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Mystery Shopping Company Discussion

what are your favorite top ten mystery shopping companies in order of preference?
Posts:989
what are your favorite top ten mystery shopping companies in order of preference?
September 29, 2011 06:13AM
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Posts:385
CORI
Marketforce
Intellishop
Person to Person
Customer 1st
Bestmark
September 29, 2011 07:13AM
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Posts:42
BEYOND HELLO!!!!
September 29, 2011 10:32PM
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Posts:14,373
Gina I don't think your vote counts, LOL! But Beyond Hello does have good, responsive schedulerssmiling smiley

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"Allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket." – Captain Jack Sparrow
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"I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs. - Robert Downey, Jr.
September 29, 2011 10:53PM
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Posts:8,588
I agree - in this instance, voting for yourself would not be a positive thing. This is not a company I've ever worked for .... the few things I've seen in my area are not very enticing.
September 30, 2011 07:51AM
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Posts:86
Shoppers Critique
CORI
Brandt Group
Service Performance Group
Pinnacle Financial Strategies
Sinclair Custom Metrics
Restaurant Cops
Harlande Clarke
Customer 1st
EPMS
September 30, 2011 09:46AM
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Posts:827
1. CoRI
2. Trendsource
3. Informa Research
4. Maritz
5. Marketforce
6. ATH
7. MCP
8. BARE
9. BeyondHello
10. IntelliShop
September 30, 2011 09:49AM
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Posts:276
zlinedavid Wrote:
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> 1. CoRI
> 2. Trendsource
> 3. Informa Research
> 4. Maritz
> 5. Marketforce
> 6. ATH
> 7. MCP
> 8. BARE
> 9. BeyondHello
> 10. IntelliShop
> 11, Research Services
> 12, Ellis
September 30, 2011 11:30AM
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Posts:8,086
Mintel, Intellishop, Beyond Hello, Research Services, Person to Person, Customer Impact, Reality (gamefilm), A Closer Look, Service Sense,
Shadow Agency.

edited to remove Cori...

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2011 11:23AM by Irene_L.A..
September 30, 2011 12:21PM
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Posts:81
Can someone please explain how CORI is making so many top 10 lists? I appreciate their quick pay, and they have lots to choose from, but top 10 companies? With 2-3 dollar shops? Really?
September 30, 2011 01:35PM
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Posts:14,373
As far as I can tell it's because none of us take the shops while they're $3. So easy shop, easy report, fast pay.

*****************************************************************
"Allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket." – Captain Jack Sparrow
*********************************************************************
"I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs. - Robert Downey, Jr.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2011 09:41PM by LisaSTL.
September 30, 2011 01:41PM
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Posts:827
CourtneyH Wrote:
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> Can someone please explain how CORI is making so
> many top 10 lists? I appreciate their quick pay,
> and they have lots to choose from, but top 10
> companies? With 2-3 dollar shops? Really?

I've never done a CoRI shop for less than $10. You just have to wait for the commissions to increase. Yes, it's kind of annoying but it's all part of the game. Once they're to a reasonable commission level, CoRI is the ideal MS company: Very fast pay, relatively easy surveys, a great website interface and relatively flexible schedulers.
September 30, 2011 02:59PM
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Posts:1,595
CORI would be in my top, too. However I intensely dislike their website as the ability to enter shops can be flaky. I don't grab most shops til they hit the $25 range because of their website. But they are easy to answer, minimal narrative, not much in the way of questioning their shoppers for more detail and one of the fastest payers out there.
September 30, 2011 07:49PM
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Posts:626
I am only choosing companies here that are mainstream and actively recruit new shoppers (therefore are accessible to most people).

1. A Closer Look
2. Guest Check
3. Buckalew Hospitality
4. Service Performance Group
5. Coyle
6. NWLPC
7. Customer Service Experts
8. Service Sleuth
After that there is a slew of "second-stringers" - basically companies that I would consider if the time/place/pay is right but I rarely work for - companies like SI, Trendsource, Gamefilm (or whatever they are called these days), etc.
September 30, 2011 09:37PM
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Posts:20
MickeyB,
I looked up 'A Closer Look' and started the application process just to discover it is a reimbursement only MSC. That really surprised me. I don't think I can stand another casual dining experience for at least three months and if I never see another DQ burger I will be very happy. I'm curious, why do you like this kind of shop? And to make it your number 1? Your must really enjoy eating out.
October 07, 2011 05:20PM
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Posts:626
That is a good question eldonk.

I did not list companies that are not open to anyone to apply - so that actually eliminated my first, second, and third favorite companies which are invitation only companies.

That said, there is lots to love about ACL. Their assignments are clear cut and the people there treat their shoppers with respect and fairness. Payment comes like clockwork every time. Some of their assignments do pay a fee (that reimbursement statement is actually quite outdated) and they have a couple of fine dining clients that I love.

Although honestly, I probably only do about 5-6 shops a year for them - they still remain my favorite company that is accessible to all. Actually, they probably tie with Guest Check and Buckalew, it is hard to pick a favorite.
October 07, 2011 05:34PM
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Posts:20
That makes sense. Thanks for the response.
October 07, 2011 06:16PM
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Posts:18,042
ACL is definitely in the top 5 for me! There are a couple of restaurants locally that we really love and once you get the hang of their reports they aren't bad for a 'free dinner' that most of the time was a pleasant experience. I shop with them several times a month and if there is ever something that comes up, I know I can call and WE will work it out. Payments are by check and nicely itemized as to which locations they are paying for. Checks also come in pretty darn close to the date they state on the original posting that the shop will be paid. (USPS makes it difficult to exactly predict when a check will arrive.)
October 07, 2011 06:35PM
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Posts:848
MickeyB Wrote:
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> my first, second, and third favorite companies which
> are invitation only companies.
>
>
>I have had a few calls from companies through the MSPA, but other than that, how does one get an invitation? How do these companies know you exist? Any ideas on ways to promote yourself to catch the attention of the 'invite only' companies?
October 20, 2011 10:38PM
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Posts:626
Bena Wrote:
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> MickeyB Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > my first, second, and third favorite companies
> which
> > are invitation only companies.
> >
> >
> >I have had a few calls from companies through the
> MSPA, but other than that, how does one get an
> invitation? How do these companies know you
> exist? Any ideas on ways to promote yourself to
> catch the attention of the 'invite only'
> companies?

Wait and network, network, network. And research, research, research. You just need one big break - 7 degrees of seperation is more like 3 degrees of seperation in hospitality shopping. They were all referral based, either from existing companies I worked with, an editor that I had worked with extensively for a different compnay, one was from a fellow shopper, etc. - Basically, I knew people who knew about a particular company wanting to add to their contractor list by one or two for the year - keep in mind that these companies only have a very few number (i.e. less than 50, sometimes less than 10) shoppers.

I am still looking to expand - my new goal is to get in with Leading Quality Assurance (google Trent Walsh if you are curious) - but it will probably never happen cause they are UK based - but perhaps some day they would like to have a small contingent in the Americas -- are you listening Mr. Walsh??? I digress...

Know that when it does happen - you will be expected to turn a portfolio of work and application over quickly - so build your portfolio and examples now so you will be ready.
October 20, 2011 11:14PM
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Posts:848
MickeyB Wrote:
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> Know that when it does happen - you will be
> expected to turn a portfolio of work and
> application over quickly - so build your portfolio
> and examples now so you will be ready.

The idea of building a portfolio is definitely good advice. Thanks.
October 20, 2011 11:22PM
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Posts:160
I'll go with a handful:

1-Trendsource

2-Mintel

3-Second2None

4-Service Check

5-BARE

6-Intellishop

7-Reality Check

8-Beyond Hello

9-Tell Us About Us

10-CORI
October 24, 2011 06:14PM
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Posts:18
zlinedavid Wrote:
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> CourtneyH Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Can someone please explain how CORI is making
> so
> > many top 10 lists? I appreciate their quick
> pay,
> > and they have lots to choose from, but top 10
> > companies? With 2-3 dollar shops? Really?
>
> I've never done a CoRI shop for less than $10.
> You just have to wait for the commissions to
> increase. Yes, it's kind of annoying but it's all
> part of the game. Once they're to a reasonable
> commission level, CoRI is the ideal MS company:
> Very fast pay, relatively easy surveys, a great
> website interface and relatively flexible
> schedulers.

I have to disagree about CoRI's "great website interface".

For instance, Firefox is not supported for submitting reports.

Also, when you submit a report, it is EMAILED to someone who adds it to the database, meaning that if you attach large photos (as required), the mail may get lost, and if YOUR email provider can't handle the attachments, the mail may get lost == "You didn't submit your report." == NO PAY and NO WARNING.

They don't support you if Yahoo is your email provider, and claim that as the excuse when they fail to notify you that one of your photos was blurry. "Oh, Yahoo ate our email we sent you."

Say, did you ever try to "Find Jobs" that are actually available (not as a backup)? Three of the choices in the search do the exact same thing (i.e., show you all of the jobs)!! It's broken.

And don't get me started on not showing the fees for any job until you go through the entire training for it. I have done several of their long, involved trainings only to find the shop pays $4. Ridiculous! Tell me the fee and I'll decide if it's worth "educating" myself about the job.

My top 5 are:

MarketForce (Blue = Mystery Shops)
Feedback Plus
Beyond Hello (except they pay very slowly)
CFA (AKA Marketforce Purple = Merchandizing, Audits, and Theatre stuff)
RSG (Research Services Group)
October 28, 2011 03:23AM
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Posts:493
davedecot Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> I have to disagree about CoRI's "great website
> interface".
>
> For instance, Firefox is not supported for
> submitting reports.
>

I've done two CoRI shops with Firefox and didn't have any issues.
October 28, 2011 12:44PM
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Posts:67
1. A Closer Look
2. Beyond Hello
3. Mercantile Systems
4. Intelli-Shop
5. Customer Service Experts
6. GFK
7. Service Check
8. Reality Check
9. National Shopping Serivce
10. Ardent
October 28, 2011 01:23PM
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Posts:105
Hey, thanks guys. Though we did not make any top ten lists I was able to get some good info to better entice our shoppers. smiling smiley
October 28, 2011 02:38PM
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Posts:67
1. A Closer Look
2. Beyond Hello
3. Mercantile Systems
4. Intelli-Shop
5. Customer Service Experts
6. GFK
7. Service Check
8. Reality Check
9. National Shopping Serivce
10. Ardent
October 28, 2011 02:39PM
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Posts:1,261
The list has sure changed since last year.
October 28, 2011 02:40PM
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Posts:10
No order, but these companies are reasonable and fair.

Customer Impact
Feedback Plus
Sentry Marketing
Corporate Research International
Consumer Impressions
A Closer Look
Service Check
Secret Shopper
Jancyn
BestMark
National Shopping Service
October 28, 2011 02:55PM
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Posts:191
I'm suprised nobody has mentioned BARE International. I pretty much only do one type of shop for them, but it has saved me a great deal of expense for the particular product.

I have companies that I love for some things and hate for others. Mventix has one unrevealed audit that I would do every day of the week if I could (they seem to only come around every few months). I seem to like "S" companies, too: Shoppers' View, Spies in Disguise (don't love, but do like), Second to None.

For me, it's mostly about price. I am learning what my time is worth. Sometimes I'll do a new/novel type or location of shop, but it's always a learning experience. I also keep track of roughly how much time I spend on each shop and how much reporting time they require. I'm learning!

But ditto on CORI. Ugh, they drive me crazy and yes, I had trouble uploading a report using Firefox.
October 28, 2011 02:55PM
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