Shop Fees - Are you willing to loose money??

No "Go To" shopper status needed. My time is valuable. I can easily live without anything that pays $6.00 AND wants me to complete a survey, all of which takes time.

Schedulers have a certain margin that can be allotted to shoppers - you'll notice that the fee increases as the month decreases. Start with a basic $10-$12. I like doing restaurant shops, but always check the menus to check the prices. $6 to do a fast food shop actually costs me money.

If more shopper would decline low-paying shops, perhaps low-paying shops would become extinct.

Lainerz
10 Year Veteran Shopper

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@Shop-et-al wrote:

@Niner wrote:

This loose thing is painful to read.

Your clothes are loose after you lose weight.

Loose that truth into my world! Now! Bind that blubber from me! Now! (I am stuck at 16, if the brand is generous with fabric or the material is stretchy.)

No offense to anyone. What could it hurt, if a few ounces or millimeters of lard left me?

Keep carbs at 100 g net. Drink water, instead of beverages with calories. Exercise most days. I have never been on a diet, and have stayed at a 20 BMI this way. But, this is also eating around 1500 a day, so it does not allow room for junk. If you eat lean meat, vegetables, and some fruit, you won't be hungry and could lose weight.
>>>Quit picking on posters. First you accuse an old man of being a Racist and now you are here beating someone up because of their spelling and grammar. You need to Lighten up!<<<
No - you need to lighten up.
If you don't realize by now that grammar, punctuation, impartiality and the ability to spell and write a readable sentence are a big part of MS work then you need to rethink your profession.
We all need to remember that as many as there are who do this work, there are as many valid reasons for how we all run our businesses. And no, I do not run my business to benefit anyone but myself and my family. I trust, as we are all grown ups, that your reasons are valid and would hope that I would be accorded the same respect. Could I be making more? I suppose so. However, for me, I take almost all of the same types of shops (gas stations with a few cell phone store audits thrown in for variety) so I have minimal preparation time. I also can crank them out in less than 20 minutes per location plus I get mine and my family's snacks paid for and all of my gas as well. I can literally count on one hand the number of tanks of gas that I've had to pay for in the last year. As I drive 80 miles round trip to take my teenager to HS (that is only if she has no extracurriculars that day, otherwise I tack on additional mileage) and I sing with a Sweet Adelines chorus so I have an additional 80 mile round trip to rehearsal weekly so the fact that someone else is paying for my gas is huge! Annually we spend almost $100 in shipping fees for GS Cookie orders and that is covered as well (and my kiddo gets part of her camp fees covered from sales and the troop has all of their activities and awards and badges covered through sales so that's money I don't have to shell out). Could I have a "regular job" and make a lot more per hour? Absolutely! However, I sacrifice that for the fact that I have been able to be a full-time Mom for the past 16 years, cover school uniforms, textbooks, iPads, cafeteria food, bowling and quiz bowl team fees, dressy clothes for school dances, and dance lessons with what I make, and have traveled to 4 International competitions (including two weeks in Hawaii) and 15 Regional competitions and paid all of the fees, all of which we've done on one income (including 11 years of private school), and had the flexibility to drive all of the field trips, coached robotics, chaperoned dances, been a GS Troop Leader and Cookie Mom, and never had to juggle schedules to accomodate school breaks, snow days, pitch in to help with family needs, etc. I also have never had to have my daughter need to choose which extracurriculars to be involved in because of transportation issues or work schedules. I'm sure that some economist could take me to task with the income I "could be" making by doing something else or holding out for higher fees, but if you ask me, what I've gained in time with my daughter and the experiences and knowledge and activities that she has been able to be involved in far exceeds that.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2019 04:44AM by KarenMSW.
Morning Shop it al
You wrote:
Shop-et-al 3k 4y
"Keep in mind that it may cost a shopper nothing to complete a shop. In that situation, even a small fee is purely additive."
I wonder what you then consider a cost. Notwithstanding shops that are close to home where auto expense is minimal (yes, it even costs to drive across town). Do you not spend your time completing the shop? Further, my experience is all shops have instructions, if not detailed guidelines, to read. Preparing is more time. Finally, you wouldn't get paid without submitting a report. This time can be minimal writing but some require extensive descriptive narrative. So tell me, is your time not worth something? Would you work at a department or grocery store for the same amount of time for so little? Probably not.
In addition, this work is found and reported via the internet. I don't use my cell phone for much because I use my desktop. I find my desktop to be superior for reading and writing. Thus, my profit margin also includes internet access and electricity and depreciation on the equipment. For me, there are even more costs that reduce my profit margin: a printer, toner, paper, filing space. I do not understand your comment that "even a small fee is purely additive."
@KarenMSW wrote:

"We all need to remember that as many as there are who do this work, there are as many valid reasons for how we all run our businesses. And no, I do not run my business to benefit anyone but myself and my family. I trust, as we are all grown ups, that your reasons are valid and would hope that I would be accorded the same respect. Could I be making more? I suppose so. However, for me, I take almost all of the same types of shops (gas stations with a few cell phone store audits thrown in for variety) so I have minimal preparation time. I also can crank them out in less than 20 minutes per location plus I get mine and my family's snacks paid for and all of my gas as well. I can literally count on one hand the number of tanks of gas that I've had to pay for in the last year. As I drive 80 miles round trip to take my teenager to HS..."

I appreciate the kuddo's you have given your work as a mystery shopper, but you would have to be superwoman to give credit for all this to mystery shopping. You let shops bribe you with free gas and snacks. Your opinion in this matter suffers logic. I would just like to say that $12 for 20 minutes would be $36 an hour plus the bribe. I would love to know more about this.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2019 12:49PM by maryanncostello.
@maryanncostello wrote:

@KarenMSW wrote:

"We all need to remember that as many as there are who do this work, there are as many valid reasons for how we all run our businesses. And no, I do not run my business to benefit anyone but myself and my family. I trust, as we are all grown ups, that your reasons are valid and would hope that I would be accorded the same respect. Could I be making more? I suppose so. However, for me, I take almost all of the same types of shops (gas stations with a few cell phone store audits thrown in for variety) so I have minimal preparation time. I also can crank them out in less than 20 minutes per location plus I get mine and my family's snacks paid for and all of my gas as well. I can literally count on one hand the number of tanks of gas that I've had to pay for in the last year. As I drive 80 miles round trip to take my teenager to HS..."

I appreciate the kuddo's you have given your work as a mystery shopper, but you would have to be superwoman to give credit for all this to mystery shopping. You let shops bribe you with free gas and snacks. Your opinion in this matter suffers logic. I would just like to say that $12 for 20 minutes would be $36 an hour plus the bribe. I would love to know more about this.

Know more about what? And BTW, I was not giving credit for all this to mystery shopping, however the point of my post was that the income derived from this business is often more than cash. In my case, the fact is that my gas and food are almost always paid for. And yes, the reimbursements are "payment" because they are things that I would have been otherwise spending. For example, the 290 mile round trip to pick my daughter up from GS Camp? - all expenses paid, in "bribes" as you put it, but in reality those were costs that I was already incurring that someone else paid (plus that trip ended up nicely bonused since I was going to an area without a ton of shoppers). Another 242 mile trip that I made for a Chorus performance was more than covered by audits (and bonuses). In fact, I make it a practice to find work when I have to make those types of trips. I even did a couple of airport shops when I returned from International since I was traveling by myself. In addition, the flexibility that this job has afforded me is more important, at this point in mine and my family's lives than a larger bank balance. Quite honestly, with the chaos that was inserted in my daughter's life (HS Freshman who found out midway through the school year that her school was closing at the end of that year so had to look for a new school, very ugly and unfair), had I not been able to move my schedule around her year would have been much more difficult. That, plus the other complicating factors of competing on both an academic and an athletic team and her other extracurriculars, as well as my hobby, the flexibility that MS has afforded us has far exceeded the larger financial return that the corporate world would have brought. Another example - I took my daughter to school today to participate in a cleanup project. Were I not to have been able to fill the 4 hours with work I would have been less inclined to take her so instead of wasting my time sitting in my car I was paid for my time (6 gas station visits) and the gas that I was already burning to get her there and back as well as food during the day. Much of it depends on what your goals and intentions are and everyone's goals are different. Ours are to operate on one income while allowing the kiddo to get as much out of her HS experience as possible and to allow me to be able to afford to compete at Regional and International yearly and MS more than accomplishes those goals.
There are special circumstances that make a job worthwhile. I may look for a parking jog when it's close to where I need to go for another trip. I got to go to a museum I'd wanted to see. I got free compost for my garden, and I get my car washed when I need to. But, I do wonder about a job that advertises $12 reimbursement and $4 payment is for a coffee shop that requires one only buys a specific drink that costs $3 (and something I never would have or will ever order again.) Even if the information were downloaded into my brain while I was shopping next door and could blink my eyes to complete the survey and uploading photographs of bathroom and napkins, i've been paid $4/hr.
I'm in a rural area too and most of the shops I have available to me are at least 30 min to an hour drive. If I can bunch a few together (usually for different companies) it makes it worth it but a $10 fee for a 2 hour drive round trip just doesn't make it feasible for me...and that's not taking into account the gas I use, my time to make the trip, the time to do the report..but there are rarely jobs that pay much more than that. Locally, we don't have any chain stores and Mom & Pops typically don't get shopped.. so I've cut back on shopping and taken a second part time job. I'm guaranteed $95 for 7 hours a week.
Time is not money, really. I used to think it was. But it is not legal tender and at most may be used in a barter. Mind you, I am cynical and skeptical, and I long ago tired of bargaining slogans such as this one. Time is a resource, the uses of which may or may not involve money directly or indirectly. So if time but not money is spent to complete a low-fee shop, the shop fee is purely additive.

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. - Clarence W. Hall
I don't understand the "loose" either. I hope people aren't writing up reports with that grammar.
I do be righting my rapports anyways me wants.

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

(Good grief, one actually can get 3 errors in a two word sentence!)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2019 01:54AM by ceasesmith.
I try and group most of my shops. Sometimes I'll do a shop, even if it's to break even, because I would be just sitting at home and doing nothing. I would never do any shop if it's going to cost me.
I completely agree. The MS industry is currently predicated on churning and burning newbies, and moving most of the risks and costs to hapless contractors. I am a former professional in transition to a move overseas, and I gave mystery shopping a solid year of very solid effort. I've also had a couple of independent, small businesses in my life. The takeaway? Even when you rise, which you can do fairly quickly, to the elite level in assignments and bonuses, this gig economy puts way too much risk on the shoulders of the shopper to be worth the relatively low compensation, even at $75 and more per shop. Add in the real costs to your car, the actual hours spent writing and driving, and the risks of denied shops and you will find that Starbucks and Target and other casual employment is almost always a better bet.

Basing an industry on providing freebies in exchange for reports is the kind of outsourcing pipe dream that sent a lot of high tech overseas chasing 90% lower engineering wages, only to find it coming back once companies realized the actual cost of poor quality.

What companies seem to really want or need from these reports and quality checks needs to be compensated much higher, and in many cases, depend on a team of field employees and not casual gig economy contractors who typically do this for six months to a year, realize the actual costs involved (or whose car dies) and return to the traditional workforce.

Doing my best, every day
If there were any jobs in my area for a 100% disabled ancient female, I would be part of the regular workforce.

smiling smiley
@ceasesmith wrote:

If there were any jobs in my area for a 100% disabled ancient female, I would be part of the regular workforce.

smiling smiley


You could come here. There are some jobs. You would have a few options. You might be able to enjoy of each: wage or salary work and IC work.

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. - Clarence W. Hall
Where's "here"? LOL!!!

Be careful what you say -- I may show up on your doorstep, LOL!! Getting pretty desperate here.
'Here' is a small university town. You have alluded to it or unavoidably included it when posting about your general work areas. I have no idea what you would want to do. However, here is a made-when-sleepy list of whatever pops into my tired lil mind grinning smiley There is one company with a 'revolving door' of entry level positions. People get their foot in their door and either move up or out. Out is frequent, as many student spouses work there for a few years and then leave. These are office jobs with an attractive benefits package. There are part-time temp jobs during football and basketball season. Demo jobs are sometimes available, but they are not abundant. One university-affiliated company hires interviewers. You choose your hours and live your life accordingly. Depending upon which MSCs you work with and the shops you like to do, you can find a few dozen recurring jobs in town. Rotations limit the number of shops annually. The nearest town is fifty miles from here. The second nearest is 65 miles from here. You already know about the weather and the alternate routes, bwahaha, so......

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