what do you do with your shop purchases?

I have recently started mystery shopping and have completed a few shops that require purchases. Some items I will use and some I won't. What do you do with the items you won't use? Sell, return for refund, etc?

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@Imunn wrote:

I have recently started mystery shopping and have completed a few shops that require purchases. Some items I will use and some I won't. What do you do with the items you won't use? Sell, return for refund, etc?

I usually don't do purchase shops, other than "purchase and return" ones. But it depends on what the shop instructions say. If they say "no returns," I might do a shop for something I need or can give as a gift. If they allow returns, then I'll return the item if I can't use it. Also depends on the pay. If the pay is high enough, and returns aren't allowed, I might take one anyway and re-sell the item (although I haven't found one locally that pays enough to do that, but I would if I could).

Not much help, I suppose, but bottom line is "it depends." Also, if you take a shop that says "no returns," you can't return it, although some folks do.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Outside of food shops, the last purchase shop I did was at GNC. I chose that shop because I needed vitamins.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Outside of food shops, the last purchase shop I did was at GNC.

I wish they had those here; I'm always at the Vitamin Shoppe....

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Birdy, this was not a regular shop. I had to go in and take pictures of all of the shelves, and make a purchase in cash. It turns out the register was broken, so dude gave me a receipt that was handwritten. I guess GNC wanted to make sure the money made it on the books. They did a bunch of them that week.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
I donate the "things" I don't want to a friend who puts together baskets for charity auctions.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I only do purchase shops if I want what I purchase, otherwise it's two visits and usually a trip of 30 miles, as we don't have those stores here

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Birdy, this was not a regular shop. I had to go in and take pictures of all of the shelves, and make a purchase in cash. It turns out the register was broken, so dude gave me a receipt that was handwritten. I guess GNC wanted to make sure the money made it on the books. They did a bunch of them that week.

That does NOT sound like fun! LOL....

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
If I don't need the item, I buy something I can sell on eBay or give as I gift. Small, gas station items I sometimes save for Christmas stocking gifts, ie, tissue packets, gum, etc.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
I try to get either things I will use or things I can give as gifts. There’s an easy shop for a store that sells women’s trinkets and clothes that I’ve gotten many cute gifts from.

That said, I have $100 worth of Nespresso pods sitting around. I want a machine eventually, I’m just too cheap to buy one at the moment.
I do the shops where you have to put something big under your cart so I have plenty of bottled water and toilet paper. So now I'm getting dog food and big bags and donating that to the dog shelters. I do the pizza shops and my daughter takes him to work and the guys there love them.
I do a lot of convenience stores where there is a small promotional item and another allowable item up to $4 reimbursement. I buy snacks and goodies and send them to a friend in Florida (who has kids and lives on a tight budget) on my post office shops. Win win!
Never, ever return an item if the shop directions say you cannot!

But i recently did a hardware store, and bought a 150 W bulb. It only lasted two weeks (guaranteed to last 7 months at 3 hours a day). I did return it, and was given an absolutely hassle-free replacement bulb (which has lasted much longer).

At the hardware store, the guidelines used to say you had to buy something that "fit" your scenario; for those, I checked with friends/neighbors/family and found out what they needed. One month, I supplied most of my neighborhood with new plungers!
I only do the shops where I can benefit from the purchase, whether it's a nice meal, treating extended family to an amusement park, or the joy of being able to give someone an unexpected gift. I never have a problem using or getting rid of something. There's always eBay!
I used to have a drawer full of hooks and things I purchased at the hardware shops. tongue sticking out smiley Now they allow you to buy what you want (except candy and chips) instead of always having to buy paint brushes, light bulbs and etc.
You know, when I saw that change in the guidelines, I was so happy! But also doubtful. I mean, that was a MAJOR change. So I e-mailed the ever unhelpful you-know-what, and got an e-mail back that I was absolutely wrong: I still must buy something that makes "sense" with the scenario.

A few months later, the guidelines STILL say you can buy anything (except candy, gum, or a drink). I just wait until the ever helpful employee says "What else can I help you find today?" or "What else is on your list?", and say "I need....(light bulbs, 9 volt batteries, whatever)". They ordinarily escort me to the proper area, I pick what I need, and I'm out the door. SO FAR, since the change in the guidelines, I haven't had any reports invalidated or questioned.
There is one shop type for which it is acceptable to purchase something as small as a screw. A screw costs just a few cents. At a hardware store.

It is acceptable to pretend that you also need the screw and still need to think about the costlier whatever seems logical in the scenario.

Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance. - W. Clement Stone
One time I bought a plastic sink hair clog tool, which turned out to be REALLY handy. Now that's my default plumbing purchase.
@ceasesmith wrote:

At the hardware store, the guidelines used to say you had to buy something that "fit" your scenario; for those, I checked with friends/neighbors/family and found out what they needed. One month, I supplied most of my neighborhood with new plungers!

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I’d love to do hardware store shops but they only pay $6 and I’d have to drive 30 miles.

Trying to learn from all of these rockstars.
@Rhondabryant wrote:

I’d love to do hardware store shops but they only pay $6 and I’d have to drive 30 miles.

If the shop stays on the boards long enough, the fee rises and rises and rises... and eventually it is very nice money!

Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance. - W. Clement Stone
I like the hardware store that reimburses $5 and sometimes gets bonused nicely. I really do like the hardware scenario. They have packages of oiled bronze/antique brass wall anchors for less than $5 that are very pretty. They have one package that has a fleur dis lis design and the other is a fully bloomed rose. They are great for hanging metal wall decorations or similar items.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2018 03:17AM by JASFLALMT.
Remember, if the item is reimbursed and you keep the item for personal use or sale (as opposed to discarding or donating it) the reimbursement is taxable income.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2018 05:11AM by Rousseau.
Yes, like Shop-et-al said, the shops get bonused. I have one of these hdwr stores that's 1/2 mile from where I live and last month it was a $35 shop. Ours also has a dollar section, so it's easy to find a cheapie purchase.
I opened the Nespresso pods and used the coffee in my espresso machine.

@hotsauce1 wrote:

I try to get either things I will use or things I can give as gifts. There’s an easy shop for a store that sells women’s trinkets and clothes that I’ve gotten many cute gifts from.

That said, I have $100 worth of Nespresso pods sitting around. I want a machine eventually, I’m just too cheap to buy one at the moment.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2018 07:18PM by prince.
@Rousseau wrote:

Remember, if the item is reimbursed and you keep the item for personal use or sale (as opposed to discarding or donating it) the reimbursement is taxable income.

But you deduct the expense on the purchase end, so I think it's a wash. I don't think it's taxable, no matter what you do with it. Say you spend $10.15, including sales tax. That's a "cash-out" deductible expense (if you do your upfront bookkeeping that way -- gross instead of net on each shop). Assuming you're reimbursed at 100%, that $10.15 is "cash in." Your net income is zero on that portion of the shop. Plus it's a reimbursement, not a fee, which is taxable. I'm not sure how a reimbursement would be considered taxable. But there are folks here who are or used to be tax professionals, so maybe they can explain.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@Rousseau wrote:

Remember, if the item is reimbursed and you keep the item for personal use or sale (as opposed to discarding or donating it) the reimbursement is taxable income.

This just is not true.

You are REQUIRED to make the purchase as part of the assignment. And, specifically on this shop, you are NOT allowed to return it for a refund.

Therefore, the taxable income is the fee only; the remainder is a non-taxed reimbursed necessary expense.

Now, if you lucked out and landed a luxury shop and bought a Coach purse or wallet, and resold it on e-bay for $112, your cost basis is ZERO, and the taxable amount is the full $112 (less the expense of selling/shipping, etc.).

Please check with your own tax professional if you don't believe me.
Thank you, cease, for explaining, better than I did, what I thought was so. The only way, other than a resale as you note above, that I can see this having tax consequences is if you do donate it. Then it's tax deductible.

But both of those circumstances are outside the parameters of the shop itself, so for purposes of the shop, as you note, there is no tax due on that reimbursed item.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
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