Job Security, Mobility, and Skill Transfer

Hey, I have a three-part question for anyone who has valid input: 1) Which MS company/job has been the most consistent for you? 2) Which company/job that offers work in places where you may travel to for short periods of time? and 3) What skills have you learned from MS that you have applied to another career OR has your experience in MS given you skills that could be applied outside the field?

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

MS isn't a job. As an IC you are your own small business. The only security and mobility will be what you create for yourself. I used skills learned from other endeavors to build my mystery shopping, not the other way around.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Wow *5 yrs* exp and you learned NOTHING from MSing that could be applied outside to "other endeavors." I highly doubt the success of these "other endeavors," (vagueness notwithstanding) if you have to use the skills acquired from them to bolster you MSing,which doesn't require the most specialized or critical skill-set. Also, an IC is NOT a small business (lol), small businesses have certain functions and protections that are beyond what any individual can have, especially a mystery shopper. Who you trying to convince here, me or yourself?

Yes, I know MS is not a job, thanks for enlightening me, but if you're like me you do enough regular work that it functions as a consistent, predictable salary, and there are some companies that offer *work* across the country on a regular basis, so in case you're out of town and still want to do some assignments, you can. Surely you must be aware of this, given you have a *5 yr* membership on this site, or maybe I'm being too generous.

Also, everyone learns different things from different situations, and what one person may get from MSing, another gets from ToastMasters, or their day-job, like learning to confidently approach and talk to strangers , or short-term planning skills. You see how easily and quickly I made that connection without being dismissive and pedantic?

That's unfortunate you have at least *5 yr* exp in MSing and yet you've gotten so little out of it, while I have made connections with people that have gone beyond the work, and have sharpened my skills, while learning about different companies, and the role of MSing in general. Anyway, thanks for the worthless response, hopefully someone else will have something of substance to say.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 05:44PM by sirblase27.
You obviously do not have the sort of MS experience that Lisa and many others on this forum have. She is a revered member of the forum and has assisted many shoppers with the breadth and depth of her business knowledge, gained over many years in private industry as a successful manager. Your assumptions about her are insulting.

Any IC is running a small business, according to the IRS. Only entities such as corporations and LLCs have the "additional" protections that you cite, but they most certainly are not the only real businesses. You will find that many active forum members have long careers in business, industry and the professional and, indeed, bring that knowledge to MS in order be be highly successful mystery shoppers.

Apparently you have come here to lecture us. Do you have anything else that will actually make a contribution to the forum? Please read the forum owner's posting guidelines in the blue box on the right. Especially the third guideline.

Perhaps you would like to answer some of the questions that shoppers are posing on the forum. That may provide a positive contribution. That is why most of us are here.

You might want to start by telling us YOUR answers to your three questions so that we know that you here to share and not just to "mine" for information that you could easily obtain by actually reading forum posts and learning how to use the search features. THOSE skills, learned elsewhere, may serve you the best in MS work.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 06:15PM by walesmaven.
I asked three SPECIFIC questions, and got not a single real answer, just a snarky retort. My assumptions about her are based on her vapid response, and I don't care whatever help she may have offered to others, because her breadth of experience isn't displayed here.

Great to hear there are so many successful professionals, if only you or her would actually point to some, give any kind of detail, then all of this would be unnecessary. And no, a sole proprietorship/small business requires you be legally registered as an operating business, an IC has no such obligation, the line "an IC is running a small business" is merely an ego trip, and a way for the IRS to easily group information for navigation.

I came here to lecture? I asked a sincere question (three actually), and what I got was neither informative or empathetic. Neither of you addressed the points of my inquiry, so I don't know how I could react positively.

I came here to get questions answered, not to answer other shoppers queries or your own. If you have any answers for the questions i posed, or can direct me to another forum where they have been consolidated, I'd appreciate it. And no, most are here to find answers to questions and build a network, not dismiss people who don't play by their semantics.
I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but in California (and others) a sole proprietorship does not need to be "registered." This is a business, and as an IC it's crucial to treat it as one. I, as an IC, run my mystery shopping as my business (mentally and legally), so saying it's just an "ego trip" is not only degrading to this community, but factually incorrect.

What are the questions for? I think some of us tend to keep parts of our business private in nature, so questions 1 and 2, at least, may be a bit more than some are willing to go into detail about.
Early warning systems have gone on high alert.

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.
The OP certainly made it clear they are not here to share knowledge, only to take.

The OP dismisses MS as a small business while crediting it with the opportunities to gain other skills. Apparently my mistake was already learning the skills mentioned along with many others, then applying them to my mystery shopping business. Perhaps if I were 18, fresh out of high school and had not held any type of job or run or owned any other businesses I could provide a laundry list of skills.

Regardless, I would not provide the OP with a list of companies. Perhaps there is one thing I have learned from mystery shopping. It does not behoove me to share my hard earned list of companies with an anonymous ingrate on a public forum.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I live in California, and yes, you have to register a sole proprietorship. Tell yourself what you like, but unless you went and registered yourself as one, you're an IC and not running an official small business (not legally anyway).

"What are the questions for? I think some of us tend to keep parts of our business private in nature, so questions 1 and 2, at least, may be a bit more than some are willing to go into detail about."

My questions was:
"1) Which MS company/job has been the most consistent for you? 2) Which company/job that offers work in places where you may travel to for short periods of time?"

You mean, why did I come to a MS forum to ask questions about MSing? The nerve I have, right?

In case you missed it, that's the whole reason this site exists. And I'm asking about MS companies, not your personal information. Is it that hard to say which MS company has provided the most rewarding work?
Sounds like ya'll don't have basic comprehensions skills or know how to answer simple questions: 1) Which MS companies have provided most consistent work? 2) Which MS company offers jobs outside your general working area? 3) What skills (if any) have you learned or sharpened from MSing?

Is this what's considered trolling?
And you lack basic research skills. There is a search function on this site. Information is free for the taking. Don't expect everyone to repeat it all because of your petulant demands.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@LisaSTL wrote:

The OP certainly made it clear they are not here to share knowledge, only to take.

The OP dismisses MS as a small business while crediting it with the opportunities to gain other skills. Apparently my mistake was already learning the skills mentioned along with many others, then applying them to my mystery shopping business. Perhaps if I were 18, fresh out of high school and had not held any type of job or run or owned any other businesses I could provide a laundry list of skills.

Regardless, I would not provide the OP with a list of companies. Perhaps there is one thing I have learned from mystery shopping. It does not behoove me to share my hard earned list of companies with an anonymous ingrate on a public forum.

Lol, I wasn't asked any questions, so I don't see the need for just answering random queries. And I didn't dismiss MS as a small business, just highlighting that, legally, an IC is not a Sole Proprietorship/Small Business.

You don't have to be 18, with no job experience to learn and hone your skills as your grow (I would think the advantageous thing to do is never stop that process).

It's not that it's impossible to find what MSing companies are out there, I'm just trying to make the best decision for myself, and avoid bad apples. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?
@sirblase27 wrote:

I live in California, and yes, you have to register a sole proprietorship. Tell yourself what you like, but unless you went and registered yourself as one, you're an IC and not running an official small business (not legally anyway).

Plain and simple, you are wrong. Maybe your question should be "What is mystery shopping?" or "How should I run my mystery shopping business?" because clearly you don't know.

From California SOS:

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is set up to allow an individual to own and operate a business. A sole proprietor has total control, receives all profits from and is responsible for taxes and liabilities of the business. If a sole proprietorship is formed with a name other than the individual’s name (example: John Smiths Fishing Shop), a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed with the county where the principal place of business is located.

No formation documents are filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. Other state filings may be required depending on the type of business.

Source: [www.sos.ca.gov]
@LisaSTL wrote:

And you lack basic research skills. There is a search function on this site. Information is free for the taking. Don't expect everyone to repeat it all because of your petulant demands.

If I found satisfactory information through that means, do you think I'd be posing the questions I did? C'mon, you can't be that dense.

"Petulant?" Oooooh, someone's digging deep into their Intro to Lit vocabulary. I asked a sincere question, and you and your defenders were the ones being petulant.
You probably shouldn't question the comprehension skills of others. Most join this forum to learn the good and bad of mystery shopping companies. Most do not become arrogant and demanding. Instead they take the time to research. Your time is no more valuable than any of the hundreds of members here, including many who have contributed a vast amount of knowledge.

If you have not, visit the New Mystery Shoppers section to read the first 12 threads. I would recommend you read this one first,

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

You may also want to read my original response again. The thread title specifically references job security and mobility. To say they are only what you make for yourself is far from snarky.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@ErinHayden wrote:

@sirblase27 wrote:

I live in California, and yes, you have to register a sole proprietorship. Tell yourself what you like, but unless you went and registered yourself as one, you're an IC and not running an official small business (not legally anyway).

Plain and simple, you are wrong. Maybe your question should be "What is mystery shopping?" or "How should I run my mystery shopping business?" because clearly you don't know.

From California SOS:

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is set up to allow an individual to own and operate a business. A sole proprietor has total control, receives all profits from and is responsible for taxes and liabilities of the business. If a sole proprietorship is formed with a name other than the individual’s name (example: John Smiths Fishing Shop), a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed with the county where the principal place of business is located.

No formation documents are filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. Other state filings may be required depending on the type of business.

Source: [www.sos.ca.gov]

You conveniently left out the part about applying for a business license, seller's license, and zoning laws. Which you don't have to worry about because, you're NOT running a small business, you're an IC. You can be an IC and run a small business, sure, but you're not really
@OP: You are not alone. This has happened to assorted other persons for at least 2.5 years.

"The hor-ror" (Sheldon Cooper)
Why am I not surprised, Shop-et-al. I answer a question honestly without snark only to be answered with a nasty response questioning my experience in this business, calling my previous endeavors unsuccessful and my opinion worthless. Now somehow you have equated all that to the poor OP being abused?

Some people come here as trolls while others are merely troll adjacent.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@LisaSTL wrote:

You probably shouldn't question the comprehension skills of others. Most join this forum to learn the good and bad of mystery shopping companies. Most do not become arrogant and demanding. Instead they take the time to research. Your time is no more valuable than any of the hundreds of members here, including many who have contributed a vast amount of knowledge.

If you have not, visit the New Mystery Shoppers section to read the first 12 threads. I would recommend you read this one first,

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

You may also want to read my original response again. The thread title specifically references job security and mobility. To say they are only what you make for yourself is far from snarky.

I don't buy the whole secrecy of keeping a list of MSCs, since there's so many resources for finding out who's out there, not to mention the companies who find me. And I'm not sorry that I don't want to spend half the day trying to sort through all these threads, many of which are dead-ends. I have directed many people to MSCs because I want others to reap their benefits. I have no special attachment to the list companies I have done work for, as I don't feel like I'm in competition with every other shopper, or depend on MS for most of my income.

"The only security and mobility will be what you create for yourself. I used skills learned from other endeavors to build my mystery shopping, not the other way around."

That's pretty snarky, and you clearly understand what I meant in the question, but chose the response you gave.
@sirblase27 wrote:

@ErinHayden wrote:

@sirblase27 wrote:

I live in California, and yes, you have to register a sole proprietorship. Tell yourself what you like, but unless you went and registered yourself as one, you're an IC and not running an official small business (not legally anyway).

Plain and simple, you are wrong. Maybe your question should be "What is mystery shopping?" or "How should I run my mystery shopping business?" because clearly you don't know.

From California SOS:

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is set up to allow an individual to own and operate a business. A sole proprietor has total control, receives all profits from and is responsible for taxes and liabilities of the business. If a sole proprietorship is formed with a name other than the individual’s name (example: John Smiths Fishing Shop), a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed with the county where the principal place of business is located.

No formation documents are filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. Other state filings may be required depending on the type of business.

Source: [www.sos.ca.gov]

You conveniently left out the part about applying for a business license, seller's license, and zoning laws. Which you don't have to worry about because, you're NOT running a small business, you're an IC. You can be an IC and run a small business, sure, but you're not really

All three of those are dependent on jurisdiction. Not all areas require it, and it's certainly not a state-required "registration." Maybe you should be discussing those items with a tax professional before considering this industry.

FWIW - My MSing is considered a business in my area, and my paperwork is in order. But there is still no "registration" required by the state. Get off your high horse because you are flat-out wrong and spreading false information that should be left to the professionals.
@Shop-et-al wrote:

@OP: You are not alone. This has happened to assorted other persons for at least 2.5 years.

Yea, I don't get it. I guess I'm lucky in that I don't absolutely need MSing, but I thought I'd least find a way to make it work better for me. Clearly this is not the place to get straight-forward responses
1. Why did the first responders not provide polite re-direction to specific relevant boards, threads, or posts?

2. Is that courtesy reserved for specific posters and withheld from others?

3. Is there a new forum guideline or rule rule against that?

"The hor-ror" (Sheldon Cooper)
@ErinHayden wrote:

@sirblase27 wrote:

@ErinHayden wrote:

@sirblase27 wrote:

I live in California, and yes, you have to register a sole proprietorship. Tell yourself what you like, but unless you went and registered yourself as one, you're an IC and not running an official small business (not legally anyway).

Plain and simple, you are wrong. Maybe your question should be "What is mystery shopping?" or "How should I run my mystery shopping business?" because clearly you don't know.

From California SOS:

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is set up to allow an individual to own and operate a business. A sole proprietor has total control, receives all profits from and is responsible for taxes and liabilities of the business. If a sole proprietorship is formed with a name other than the individual’s name (example: John Smiths Fishing Shop), a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed with the county where the principal place of business is located.

No formation documents are filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. Other state filings may be required depending on the type of business.

Source: [www.sos.ca.gov]

You conveniently left out the part about applying for a business license, seller's license, and zoning laws. Which you don't have to worry about because, you're NOT running a small business, you're an IC. You can be an IC and run a small business, sure, but you're not really

All three of those are dependent on jurisdiction. Not all areas require it, and it's certainly not a state-required "registration." Maybe you should be discussing those items with a tax professional before considering this industry.

FWIW - My MSing is considered a business in my area, and my paperwork is in order. But there is still no "registration" required by the state. Get off your high horse because you are flat-out wrong and spreading false information that should be left to the professionals.

Well if that's the case, why give you're input at all? Doesn't sound like you're a tax professional. But in any case, that wasn't the point of my post. My questions were simple: 1)Which companies have you been most satisfied with? 2) Which of those companies offer work outside your immediate working area? and 3) What skills have you learned/honed from MS?
@Shop-et-al wrote:

1. Why did the first responders not provide polite re-direction to specific relevant boards, threads, or posts?

2. Is that courtesy reserved for specific posters and withheld from others?

3. Is there a new forum guideline or rule rule against that?

I can't answer for Lisa, but I came to this thread with an open mind. However, when I asked the purpose of those questions (they were worded quite specifically), I got OP's long-winded argumentative response. No reason for me to do the research and supply links if a simple inquiry is met with hostility, ya know? The false information about California requiring "registration" and jabs that I'm not really running a business are where my courtesy went out the window.
If I am reading it correctly, merely responding was insufficient. I should have researched other threads and posts, then included links for the OP and anything else was justification for a personal attack?

Meanwhile I have stated my answer was not snark. The OP is either claiming to be a mind reader or implying I am a liar when he continues to assert it was.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
You couldn't have mentioned the existence of the board that is labeled for new shoppers?

"The hor-ror" (Sheldon Cooper)
Oh another piece of work.
Has anybody checked the IP of this user to see if it matches any others?

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 08:04PM by bgriffin.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login