Editing is a thankless job - ask me anything

@Shop-et-al
I believe that we should help one-another. If somebody is shopping to make ends meet and making less than $5/hr after expenses, they are working for a fraction of minimum wage. This is not enough to "make ends meet" in any corner of our country. I will offer to help them make more money. If they don't want the help, they can either just ignore me or let me know (as you just did) that they are happy with their earnings. $5/hr x 40 hrs a week x 50 weeks a year = $10,000 annually.

Besides, I thought helping shoppers was a primary purpose of this forum.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.

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.

MFJ, I appreciate your intent. However, maybe you should not assume that all shoppers are shopping for $/per hour. There are many other reasons and benefits.
I don't assume that - I do recognize that a fair number of shoppers primarily shop to allow for experiences... For that reason, I specifically stated "If somebody is shopping to make ends meet."

If somebody is shopping because they enjoy it, money is a non-issue.

@Mert wrote:

MFJ, I appreciate your intent. However, maybe you should not assume that all shoppers are shopping for $/per hour. There are many other reasons and benefits.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2019 03:08AM by MFJohnston.
Remember a decent burger and drink costs at least 13.00 + tip and 9 1/2%tax. I'll take it with a 5.00 fee as that's 20.00 in my pocket,a stuffed tummy and I get to go out. Reimbursements work well for me, it's my entertainment. I won't work a job for 5.00, I'll work the big box for 17.00, but it seems fees have now gone down to 12.00, but will climb up towards the end of the month as they remain on the board. I can appreciate anyone that needs it to work for 5.00, but remember if you submit to that, it will be tough for you to then get a higher fee, so starting out for less than minimum might get in your way later. Some companies low ball shoppers, while others are fair, find those.
SEA///what does "an embarrassment of riches" mean?

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
@Shop-et-al wrote:

I am happy with my ms earnings. They fund bank accounts. Anything more than that would be an embarrassment of riches. However, I wonder about something. I realize that we want to be helpful. But why does anyone think that it is our business to know what another shopper's needs are? Stated differently, when did we start thinking that anyone else's life had become our business? *goes away to ponder the concept of minding my own business*

You have the BEST tag lines!

I count on you for daily wisdom inputs

Thank you.
"Embarrassment of riches"

Is there such a thing?

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
This could be considered a rant and while I do appreciate the intelligent person reviewing my submission, there are instances where I throw my hands up. It has always been my opinion, that, like some shoppers, some editors can either be lazy or feel the need to justify their job.
Examples:
Editors who change my answers on a report based upon what they perceived from a photo submitted. If you think my answer(s) are incorrect, send it back to me with a question about the photo and ask for correction. However, also allow me to add a comment.
Editors who have to be informed of the particular shop's guidelines. Why are you the editor if you are not aware of the guidelines? Why should I have to point out that a photo, etc is, according to the guidelines, not needed?
Editors who fail to read my comments regarding the shop in the comment section. I've been sent back shops for something clearly explained in the comments. (Editor: Why don't the times on the receipts match? Me: In the comment section I explained how the times of the receipts did not reflect the time of day).
Those are just some of my comments regarding this topic.

OTOH, there are some shops where my short, written opinion of the shop is required while at the same time, there is a question I must answer that asks the same question. That is not the editor's fault, it is the misfortunate question added by the creator of the report. Why would I answer in any way different than the question?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2019 11:14PM by French Farmer.
@RobinMarie wrote:

This is a great thread. I have some questions, Editor:

How many companies do you edit for? Are you the person who rejects shops or is that another role?

What happens when a shopper responds in a hostile manner? Is this an acceptable situation?

I only work for one company and I do also reject/approve projects. I started as just an editor.

When shoppers respond in a hostile manner it really just depends on the situation. People are allowed to have a bad day or get snippy with us. Most of the time, we just ignore it and it's a non-issue.

However, if that person responds in a manner that is incredibly nasty or is a repeat offender then we could take steps that stop them from completing projects for us. At that point, they are probably more of a risk than an asset. However, just being a little rude or venting isn't likely to affect someone right away.
@French Farmer wrote:

Examples:
Editors who change my answers on a report based upon what they perceived from a photo submitted. If you think my answer(s) are incorrect, send it back to me with a question about the photo and ask for correction. However, also allow me to add a comment.
Out of curiosity, how do you notice this if no correction was asked of you? Are you looking at your past projects? Editors are encouraged to make obvious corrections when possible. We simply don't have time to send everything back and wait for a response if we think we can accurately update it.

@ wrote:

Editors who have to be informed of the particular shop's guidelines. Why are you the editor if you are not aware of the guidelines? Why should I have to pint out that a photo, etc is, according to the guidelines, not needed?
That's fair. We are human and we make mistakes. Additionally, clients often update project requirements or we might have newer people working on a program.

A lot of the time I see this kind of thing just being a miscommunication where the shopper doesn't fully understand what we are asking for or why. It can be hard to explain that your photo shows X but you thought it showed Y. I updated it to Z and now I need to check if you looked for W. It can be a real pain for all involved.

@ wrote:

Editors who fail to read my comments regarding the shop in the comment section. I've been sent back shops for something clearly explained in the comments.
Agreed. It happens and often has to do with our process or just the amount of people who write unnecessary info in there. We do look at those but it can be easy to miss depending on the situation.

@ wrote:

OTOH, there are some shops where my short, written opinion of the shop is required while at the same time, there is a question I must answer that asks the same question. Thais not the editor's fault, it is the misfortunate question added by the creator of the report. Why would I answer in any way different than the question?
Yes, we notice when the questionnaire is repetitive and usually it's just how the client wants it. Please just fill them out completely and pay attention to what each question is asking. Then we can stop bugging you about it. Better to be a broken record then be hassled by us =)

It's pretty interesting to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective.
This thread might be a good opportunity to let the 'new' members of the forum know that schedulers/editors/msc reps are supposed to include a signature line disclosing their position.

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
@anoryzae wrote:

@French Farmer wrote:

Examples:
Editors who change my answers on a report based upon what they perceived from a photo submitted. If you think my answer(s) are incorrect, send it back to me with a question about the photo and ask for correction. However, also allow me to add a comment.
Out of curiosity, how do you notice this if no correction was asked of you? Are you looking at your past projects? Editors are encouraged to make obvious corrections when possible. We simply don't have time to send everything back and wait for a response if we think we can accurately update it.


@ wrote:



It's pretty interesting to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective.

Good question for the above!
I am extremely "anal" about my work. My memory of each shop is significant in that I remember details like what the attendant or employee was wearing, or the gray mustache of the guy at the counter or even the little old man who berated me for using pump 5 at a "Yellow" gas station (he said it was his and I should get the He!! out of his way - wore a black Fedora hat with a gray band, old black glasses and an old black raincoat. He was driving a blue Chevy Cavalier that was in very good condition.)
When a shop report is sent back for something. Could be a photo from a different perspective, whatever, I always review my entire report. I've noticed over the years that many of my answers have been changed. Once, I was called by a supervisor of the MSC asking about a photo and why I claimed there was a problem when clearly the photo showed nothing. I told them, I did not make that change, your editor did. They seemed taken aback by that remark.
So how do I know what I report?
I have a worksheet for each shop I perform. It doe not matter what type of shop it is. The worksheet reflects what is needed, photos required, etc. Each area must be checked off before I leave the site. I have a comment section where I write anything unusual that would not fit my worksheet for that type of shop.
@Shop-et-al wrote:

It makes no sense ethically for me to request a bonus for a local shop that costs me nothing.
The shop is worth what they'll pay for it. If you happen to live in a neighborhood no one else wants to go to for whatever reason, it makes perfect sense to request a bonus. If you're taking that shop for $50 bonus and they'd have to pay someone else $100 to do it, you've saved them money and helped them fill a difficult shop. How exactly is that unethical?

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@anoryzae wrote:

@guysmom wrote:

I did a grocery shop recently, and the editor made a couple of suggestions on how to report certain situations, differing from how I reported them. They were really, really, helpful ideas, and I wrote her back and thanked her for pointing out a couple of areas that will help me in the future.

This is nice to hear. If I send feedback it's because I want to make my job easier by making things more clear for the shoppers. Unfortunate, mostly I just end up angering people because I'm sending them messages telling them we can't accept their project for whatever reason..
1. Why do you use so much contraction? I thought MSC's frown on contractions especially Coyle.
2. Why do editors send emails back with 20+ questions when most of them were already answered in the narrative? Are you just trying to see if we are telling the truth, if we remember to take notes of what happened? Sometimes, I felt the questions in the email was asked in a different way to see if we still answer the same way we did in the report. I do several reports a week. After 3-4 days, I have to do a recall when you asked very specific questions.
3. With some MSC's, my reports get accepted with 5 out of 5 or 10 out of 10 scores most of the time. But this one particular MSC, it always comes back with many questions. So, I have the confidence to know that it is not my poor report, but the issue lies with this particular MSC.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 09:04AM by ShopperFun99.
That's great. I have gotten compliments for "well-written" reports too. It even stated that the report contained great useful information for their client. I was thanked for it but have not been offered any bonus by the editor or scheduler after the report was approved. It will be great to know what MSC does that.

@kimmiemae wrote:

Once, I got an email from an editor thanking me for a great report I submitted. It was for a fine dining shop. Because it needed so little editing I was given a $5 bonus. Totally made my day.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 09:20AM by ShopperFun99.
@ShopperFun99 wrote:

1. Why do you use so much contraction? I thought MSC's frown on contractions especially Coyle.
2. Why do editors send emails back with 20+ questions when most of them were already answered in the narrative? Are you just trying to see if we are telling the truth, if we remember to take notes of what happened? Sometimes, I felt the questions in the email was asked in a different way to see if we still answer the same way we did in the report. I do several reports a week. After 3-4 days, I have to do a recall when you asked very specific questions.
3. With some MSC's, my reports get accepted with 5 out of 5 or 10 out of 10 scores most of the time. But this one particular MSC, it always comes back with many questions. So, I have the confidence to know that it is not my poor report, but the issue lies with this particular MSC.

1. My company doesn't.
2. I'm not sure. At my job, if we are sending you 20+ questions then there is something very wrong with what was input. This often has to do with people marking "yes" or "no" to a question and then their answer being completely irrelevant. Or photo projects can be a real disaster. Other times, the client may have come back with a question (or several questions) regarding that report. There are other kinds of more in-depth projects I don't work on so I can't fully answer your question if that is the case. It sounds like this company may have programs that are quite particular.
@anoryzae wrote:

2. I'm not sure. At my job, if we are sending you 20+ questions then there is something very wrong with what was input.
Unfortunately, not true across the board. It's often asking for things that weren't in the guidelines, or asking questions that have already been answered.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
A shop is worth what I think it is worth. I take the initially offered amount, negotiate for a different amount, or leave the shop alone. Thank you.






@iShop123 wrote:

@Shop-et-al wrote:

It makes no sense ethically for me to request a bonus for a local shop that costs me nothing.
The shop is worth what they'll pay for it. If you happen to live in a neighborhood no one else wants to go to for whatever reason, it makes perfect sense to request a bonus. If you're taking that shop for $50 bonus and they'd have to pay someone else $100 to do it, you've saved them money and helped them fill a difficult shop. How exactly is that unethical?

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. - Clarence W. Hall
@Shop-et-al says:

"It makes no sense ethically for me to request a bonus for a local shop that costs me nothing."


I need to live near @Shop-et-al
It is never "unethical" to ask for higher pay at any job.
Calling it "unethical" is simply silly.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2019 05:05AM by ShopperFun99.
How could it be unethical to ask for more money? The MSCs have the right and ability to say no. I am waiting to hear that the OP feels that it is also "unethical" to find deductions to reduce my income tax. To fend off that argument, I will quote US Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand, "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes."

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Great thread! For the OP:

1. When you decide whether to reject or accept a report, do you look at the shopper's score or history, or is it simply a binary matter of whether they followed the guidelines or not?

2. We often see posts on here from shoppers who are somehow certain that their report was sent to the client even though they weren't paid or reimbursed. Have you ever seen that happen?

3. Are the rejected reports more likely to be from inexperienced newbies or from veteran shoppers who failed to check updated guidelines?

4. About how long does it take to edit an "average" report -- no serious problems, but a few typos here and there?

5. Do you send the report directly to the client or does someone else at the MSC review it first?

Thanks!
@NinS wrote:

Great thread! For the OP:

1. When you decide whether to reject or accept a report, do you look at the shopper's score or history, or is it simply a binary matter of whether they followed the guidelines or not?

2. We often see posts on here from shoppers who are somehow certain that their report was sent to the client even though they weren't paid or reimbursed. Have you ever seen that happen?

3. Are the rejected reports more likely to be from inexperienced newbies or from veteran shoppers who failed to check updated guidelines?

4. About how long does it take to edit an "average" report -- no serious problems, but a few typos here and there?

5. Do you send the report directly to the client or does someone else at the MSC review it first?

Thanks!

1. Generally, no. What I am always looking for first is if the project was done correctly and we have everything we need to report it.

2. Only as a rare exception. If a person's project is reported as a rare exception without a receipt (or whatever is needed to verify that they were at the correct location), they will always be given the opportunity to be paid. If they come back two years later with a correct receipt then we will pay them. We always want to pay people for the work they do, as long as the project was done correctly.

3. Definitely newbies. Veterans do miss updates sometimes but newbies mess up much more.

4. Anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.. Other programs are much slower, but I don't work on that side of things.

5. Any project with open text is usually looked at by a human before it goes to the client. Some clients receive reports directly and others get summary reports. Many get both.
@ShopperFun99 wrote:

It is never "unethical" to ask for higher pay at any job.
Calling it "unethical" is simply silly.

Me: Hey. I got that job done for nothing. Do you have all the paperwork you need to pay me?
Boss: Thanks. Your direct deposit will be on time, as promised. We have a job in LargeCity. No one else can get it right. We don't want you to the traditional shop. The client wants you to go in, do a modified version of the shop, and keep and eye out for where the shop is going wrong. Is it the shoppers? The location? What??? This one pays well. The client wants you, specifically, and they will pay. Work up your numbers and let me know by tomorrow night, if you are interested and available.


Greedy shopper: Hey, I cannot do that job for less than a $100 bonus.
Boss: Lemme get this straight. You are going to walk one-half block and spend $100?
Greedy shopper: But you said that we could ask for the amount that we need to do the job.
Boss: Last month, you got three bonuses which you claim paid for the shoes that you now wear to your nearby shops. Why do you need $100 to complete this shop?
Greedy shopper: Because someone on the internet said that I would be silly and unethical if I did not ask for more money.
Boss: As it turns out, another shopper completed the shop an hour ago and the editorial team says that everything looks good. If we need a re-shop, we will ask the other shopper to do that .Thank you for your interest, though. Other shops will be available,

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. - Clarence W. Hall
@Shop-et-al

That is a complete and total mischaracterization of how most of us ask for bonuses.
1. The MSC is not our boss. We are self-employed. Our ICA's, written by the MSC's, are super-clear that we are not employees.
2. I don't know of anybody who is going to ask for $100 for a shop half a block away - unless the shop is going to take close to a couple of hours.
3. It is not up to anybody on this forum or the MSC to determine how much my time is worth. I am my own boss. It is up to me.
4. If somebody is willing to do a visit for less than I am, that's fine. That person can have the job. We don't get every bonus we request. Rarely do I get a flat-out "no" as in your scenario. Generally, I get a counter-offer. I then decide if the counter is something I'm willing to accept. If not, I make another offer.
5. It's not "greedy" to expect to be paid for your time - at what you think is an appropriate value. Sure, some folks might over-value their time. However, market forces will "teach" that person the truth.
6. No MSC is going to continue to bargain with you once the shop is assigned to somebody else. If they do, I have no interest working for the MSC.

Beyond that, those of us willing to ask for bonuses work to understand our markets. I know that there are some areas an hour or two from my house where there are zero video shoppers - and very few shoppers overall. To bring in a video shopper is going to cost MSC's quite a bit of money - but they sometimes simply have to get the shops done. I'll try to put together a route where I ask for bonuses from multiple MSC's to do shops in those areas. If I ask for a bonus from each MSC that is less than what they would have to pay to get a different shopper to that area, each MSC feels really good about paying it to me. However, when I combine all the bonuses, I come up with a very profitable day - more so than if I were to just shop near my house. This becomes a win for all of us. I'm not being greedy. Rather, I am simply using my understanding of the markets to offer the MSC's a great shop at a lower price than they expected to pay while allowing me to work, at times, at $80+/hr. (after including travel time).

If this were unethical, my email would not be filled with MSC's offering me work. It's capitalism. Folks who which to make money doing this - especially if they are hoping to do this full time - do well to understand the capitalistic nature of this business and how they can find the right niche.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2019 07:26PM by MFJohnston.
OP - you probably can't address this situation but it's a chance to vent a bit. I did a shop last Friday that was bonused so I assume it was urgent and they needed it done quickly. It's for a Sassie company and as of today, six days latter the shop was completed it still shows as completed but not received. This means it has not been edited yet. I did send an inquiry today about it through the Sassie system. This shop required quite a bit of narrative so I want to make sure it was accepted or didn't need any revisions. Why would a company bonus a shop and then take so long to edit it?
@MFJohnston wrote:

@Shop-et-al

That is a complete and total mischaracterization of how most of us ask for bonuses.
1. The MSC is not our boss. We are self-employed. Our ICA's, written by the MSC's, are super-clear that we are not employees.
2. I don't know of anybody who is going to ask for $100 for a shop half a block away - unless the shop is going to take close to a couple of hours.
3. It is not up to anybody on this forum or the MSC to determine how much my time is worth. I am my own boss. It is up to me.
4. If somebody is willing to do a visit for less than I am, that's fine. That person can have the job. We don't get every bonus we request. Rarely do I get a flat-out "no" as in your scenario. Generally, I get a counter-offer. I then decide if the counter is something I'm willing to accept. If not, I make another offer.
5. It's not "greedy" to expect to be paid for your time - at what you think is an appropriate value. Sure, some folks might over-value their time. However, market forces will "teach" that person the truth.
6. No MSC is going to continue to bargain with you once the shop is assigned to somebody else. If they do, I have no interest working for the MSC.

Beyond that, those of us willing to ask for bonuses work to understand our markets. I know that there are some areas an hour or two from my house where there are zero video shoppers - and very few shoppers overall. To bring in a video shopper is going to cost MSC's quite a bit of money - but they sometimes simply have to get the shops done. I'll try to put together a route where I ask for bonuses from multiple MSC's to do shops in those areas. If I ask for a bonus from each MSC that is less than what they would have to pay to get a different shopper to that area, each MSC feels really good about paying it to me. However, when I combine all the bonuses, I come up with a very profitable day - more so than if I were to just shop near my house. This becomes a win for all of us. I'm not being greedy. Rather, I am simply using my understanding of the markets to offer the MSC's a great shop at a lower price than they expected to pay while allowing me to work, at times, at $80+/hr. (after including travel time).

If this were unethical, my email would not be filled with MSC's offering me work. It's capitalism. Folks who which to make money doing this - especially if they are hoping to do this full time - do well to understand the capitalistic nature of this business and how they can find the right niche.

I understand that some people place the amounts they can get from another entity high on their priority lists. someone else should wonder and question whether the amounts are reasonable. Have some good negotiators skewed the bonus system via positive reinforcements and other methods of influence? Have others, like me, done the opposite? If we have, did we do it just to tweak the twee? This is difficult to evaluate because each shopper is independent and unique. It is just rhetorical.

Above all, I dislike the notion that we should charge what the traffic will bear. The traffic can't bear ever higher bonuses for very long. If the clients and the MSCs have so much difficulty filling assignments that they have to pay large sums for multiple shops month after month after month, then they might need to re-evaluate their system and find a more cost-effective method of obtaining information. (Wait. Some have done this. They have eased rotation restrictions, replaced shoppers with receipt-prompted feedback, etc.)

I have been "me" and "greedy shopper" in life. All is well now.

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. - Clarence W. Hall
It could be they need to reevaluate their system by using only the best shoppers. Who would not flake or report false results. That would be cost effective. The best shoppers know what they are worth, and the MCSs will pay higher for their services. If I ask for a bonus and am turned down, ok. That may mean they do not value my experience, or it may mean they do not value the client enough to have a great shopper present. MSCs do their business their way and it works for them. Same goes for me. I am not greedy, simply business smart.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login