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 Lower shop fees debate - Low Paying Shops
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MsJudi
Star Contributor

New Jersey
USA
582 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2011 :  11:58:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know the shops don't pay too much, but are you aware that Market Force pays for tolls and parking fees?

Judi
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Susan L
Star Contributor

Westchester County, New York
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  11:57:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MsJudi

I know the shops don't pay too much, but are you aware that Market Force pays for tolls and parking fees?



Thanks for reminding me, MsJudi. I have to keep that in the back of my mind. I notice when entering their reports that's one of the first questions before the system lets you enter data. Do you know if they reimburse for MetroNorth, LIRR, NJ Transit, PATH, or subway tickets?

Actually I was not thinking about Marketforce (the part that used to be called "Shop'n Chek ") when I made the posting. It was one of the sister companies, Certified, where I saw various trailer check and other movie theater assignments along with merchandising, with painfully low fees.

Even in parts of the country where you can drive without tolls and parking fees, the locations would have to be very close to string enough together and make it pay. Imagine having a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon, then driving 20 miles to a location (40 miles roundtrip) to reset something or check on a sign. At $3 per gallon, that's $6 just for the gas. And it pays $5? Or $7? How do people do it?

Susan L.
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  3:34:24 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..



I agree with the above quote....however...I also must add that I have done very low paying shops for a number of reasons, but usually because it works with my schedule. If I'm already in the store, near the store, or was going to go there anyways, why not take the shop. I've also taken very low apt shops because I happen to love looking at apartments and because writing up the narrative for them is very easy to me.
With things like my lap top and the iPhone I find it very easy to take and enter shops and therefor don't find myself taking shops that pay the lower fees.
If the shop does not work for you - pass on it. It might work out fine for someone else. Yes of course I wish that most shops paid higher fees but they don't. When the economy gets better we can all be more demanding, but right now...not for me.
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
351 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2015 :  06:33:07 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
There's an addition matter that should be considered when mulling the thought of applying for work: INFLATION!

If the shop you completed in 2005 for $40 hasn't been reduced as offered, the Bureau of Statistics states that in actuality it's only paying $31.51 in today's buying power. In addition, if it's been lowered by the MSC to $30, that computes to $23.64; almost 1/2 the original amount.

The above information is merely a reporting of info from the government and in no way is a criticism of MSCs paying more than necessary. After all, this IS business and MSCs exist to earn as large a profit as possible for their shareholders.

Bob
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Sue Br.
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
660 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2015 :  1:47:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I used to shop all the time for a company that paid 10.00 then it went down to 7.50 and now it's 5.00. I have noticed they proudly announce a bonus reimbursement of .50 more but they lowered the fee to 4.50. Do they think we are so exhausted from counting our money that we would miss that? There are a few companies that have held their fees through the years and they are the ones I work for.

Sue
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RichC
Contributor

(Northern), VA
USA
64 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2015 :  07:39:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote

I agree whole heartedly. My time has value. If I am working a restaurant shop - it's work. You want me to eat there, you tell me what to eat and/or drink, then you pay for the meal AND you reimburse.

Fail to do either and I don't take the job.

I've worked in restaurants and for catering companies. If I want fine dining I can make it myself for a fraction of the cost.

There is a very nice establishment whose shopping company is scrambling to fill it every month. But rarely will I take the job b/c the reimbursement is so low for a form that takes two hours to fill out. The food is really tasty, but if you value my time and effort, you have to pay for it.

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SandyKMac
Contributor

Dallas, TX
USA
59 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2015 :  9:23:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure that some of the shops are worth doing for the pay. When you take into account the time to read the guidelines and questionnaire, then add the time to do the shop and then entering the information, a $6 shop is paying less than minimum wage. I've really noticed a reduction in pay. If it's something you've done before, you might be able to make a decent amount, but it's getting depressing. I used to love doing some of the shops that I just won't touch any more. Guess I'm just getting too old. I am glad I've been shopping long enough that I can get the good restaurants and the hotels when I can get time off from work.
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Sue Br.
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
660 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2015 :  04:52:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The company I referred to has now gone down to $4.50 per shop as a regular fee. I only remain on their shopper list because once in awhile they will bonus a shop otherwise I just chuckle when I see the fee and this location is one that I drive past to get to most of my other shops.
quote:
Originally posted by SandyKMac

I'm not sure that some of the shops are worth doing for the pay. When you take into account the time to read the guidelines and questionnaire, then add the time to do the shop and then entering the information, a $6 shop is paying less than minimum wage. I've really noticed a reduction in pay. If it's something you've done before, you might be able to make a decent amount, but it's getting depressing. I used to love doing some of the shops that I just won't touch any more. Guess I'm just getting too old. I am glad I've been shopping long enough that I can get the good restaurants and the hotels when I can get time off from work.


Sue
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John MrBeth
Valued Contributor

Mount Laurel, NJ
USA
184 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2015 :  06:43:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I figure that it costs me $20-30 to pull the car out of the driveway, read the shop guidelines, print out the report, not to mention the travel time and the report time.
If MSC's have problems filling shops that pay less then $15 then the theory of "supply and demand" will dictate that eventually the per shop pay will increase. Last year I averaged over $40 per shop and so far this year I'm averaging a little more. Of course that means I'm busier during the last week of the month when many are bonus-ed.

John
Southern NJ
Professional Couple
Both Gold Certified
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
351 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2015 :  2:18:27 PM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I, and I would guess several other shoppers, received an offer today of a total of $10 to visit two(2) tire companies. I know I'm a few days past Thanksgiving, but I'm so glad I'm not in either dire financial need or starving for activity/human contact that I would consider a flat $5 assignment.

Bob
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
351 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2016 :  08:02:47 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
This morning I received an offer of $10 for a gas station requiring an onsite stay of 60 mins. Add in the travel time and expense, the prep and finally the report, I'm guessing the net would be $3.50 per hour.

Bob
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MaryRuth4
Member

Boscawen, NH
USA
14 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2016 :  10:12:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes I took three of those stations only because they were very close to where I live and work. Today, however, I got three emails saying they were "cancelled" without any real explanation. What's up with that?

Mary Ruth Charette
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Lisa-LA
Member

Central, FL
USA
38 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2016 :  11:08:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am definitely feeling the pain of lowered shop fees. There are so few shops that are worth my time anymore. I absolutely love the mystery shopping industry and the work I have done with it over the past 14 years. However, there are so few evaluations that actually pay a fair fee now. One of my favorite MSC, A-Closer-Look, requires much more work now (photos of everything, recorded phone calls, etc) and does not even reimburse enough to cover the required order at restaurants. Somehow, they fill all of their assignments with ZERO pay! I accept only a rare evaluation now. Very sad, but I refuse to work for free or even PAY out of my own pocket.

Lisa
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
351 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2016 :  06:18:18 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Lisa,

I agree with, but one exception, your post, as that's my philosophy. Said lone exception is the usage of "fair" in reference to a contractor. Fair is what I refer to as employee verbiage; as shoppers are independent, fair and its brother equitable do not apply in that we have absolute freedom of choice.


Bob
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TimothyCA
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
149 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2016 :  12:29:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bob,

I've tried to impart to shoppers that there are only two types of fees: those you personally will accept and those you will not accept.

The sole goal of the MSC is to offer the lowest fee that will result in a report for which their client will pay. Nothing more or less. That is what is "fair" to their business model.

Many companies have gone out of business providing a better product at a price higher than the market would bear.

It is a cold, practical world.


Timothy
MSPA GOLD Certified
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
351 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2016 :  05:48:59 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Tim,

I completely agree with your post. What so many shoppers do not seem to grasp is that this is a marketplace and, as such, is governed by the capitalistic principle of supply and demand. Imtelli-shop, as an example, is successful with their business model of offering a large volume of work for a pittance and then gradually elevating the fee until a contractor accepts the job; it works for them and that's business.

Bob
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DeniseSC
Contributor

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2016 :  5:42:50 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently started editing. After seeing some of the reports I have had to work with I think the shopping company is getting exactly what they are paying for.
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TimothyCA
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
149 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2016 :  10:01:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is another component to the success of low fees attracting shoppers: the hobby or thrill shopper. I have no clue as to the percentage of shoppers who fall into this category.

Please do not ascribe any negative connotations to my description of these shoppers. There have been times I have fit the category!

In a nutshell, these are shoppers who take assignments for other than monetary reasons. It may be for the challenge of the undercover work; to hone their observation and writing skills; giving back to an industry in which they once worked; curiosity about a business or industry; or some other intangible reward.

I suspect a significant subset are those who enjoy/crave the direct positive feedback given for a good report by some companies. Internal competitiveness can be a strong driver!



Timothy
MSPA GOLD Certified
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KarenS
Valued Contributor

Arizona
USA
112 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2016 :  4:19:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just recently I accidentally accepted two shops from Market Force where the pay had dropped from $10 to $5. Unfortunately there was no change in the work required. Now this shop is not profitable for me. So these will be the last two I'll do for this client.

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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
351 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2016 :  08:14:32 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
After several yrs, I don't recall the exact number, I began to notice that job offers listing numerous details except the fee, requiring me to access the specific page on the MSC's website, were never acceptable. Therefore, I delete without accessing. In addition, if the verbiage EASY, FUN AND/OR FAST appear in the subject line, I delete without opening. Finally, I NEVER accept a shop where the fee has been reduced from my last completion, UNLESS the work has followed suit.

I do not criticize those whose finances or situations demand they be more flexible and accept a work:pay ratio not attractive to me. An absolute point of this business is that it's the goal of any responsible MSC to extract the maximum work for the least pay-out; the onus upon the shopper to decide what works for them.

Bob
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