Who is doing the cell phone shops for $6.00? It has to stop........

Is it the same people doing the grocery store visits for $4.00? You are selling yourself short, because they will and do pay higher, always, and have in the past. However, when you take the jobs for that little you make it impossible for everyone and most importantly yourself to get paid a decent amount for all your time, efforts and hard work. You are doing a good, thorough job, and you are being taken advantage of by taking these jobs. Its shameful at this point, I know that some will write, its up to each person if they want to work for so little, but if you don't stick up for yourself and in turn others, you will always be paid too little for so much. It's not all right, its not fair, and they have the money to pay more.

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When I first started I took whatever I could get at whatever price it was offered, because I didn't know any better. And so, probably, did you.
Actually, I wish hundreds of thousands of shoppers would take jobs right off the job boards at the offered prices.

Leaves more bonus money for the rest of us.

smiling smiley
I know I did. Now, I ask for PAD or wait for a bonus.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
My very first shop was a fast food shop for Marketforce. I did it right off the job board. Drove an hour to get there, an hour to get home. And it was my very first, so you bet I printed everything off, studied, prepped, and probably took an hour on the report, too.

Figured out right away I hadn't made any money (gas was $4 a gallon then). In fact, I lost money. So I didn't schedule any more job. Then a Marketforce scheduler called me and asked me to do that same shop, for the same money. I explained it to her, and she said, well, what would it take for you to do it?

I never took another job off another job board.

However, the closest job to me is 45 miles away.
I did AT&T shops for $9 when I first started to get the experience. I also didn't know better. That $8 became $75 with another MSC for a similar phone shop.
I agree however they are quick and easy shops. If you can add on to a route or even double dip with a shop at the same cell phone place for a different msp ex double dip it can be worth it. Of course always check with both msps before doing 2 shops in one.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
Even with the double dip, I ask for a bonus. That adds up in a big box store.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Random, but tangentially related:

There's a book called, Working for Respect (2018), by two Columbia University sociologists, who look at the lives of Walmart employees. One of the stats they cite is that it's harder to get a job at Walmart than to get into Harvard University.

The acceptance rate at both:
2.6% Walmart
5.9% Harvard

It can be tough for people, who are struggling, to find work in many places in the U.S. Even Walmart jobs are tough to get - you can be overqualified. And if qualified, you're facing a 2.6% acceptance rate for a store that frequently gets the label of one of the worst places to work for.

I can see why people pick up $6.00 cell phone shops. sad smiley
***The 2.6% acceptance rate is when the store first opens, so not sure how much that may change over time...maybe much more people apply on opening?
I have learned never to judge. I'm sure that there are some folks who are new to this who don't know that pay increases and are just trying to get their foot in the door. There are also some folks who need the work and will take whatever they can get because something is better than nothing. Hopefully, for the former folks they stick with it long enough to learn to wait for the pay increases and for the latter that their situation improves so that they are able to wait for the pay to increase. There are also folks, some who have posted before, who are caregivers and need something to give them a break and, even a little pay, is a bonus. For those folks, I hope that they get the respite that they require to keep doing what they are doing and that pay will increase so that their bonus is a bit larger. It's all well and good to say that they need to "stick up for yourself" but that requires energy that some might not have and the ability to "roll the dice" and chance that sticking up for yourself or waiting won't result in a worse outcome. As for me, I'm fortunate enough at this point in time to not fall in any of those categories so I wait and pick and choose what works for me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2019 02:02AM by KarenMSW.
Goodsmiling smiley, I am not trying to be disrespectful I just think we are supposed to help, in addition to all the other shenanigans that go on here and I think sometimes a friendly reminder is a step in the right direction. Not trying to inspire anyone's ire here, I promise.
I've come up with the "Shoptastic 50% Rule of Thumb" when it comes to base fees. grinning smiley

Most project base fees seem 50% less than what they should pay, given the work & time involved. Obv., this is subjective, but that's how I feel.

Test it out. Pick a project with some base fee. Then, double it and see if it is acceptable to you at that rate. I find I do well with this rule. There are some exceptions, such as Alta 360's $8 self-storage shops that should probably go for $30 min.

But, for the most part, I like my quick rule. And it sadly implies these base rates are rip-offs of 50% of labor & costs!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2019 06:34AM by shoptastic.
Those $6 shops are super easy, but I only get them about 50% of the time when I ask for $12 or $15.
There is always someone with some reason that will take them at base pay. In the LA area and I assume other saturated areas there are many people willing. The MSC and companies are happy because they end up paying less than minimum wage (since it's contract work) and it's legal.
When two parties with opposing interests agree on a price, that's what the thing is worth. Far as I'm concerned, I wish I could put a frame around it and hang it on the wall because in a sense, a free-market deal is a work of art.
I started with the apps — EasyShift. Gigwalk etc... it felt pretty good to at least get “something”, but then I just started to feel like it was a grind, and I could do better — which is how I got into regular MS’ing. I’d say it was about 8 months with the apps, 8 months doing regular jobs at base rate as well as a few app jobs, then figuring out how bonuses work, making relationships with schedulers — and over the last 2-4 years having relationships with schedulers, where they know what I generally will and will not take. I rarely take a job at “board rate” these days unless it’s something I need anyway, or a few restaurants I like. I got to a point where schedulers e-mail with direct offers that are decent... it takes a while, but you can get there.

I’m very much a “second half of the month” shopper these days — I make 80% of my money in the last 9 days of the month.... I used to check the apps when I was in Target or Wal-Mart whenever I stopped in, and I don’t even do that anymore. I’ve figured out the minimum money I need to make something work, if I can route it, or make a trip, and I stick with it. I’ve found the schedulers respect it eventually — if you are willing to lose a few jobs first.

For example, a lot of people complain about Trendsource as an MSC — they are one of my favorites... but I turned away several jobs to get to where I need to be. You have to be willing to say “No, it needs to be $50 PAD or it won’t work unfortunately. Go ahead and check with your manager.” when they say “Can you do it for $40? Anything higher and I have to check with my managers”. 4 out of 5 times they say no problem... 1 out of 5 they come back and say they can’t do it — I then tell them sorry it didn’t work out — and half of those times they come back the next day and offer me the 50. If you do it for 40, they note it and try to talk you down to 35 the next time.

There are exactly two MSCs who have never griped about the fees I need to do their jobs — Mintel and Informa. Both of which are my absolute favorite MSCs bar none.

In looking at my earnings, I do better this way rather than the apps or doing things for board rate. But it took a while to get there... I’ve always done this as a side job and way to help pay down my student loans faster — if it was my only income, I don’t know if I would have been so bold... so I understand why some people do these for the board rate. If you want to look at how depressing this situation can be, take a look at EasyShift forum in the app sometime. It’s sad to see these people griping about when $3-4 shops will drop, or why it’s taking ES an extra 3 days to process payments because someone was counting on an extra $20-30 to help pay their car note.

So to not ramble any more... I feel that people take the base rate if they need to... and unfortunately most of the MSCs take advantage of this — but if you can hold out, and you aren’t so desperate that $20-30 can make the difference on your car note being paid or the like — you can make extra money if you hold out a bit. I’d tell everyone to avoid taking the board rate — unless it just makes sense or you are going there anyway.
Field Agent is notorious for the 6 dollar ohine shop...i have only done one once to make payout but it was easy. The reasons for choosening to preform a low cost job sometimes is temporary take a loss because their company's pay out is 50 bucks and I am not paying 0.75 each time!

I recently waited for a shop they had for 6 bucks to be bonused to 10 bucks but I believe even then is an undersell...but gig work in general undersells. If they had to pay us well god forbid we enjoy our lives winking smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2019 12:21PM by Mysteriousways.
I don't understand. What do you mean pay out being $50? I cash out every time a shop is cleared. Sometimes it's only $4. But it's in my bank in the next few days.

In Canada, payout has to be 50 bucks OR I have to pay 0.75 cent for the cash out. I'm guessing Americans do not have the same cash out policy but this makes me work hard to get my payouts...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2019 02:36PM by Mysteriousways.
Thank you to the person who wants to be helpful. One helpful thing is to let each shopper find their way to what they like, want, and/or need. Some people might not like the assignments at any price or bonus and find something else to do. Via initial low-paid shops they might find their way to higher status, higher pay, other shop types, or to a dead end. Everyone will not want the same amount of involvement with mystery shopping, and many will not choose it for a career.

The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy. - Corrie Ten Boom

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2019 02:55PM by Shop-et-al.
@wwin wrote:

There is always someone with some reason that will take them at base pay. In the LA area and I assume other saturated areas there are many people willing. The MSC and companies are happy because they end up paying less than minimum wage (since it's contract work) and it's legal.

Thank you wwin for mentioning this. It is important to let newer shoppers know that the op's theory does not work everywhere. A new big city shopper like this city would find no work with this theory. It took me a very long time working in Los Angeles to discover some better paying shops with the very occasional small bonus. If I really needed some income or food and waited on a bonus here I would starve to death. Even at the end of the month the majority of shops are advertised at the base rate or if a bonus it is a big $2 and most of the shops disappear before you can self assign. Even now I would have to be signed up with many companies and really work the job boards to make enough extra money to live on if I moved. Lately I see "routes" of shops advertised by some msc in California. The routes take me all the way up to Northern Cal (800 or so miles) with the shops spread out by 50 or 60 miles between in off the main road places and pay an extra $3-5 per shop. For a $7 fee it would be crazy to accept those shops and drive for several days and 2000 miles to do them.
I took a long hiatus from mystery shopping, and I was shocked at the lower fees when I came back to it. Gas station shops with up to 12 photos that I used to do for $18 each? Now listed and taken at 6 lousy bucks. Banks that I did for $20? Now have added interactions and pay $12. I got an email last month that said BIG BONUS in all caps like that. Hey, scheduler, $5 is not that big!
I tried explaining to the head of Intellishop that the fees paid were far too low and most were not worth the time to do it. Their response was to block me from doing any shops at all (including one I actually had scheduled because I found one that WAS worth it). Oh well, plenty of other companies are willing to pay a fair fee, have not missed them too much. But it was an awfully petty response that made me glad I had at least said something to him.
I like to do jobs for Trend Source. I don't think they are hard to work for and they give PAD pay which a lot of companys don't do.
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