hair salons where you get a cut. At first it was reimbursement only. Next they offered a $5 bonus. The salon in my town is just horrible, so I wasn't surprised that no one jumped. Now they are offering an increase on the reimbursement, announced with much fanfare. However, all along they were fully reimbursing the haircut. I missed how that made the shop more appealing.

Jan
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2008 :  5:53:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I decided to contact a scheduler and voice my opinion about the shops that only cover a meal with no other fee. I said I would love to do the shops because the restaurant is a fine one but I don't like being out-of-pocket for a shop.

She thanked me for my comments and said she would take up the matter with the client. So far, nothing has happened. The jobs are still offered with just the coverage for the meal.

But, maybe if more of us spoke up and did the same thing with the schedulers (in a nice way) and they went to the clients...something might get done. If the fee covers the meal plus the tip, that's not too bad. But I had one where the meal was covered, but the tip was out of my pocket.

So the job cost me a tip plus my gas...yuck. I like the restaurant but not that much!

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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SJAmos
Contributor

Columbia, SC
USA
96 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2008 :  11:11:37 AM  Send SJAmos an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Low fees is the reason I left MSing a couple of years ago. Now that I'm back, there are some low fees with long training and reports that I just laugh at, but I did an easy one recently that paid $75, one easy one this week that paid $40 and have picked up a couple with bonuses. I'm doing a low paying one today. I wish I could have just stayed home and cleaned the top layer of dirt from my house!

Sallie
Silver Certified in SC
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Susan L
Star Contributor

Westchester County, New York
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  3:43:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The NYC Transit raised the fares at the end of December. (It was in the aftermath of the breakdowns following the blizzard, but the fare increase was pre-scheduled.) It now costs $2.25 to $2.50 one way to ride the subway or the bus (unless using an Unlimited Metrocard--which now costs $29 for one week or $104 for one month).

In a region of the USA where people drive their cars everywhere, you can sort of say, "Well, I'll add this shop on if I'm gonna be in the neighborhood anyway."

But we can't really get away with that in NYC, especially Manhattan. Driving a car across a bridge or through a tunnel into Manhattan from the other boroughs costs $7 to $9, making the economics of the situation even worse. And don't get me started thinking about $20 per hour parking deck fees or $9 cab rides (plus tip). Even riding a suburban train into Manhattan adds another $2 to $3 to the train fare.

It means that when a shop fee is $5.00, all the fee will be used up in round-trip travel costs, unless you're lucky to be close enough to walk (fat chance).

I don't take these shops, but I wonder who does (before they are substantially bonused). I think in some cities MS companies ought to consider automatically including a "travel fee" to their shops. NYC isn't the only place like this, but I live in this area...

Susan L.
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CorrieS
Star Contributor

Briarwood, NY
USA
932 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2011 :  06:22:12 AM  Send CorrieS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Susan L, as your fellow NY shopper, I have to agree. I try to schedule most of my shops in the neighborhood of my FT job so I can do them on a lunch hour or right after work (on the way to the train). I don't use an unlimited Metrocard because since the LAST fare increase (a few years ago) I found it didn't pay. (The flipside is that if I scheduled more m/s jobs on weekends, it WOULD pay to have the unlimited card, but I try to make my weekends into family time). Anyway - totally agree with you about travel. I have asked for subway reimbursement or even $0.50 for parking meters at times, and been denied. OH I also love when I am told "but the shop is only 10 miles from you" - but it involves driving over a bridge with a $12 toll!!!!

Corrie S.
MSPA Silver Certified
shopping NYC & Nassau County... and willing to travel...
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