Are criteria for shops becoming too onerous?

There's a retail establishment located across the street from my house that gets shopped and it's a drop-dead easy shop - you just have to stay there 30 minutes. I can walk there and do it.....but it pays $9. I can make $9 tax-free in easier ways - grocery shop more carefully that week, read the finance blogs for tips and deals, etc. ...but I am sure somebody will eventually do that shop. Would be great for someone who really, really needs to earn a couple bucks and doesn't have better options. I guess all of this to say that there is somebody for every type of shop?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2018 01:47AM by BarefootBliss.

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You can do your across the street shop and use the 30 minutes there as walking exercise time. I don't know what interactions or reporting you have to do though.
When people keep saying, just don't take low fee shops, those out there that need the money, should and will take the shops, which is why things will always stay the same.......can't save a drowing horse, it is what it is....

I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.....
Duke Ellington
@SteveSoCal wrote:


...Complexity increases because it can. And technology improves. It’s a cycle. Wait ten years. We’ll be discussing how much more is required to complete a shop than today.

@TroyHawkins wrote:


This pretty much sums up my stance...

Wasn't intended to be a way to make a living. Some can do it, but for most, it's a side gig.

The way I see it, just because: 1 someone might do it anyway, and, 2 technology is supposedly making it easier, and, 3 it's not intended for someone to make a living, and, 4 some don't pay their taxes on it...is no reason for MSC's to pay so little to their Shoppers.

1. In my area, if I only do Shops I would normally do anyway, I would never have any Shops to perform because there just aren't any unless I do 4 or more per day 50 to 150+ miles from my home.

2. Technology costs the Shopper money out of their pocket, especially if they normally wouldn't have that kind of technology if they weren't a Shopper.

3. Of course not, but some need to supplement income without killing themselves, and without it eating up the supplemented income to complete Shops.

4. Those supplementing their income need to make enough to pay for the technology, and other Shop related expenses they incur to complete a Shop, then make even more still to actually supplement their income. That's going to eventually require paying taxes, unless a Shopper lies to the IRS.

Thus, Shoppers accepting Shops that pay too little, or barely enough to even cover expenses are helping to convince these MSC's that it's okay to pay so blasted little.

Just sayin'.
@WendyG10 wrote:

The way I see it, just because: 1 someone might do it anyway, and, 2 technology is supposedly making it easier, and, 3 it's not intended for someone to make a living, and, 4 some don't pay their taxes on it...is no reason for MSC's to pay so little to their Shoppers.

You might be missing the point of that comment, which is that the model of mystery shopping is to find consumers who frequent business and tap that resource at a minimal cost, in order to get feedback about the operation of said businesses. It has been long-understood that shops pay what the market will bear...as do most jobs.

Are you suggesting that these business pay shoppers more than necessary, simply because some might need the money?

The idea behind using people who do it as a side gig is that their main jobs will pay for that technology. Their main jobs pay for that gas to the grocery store shop...so it's easy to find someone who would like an extra $8-10 for a few minutes of their time if they are going to be in the store anyway. Convincing someone to take that assignment who wasn't planning on being in that store for 30 minutes is much harder, so we end up with pissed off shoppers when they try to earn a living doing those kind of shops.

Perhaps the problems is not the MSC's, but the attitude of shoppers who don't understand the nature of the business.
I understand fully, but I also understand there's a minimum wage, at least there is in the U.S. Every business owner has the right to determine what they can afford to pay out in overhead. This includes Professional Shoppers, who are operating their own business.

We're not much different than the nontipped restaurant workers to whom the Federal Government requires employers to pay the minimum wage of $7.25. That's not straight across the board because Federal Government still only require employers to pay the tipped restaurant workers a minimum wage of $2.13; and that battle still wages on. (no pun intended) Just like restaurant workers, we are being "paid" too little for the amount of work required of us.

It is what it is? I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion here too. It's what I like about forums, we're allowed to voice them and disuss them in an adult manner. winking smiley smiling smiley

One last thing, as I mentioned a moment ago, we Shoppers are business owners too by being self employed, therefore capitalism (I think someone mentioned that earier) applies for us too, right? We have a right to earn a decent amount for providing a contracted service.
@WendyG10 wrote:

One last thing, as I mentioned a moment ago, we Shoppers are business owners too by being self employed, therefore capitalism (I think someone mentioned that earier) applies for us too, right? We have a right to earn a decent amount for providing a contracted service.

We are totally in a capitalistic system. However, that is precisely the reason that we do NOT have a right to earn a decent amount for providing a service. We do have have the right to negotiate. We do have the right to turn down work we do not want. We do have the right to refuse to work for less than we believe a job is worth. However, the next guy has the right to do the work for dirt cheap. The MSC has the right to pay that guy for the cheap labor. Etc.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
...and we work for ourselves, not the MSC's. It's a business-to-business contract with them. If you are not earning the equivalent of minimum wage at this job, then the blame lies on you, since you are not operating your business in a way that allows it...and not paying yourself (as an employee of yourself) enough.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

...and we work for ourselves, not the MSC's. It's a business-to-business contract with them. If you are not earning the equivalent of minimum wage at this job, then the blame lies on you, since you are not operating your business in a way that allows it...and not paying yourself (as an employee of yourself) enough.

I can't pay myself enough if I am not making enough to pay even the overhead. Lol, and I am not trying to make a living, just trying to pay some surprise bills that my emergency fund didn't/isn't covering.

This allows for me to work around the medical appointments and my hours at work too.

The Shops are just not paying enough to actually help the way I need it to. Lol

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2018 03:54AM by WendyG10.
@WendyG10 wrote:

@SteveSoCal wrote:


The Shops just not paying enough to actually help the way I need it to. Lol

There are quite a few shops that will pay more... It's just a matter of finding them. How many companies are you with?

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
16, I am limited to those who pay via paper check. A scant few, state-side, after receiving consistent payments from them, I have signed up for direct deposit to begin next payment cycle.

Most of those 16 I found out afterwards they don't even have jobs in my area, so I'm still looking. I hate giving out my information then find out i can't even find Shops with them.

I consistently find Shops with only 3 of them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2018 04:01AM by WendyG10.
Why are you limited to paper checks? The vast majority of companies use PayPal... Have you signed up with the "Most Discussed" companies on this forum? They all should have shops in your area as they are larger companies.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Long story short, by no fault of my own, PayPal decided to permanently freeze me out of using them for any financial purpose. Though my credit is great, please know it would take too long to explain the why's and wherefores, they don't base it on credit.

They told me to see a lawyer about it if I wanted to. Whatever, I don't have the money or time to bother fighting them. It's capitalism at it's best. Lol
Are you at least able to do companies that use direct deposit? That will open a few more possibilities.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@WendyG10 wrote:

Long story short, by no fault of my own, PayPal decided to permanently freeze me out of using them for any financial purpose.l

Well...that's the root of the problem. I don't work for any companies that pay by check and average $20-25 per hour for my reporting time.

You owe it to yourself to figure a way around the Paypal debacle. Get a new email address for MSing and have it registered to a trusted friend's Paypal.
Yes, direct deposit, that I can do.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2018 04:30AM by WendyG10.
MaritzCX is big and pays with direct deposit. Their shops often start paying low, but can have very healthy bonuses as their deadlines approach.

If you don't mind writing narratives and doing apartments, EPMS pays direct deposit. They have work pretty much everywhere.

BestMark has had a few shops recently that have paid well - some car dealerships at $45 and $75. (Though this has not been typical.) They pay by check.

Business Observations is found on iSS and pays by check. They are smaller....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Restaurant shop where they never give you itemized receipts because you pay for the meal at the exit... you get only generic receipt. Great way to reveal yourself as a MS. Luckily they accepted my first shop although I didn’t realize I needed to ask for itemized receipt. Next time I knew what to do.
@WendyG10 wrote:

I understand fully, but I also understand there's a minimum wage, at least there is in the U.S. Every business owner has the right to determine what they can afford to pay out in overhead. This includes Professional Shoppers, who are operating their own business.

We're not much different than the nontipped restaurant workers to whom the Federal Government requires employers to pay the minimum wage of $7.25. That's not straight across the board because Federal Government still only require employers to pay the tipped restaurant workers a minimum wage of $2.13; and that battle still wages on. (no pun intended) Just like restaurant workers, we are being "paid" too little for the amount of work required of us.

It is what it is? I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion here too. It's what I like about forums, we're allowed to voice them and disuss them in an adult manner. winking smiley smiling smiley

One last thing, as I mentioned a moment ago, we Shoppers are business owners too by being self employed, therefore capitalism (I think someone mentioned that earier) applies for us too, right? We have a right to earn a decent amount for providing a contracted service.

Most tipped restaurant workers don’t report all their tips to Uncle Sam.
@Vicky86 wrote:

Most tipped restaurant workers don’t report all their tips to Uncle Sam.

Where I live, tips often first go to the employer, it is then dispersed in the employee's paycheck, or at least is recorded income and reported by the employer to the IRS.

They do this because the employers are held accountable to make up the difference if the tips don't equal out (in the end) to at least the minimum wage per hour when added to the $2.13 per hour.

Anything above and beyond is the actual tip. I suppose some still lie though.
"Most tipped restaurant workers don’t report all their tips to Uncle Sam."

@Vicky86 - How can you making such a sweeping statement? Do you know "most tipped restaurant workers" in the U.S. and have they told you whether they report their tips or not?

Way to perpetuate a lie ...
Have you tried Venmo?

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away
@WendyG10 wrote:

We have a right to earn a decent amount for providing a contracted service.
The sticking point is "decent amount." That amount is the point at which what you're willing to work for meets what the company's willing to pay. It's not an arbitrary amount.

Mystery shopping is not brain surgery. Certainly there are shops that require a greater level of skill (which should translate into greater pay), but it doesn't really require a high IQ or vast amounts of education to report on whether the postal clerk pointed out the tracking number on your receipt.

Need a particular consistent wage? MSing probably isn't for you.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." ~Sun Tzu
@iShop123 wrote:

@WendyG10 wrote:

We have a right to earn a decent amount for providing a contracted service.
Mystery shopping is not brain surgery. Certainly there are shops that require a greater level of skill (which should translate into greater pay), but it doesn't really require a high IQ or vast amounts of education to report on whether the postal clerk pointed out the tracking number on your receipt.

Need a particular consistent wage? MSing probably isn't for you.

Thank you for the inspiring words, apparently my words about my specific circumstances were overlooked but that is okay no harm no foul. smiling smiley

I do beg to differ, it takes education to be a Mystery Shopper. One must be able to spell, utilize appropriate sentence structure, proper punctuation and grammar, common sense, and excellent objectivity - among the multiple other skills required for Mystery Shopping.

Having a low opinion of oneself, one's peers and our required skills and abilities is not the greatest character trait for a Shopper or business owner either one. Lol. For if we look down upon ourselves, how can we truly expect others to look at us any differently?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2018 10:47PM by WendyG10.
Seriously, why do you keep dissing people making a living at mystery shopping? We don't dis you for hobby shopping. And no, we don't have other jobs let alone other full-time jobs. I'm not even sure why you would feel offended. You have made it abundantly clear you are retired and mystery shop for the experience only. It is not like others succeeded where you failed when you were never even trying.

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

For the ones that keep bragging about how much they make, they also have a full time job, let them try and live on this without other income.....

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.
Completely untrue, especially since many tipped restaurant workers get paid through credit card/debit card payments and it's a requirement that they report tips. Some cash tips they might get away with, but these days those are few and far between.

@Vicky86 wrote:


Most tipped restaurant workers don’t report all their tips to Uncle Sam.
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