Should We Feel Bad For Taking Schedulers Money On $15 Car Shops Requiring 2.5-3 hours?

This question is really bugging me, if Schedulers are taking a direct hit because we ask for more than $15 for a "Two to Three Hour Car Shop" should we do the shop and shut our mouths because we are taking money directly from our Scheduler? I am confused now after reading a thread where some feel guilty that their getting a bonus for doing more work and making above $5 a hour. How is it those shops that hang around $7 all month that require a minimum of "one hour time plus drive" all jump in sync to $25 from Feb 24-Feb 29? Are we stealing from our Scheduler by asking them to pay more than $5 a hour?


The Schedulers who offered me a bonus were very kind, they understand Shoppers the "shops" are going to sit unless your motivated by your own personal well-being to perform tasks that were greatly discounted from their initial post. Is it wrong to hold out for more money or accept a low offer allowing people like "Beavis and Butt-head's" minimum wage to surpass yours? Oregon is presenting a ballot to move wages up towards $14 a hour in the Voting Season. Does guilt plague you for demanding more than $5 a hour because it don't bug me!

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2016 03:47AM by Pennies4Shops.

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No.

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.
I don't feel guilty for accepting bonuses. If the schedulers get paid less when shops are bonused, that is apparently something they agreed to when signing up to be a scheduler. It's quite a stretch, in my opinion, to say shoppers are "stealing" from schedulers by accepting bonuses. They don't have to bonus them. Obviously some schedulers would prefer to bonus a shop rather than let it sit there on the job boards, potentially never getting done.
GfK used to deduct bonuses directly from schedulers pay. Schedulers were given a SLA bonus, per shop. Once that was used up, any bonuses came out of a scheduler's work invoice. They changed that policy before we parted ways though. A famous wings shop they used to schedule only paid schedulers $2.50 per scheduled assignment, with a $1.00 per SLA bonus. So, if you had 200 of these assignments to schedule, you only were given $200 in bonus money to schedule them all. Once that bonus was used up, it started coming out of the scheduler's invoice.

Carey Medina had a big hand in changing this policy and for that, she deserves major credit.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2016 06:24AM by DanteScheduler.
The system only enriches leaders at the top, lower and middle leaders always were at risk for getting ax'ed or having their pay deducted. Have you ever thought of writing a book on the industry from a Scheduler's view Dante? I think your experiences with companies and shoppers would make a wonderful E-book for all to read. You could share reality with everyone instead of these trashy websites that tell everyone "Untold Riches and free luxury cruises await the Mystery Shopper"

Sorry they took away your money when it was their fault for not providing a fair payout in the first place?

Dante, is it a habit of some Schedulers to not reply to emails when it comes to bonus subject matter? I see the Job Boards and Shops just sitting month after month, nobody is touching because the payout is too low. Someone sent me a email saying they raised the bonus by $.50 while they raised it greatly for somewhere else. Why would I be motivated to do this shop for $.50 extra when they raised the bonus $15 for everyone else and those shops are still sitting because of their distance. Why do some Schedulers ignore emails, do they not want those jobs done? This I ask with a pure heart because there are wonderful Schedulers I will jump over backwards for them for the rate because they helped me in binds. What is the purpose of having hard dates if your not willing to pay the shopper the correct payment to fill the task?


Dante, what is the worst report you ever saw grammar and performing duties with? Did you have to spend tons of time trying to fix horrible grammar and messed up data and photos? Your pretty cool taking your time to educate us, thank you!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2016 06:33AM by Pennies4Shops.
Hi Pennies,

It's really not an issue. I started out as a mystery shopper in March of 2013 and found this forum shortly afterwards. I became a scheduler for GfK in October of 2014. I scheduled for GfK until August of 2015 and also briefly scheduled for Integrity Consultants. After seeing the other side of the industry, honestly, I realized I was better off just being a shopper until I find a company that treats everyone with respect and has enough work to keep me busy.

I've thought about writing an e-book, or even approaching Jacob about writing a few articles for mystery shopping magazine. Sharing my knowledge is honestly not about profiting from it. It's more about possibly making a difference in perceptions and misconceptions that other people may have in order to help them maximize their profits.

Compared to many on here, there are several people who have more experience than I do as a shopper and several people who have more experience as a scheduler. My learning curve was accelerated by a scheduler who was with Summit Scheduling and he helped me better understand this industry.

I've made a lot of mistakes since I started. I've even burnt a few bridges that I wished I hadn't, but everything is a learning experience in this industry.

I can honestly say, thanks to my experiences and this forum, I am more in tune with this business than I would have been without it.

I replied to each question in italics and bold so it stands out from your questions. Hopefully, this isn't too confusing.




@Pennies4Shops wrote:

The system only enriches leaders at the top, lower and middle leaders always were at risk for getting ax'ed or having their pay deducted. Have you ever thought of writing a book on the industry from a Scheduler's view Dante? I think your experiences with companies and shoppers would make a wonderful E-book for all to read. You could share reality with everyone instead of these trashy websites that tell everyone "Untold Riches and free luxury cruises await the Mystery Shopper"

Sorry they took away your money when it was their fault for not providing a fair payout in the first place?

Honestly, I could write an entire book about my experiences with GfK alone. Some of the occurrences would seem fictional though; I can assure you they were not.

Dante, is it a habit of some Schedulers to not reply to emails asking about bonuses that sit on Job Boards nobody is touching. Someone sent me a email saying they raised the bonus by $.50 while they raised it greatly for somewhere else. Why would I be motivated to do this shop for $.50 extra when they raised the bonus $15 for everyone else and those shops are still sitting because of their distance. Why do some Schedulers ignore emails, do they not want those jobs done? This I ask with a pure heart because there are wonderful Schedulers I will jump over backwards for them for the rate because they helped me in binds. What is the purpose of having hard dates if your not willing to pay the shopper the correct payment to fill the task?

I cannot speak for every company, but with regards to GfK, they send out a "goal calendar" for each project, every month. This calendar includes what dates to change the due dates to on the assignments, as well as what percentage of shops should be assigned and what percentage of shops should be completed.

The bonuses can be tricky. Sometimes bonuses are set due to past bonuses given for a specific location. I preferred to give higher bonuses to a shopper who was willing to complete multiple assignments for me in order to help me clear my board. The more assignments a shopper would take, the sweeter I could make that bonus number.

I had favorites as a scheduler and I took care of those favorite shoppers, even if it came out of my pocket. I did this knowing that the shoppers would take care of me and come through for me.



Dante, what is the worst report you ever saw grammar and performing duties with? Did you have to spend tons of time trying to fix horrible grammar and messed up data and photos? Your pretty cool taking your time to educate us, thank you!

I did very little editing; however, if I believed a shop was incorrectly excluded (which did happen from time to time), I would fight for the shopper to get the shop accepted and get the shopper paid. I did this more than once and with about 95% success.

I did receive one email for a smartphone shop where the shopper asked if they would have to buy the cell phone from me... lol (sorry, I had to share that one!)


Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
No one is forcing anyone to do mystery shopping, be a scheduler, be an editor, or run an MSC for that matter. I would encourage anyone to negotiate for what they need, within reason, inany business. The schedulers can negotiate right back.
I would not do a car shop for less than 50 bucks I don't care who else gets what. Why some car shops pay 50-75 bucks and other are down at 20 makes no sense to me. My BIL in Boston said that his all require him to come back and dicker some more which makes no sense at all you are doubling the fee I would want.
@CeciliaM wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to do mystery shopping, be a scheduler, be an editor, or run an MSC for that matter. I would encourage anyone to negotiate for what they need, within reason, in any business. The schedulers can negotiate right back.

CeciliaM, their dropping "car sales shops" again, this month one of the companies dropped it down to $12, with all the reports and interactions plus taking a test-drive, how in the world can anyone make money spending two hours for $12. Lisa made a wonderful point that some people are better off working as a employee because they can get more money plus benefits with firms who pay a 401k matching plan, credit, vacation (4 to 5 weeks with Costco) which puts $11 a hour around $15-$17 once you add in bennies. Costco hires a lot of people of all diversities, they give people chances to make a living. I have friends who get hired as seasonal help with Costco starting out at $14 as a cashier, that's much better than $6 a hour plus you get unemployment insurance and advisability or WC if you get hurt!

The grievance I am making is, its a bold faced lie I've been told about certain MSCs rewarding people for doing low pay jobs and better jobs would open up once you made your way through the system. My writing does not always reflect my best work here, one of my girlfriends is a English Professor and does Book Editing making $90 a hour reviewing books or $200 if she's writing a professional person's book or life story. None of my shops have been taken away, I get high marks and feel nobody deserves to get insulted with the newly reduced price of $12 per "car sales visit" shops.



So far after getting phone calls from schedulers to perform shops at the last minute, I asked "I would do that shop if I had gas money, they said "Sorry, we can't give you a bonus!" this is after hundreds of shops with this MSC. Now I am reducing my shops with them because other great MSCs don't expect you to work for Third-World Wages! When I saw a new "Car Shop Sales Interaction, haggle the price and come back again that day to see if they reduced their price for $12 for March (Lower than the $15 I mentioned) it infuriates me because their not even getting minimum wage. Thank God we have Lisa, Flash and BirdyC and Austin Mom, Wales who understand its wrong to even offer $5 or $6 for one hours worth of work because if you were employed your wages would be $10.00 plus benefits if they pay them.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2016 08:11AM by Pennies4Shops.
@CeciliaM wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to do mystery shopping, be a scheduler, be an editor, or run an MSC for that matter. I would encourage anyone to negotiate for what they need, within reason, inany business. The schedulers can negotiate right back.


What happens when they refuse to negotiate or tell us "were digging at the bottom of our pockets and care spare any more and that's why we dropped the "Car Sales Visit" from $15 to $12 in March"!
@Pennies4Shops wrote:


What happens when they refuse to negotiate or tell us "were digging at the bottom of our pockets and care spare any more and that's why we dropped the "Car Sales Visit" from $15 to $12 in March"!

What happens? I'm not understanding your question. Nothing happens. The schedulers/MSCs do what they do. Each IC makes his own choice. I simply delete e-mails with shops I do not want to do and/or do not pay an adequate payment for my needs. If they "refuse to negotiate," then I still won't do the shop. I'm sure someone will. If someone else won't, then they will negotiate. Law of supply and demand. The MSCs will pay what the market demands. If they can find others who will work cheaper, then they will hire those who work cheaper.

Business is business. It is in the best interest of the scheduler to get the most jobs possible done at the lowest cost possible while ensuring a quality product to present to the client. It is in the best interest of each mystery shopper to get the best payment possible for the work he does.
Just say no. You are in control of the shops you take or don't take. I don't understand what your issue is. If you don't like the offer, just say no. The fact that others may like the offer (for whatever reason) does not mean that you have to cave in. Just say no.

@Pennies4Shops wrote:

@CeciliaM wrote:

No one is forcing anyone to do mystery shopping, be a scheduler, be an editor, or run an MSC for that matter. I would encourage anyone to negotiate for what they need, within reason, inany business. The schedulers can negotiate right back.


What happens when they refuse to negotiate or tell us "were digging at the bottom of our pockets and care spare any more and that's why we dropped the "Car Sales Visit" from $15 to $12 in March"!

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
We do the only thing we can which is to educate other shoppers. Since we are still just a portion of the shoppers across the country, not everyone is going to get the message. I'm not so cynical as some to believe what we do is not making any difference. Beyond that, it really isn't worth getting our collective knickers in a knot. Shopper do tend to "get it" eventually. It has been proven time and time again when low paying shops get taken like candy one month only to sit and sit and sit the next.

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.
Pennies - I agree with others who've said just don't take the shops you don't want. Comparing the income available from this with income available from something else is a waste of time. I understand your frustration but if you are worth more in another line of work and the money is important to you, follow the money and forget about this. I don't understand what you expect anyone else to do about your disillusionment regarding this business. The MSC makes an offer and we take it or leave it. We can, of course, counter offer and they take it or leave it. That pretty much sums it up.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
My first month of mystery shopping I signed up for a car dealership at $17. Have never done another - it is just not for me and the pay is .... way too low for the amount of work and anxiety that I went thru. So I concentrate on the shops that either pay well or that I enjoy. I have found that there is plenty of work even if you are not doing car dealerships. Now if they would pay what it is worth that would be a different story but that pay would have to start at $50.
If you worry about your scheduler not making any money just remember they may have had many shops taken at the base price and you are only seeing the few left that need to get bonuses. Sometime look at the shops available in Los Angeles at the end of the month...and perhaps in other large cities and you will see that the pages and pages of shops are already gone, filled at base price. Hopefully your schedulers have markets like mine to offset their expense in markets like yours.
Sybil, if you are reading this it is not a complaint and yes i know I do not have to take those shops at base price.
But the scheduler also has the option of quitting if she/he is not earning what they think they should be.
I guess I don't really understand the premise of the question. Why on earth would someone feel bad about taking $15 for a 2.5 to 3 hour mystery shop? It's like the hotel shops that were recently posted that took 2 hours and paid $20. If a MSC offers an embarrassingly low pay rate for a shop, I have no problem with asking for a higher rate and simply walking away if they don't meet my requested rate. Negotiations are a two-way street.
I do not know anything about scheduling, but I do not feel guilty about requesting a bonus, especially when there is a distance to drive and a chunk of time involved with the shop and report. Sometimes it is just that I know the shop is hard or not pleasant, and I require more just to make myself do it. If a scheduler asks, I will tell them the truth. There was a time I was shy about asking, but realized that they will say no if it is not feasible. I can say no as well if I feel the pay is too low. I don't get offended if I am turned down, and I am happy if my offer is accepted.
@komondor wrote:

I would not do a car shop for less than 50 bucks I don't care who else gets what. Why some car shops pay 50-75 bucks and other are down at 20 makes no sense to me. My BIL in Boston said that his all require him to come back and dicker some more which makes no sense at all you are doubling the fee I would want.

I'm with you regarding car shops. I don't know who would do one by a certain MSC for $14. I've already done them for $25.00 if they are close, but if they are over 20 miles, $50.00 is what I will accept.
What I meant by my "nobody is forcing anyone" comment is that you should do the shops that you want to do for the pay that you want, and if you find that you can't make the money that you need to make based on the listed pay, then you have two choices: negotiate, or quit and go work at a regular job.

My main point was that you really shouldn't feel bad if there is work being offered but you can't justify taking it because the pay is too low. You're totally in the right to try to negotiate, in my opinion. Obviously negotiations are two way street, and you can't ask for anything too insane too many times without burning bridges. But no one should work for wages that they don't feel are appropriate when they know that better wages are just a phone call or email away. And if schedulers are scheduling jobs that are paying people third-world wages, then shame on them! They don't have to do that job either. We all have a choice every day to live our lives with integrity or not, and that includes what we do at work.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2016 04:28PM by CeciliaM.
I wonder if threads like this exist between small business owners on other professional forums. To me the misconception that mystery shoppers are not professionals only benefits the mystery shopping companies. So next time we want to ask if we should feel guilty, instead of asking other mystery shoppers maybe we should ask an attorney or the owner of an HVAC company if they feel guilty charging for their services.

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.
We have a choice take the shop at the base pay, get a bonus or just don't do the shop.
Your saying the scheduler isn't making enough money, that is for them to decide.
I won't shop a car shop or assisted living for under $70. I have shopped both at this pay. They just aren't worth it to me. I can shop three banks for $75 within a few miles from my house. I have great schedulers that I work with, I also will do them a favor, it works both ways.
The schedulers work for the MSCs not for me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2016 04:46PM by shopper8.
Penniesforshops I think you have it backwards. To me it seems the schedulers should feel bad offering a shop that takes 2-3 hours for $15. And that may or may not include your travel time, gas, time to read the directions and to fill in the report. I have not done this shop so I am not sure you are including all the time you actually spend to do this shop. Most shop estimates of time I see do not include some of the above time eaters.
If I were a scheduler I would feel bad and like I was cheating/scamming the shopper every time someone took a shop that paid so far below minimum wage. I am not a scheduler but if that is what I had to do on my job I would look for another one or another msc to schedule for that paid their shoppers at least a minimum wage using truthful estimates of time and expense.
Any one looking for high paying auto shops in GA, FL N. and S Carolina please PM me I am looking for new auto sales MS in these states.

SCMGina
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