Shop Pay not always equal to report difficulty...

I'm noticing more and more that the pay offered for a shop is NOT always indicative of the difficulty in reporting the shop...

Logically, a $3 shop should have 6-12 questions with little to no narrative. A $10-12 shop maybe 30-60 questions with some short answers. A $20-40 shop would have perhaps 60-100 questions with some narrative. And a $80-200 shop (high-end retail, fine dining, casino, etc.) would have 100+ questions and multiple detailed narratives. Remember, this is logically speaking and certainly not reality it seems.

More and more, I'm seeing low paying shops that have stiffer reporting requirements than the higher priced shops! Of course you can't see the report until after you commit to the job. MSC that do this only get one chance to pull one over on me...

Those companies that realize the pay should be commensurate with the difficulty of either the shop itself or the report are the ones I find myself gravitating towards more and more. Those companies that offer a "FUN AND EASY" shop with little pay for ridiculous shop or reporting requirements are quickly added to the "10 ft. pole list"

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."

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Welcome to the realities of Mystery Shopping! smiling smiley What I tend to find is that there are companies that are more generous and easy to work with than others. That way I know if it is a $5 shop it is $5 worth or work (or less) and if it is a $20 shop it will need some attention and if it is a $50 shop I will spend some time making sure they get their money's worth. "FUN AND EASY" and "HERO CITATION" both generally hit the trash without opening.
And if they even HINT that it's "yummy" I hit the delete button with lightning speed.

Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
I just got an e-mail for a PAID online survey. Open up the e-mail and they "pay" you with 1000 credits and an entry to possibly win an i-pad or some ridiculousness. I am not even sure how I got on their email list since I don't do online surveys. Oh well, time to empty the trash bin.
Also watch out for the ones where the offered fee drops and then, 24 hours later, a "bonus" is offered (bringing it up the the original fee, of course.)

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I too have come to that understanding, and have realized that there are MSC that are well more worth while than others. My personal strategy to defeat this reality is quite simple, just stay away from the ridiculous low fees altogether, at any cost!
Not to argue with anyone about what fees they accept but I take a look at all shops no matter what the fee. I'm happy to say I frequently do a little bank shop that pays $8 and takes three minutes on site. The report is quick like a bunny. I consider it one of my best money makers. I always pick it up when it's not out of the way of that day's run so I have no additional driving to get to it. $$$ Happy Happy $$$.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
And this is why, when I take a new shop, I usually only take one or two. I like to see the report before I take a bunch of shops with potentially long narratives for $15.
Yes it is interesting, but for me I am even more amazed that the shops get picked up?
I have done a few carpet cleaning shops and they are easy and I don't even have to go somewhere. One MS company that rhymes with tree seems to always have a ton of questions with a few sentence answers. I have done some bar shops that are a paragraph and others are 100 questions then essays that cover the same thing.
The flip side of this is the shops where there is a reasonable fee, say $25-$40, and when you look at then do the shop it only has like 10 responses and a small narative.
The shop pay will be based on how difficult it is to get a shopper to take it, not the difficulty of the report itself, which is only one factor. In your very simple formula of pay and report difficulty, you're forgetting about location and popularity of the client.

It makes sense that an easy shop in a remote location might pay more than a difficult shop that a dozen shoppers can get to within minutes. A shop for a client that many shoppers are likely to visit anyway could be easier to assign, and thus have a lower fee, than a less popular store, restaurant, etc.
@msimon-2000 wrote:

I'm noticing more and more that the pay offered for a shop is NOT always indicative of the difficulty in reporting the shop...

Logically, a $3 shop should have 6-12 questions with little to no narrative. A $10-12 shop maybe 30-60 questions with some short answers. A $20-40 shop would have perhaps 60-100 questions with some narrative. And a $80-200 shop (high-end retail, fine dining, casino, etc.) would have 100+ questions and multiple detailed narratives. Remember, this is logically speaking and certainly not reality it seems.

More and more, I'm seeing low paying shops that have stiffer reporting requirements than the higher priced shops! Of course you can't see the report until after you commit to the job. MSC that do this only get one chance to pull one over on me...

Those companies that realize the pay should be commensurate with the difficulty of either the shop itself or the report are the ones I find myself gravitating towards more and more. Those companies that offer a "FUN AND EASY" shop with little pay for ridiculous shop or reporting requirements are quickly added to the "10 ft. pole list"

The short answer is they can get away with it because...they can. There are enough shoppers out here that will take these ridiculously low-fee assignments. The ones that astound me are the FF shops for the princely fee of $6 and there is a drive-thru and then an inside visit with multiple timings. All that for $6 and reimbursement for a high-calorie, cholesterol-bomb. And, the MSC uses the word "DINE" in their offering. DINE ??? Are they kidding. DINE at this establishment?
There's a lot of great points in this thread! Yes, as one poster pointed out, there are multiple factors that go into the fee for a shop. I certainly understand that, but am really focusing on just the one aspect of the fee to report relationship. Simply put, a low priced shop should have an easy report and a higher priced shop would have an expectation of a more demanding report.

The $8 bank shop with three minute shop and super easy report is an example of what an $8 job should be. Why do some MSC think they can offer an $8 for an hour plus on-site and ridiculously long, narrative filed report? The fee isn't commensurate with the effort.

I guess the real answer is that since we work with some many different MSC over the course of the year, what one company feels is reasonable varies greatly from the next company.

I also only take one or two new (to me) shops initially so I can see what the shop/report is like and then either add it to my 'like' list, or 'only with higher bonus list', or maybe the 'never again' list LOL.

I continue to be amazed that some of the low fee / difficult reports get picked up at the base rate. Maybe if they sat on the job board untouched, the MSC would get the hint and raise the pay.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
Could it be that your area has so many shoppers that each of them are picking up those shops one time to see how easy or difficult they are?
@msimon-2000 wrote:

I continue to be amazed that some of the low fee / difficult reports get picked up at the base rate. Maybe if they sat on the job board untouched, the MSC would get the hint and raise the pay.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
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