Do you feel like you are being paid third world wages.

Look you two. Just stop this. This is not a fighting forum. This is a forum where we're supposed to help each other. What I'm reading is so outrageous.

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bmttinman, are you on drugs? Seriously dude. Show me the post where I said that I only make $650. And hell no, I will not even let you know what country I live in. D-E-L-U-S-I-O-N-A-L!
Canuck Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Look you two. Just stop this. This is not a
> fighting forum. This is a forum where we're
> supposed to help each other. What I'm reading is
> so outrageous.


I am sticking up for myself after being wrongly accused of something that I never posted. And he retaliates by asking proof of my payroll and wanting to know my zip code? Seriously? No wonder he got terminated for sexual harassment.
Bmttinman, no one here is out to get you. You have been given solid critiques based on what your experiences have been. Instead of getting defensive and asking everyone to "show you the money." Take some time and honestly evaluate yourself when it comes to mystery shopping. I've only been shopping for four years and certainly don't consider myself an experienced shopper. I continue to sign up with new companies; many, that have no work in my area. But who is to say there won't be any in the future? No one here is obligated to prove to you how much they earn. You need to decide if this is something that will work for YOU. But, you have to establish yourself and build your reputation. I agree with the others that you need to work on your communication skills. The reports we submit are going to determine whether we get paid..or not.
Until you sign up for the companies, you won't know who has work in your area.

And you were the one who said you were quitting shopping. Although I now realize your opening sentence up above "I have quit from shopping companies" which I interpreted as you had quit shopping completely, only meant that you had quit some companies, and others had quit you. My mistake. I thought maybe you'd seen the futility of continuing on.

Regardless, the advice I tried to deliver to the closed door of your mind still stands.

You are convinced you have been wronged; you have not been wronged. You are in the wrong business. You do not have the skills or the right attitude for this job and do not want advice on how to improve. All you want to do is argue with people who have been shopping for years, successfully, learned from their mistakes, got advice when they needed it, and are making money doing what you keep failing at.

As for the companies, I am signed up with about 140 and have shopped for about 50 of them within 100 miles of my home. I have made from $0 (reimbursement only on three shops) to $400 (long term bank project). And no, I'm not going to prove it to you because I don't feel like it, and you wouldn't believe the checks were real if I did show them to you. I'm currently on two long term dead easy (5 minutes a month for $15 and $12) projects for a company I was signed up with for about a year before anything came up in my area. Yes, I get $27 every month for a year for something that takes me less than 10 minutes combined. That's $324 for what will amount to 2 hours total of work by the end of the projects. And it doesn't take even a single word of narrative. And no, I won't tell you who the company is. Go sign up with 150 companies and you'll find it. Maybe.

I made $5 and a sandwich on my first shop. I didn't get to those projects overnight.

So keep doing what you've been doing, and you'll keep getting what you've been getting, and I really don't give a rat's patootie because I've wasted all the time I'm going to waste with you.

Time to build a bigger bridge.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2014 02:27AM by dspeakes.
LisaSTL Wrote:
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> I worked nine days this month
> and made a little more than $650. Even if you were
> my best friend I would not show you "the check"."
> As I do most months, my assignments came from
> eight different companies paying primarily by
> direct deposit and PayPal.


Here's proof that bmttinman WAS wrong and confusing me with someone else. The full original post is on the first page of this thread.
I don't know why everyone (and I guess me included now) is wasting their time on this character. Did this tinman name himself after the Tinman (Judy Garland's friend) played by Jack Haley? And what was he lacking?
No, he is lacking what the scarecrow was missing. And even though I have not always agreed with dspeakes, I totally agree with her latest post in this thread.
Sybil2 Wrote:
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> No, he is lacking what the scarecrow was missing.


You're right. I had the needs of the two mixed.
"Third world wages…" You mean like the factories in Bangladesh, where people are locked in for 12-16 hours a day, in unsafe fire traps, for $36 a month making fashions? Or did you mean like the kids purchased in India who spend their days locked in dingy buildings, making "hand decorated" Christmas decorations? Or do you mean like the children of Uzbekistan who are forced to pick cotton for the government? Could you be referring to the immigrant workers in Florida picking tomatoes for less then minimum wage, while dealing with their kids' birth defects caused by pesticides?

The fact that you have food, a car, and access to the internet to @#$%& and moan suggests you have no clue what the third world really is.
For the record, I have no idea where he first got the figure of $650 a month because it certainly wasn't me. Notice my exact words were "a little more." If I told him how much that little bit actually was he would surely call me a liar.

When I started in this bizarre business and was running my arse all over town for $50 or $75 a day, I didn't believe anyone could actually be making $100 a day let alone $300 to $500. The difference between me and the OP is I spent a lot more time reading and a lot less time @#$%&. In reality, I probably learned how to do it just to prove to myself it was possible.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
On the first six boards that I checked, there were a total of 53 assignments available within 75 miles of 81323.
OP - Have you considered merchandising as an alternative to mystery shopping? Usually there is no narrative required, and quite often you can build and grow steady routes over time that could yield a very dependable income stream. The key, though, is volume re. the number of locations that you can build into routes, not high paying individual assignments.
heartlandcanuck Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Third world wages…" You mean like the factories
> in Bangladesh, where people are locked in for
> 12-16 hours a day, in unsafe fire traps, for $36 a
> month making fashions? Or did you mean like the
> kids purchased in India who spend their days
> locked in dingy buildings, making "hand decorated"
> Christmas decorations? Or do you mean like the
> children of Uzbekistan who are forced to pick
> cotton for the government? Could you be referring
> to the immigrant workers in Florida picking
> tomatoes for less then minimum wage, while dealing
> with their kids' birth defects caused by
> pesticides?
>
> The fact that you have food, a car, and access to
> the internet to @#$%& and moan suggests you have
> no clue what the third world really is.

Some of the mystery shop list by the companies are just that. A person that has to do these shops by the time the get there, do the shop come home and fill out the report are making less money than the person they are doing the report on.
Yes I have looked into merchandising but if you look at the amount it is still less than minimum wage at the store you are doing the merchandising for. I have done audits and surveys also these at times pay more than shops. Of the 73 shops you found how many companies was that threw?
Expecting me to work for HALF of what someone at ABC Burger makes would not be the same as "Third World Wages." It would be crappy, but to compare it to the poverty of the Third World is just plain ignorant.
heartlandcanuck Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Expecting me to work for HALF of what someone at
> ABC Burger makes would not be the same as "Third
> World Wages." It would be crappy, but to compare
> it to the poverty of the Third World is just plain
> ignorant.

If this is your only income. You have to pay renting utilities, gas for the car. You have a new baby and cannot get a regular job. Then how are you not living in third world conditions.
elcarev68 Wrote:
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> On the first six boards that I checked, there were
> a total of 53 assignments available within 75
> miles of 81323.


bmttinman, apparently you need to work on reading comprehensive also. elcarev68 clearly wrote six boards. Six = 6. And it was 53 assignments, not 73. You sure like twisting the facts. You accuse me of something that someone else said. You have been ungrateful to the many forum members who offered you sound advice. And now you are totally misquoting yet another forum member. Dude, you seriously need to rethink your game plan. And tweak your social skills.
I cannot stop myself from jumping in here.

Bmttinman, there are many replies here with people trying to help you. This business is not easy or quick to grow. Yes you do have to apply to many companies to get enough work. And you have to pay your dues with the inexpensive shops in order to get the more expensive ones. I just accepted a job for $13 for a new company and that fee is very much below my standard fee. I accepted this rate to get my foot in the door with this new company. Even though I generally make decent money, I still have to pay my dues with any new company.

If you are unhappy with how this business is working for you, then make the necessary changes. Take a writing class. Apply to as many companies as possible. If you aren't getting the money you need, then take 10-15 jobs per day until the money gets better. The more you practice with the reports and narratives, the quicker they will go. But really, stop complaining and take the great advice that has been given to you many times now.
Sybil2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> elcarev68 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > On the first six boards that I checked, there
> were
> > a total of 53 assignments available within 75
> > miles of 81323.
>
>
> bmttinman, apparently you need to work on reading
> comprehensive also. elcarev68 clearly wrote six
> boards. Six = 6. And it was 53 assignments, not
> 73. You sure like twisting the facts. You accuse
> me of something that someone else said. You have
> been ungrateful to the many forum members who
> offered you sound advice. And now you are totally
> misquoting yet another forum member. Dude, you
> seriously need to rethink your game plan. And
> tweak your social skills.

I stand corrected. No game just misread. But the question is still the same. Is this six different companies with that amount of shops? I have never said I was totally right just think someone is blowing smoke.
Yes, we are all blowing smoke up your ass and all the way to the bank. You just don't get it. Reread elcarev68's figures for a third, fourth, fifth time. Maybe you will finally comprehend what that person is saying. But is I was in Las Vegas, I wouldn't bet on it.
Shoot. I live in a rural area, smack-dab in the middle of nowhere, just east of Nebraska and a wee bit north of Missouri. Company after company I have applied to over the ten years I have been shopping has no shops out here. The only way to find out was to apply. A cool thing about it is that when a new client comes on board in my area with a smaller MSP that has had no action around here before, I might be the only shopper. For others, there may be plenty of shoppers in the urban areas, but few willing to leave the blacktop. If there is a drive-though within a hundred miles of my home, I have timed it, and is there is a gas pump within that area I likely have a photo of it somewhere. It takes a while to find them and for schedulers to find me. Schedulers often work with more than one MSP, or even more than one scheduling company. They might remember me as someone who is dependable when something new comes along, or I may have been referred by a friend who schedules.

If you are truly trying to pay bills and dig out of a bad financial spot with shopping, gas stations and grocery stores help a lot. If you find a regular job that is a fair commute, doing one shop a day, just one, at a gas station or grocery store will help pay for that commute. A few bucks and some gasoline is nothing to sneeze at. Taking a day to drive a well-planned route of gas stations will bring you home with a full tank, a bag of granola bars, and a decent day's fees. I go out two days a month, on average, this way. (Gas stations generally require you to spend a buck or two. I refill my coffee mug at some, and pick up almonds or granola bars at the rest.) The trick is to try to avoid buying something that is of no value to you, so the reimbursement is part of the pay.
bmttinman – While I haven't checked out your zip code, you may be on to something. The demand for shops is heavily dependent on your location. If you happen to be in a secluded area, chances are there are less shops to go around. But that may benefit you if mystery shopping companies aren't able to get these shops covered by other shoppers easily. *ahem* BONUSES!

There are at least 100+ mystery shopping companies out there. The sucky part is realizing searching MSPA isn't going to show you all the shops in your area. I wish it was, but doing your own research and networking is part of the game in this industry.

I think looking for the right mystery shopping companies that fits your location and taste of assignments is like digging for gold. You may find gold, you may find some other nice minerals or you may not find anything at all.

I'm actually not one of those people who signed up for 100+ mystery shopping companies. I'm actually signed up to <30, but I coincidentally found the right companies for me that's been giving me consistent work I'm satisfied with. So it shouldn't be a surprise to you that a handful of us on this board are able to read about the success you're seeing. These shops are dependent on our locations and the companies we're signed up with. Giving you our companies isn't going to help much unless you live in the same area as another shopper. Even then, you can see how defensive others get when you ask for their resources (which is understandable, of course!).

But if those few companies you're signed up for aren't giving you the kind of work you're satisfied with, you need to continue digging for gold. It's just like any other job! If you aren't satisfied with your current employer(s), you'll continue your search for another one. Similar to your search for "better" mystery shopping companies, people aren't going to hand you these job opportunities on a silver platter. Just like any other industry, all employers aren't going to post all available jobs in one place, JUST like all the mystery shopping opportunities aren't posted in one search engine like MSPA. So when many of our fellow posters have suggested signing up for more mystery shopping companies, all they're doing is suggesting a successful way many of us found our bread & butter assignments. It's all up to you the work you'll put in to searching and finding this work.

Good luck, and keep your head up. Think of all these negative experiences you had with mystery shopping as learning opportunities and don't give up if this is something you really want to continue.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
Why in the world would you think shoppers making $2,000 to $3,000 a month are only making $12 to $14 an hour?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
They're all still thinking "40-hr work week". Using that, $2k/month is $12/hr. They apparently don't realize that most of you who have done this for a long time and are very experienced don't work nearly that many hours in a week unless you're driving an out-of-town route.
LisaSTL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why in the world would you think shoppers making
> $2,000 to $3,000 a month are only making $12 to
> $14 an hour?


Seriously. I hit almost that much this month working 11 days.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Good Gracious. . .I commend those of you who have stepped up and tried to give advice and managed to keep your patience about you. I am tense just reading this thread.

bmttinman: I am responding to your post solely because I, too, am a new-ish shopper and hopefully, you will find something in my progression as a shopper that will help you IF you choose to continue with shopping. And to be perfectly blunt, after what I've seen in this thread, I would strongly think about whether shopping is the right business for you to be in. If you truly want to give this a shot, you need a writing class and a major attitude adjustment. Sorry, but sugar coating it isn't going to help you at this point.

I started with mystery shopping as a way to make some extra $$ in order to help pay for a trip to Disney for my family. That's it. It was supposed to be a short-time thing and I didn't have any plans on continuing any shopping assignments after we had managed to save enough for our trip. My first shopping assignment I was paid $6 and reimbursed for a hamburger. Honestly, at the time, I went for the burger because I saw it as a free lunch. In my mind, $6 wasn't going to buy me a bottle of water at Disney so it certainly didn't seem worth it. But, I happen to love the client's burgers so I did it. My husband was jealous that I had gotten to shop his favorite burger joint so he signed up to shop too. Between the two of us, we completed quite a few of those burger shops. All the while, pocketing the $6 (by this time, I had realized that $6 and not having to pay for lunch would eventually add up and help with our Disney savings fund -- even if it meant not going until we were 90 and weighed 800lbs from all those burgers!) and eating a bunch of burgers all at $6/shop.

I'll admit that I would get a bit frustrated (or jealous) when I'd read about other shoppers who were getting big bonuses or getting to do really exciting shops. I wanted to know where they were finding all of these shops and how they were getting all of these great bonuses. Afterall, I was a shopper too. Wasn't I entitled to those same shops? The simple answer is No. These folks have been shopping for a long time, they have established and credible histories with their MSC's and the schedulers that they work with. No amount of education, professional qualifications, or the size of my network was going to substitute for plain and simple experience and relationship. I had to accept this and come to terms with the fact that the only way I was going to get those exciting shops and high bonuses was to work for it. And even better if I didn't piss any companies or schedulers off along the way!

An interesting thing happened a few months after I started shopping. The MSC that I shopped with the most frequently (at this point, I was signed up with maybe 5 companies) started calling me and offering me shops at higher rates than what I was seeing on the shopper board. Were these the bonuses that other (more experienced) shoppers were referring to? Most of the pay rates that they were offering me weren't that high but they were still higher than the $6 I was getting online. A couple of months later, I had a major breakthrough. The same MSC called me and offered me $60 to shop a location which was about 90 miles from me each way. I was overjoyed. Now, I look back and realize that some more experienced shoppers wouldn't even get out of bed for that but, to me at the time, that was a major step up. I enthusiastically accepted and did several of those shops before they started calling and offering me higher bonuses on that same shop.

When I got laid off from my full-time professional gig in April of this year, I was able to fall back on the relationship that I had already built with a few MSC's and used the lay off as an opportunity to establish more relationships with more companies. I'm still not signed up with 100 MSC's just yet but I'm close. They don't ALL have work in my area but I can't tell you how many times I've been sent and email or received a call from a company that I had never done any work for, but was signed up for, that had a job in my area that they needed me to complete. So, for 5 minutes of your time to sign up with a company even if they don't have anything in your area, you may find that it pays off big down the road. Now that I'm back working a full-time gig again, I don't accept nearly as many shops as I did when I was relying on it for income but I've built relationships with more companies and now get offered more shops/bonuses.

The point is what has already been stated to you: you have to work your way "up". If you are looking at mystery shopping to replace your current income or be your sole source of income, it may be very tight times for awhile until you've established yourself and the credibility of your work with MSC's. That takes time, patience, good work, and lots & lots of shops. If you aren't willing to wait it out and work your tail off to get to those higher paying shops, then stop now. In addition, if you're looking at the fee on your shops and grumbling because the person working minimum wage that you are evaluating behind the register is "making more than me", then I would suggest you get the job working behind the register making minimum wage. That shop will be taken by someone eventually and you won't have to complete it. Albeit, the person who gladly takes that shop (even though it doesn't make minimum wage) may eventually work their way up to those bonuses and high profile shops that you're after now and you'll still be making minimum wage behind the counter. Keep that in mind.
I remember when I first started this 'bizarre' business, I did low paying shops and wondered how others got more money doing the same shops. Well? I kept doing shops here and there for a low fee and finally one day, bonuses started happening and shops were given to me that were not on the boards.

Now, I get calls and more money. I am reliable. I don't cancel. I rarely reschedule. I submit the reports a.s.a.p. I did my time and now have a good reputation as a top shopper.

I balance the low paying fees with the higher ones and it's working so far.

This month, I brought in almost $1500 for one MSC.

I'm doing something that works for me! smiling smiley

If I find a shop doesn't pay enough, I won't take it and certainly, I won't complain about it.

That's business. Don't like it? Don't do it.
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