Editing is a thankless job - ask me anything

@LisaSTL wrote:

@Shop-et-al wrote:

Because someone on the internet said that I would be silly and unethical if I did not ask for more money.

No, you said it was unethical to ask for more. I don't know about where you live but here professionals are not in the habit of discounting their fees because the client lives in the same zip code. If you want to value yourself at $5 for 2 hours and I want to value myself at $50 an hour it doesn't make you ethical and me greedy.

This is the basic equation: how much does it cost to complete the shop? The monetary value that you place upon yourself is not necessarily what it costs you to do the shop. It is only what you have decided that you should get for doing the shop. How difficult or time-consuming a shop is depends upon how a shopper configures their schedule and their experience or natural ability to do things. What is easy and therefore might as well be considered as negligible for one shopper might be very difficult for another shopper. This is not an unfavorable comparison of shoppers; it is only an example of how each shopper is unique. The price that a shopper puts upon their own head is just an ego talking unless and until the shopper can back up the numbers with something substantive such as mileage, wear and tear for vehicle or self, un-reimbursed hotel stays, some number and cost of un-reimbursed meals, fuel, and other costs that are unique to a shopper. This is a murky area of mystery shopping that has not been well expressed by me or even by the more talented writers on the forum.

If I were a mercenary soul, I would be compelled to charge a ridiculous sum for "me" based upon experiences, skills, education, etc. That would be absurd because the money would not be commensurate with my experienced difficulty of the shops that I can access and have time to complete. As long as I receive enough money to cover the costs of my mystery shopping endeavors and have a little somethin' somethin' for myself, I have enough. YMMV.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber

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@Jill_L wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@ShopperFun99 wrote:

Op. What is the pay for editing per report?

OP works for a company, so he/she might be getting an hourly rate.

Independent editors usually get $5 or less per report.
Good pay for well written reports. Terrible for others when you have to send questions and wait for a response.

...And I imagine newbies often get the worst reports? Or is it more random?

The worst reports came from areas where there were very few shoppers. If the scheduler had only one shopper who could or would do the shop, they got it. Sometimes the last choice is the only choice.
In the areas where we had lots of shoppers, I would send out the list to those better shoppers and let them take their pick before the list went out to the masses.

Newbies can be trained and helped. Bad shoppers are a nightmare. This would include people who generally do a half-ass job on the minimal narrative required, and also the ones who would report on the restroom in locations that had no restroom. I finally had to create a chart for which locations had restrooms.
Maybe you missed the part where I said it was part of a pilot project. They have under priced it by a little but they don't know that because it hasn't gone out to a lot of shoppers yet. It hasn't hit the boards yet either. Because of my history with them they called me to work on it. After years of negotiating with this MSC I doubt they think I am willing to work cheap.
What I tell an MSC when I do my best work on every job is that they can trust me with their better jobs.


@johnb974 wrote:

What you have done when you do your best work for a cheap price, you've told the MSC you'll willing to work cheap. Why should they offer you more, when you've done a good report for a cheap price. You must be desperate for work.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@johnb974 wrote:

@Niner wrote:

@johnb974 wrote:

What you have done when you do your best work for a cheap price, you've told the MSC you'll willing to work cheap. Why should they offer you more, when you've done a good report for a cheap price. You must be desperate for work.

Because then you get chosen for better jobs that the MSC has and they will come to you if they need something done and they will bonus the job. And, how can you represent yourself with shoddy work on a personal level? Don't you want to take pride in what you do?

Only take the better paying jobs and prove yourself there.

Those jobs might not be available to you at first, that's why you often need to prove yourself first.
@anoryzae wrote:


I've come to the conclusion that nobody can really read or write properly - including me, but I at least know how to capitalize.
While I will agree for the most part, I wouldn't say 'nobody'. Case in point; I'm an exceptional writer (nothing like tooting your own horn, right?) Then again, after twenty years of police and social work reports, I better be. And if that didn't teach me, my current job as a writer should do the the trick. Then again, my proofreader always finds bunches of typos, so to make a long story short, I guess you're right, 'nobody' writes perfect smiling smiley
There's nothing wrong with being desperate for work, in my opinion. Some people have families and need to put food on the table, so they are willing to work for less than the ideal situation. I just finished my first novel and It took me two years to write. I've only made about $300 in royalties for the first month. If you compute that into the amount of hours I spent for those two years, I think we're talking way below minimum wage. I have a pension coming in, but I took this job for extra income and to get me out of the house. Sure i may be undervaluing myself with the amount I make, but isn't $5 better than zero? With all things being equal, then yes. (Then again, I've only completed six jobs for a total of $166 in one week) Hey, another week of work and I'll have surpassed my book's income, lol. smiling smiley
Welcome Huggabear. No worries , that comment about being desperate for work was aimed at me because when logic doesn't win an argument insults typically follow. Congratulations on the book!

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@Huggabear wrote:

While I will agree for the most part, I wouldn't say 'nobody'. Case in point; I'm an exceptional writer (nothing like tooting your own horn, right?) Then again, after twenty years of police and social work reports, I had better be. And If that didn't teach me, my current job as a writer should do the the trick. Then again, my proofreader always finds bunches of typos, so to make a long story short, I guess you're right, 'nobody' writes perfectly smiling smiley
;-)

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Greedy? If I work full time writing reports all day for $40 per hour while being a parent of elementary school kids, I really don't have energy, time, or desire to be stuck in traffic for an hour after work to do an unbonused shop. The conversation might be different on a weekend when I am more energized and there are less cars on roads. IMO it is more greedy when a MSC pays $5 per shop pocketing most of the profit. It's like a Turkish bazaar: negotiate until there is a win-win solution.
Faking shop results is a big no no for me. Why would someone accept a shop knowing that they will not do the required interactions and just get employees' descriptions?
Anyone had issues with Coyle's newer editors? They nit pick the timing, came back with 30 questions like "What time was the appetizer cleared? What time was the entrée cleared? What time did the server present the dessert menu? What time was the dessert served? (after I wrote that it was served within 7 minutes of ordering) What time did you go to the restroom? What was the greeting as you left? (after I wrote that there was no parting salutation).

I think for bar and lunch shops, they assign the newbie editors, who tried to nitpick every little detail, and ask questions which I already touched upon on the report. When I get these questions, I just back track, add or subtract a few minutes from time it was served, and so forth. The older experienced editors do not nit pick.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2019 05:43PM by ShopperFun99.
@ShopperFun99 wrote:

Anyone had issues with Coyle's newer editors? They nit pick the timing, came back with 30 questions like "What time was the appetizer cleared? What time did the What time was the entrée cleared? What time did the server present the dessert menu? What time was the dessert served? (after I wrote that it was served within 7 minutes of ordering) What time did you go to the restroom? What was the greeting as you left? (after I wrote that there was no parting salutation).

I think for bar and lunch shops, they assign the newbie editors, who tried to nitpick every little detail, and ask questions which I already touched upon on the report. When I get these questions, I just back track, add or subtract a few minutes from time it was served, and so forth. The older experienced editors do not do that.

They expect all of those timings when the report is submitted. They also expect opening and closing quotes from everyone you come in contact with.
My reports were fine before, even had high marks, in the 97-100%. All I did was give the times I ordered and how long it took to be served. I did not have to time the clean-up, each check backs from the server, presentation of dessert menu, time the beverages were served, refilled, time I or my guest went to the bathroom, on and on and on. In prior reports, I wrote a good long report, but only timed about 4-5 instances, the rest are "within ___ minutes, or after ___ minutes,,..." and they were fine.
@ShopperFun99 wrote:

My reports were fine before, even had high marks, in the 97-100%. All I did was give the times I ordered and how long it took to be served. I did not have to time the clean-up, each check backs from the server, presentation of dessert menu, time the beverages were served, refilled, time I or my guest went to the bathroom, on and on and on. In prior reports, I wrote a good long report, but only timed about 4-5 instances, the rest are "within ___ minutes, or after ___ minutes,,..." and they were fine.

You must have had newbie editors that missed that on the other reports. You got lucky.
Editors should receive hazard pay.

1. Consider arrogant newbies who believe that they can do any shop perfectly on the first try. Please do not ask how I know this. Kudos to the editor who had to teach me! They did a wonderful job, and I still work.

2. Editors may have lives which may not conform to shop deadlines. So do shoppers. When shoppers have unavoidable delays, there are late reports. This might cause a domino effect for the editors, who then have a compressed time frame for whatever else they need to do then.

3. Consider sleepy shoppers. Some people write less efficiently or less effectively when sleepy than when alert. Little errors that usually do not occur might make their way into a report and cause a need for editorial actions. How many editorial actions does it take to destroy an editor's carefully planned schedule?

4. Consider tedium. How interesting could it be to read hundreds, or thouands, of little narratives?
"The employee wore dark blue denim pants, a purple short-sleeved polo shirt with the whatever logo on the right sleeve, and a black and purple cowboy hat with the whatever logo on the brim of the hat which was above the employee's left ear. All clothing was clean and in good condition." Yawn. "The employee said, 'Good morning. Is it really morning?'""

-The employee neither thanked me nor provided a pleasant closing remark. They said to an unseen person, "Hey, Pete! You got a car? We should go out after this." The employee did not make eye contact, smile, or speak to me during the transaction. They rang up my purchase, received my cash payment, and returned correct change. The employee did not offer a receipt, but they provided a receipt after I asked for it. Zzzzzzzzz...........


But enough of that. We have a 'kudos' board where we can thank editors... smiling smiley

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2019 06:10PM by Shop-et-al.
@MFJohnston wrote:

If I agree to do a shop, I do it properly. I sure hope you don’t take any $5 shops. Shoppers who cut corners hurt all of us.

@Capurato wrote:

I would wager that probably 50% or more just gather employee descriptions and write up a good report. I know if I got paid $5 to do a shop I would do just that.


I do a good job regardless of the pay.

****************


Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
I mean, the MSC (very much including the editor) has to present an acceptable report with all of the required info either way. They can't send a "halfway" report to the client. So you can provide all of the info and detail in your report the first time, wait for the editor to contact you for it (more effort for you and them), or refuse to cooperate and have your report rejected (worst for everyone, no pay for you). The client and whichever higher-ups at the MSC communicate directly with the client are the ones who set the guidelines and requirements, not the shopper, not the editor. If you don't think the shop is worth the required effort, don't take it. If you decide to do it anyway, you gain nothing by leaving half of the details out, not making all required observations, etc. You just cause more effort for everyone involved, including yourself. I don't understand that logic at all.

ETA: If you have to go back and forth with the editor about info you would have otherwise included, you are lowering your hourly rate, making the too-low shop worth even less (lower hourly rate). If you refuse to provide the info and get no pay/reimbursement, that is obviously even worse than low pay! So again not doing yourself any favors

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 and editing since 2018 smiling smiley


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2019 06:56AM by RedRose22.
How much does editing pay? How did you get that job? Well I'm sure most people are trying to get paid and take the job seriously.
Exactly that's why I always recorded my shops because reading the long paperwork to complete the shop one can determine with little effort that they don't trust the shoppers. They ask for details of how you went to see the apartment. They ask for paperwork and business cards. They want shoppers to describe so much including: height, weight, hair style/color, outfit, and so much more.

I chose to do shops based on my goal to make extra money and they had a good reputation. However, very few people have mentioned real details.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2019 07:10AM by scorpionshar777.
How can we complete the shops faster?

What causes you to send the shops back or ask for more details? How do we know for sure that You are an editor for Ellis? Do you work from home or at the office? How much do editors make. I wrote Ellis regarding but they acted like they will pass message along. Did you do shops also?
I think that many people might answer it differently each time. It's a trick to validate the accuracy and catch shoppers in submitting unfactual info or etc.
If you do every report honestly, you never EVER have to worry about somebody's "tricks" to catch fraudulent shoppers.
Yes but they still have those types of questions and for those who may not have actually gone to the shop or whatever they have questions embedded to catch inconsistencies and it's sad because when one is reading the 12 pages of questions and answering it's as if the story is no longer about the shop 100 percent. It's about validating the source which is why I recorded all of my shops which were ones that required visits but no recording during visits. Why can't they just be FAIR about it. Anyone, who's taking Economics can see how they phrase the questions that they do not trust the shopper. In many cases the EDITORS already have formed an opinion and as the one stated above who listed many things that shoppers do wrong except these: use their own car, own gas, use their own resources in most cases such as phone, use a lot of their own time, energy, writing skills and get paid the least. The shopper is the leg work of the whole experiment and they deserve to get at least $100 to $200 for each shop based on paper work. That's why in VEGAS I've learned they use private investigators and I'm sure most are males and most want to get paid. In most cases me will work for higher fees because they demand more money. Women accept working for less. I'm a female and I had to learn not to do any jobs that don't pay money. Think about that. I used to love volunteering until I found out NON PROFITS are for HUGE Profits and they only are required to give 10% of the intake so if they bring in 10 Grand they are only required to give $1,000 because they write off the rest. Pay high wages to those who created the "scheme", their family members, friends, or love interests, and the rest outside that circle they get them to work for FREE. I need to pay off some bills really fast and I thought I would do some EASY apartment shops. The paperwork alone is super tedius. It took me 4 hours one night and the latest about 2.5 to finish. It has turned out to be a lot harder then expected. You can take classes on Non Profits or how to start, market, etc. But that's why I stopped donating time and money to them. Because they never solve issues. People always remain in trouble because the money never goes where it should. Food banks help people. That's people in the community so it's fair to donate food there because we see people being helped. but as far as me going into Kroger, Ralphs, or STARBUCKS and donating any money.. NO WAY because you can also get copies of their reports on how much actually went to whomever. You never see who benefited either.

Slave wages are the same. If you get $25 to do one project it takes you 6 hours to drive there, complete shop, and talk to the person well you only made about $4 per hour. So editors don't speak about what issues might be ailing shoppers. Plus they pay like 30 to 45 days as much resources they take up they should pay every two weeks. But people have to use their own gas, miles, tires, upkeep on vehicles, we should get something for that. But I get it. They watch us...because they think we have no money. Notice how they say if you have an old car don't park near front. I have a new car it's very nice I bought it from CARVANA but no I don't apologize for driving a nice car. But I found it unfair that they think so little of shoppers that they think we drive old cars that are ragedy and not suitable to go to some apartment complexes. Has anyone read that on the paperwork? They know they don't pay any money so then they have the nerve to try to tell you how to hide your poverty. In my opinion I just thought it was SICK. Pay more then people can have money to buy nicer cars to go to the upscale apartment shops. So sad. GIG economy is taking advantage of people. But again as soon as I pay these bills off I'm going to reduce my shop load. But editors should have a nice opinon of us because they see the world from their standpoint.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2019 06:36PM by scorpionshar777.
I loved reading these posts thanks to the OP for the thread, I share most of the complaints that the writers have written with one addition. Nit pickers one example would be an editor who dinged me for not putting one period at the end of a 2 paragraph narrative.

****************


Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
I agree, but you know that many of them won't ask for higher fee. They won't hold out for a higher price because they cannot. Also there may be a charge or thrill in the chase. In economics we've learned the more of something you have the greater the value goes down. So if there are many mystery shoppers out there willing to work in GIG Economy then there is no need to raise the price. Economically speaking they can go DOWN with the rate and still have people because there are too many shoppers. All trying to get a piece of the pie and a piece of the pie is better than NO pie. However, it reflects the economy, need to be independent contractors, and self value. That's been happening for years. For all we now mystery shopping could also be psychological experiments on the masses. See how they will work, consume, snitch on others aka write up reports because regular workers won't pay attention to us. Social Science Professor Stanley Milgram showed us many experiments. His works are still out there. However, based on his past studies is one way we can determine that many people are able to do the shops and get paid very little because they get some sort of charge from it.
So there is no training yet many of us were punished when we made mistakes. The punishment was lowered fees or sending the material back to us when an editor's job is to EDIT. They have ability to change or update the material or correct things on the shops. That's their job. But they would rather send it back. REDUCE the already low pay even when they haven't invested as much time in it as we have. Once you view it from that perspective it's quite interesting and sad that someone can charge a corporation hundreds of thousands of dollars, even milllions, yet pay indie shopper small change that won't even cover the gas to drive 40 miles. I had to ask myself. Who am I? Why am I doing this? I should do the ones that might pay less but also cause me the least amount of work and stress. If it's something I'm working towards a goal then okay but otherwise I have to VALUE myself, value my time. I rather work a full time job. Some might be on welfare, retired, or they don't care about money. However, Milton Friedman once said that people have to have hope and some type of drive in order to succeed or want to do better in life. Sure it would help if those who's job is the back bone of the entire program would speak up and say, "I deserve to get paid more money." Take only the jobs that have bonus $ if not leave them. But that won't happen. Anyway, have any of you seen this movie? This is a clip from IMDB I feel that every single Mystery Shopper should watch this entire movie. It's called: Experimenter The Stanley Milgram Story
[www.imdb.com]

Youtube video [www.youtube.com]

It would be interesting to see what you think and what you think the future of Mystery Shopping looks like. Also it would be interesting to see the similarities fo Milgram's experiments and the info that we submit. All basically the same, we submit private information about ourselves and it's used to determine stats for......various studies and consumption practices, etc.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2019 08:42PM by scorpionshar777.
The editors should be THANKING us! We're the ones who do most of the work. The ones at the top who go get the work, market, advertise, and get new accounts are important. However, no corporation can function without the foot soldiers. Some of the editors have a negative opinion of us from the start. Many of them don't email you back on time, they don't answer phones, and they are rude. Everyone has a role to play in the mystery shopping game. All roles are important yet many get paid hourly or salary. I would like to know:

1. How does one get an job as an editor?
2. Did the editor(s) ever do shops because they should know both sides in order to
understand what shoppers go through.
3. What type of training do they get?
4. How are they taught to watch us or manage us?
5. Do they think it's fair to have 14 + pages of questions that are similar?

There are a number of questions that should be addressed in order to help all team members understand their co-team mates in order to get a job done.
Agree. I do my reports painstakingly, taking time to answer every question with care and write about the "No's" in the comments. I waited a week, no response, so I thought everything went well. Lo and behold, on the 8th day, I received an urgent email, demanding that I answer her 30 some odd questions by tomorrow 8 am. I went through the questions, thinking maybe I missed some details, but I found many were already explained in my comments. This really irritates me. This often happens from newbie editors, as if they have to prove something to earn their new job. It also happens when I take one of those lunches and lower reimbursement jobs vs. dinners $120 and above. Those were relegated to newbies editors.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2019 08:59PM by ShopperFun99.
I saw one of those before. I thought the same thing. But then I was thinking if I could stomach eating there because I needed to eat anyway. It's possible that I could just eat there according to the shop, get paid $5, and reimbursed for my meal. So at the end I paid nothing and I gained $5 as long as it's a PLUS and not a Negative I'm good. BUT if I was going to eat there or if I could tolerate eating at the location.
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