Refer your friends or not?

I agree with the comments of helping friends and then it all coming back on you. This is similar to a few years ago for me when I was a courier/broker in a large city. If I didn't do the call another person would and be paid, I would get nothing. It's nice to think you can help others and all will be well.....that's not what will happen. The MSC offers a finders fee for new shoppers but that only helps once. Do as much as you can and be great in your area and others will not make any money.You could always suggest companies your not keen on to a friend and see if they like it.

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Hey, Keeffy, but what happens if they decide they like the companies you recommend, and then decide to expand to find more shops? It isn't hard to find more shops when someone gets motivated to do so.
I have a friend who signed up with ACL when I gave her that referral. Without my knowledge, she completed two "dog" shops that I would never do for the reimbursement/tiny fee offered. She barely got her shops approved due to some missed guidelines. She always tells me how impossible she found shopping to be, and she doesn't see why anyone would do it. That's fine. I don't need any competition in my city.
At first I was hesitant about letting friends know about mystery shopping. I make a lot of money on days when I do it and I was afraid they would take shops I wanted to do. Every friend I recommended took the information and did nothing with it. Only one actually signed up and never took a shop. I will continue to give anyone the information they want.
I referred a young friend who was in college and struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately there are lots of shops in her college town and she has been able to make a little money and more importantly to her, perhaps, eat out and get reimbursed for the food. She's young and sharp and is able to remember things easily for which I need to carry a recorder. Win-win for her, and she's not competing with me!
I told about it to my friends that are far away from me..I do not wish to share it with someone in my area. Because of competition...

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
I've recommended a few people but none of them succeeded in becoming a mystery shopper. They either gave up before signing up for a shop because they saw how low the pay was or they did one shop and quit because they found it was too much work and not worth the money.
Not. Told family, friends and acquaintances...all to get extra. No one credited me and i received no extra pay from their shops and shops grew less available. I have traveled as far as 200 miles for shops or shoped over the trip just to make it worth my time snd effort.
Same here. We already have too many shoppers in my area. I only refer people in other states.
I have referred a few friends as I am on rotation for many local jobs. And, there are a few companies I do jobs for which I would like to pass along to others. There are other shoppers here, but apparently not too many, as I stay busy. I also shop in towns 70 miles away which do not seem to have local shoppers. I plan a route when I go there, as it takes more than an hour drive each way due to county roads, so I can maximize income. I also get mileage pay when I go to them.
After working for over 35 years in a great career, which promoted team work to a certain extent. I will tell you to remember your first concern is for yourself, your livelihood and being able to provide for your family. Your needs are number one, you do not have to nor would I refer friends to a position that may take food off of your table. On the other hand always be kind, considerate and helpful to others in your field. But, again you have no obligation to bring people into your work that will be competing with you for a job. If your town was big enough to support more shoppers, or perhaps the person who wants you to introduce them to mystery shopping wanted to work with companies you prefer not to represent; well that would be totally your decision. People need to walk their own path.
Yes, absolutely.

For example, I stay in Airbnbs while on routes, and I frequently talk to the hosts, show them the ropes. Probably 8 or 10 times I’ve spent a couple hours with someone, sitting at a kitchen table over coffee, explaining everything. Two or three are now MS’ing.

There’s enough work for all of us; I don’t sweat it. When my video shopping friends pass through town, they stay in my guest room, use my WiFi, I cook a pot roast and brew coffee in the morning,

My favorite success story is a high school friend of mine who I’ve been mentoring the past 13 months. She’s now video shopping all up and down the East Coast, and is successfully making some serious money.

In return, she’s mentoring me on low-carb diets and keto. We talk through her new home scenarios and then switch to cutting carbs and HIIT. Win-Win for both of us!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 03:13AM by ColoKate63.
A friend I took occasionally as a dining mate kept asking me how to get those restaurant review jobs. She even pretends that it is for her son. Well, heck no, why should I inform her of anything that will compete with the small amount of fine dining that I am already competing for? Why should I do something that will hurt myself? For $25? NO WAY
I have given information twice to friends who were temporarily out of jobs. One used it as as intended. The other blabbed all over that she & I mystery shop.
Someone here mentioned that giving information to another who lives far away is nice
but
what if that person gives same information to a cousin in YOUR area?
I have a niece who does a few shops when the mood strikes her. Her daughter wants to do them, but she is not 21 yet and in college. I told her to wait awhile! My friends don't want the paperwork, but they do go on restaurant shops with me.
I live in a large metro area in which MSCs are always looking for new shoppers (unknown/new faces.) I have tried multiple times to get friends and friends-of-friends to give it a try. The pitch always ends when they ask how much it pays ... I have never had anyone give it a try. (I do tell them once they have an EIN and a dedicated professional-sounding email address to let me know. Once they did that, my plan was to tell them some shopper sites that aggregate names for multiple MSCs. No one has had enough gumption to even get the EIN.)

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
@PuaM wrote:

I live in a large metro area in which MSCs are always looking for new shoppers (unknown/new faces.) I have tried multiple times to get friends and friends-of-friends to give it a try. The pitch always ends when they ask how much it pays ... I have never had anyone give it a try. (I do tell them once they have an EIN and a dedicated professional-sounding email address to let me know. Once they did that, my plan was to tell them some shopper sites that aggregate names for multiple MSCs. No one has had enough gumption to even get the EIN.)

You referred me to a new company. I appreciate it!
I have invited half a dozen people to explore mystery shopping, two of whom really need the money! Only one did a few shops. It’s too much work for too little money some have said. I get that if you’re coming from a corporate job with only large bi-weekly pay check, receiving many small checks up to 90 days later can be scary. Others have been technologically challenged. Others say it’s too much driving. Whatever.

So now I mention it and don’t push. From time to time I’ll see a bunch of my local shops disappear without rhyme or reason. I figure a route shopper came through.

You can mention it to friends, almost none willl follow through. If you’re lucky one will and you can work with them to meet rotation requirements.
I'll have been a shopper for 5 years this September. I've given some friends the names of the "usual" mystery shop companies. Others have overheard me while taking a call from a scheduler with last minute assignments and bonus pay... As I usually negotiate the fees, they hear me discuss the amounts and almost always ask, "Where do I sign-up to get that kind of pay?!" ???? Deep down, I'm quite confident most people are the kind who, once they hear mystery or secret shop, assume its "get paid to eat at restaurants" and write a quick yelp-style review. If only...

About 2 months ago, my girlfriend's brother and I started to chat about mystery shopping. He said, "Yeah, I'm going to be having surgery here in acouple weeks and we need something to pay the bills." I gave him the name some MS companies. I cautioned him that most MS companies pay cycle is 30-60 days after a successful shop is completed, that there are literally hundreds of legit MS companies out there, each with their own clients, as well as writing requirements, depth of detail level, etc? Told him he'd have to sign-up with as many as he could before he could grasp the overview of what shops exist and which ones you think would be worthwhile. Cautioned him to "never pay upfront to be a mystery shopper" a/k/a avoid scams.

To this day, I don't think he's signed up for a single company, but he'll ask me about it again in the future... Why? Because he has before. They seemingly want the money, but don't want to put forth the time and effort into it that shopping requires to learn. My time is valuable... I have no problem helping someone learn if they're willing to put in the energy and ask questions, but I'm only willing to "give a hand-up, not a hand-out."
I feel this way as well. That being said, I've still referred two friends, three family members and one complete stranger. As of to date, I don't know about the stranger but, the family members aren't interested even though I've made a decent amount of money.
I like my friends. I would NEVER do anything to upset my friends. Unfortunately mystery shopping has become a place that you can not feel safe recommending to a friend. Just look at the forum. You got scams, you got deals that you must grab your 10 foot pole and run as quickly as you can because if it says Pizza and take a picture you will never take a picture that is centered and colored and "kissed by the gods" acceptable. Do we got to go to that furniture company that sells sweetish meatballs. Can I take you down the path into place that sells burgers but beware suburbanite.. Although many shops are in nice neighborhoods they do not warn you that you can get stranded in the Jungle. You pass the location and run for your life. Look is that your car up on blocks with no tires. the shopper that owns the car is on foot.Run Ronald run! Can you add your experiences? I know if you got one yo got many stories to tell. Would you do that to a friend?
Hello, my opinion about not wanting to refer friends because of not wanting to compete. I feel what's for you is for you and no one can take what's for you. I'm still getting the hang of things and have told friends and family. In my opinion, it's more than enough. I even was called and asked to do a shop that should've been completed by someone else.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 12:57PM by Hsportydee.
I do not refer anyone. I have mentioned mystery shopping to a few friends who live far from me and they said you have to do what for only how much???? People expect to make millions for a week of shopping- it is hard work and the pay is not great. So I just do not refer anyone even if they live thousands of miles away.
I recommended three or four people to Cirrus. Two actually went through with the shops, but got so frustrated chasing payments they gave up on MSing.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

I recommended three or four people to Cirrus. Two actually went through with the shops, but got so frustrated chasing payments they gave up on MSing.

Now that is funny! smiling smiley
A few years ago, I did talk about MSing to my cousin. I didn't really give specifics. she researched on her own and signed up for a few companies and did some work, but stopped doing it soon because it was just too much work for too little money, I think. And maybe she only signed up for a few companies...idk
@Irene_L.A. and JASFLALMT My niece may end up doing shops for places and things because it would be a good deal, or free. She knows how to live well on little and is very thrifty. Oh yes, and she has no student loans because her parents (they are all immigrants) have worked all these years to put her through college (Wharton @ Penn U) and she worked in San Francisco and NYC for a couple of years to put herself through the MBA program. JASFLAMT, my niece already has a good job (probably not her dream job, don't know) in Philadelphia (she's even investing in a house there) but was thinking of MS gigs until that job started this month. She may have done one or two shops but the next thing I knew, she was in South Africa, working for a few months until her new job started.
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