Anyone willing to do this for 200.00?

You must be credit worthy to conduct this shop as you must be able to obtain a credit card. You must be willing and able to apply for a credit card and purchase an item(s) of $200.00 or more on that credit card.

Items can be returned but you must fully understand the return policy. There is no reimbursement for purchases and you must fully understand the return policy should you decide to make a return.

I wouldn't unless I was already going to purchase an item from said store that I wanted and I wanted said store's credit card.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.

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As long as the return policy is acceptable to me and the store is not far from home/other shops, I would do it.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I am willing to do this. I have not been able to find an appropriate item to keep or return. When I personally want a credit card, I get one on my own time and not as a shop..

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
I would not want to damage my credit for any amount of money, so the open a credit card shops are not things I would complete. The hard pull is not worth it to me.
Nope, I wouldn’t do it. I am very careful with my credit and would never want to alter it for a shop but that’s just me.
I open and close bank accounts and credit cards regularly and have done so for about 3 years. My credit score stays within 5 points of where it was when I started this. I also have done loan app shops that require a hard credit pull during that time. Ideas that one's credit rating will take a serious dive are pure bunk.

As for finding something "appropriate to buy," I would be buying a "gift for a friend." Two days later, it would be returned for a full refund. And, I can always plan to pair another shop or two with that return trip, so I am not wasting time.

btw, I also have 3 rewards program credit cards that I maintain for years, use for nearly all household and MS expenses,, and pay off in full every month. Because I have had these for several years (over a decade in one case), the issuers have all, voluntarily, raised the limits on these cards. All have at least 10K limits. So, I am actually using a small portion of my "available" credit, month in and month out. THAT will boost anyone's credit score! Learning the real rules of credit scoring is well worth one's time. It will mean qualifyin for the lowest interest rate when buying a home or a vehicle.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2019 01:08PM by walesmaven.
I wouldn't do one. You do take a hit on your credit, even if it's small. And it shows for up to two years, although I don't think it counts against your score for that long. Plus, people's situations may change during that time. I'd be able to qualify for a new credit card, so I could do this shop, but we're in the process of trying to sell our home and buy another one. A shop like that would have a negative impact on our qualifying for a mortgage. Even if the credit score changes only by one or two points, the underwriter is going to look at credit history (when an account was opened), amount of available credit, etc. (When I was a Realtor, I was constantly telling people NOT to open any new credit accounts or loans before closing on their homes.)

Unless a shopper knows for sure his/her situation will remain stable, I think these can be risky.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
If it's that Ath Power shop that's been around for several years, heck no. Often those stores don't even offer a credit card for the particular bank you are supposed to be shopping so you've wasted your time.
Some locations might offer that card but will have nothing in your price range. Still others are stores that mostly sell and service landscaping equipment, with business owners being their typical customer.
I remember that a few years ago, a shopper here got burned on one of these shops because the store wouldn't take the snowblower, or whatever it was, back. I don't recall if she was eventually able to return it. Might be, but there might have been a restocking fee or something. I also don't remember if the situation was that the shopper didn't fully read the return policy or that the store refused to honor it. I do remember putting the shop on the 10-ft. pole list, though.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Well, I am about to do one at a high end department store, so should have no problems. Their return policy is on line. Buying a "gift" means no issues about my size or favorite color.

Birdy, I also had to give that advice as a buyers' agent. But it was because a new account would mean a delay, NOT because it would disqualify the buyers. The underwriter is obliged to include ALL credit references in their report, so newly opened credit needs a quick look before closing on the mortgage. BUT, of course, going out and buying a vehicle just before closing could alter one's "ratios" and endanger the mortgage. An open, but unused, credit line adds only $25 to the underwriter's debt/income ratios for a mortgage, so a delay, but not much chance of disqualification. In that case, though, delay could cause problems with the seller. That is a whole different matter!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven wrote:

Birdy, I also had to give that advice as a buyers' agent. But it was because a new account would mean a delay, NOT because it would disqualify the buyers. The underwriter is obliged to include ALL credit references in their report, so newly opened credit needs a quick look before closing on the mortgage. BUT, of course, going out and buying a vehicle just before closing could alter one's "ratios" and endanger the mortgage. An open, but unused, credit line adds only $25 to the underwriter's debt/income ratios for a mortgage, so a delay, but not much chance of disqualification. In that case, though, delay could cause problems with the seller. That is a whole different matter!

I never had a buyer disqualified by a last-minute account opening, but only because in some cases, I had to twist their arms to not do it or not to use it! I had people want to go out and buy new cars, like you say, or a boat, or all new furniture for their new home. In some cases, that would have pushed their ratios to the point of not qualifying. (Why people do this is beyond me, but that's another topic!) Although these days, opening a new account right as you're buying a home could be a big red flag. I think since the crash of 2007-2008, when buyers who had no money down and who were merely breathing and standing upright were getting mortgages. My mortgage broker sends buyers a list of to-do's and not-to-do's, and on that list is to NOT open any new credit or loan accounts, whether you use them or not. I suppose if your score is 720 and above, nobody will care. But if you're borderline, it could be a problem.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
There is one store in my area that will only give an in store credit for returns. I recommend that you look into the store return policy prior to accepting these shops.
@walesmaven wrote:

I open and close bank accounts and credit cards regularly and have done so for about 3 years. My credit score stays within 5 points of where it was when I started this. I also have done loan app shops that require a hard credit pull during that time. Ideas that one's credit rating will take a serious dive are pure bunk.

This. I opened three new cards last week and the hard pulls didn't change my score at all. Now 3 new cards will lower my average age of accounts when they hit my report so my score will probably drop a few points then. I'm not so worried about it though as it will take me 3 months to go through the spend for the sign up bonuses. By then it will have rebounded and I can get another one.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Also, I had to crawl my way back from a financial disaster, starting more than 20 years ago. My current excellent ratings had to be slowly, carefully, earned. So, never imagine that I take good credit for granted.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Definitely not worried about my credit. I do loan inquiry shops and credit card opening shops often enough. I did a credit opening shop a few weeks ago that paid $200 to open and I did it online taking screenshots, then did a $50 webscrape survey for the same assignment, and am being paid $20 a month to monitor communications from the bank. Easy peasy. Doing a soft pull loan inquiry tomorrow with a different MSC that pays $60, again it's online and I take screenshots...no problem.

However, that Ath Power shop can be and mostly likely will be a waste of someone's time, IMO. I had done one of their shops where I went to the store and found out that they did not offer a credit card or financing with the bank that I was supposed to be shopping. The guidelines at that time didn't really explain what to do if they did not have that bank card, thank goodness I was able to get a hold of someone at Ath on the phone in the parking lot who told me not to make the purchase with the store's suggested financing option. I did not get paid anything for my time. A second time I took a shop of this nature and called before going to ask if they offered that credit card or financing through that bank, and again, they did not, so I contacted the MSC and they canceled the shop. After that, no way. Then, I read about other shoppers doing the actual account opening shops. I think one of them didn't understand it was only for a particular bank and the store didn't offer that card...they accepted financing through another bank that was offered by the store and had their shop rejected, someone else had to pay a restocking fee to return the item, another one wasn't allowed to return their item...and so forth. Hard pass.
Okay. So, the shopper needs to call ahead, ask what bank finance/credit card is offered, then let MSC know if it is not the target bank and get the shop canceled if need be.

Jas, many thanks for clarifying how not to get skunked.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@BirdyC wrote:

I remember that a few years ago, a shopper here got burned on one of these shops because the store wouldn't take the snowblower, or whatever it was, back. I don't recall if she was eventually able to return it. Might be, but there might have been a restocking fee or something. I also don't remember if the situation was that the shopper didn't fully read the return policy or that the store refused to honor it. I do remember putting the shop on the 10-ft. pole list, though.

I remember someone was stuck with a hot tub but the search function still never works for me.

sestrahelena
Well then I wouldn't be buying a hot tub! Unless i was Eddie Murphy's character in Coming to America.

ETA: Oh wait, that was whatshisname, his servant.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2019 02:08PM by JASFLALMT.
That bank has a current promotion that gives you $200 for spending $500 in the first 90 days. It's about the best such offer I've ever seen.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2019 12:36AM by panama18.
You aren't allowed to name the client. That's why we haven't named the bank all this time.

And it doesn't much matter whether they have a great offer or not if the store you are shopping doesn't use them for financing!!!!!
I actually have their card attached to my brokerage account and got the deal you mentioned. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a store that actually did carry that card for financing. I was able to get the card and that promo online without a shop attached.
That is only for the credit card issued with the bank's name on it. These shops require going to a place called (I am making up this name) Ajax Plumbing, buying a bed, and getting a credit card which says "Ajax Plumbing" and in fine print, you find that the issuing bank is the one you have mentioned which has that great offer It is a privately labeled credit card. Years ago, Circuit City (among many others) had privately labeled credit cards - they said Circuit City on them, but it was issued by some very large bank. This practice is very common among furniture stores, hardware chains, farm equipment stores, etc.

If you do the shop under discussion, you will not be getting $200 back after you spend $500. That deal (which is a great one) is valid only if you go directly to that bank and get a credit card directly from that bank with the bank's name on it. BTW, if you go directly into the bank rather than applying online, you get an additional $25 for spending $25 in a particular category. Yes, I shop that bank every month.
@panama18 wrote:

That bank has a current promotion that gives you $200 for spending $500 in the first 90 days. It's about the best such offer I've ever seen.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
If I correctly understand the fee to be $200, which is $50 more than the largest fee I have ever received, my decision would be predicated upon IF a return were permissible. If not, as the OP stated, it would only be acceptable if I needed the item.
You still aren't accounting for the fact that many of the stores they have listed for the shops don't do financing with the bank that you are supposed to be shopping. I promise you that I am absolutely positive that at least two of the stores they had on the shop list used completely different banks handling the financing. So it might be a complete waste of your time, as by the time you read the guidelines and go to the store, pick out your item and get to the register...then you have wasted your time when you could have been doing something else to make money.

@shopperbob wrote:

If I correctly understand the fee to be $200, which is $50 more than the largest fee I have ever received, my decision would be predicated upon IF a return were permissible. If not, as the OP stated, it would only be acceptable if I needed the item.
Yeah, that was my point, although I guess I didn't make it clear. You don't need the shop. You can get $200 with the bank's current promotion, which as such promotions go is as good as they get - spend only $500 over three months.

@myst4au wrote:

That is only for the credit card issued with the bank's name on it. These shops require going to a place called (I am making up this name) Ajax Plumbing, buying a bed, and getting a credit card which says "Ajax Plumbing" and in fine print, you find that the issuing bank is the one you have mentioned which has that great offer It is a privately labeled credit card. Years ago, Circuit City (among many others) had privately labeled credit cards - they said Circuit City on them, but it was issued by some very large bank. This practice is very common among furniture stores, hardware chains, farm equipment stores, etc.

If you do the shop under discussion, you will not be getting $200 back after you spend $500. That deal (which is a great one) is valid only if you go directly to that bank and get a credit card directly from that bank with the bank's name on it. BTW, if you go directly into the bank rather than applying online, you get an additional $25 for spending $25 in a particular category. Yes, I shop that bank every month.
@panama18 wrote:

That bank has a current promotion that gives you $200 for spending $500 in the first 90 days. It's about the best such offer I've ever seen.
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