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Mystery Shopping Discussion

Husband-Wife Mystery Shopping
Posts:217
I know a lot of you have a family member who also mystery shops. What can you tell me about MSCs that allow or disallow both husband and wife to be active shoppers for the company? I'm also wondering how this will work on the taxes. Do we each need to fill out a separate Schedule C or can we combine it (assuming joint filing status)?
June 24, 2013 10:31PM
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Posts:571
beyoden Wrote:
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> I know a lot of you have a family member who also
> mystery shops. What can you tell me about MSCs
> that allow or disallow both husband and wife to be
> active shoppers for the company? I'm also
> wondering how this will work on the taxes. Do we
> each need to fill out a separate Schedule C or can
> we combine it (assuming joint filing status)?


My wife and I both mystery shop. All the MSC's we shop for haven't had a problem with it, especially on rotation shops because we have 2 people for a rotation.

I couldn't give you advice on the taxes, we file separately every year.

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Dante Beck
Independent Scheduler for GfK Mystery Shopping
June 24, 2013 10:35PM
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Posts:1,480
My tax accountant has us file one Schedule C.

Liz
June 24, 2013 10:43PM
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Posts:224
My ex and I both used to shop. He only shopped for 1 company though. I always got a pile of 1099s and he got 1. We filed jointly and just put them all on the same return as miscellaneous income. Neither of us made huge amounts of money so it wasn't a big deal doing it that way.

I'm trying to convince my husband to start doing some shops here and there. He's still on the fence about it but I know there are some he could pick up and get a little extra money from it. I've never had a problem with schedulers not allowing it, and they usually kind of like it because if one person isn't available or not eligible per rotation requirements, the other might be. Of course the only shops I ever did with my ex were restaurants. The ones he did on his own were nothing that I went along with so it didn't really matter if we did the shops in the same month.
June 25, 2013 12:03AM
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Posts:102
Bestmark will not allow two from the same address.
June 25, 2013 12:53AM
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Posts:571
kkalook Wrote:
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> Bestmark will not allow two from the same address.

Actually, I do believe this is incorrect, as my wife and I are both with Bestmark. We're both listed on my profile.

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Dante Beck
Independent Scheduler for GfK Mystery Shopping
June 25, 2013 01:35AM
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Posts:1,259
Many have reported one shopper at a two shopper address getting dropped by MF.
June 25, 2013 05:29AM
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Posts:2,122
When my husband was shopping, we were both with MF with no problem. He hasn't shopped for a while, and the US schedulers that are still there ask if he is ready to shop again.
June 25, 2013 08:49AM
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Posts:1,250
I think it depends how "desparate" the company is. I've had many requests to talk a child or spouse into shopping too.
June 25, 2013 09:02AM
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Posts:1,480
DanteInPA Wrote:
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> kkalook Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Bestmark will not allow two from the same
> address.
>
> Actually, I do believe this is incorrect, as my
> wife and I are both with Bestmark. We're both
> listed on my profile.


I just recently went through this with Bestmark - they want the family to have just one account - not two different ones.

So they will deactivate if there are two separate accounts but will allow you to have one account with both names on the profile.

Liz
June 25, 2013 09:14AM
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Posts:217
Thank you all. I read some of the stories on the forum of MF dropping both people if there were two accounts with the same address. I didn't know if this was common from other MSCs. I would not have thought it would be a problem but wanted to check first.
June 25, 2013 10:10AM
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Posts:1,799
Once MF figures it out you are gone. It takes them awhile though and how desperate they are. If you do get to both shop use different checking accounts. Scheduler told me they check that first. Again how desperate plays into it a lot.
June 25, 2013 10:18AM
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Posts:224
That doesn't make any sense. Why would MF drop you if there are two people listed at the same address? What if I had a tenant living in my basement and they wanted to shop? I get dropped? That just seems really bizarre to me because my ex was actually signed up with a lot of the same places I was, he just only actually shopped for one of them.
June 25, 2013 11:12AM
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Posts:224
Although I guess maybe what they are trying to combat is people creating multiple accounts from the same address just so that they can get around minimum rotation requirements and do more shops. Also you could stop shopping and switch accounts before you make it to the $600 minimum for tax paperwork so you could potentially get out of taxes. Maybe that is an issue for some of the bigger MSing companies?
June 25, 2013 11:14AM
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Posts:14,883
$600 is the threshold for sending 1099s, taxes are from dollar one. Although you still may be right and it could be a way for people to try and dodge them.

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
June 25, 2013 07:55PM
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Posts:329
Been shopping for 2 years with MF as well as my wife. Both very active. Same address and we get paid on the same account. We talked on the phone and via email to MF and mentioned more times the spouse (many times when my wife was contacted for a far away job, she suggested they talked to me since I travel more).

So if they do have that rule, they actually waive it a lot according to the need of shoppers for that area. Losing a shopper in an area where there are not many is tough.
June 26, 2013 09:02AM
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Posts:102
Interesting...I tried to sign up my husband (twice) and he got rejected. I thought we did something wrong on the first sign up so we did it again. Finally, they told me no dice because it was the same address. Consider yourself lucky that they haven't audited the files and dropped one of you.


> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Bestmark will not allow two from the same
> address.
>
> Actually, I do believe this is incorrect, as my
> wife and I are both with Bestmark. We're both
> listed on my profile.
June 26, 2013 11:06PM
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Posts:571
I called Bestmark and where the first name is, they told me to enter both me and my wife's name.

kkalook Wrote:
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> Interesting...I tried to sign up my husband
> (twice) and he got rejected. I thought we did
> something wrong on the first sign up so we did it
> again. Finally, they told me no dice because it
> was the same address. Consider yourself lucky that
> they haven't audited the files and dropped one of
> you.
>
>
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Bestmark will not allow two from the same
> > address.
> >
> > Actually, I do believe this is incorrect, as my
> > wife and I are both with Bestmark. We're both
> > listed on my profile.

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Dante Beck
Independent Scheduler for GfK Mystery Shopping
June 27, 2013 08:19AM
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Posts:313
We both shop, mainly the husband in this household.

expect the unexpected
June 27, 2013 05:55PM
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Posts:224
At ACE I was also given the impression that they do not allow for spouses to both shop for them.
June 27, 2013 08:01PM
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Posts:413
Same here. We each have our own MF log in, but the payment for either goes to our joint account. Some times if they call me for a job that I can't do, I make sure with the person on the phone that he hs qualified for it, then call him right then to see if he wants it. If he says yes, I tell the person to go ahead and give it to him. Half the time they don't even talk to him about it directly.

italiano Wrote:
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> Been shopping for 2 years with MF as well as my
> wife. Both very active. Same address and we get
> paid on the same account. We talked on the phone
> and via email to MF and mentioned more times the
> spouse (many times when my wife was contacted for
> a far away job, she suggested they talked to me
> since I travel more).
>
> So if they do have that rule, they actually waive
> it a lot according to the need of shoppers for
> that area. Losing a shopper in an area where there
> are not many is tough.

Robin

Silver certified, I shop in Cities in NM and TX that no one has ever heard of.
July 01, 2013 03:21PM
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Posts:40
Okay, so ethical question here.

I've been shopping for about 5 years, and we have developed a couple of restaurants that we love, but only eat at when I'm doing a shop......so we eat there maybe 4 times a year, maximum.

Hubby has dabbled a little bit in MSing, mostly bank shops.

Are we in the ethical clear if he signs up for a few companies so he can do the restaurant rotations when I can't, thus allowing us to eat there more often? We are pretty much regulars anyways - we've seen quite a few servers who have been there for years now.

He and I have a pretty good division of labor for timing and notes, but I told him he's have to do the narratives so we arn't cheating the system.

Your opinion - yea or nay?
July 02, 2013 04:16PM
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Posts:14,883
Actually that is going to depend on the individual MSC. Some seem to be quite comfortable with the concept while others will deactivate one or both of you. When in doubt, contact them.

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
July 02, 2013 07:21PM
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Posts:40
duh. what a concept.
July 02, 2013 09:09PM
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Posts:8,640
My husband and I are both shoppers. I shop more than he does. He's the strong, silent type, so I do the narrative-heavy shops. Some shops we go on together ~ he may be responsible for getting the manager's name, it may fall to me to do the timings. Reports are always our own.

Regarding MarketForce, we each shop for them, same physical address, different email addresses, phone numbers and bank accounts. We are Independent Contractors.
July 02, 2013 09:17PM
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Posts:1,426
My husband is the shopwhore ( I cannot remember what you all called it, but the one who goes along for the great food) in our family. He considers it "difficult" to do a shop, unless he really likes the restaurant and then he shuts up and eats. All he needs to do is eat and not ask for specific items until it is offered. I do everything else. But I have seriously considered having him sign up for a msc I no longer work for to do one particular restaurant we really like. It is a msc that periodically gets rid of people with no explanation. I was axed several years ago. (not MF) I do the same shop at a different msc now for less than 1/2 the reimbursement. Everytime I do it I think I should have my husband sign up with the old company and see if he is accepted. They are still doing that same shop as far as I can tell. But I am not sure it is ethical so I have never done it...Tempted last night when we ate there and even with a bonus for the newer company that was still less than the other msc pays.
July 03, 2013 08:48PM
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Posts:1,941
I think the term you were looking for is "shopstitute". I didn't come up with that - my sidekick did. I'm wondering how he's going to fend for himself meal-wise while I am outta town the next few weeks. LOL!

_____________________________________________________________________________
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
July 03, 2013 09:10PM
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Posts:1,426
I guess it's back to peanut and jelly sandwiches for the hubbies while we are gone shopgal. My husband's standby when I am not around is a sausage on a bun. He eats that almost every night... Ahhh, shopstitute, maybe a better term. At least it cannot be sniffed out as porn by the internet police.
July 03, 2013 11:37PM
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Posts:8
I was dropped by MF/BestMark for having the same address as my husband, who I signed up to be a shopper. I've tried to sign up again and they won't have it because of the same address syndrome.
July 04, 2013 07:47PM
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