CNBC Article about mystery shopping

[www.cnbc.com]

Found the article to make it seem like shopping is super easy with short narratives. What are your thoughts?

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Did the informer to the author of the article just violate their agreement with an MSC by leaking too much information?
@sestrahelena I was thinking that MarketForce (which is one of the companies he mentioned) didn't get the memo. I agree he is FOS.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2020 04:35PM by pegleg2000.
Some of the work that pays a pretty decent rate is easy though.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
I haven't recently read the ICAs of the companies named in the article. As a general rule companies indicate their client lists are proprietary information to not be shared. This and other forums generically prohibit sharing of client and MSC because it would be a constant battle to say that it is okay to share clients from ABC MSC but not for DEF MSC. So the informant would be violating this forum's rules even if it was okay with the individual MSCs--which I don't believe it is. I'm pretty sure that the informant violated proprietary information when he shared $ amounts.
@sestrahelena wrote:

Hahaha. $35 grocery shops? I guess Trendsource didn't get the memo. And 5-15 minutes for a dining shop report? Somebody's FOS.
Maybe by "dining" the informer was referring to those FF dine-in shops, haha!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2020 09:31PM by guysmom.
Wow. I bet MarketForce will deactivate him for the information he gave in the interview relating them to their clients.
I mean.... Market Force themselves have released many articles on their website to announce their various relationships with their clients, whether it's mystery shopping or other aspects of their consulting services....

[www.marketforce.com]

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
He's been doing it for years, and earned a total of about $30,000. Totally doable.

Wonder about his math, though. Says "90%" of his food costs are covered by mystery shopping, so he spends $25 a month on food. If MY math is right, that means he and his wife spend about $250 a month on food, as $25 is 10% of $250.

I seriously doubt there's a 27 year old couple spending only $250 a month on food, as USDA says the average cost for two for a month on a "moderate" budget is $625.
@ceasesmith wrote:


I seriously doubt there's a 27 year old couple spending only $250 a month on food, as USDA says the average cost for two for a month on a "moderate" budget is $625.

It is believable if you assume that they do a lot of fast food and ample reimbursement casual dining so what is left is small grocery stuff. It also depends on the grocery shops they get--how restricted their purchases are and how large the reimbursement is. A few years back couponing made grocery shops very worthwhile because of the store policies of stores shopped and the quality of coupons available. I could stuff my pantry with BOGOs that I was allowed to use a store coupon (their's or a competitor's) on each item and a manufacturer coupon on each item and would earn money towards the rest of my purchases. Between the coupon surplus and the shop reimbursement I could get the fresh vegetables and protein desired for pennies over reimbursement. Do a few of those shops a week and I had my groceries covered and most of my fee still in my pocket.
@ceasesmith wrote:

He's been doing it for years, and earned a total of about $30,000. Totally doable.

Wonder about his math, though. Says "90%" of his food costs are covered by mystery shopping, so he spends $25 a month on food. If MY math is right, that means he and his wife spend about $250 a month on food, as $25 is 10% of $250.

I seriously doubt there's a 27 year old couple spending only $250 a month on food, as USDA says the average cost for two for a month on a "moderate" budget is $625.

Totally doable.... BEFORE mystery shopping, a large bag of chicken breasts, a 50 lb bag of rice to last for months, eggs, sliced ham, lots of veggies, etc. brought my total monthly grocery bill to be around $150 or less... And that's with me eating GOOD.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
It was the math I was questioning. My food budget is $13 a week (and not even that, lately); I wouldn't say I eat well, but I have plenty to eat. And it's real food, not processed stuff. But not many people are willing to eat beans and rice 6 or 7 days a week.
Now that his picture is posted twice in the article won't he be outed? And his wife's pic too in case she wants to take over the family side business.
Yeah, no company should want to work with them now. Odds are low that they’d be spotted in real world situations. It’s still not a good look to have their pics all over the article.

I’m also not too into articles about how someone who is already wealthy works for food. Who’s impressed really?
I received an email from the MSC that Peet's has cancelled all of their shops due to coronavirus concerns. No information as to when they will be added back.
People go to ends for "free" food.

I volunteer at a food bank every month. This one lady who participates appears to be very wealthy: her car, her clothes, her nails, makeup and hair, her jewelry. She pretty much goes after all of the free food that is available.

@1cent wrote:

I’m also not too into articles about how someone who is already wealthy works for food.

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

People go to ends for "free" food.

I volunteer at a food bank every month. This one lady who participates appears to be very wealthy: her car, her clothes, her nails, makeup and hair, her jewelry. She pretty much goes after all of the free food that is available.

Yeah, I wouldn't think an article about her would be fun to read either. Maybe interesting. Probably sad.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Wonder about his math, though. Says "90%" of his food costs are covered by mystery shopping, so he spends $25 a month on food. If MY math is right, that means he and his wife spend about $250 a month on food, as $25 is 10% of $250.

I seriously doubt there's a 27 year old couple spending only $250 a month on food, as USDA says the average cost for two for a month on a "moderate" budget is $625.

I think it's just how it's phrased. Ant not exact math. That article actually say:

“90 to 95% of our restaurant budget is covered by mystery shopping.”

Which I take to mean they probably pay to eat at exactly 1 restaurant a month with that $25...and the rest goes to groceries.

That said, at one point in time when I was unemployed, my GF and I covered 100% of our food expenses with MSing. We had been on a budget of $600/month when living frugally, but the bills were closer to $2,000/month when it was reimbursement from shopping.
You can watch his YouTube Video where he lists the companies, the clients and even shows a screenshot of his SeeLevelHX board (plus about 1000 ICA violations).

[www.youtube.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2020 06:00AM by SoCalMama.
It's very sad. We see people who are truly in need. They don't know what to do. And then there are those who work the system at every angle.

@1cent wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

People go to ends for "free" food.

I volunteer at a food bank every month. This one lady who participates appears to be very wealthy: her car, her clothes, her nails, makeup and hair, her jewelry. She pretty much goes after all of the free food that is available.

Yeah, I wouldn't think an article about her would be fun to read either. Maybe interesting. Probably sad.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I have several friends who are as poor as I am. I have several friends who are "comfortable" (5 million or so -- not as comfortable as that once was, LOL).

Several of my "comfortable" friends regularly go to the food bank.

They then distribute the food to their friends and neighbors who don't have transportation, or who cannot for one reason or another go to the food bank.

OTOH, my son in law is a goldsmith. He loves telling stories about people who come in looking like they don't have a nickel, and proceed to buy $50,000+ in jewelry.

One of my friends wears "distressed" clothes she spent a fortune on. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing them, as they look quite like rags.

smiling smiley

@HonnyBrown wrote:

People go to ends for "free" food.

I volunteer at a food bank every month. This one lady who participates appears to be very wealthy: her car, her clothes, her nails, makeup and hair, her jewelry. She pretty much goes after all of the free food that is available.

@1cent wrote:

I’m also not too into articles about how someone who is already wealthy works for food.
"Baldwin even gets paid to stock his fridge and pantry, once earning ”$350 to get $70 worth of groceries from Trader Joe’s,” he says."

Really?!? He's full of no sense.

Oh, and this:
"He tried it out anyway, filled out the survey, uploaded a copy of his receipt proving how much he spent and got a check in the mail two weeks later."

He got paid two weeks later for his shop? It happens, but entirely misleading for how this actually works.

This article is such bs.

Excuse all the edits. Okay, and this?!? Hah.

"The gigs that pay hundreds or even over $1,000 are more time-intensive, he notes. Completing those surveys can take between two and three hours."

Yes, Coyle hotel, $1000, two or three hours. Hah. Hah. Hah. Hah. Yeah, bull$%^.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2020 03:34PM by Niner.
I saw that...my immediate thought was more like 2 or 3 days (hotel shop), LOL!!!

But I will say, when I started shopping, yes, we certainly DID copy our receipts and mail them in! And then we would get a check in the mail. So that much rings true, at least.
Somewhere, on some job board, I saw $40 grocery shops. Those are several states away from me, and I forgot about them until now. For awhile, there were some that paid close to $30 near me. That was with a different MSC. On a few occasions, TrendSource paid me appropriate PAD for one of their distant locations.


@sestrahelena wrote:

Hahaha. $35 grocery shops? I guess Trendsource didn't get the memo. And 5-15 minutes for a dining shop report? Somebody's FOS.

If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances. – Jean Sibelius
Duplicate, see below for content.

Lady Marius
Canadian Mystery Shopper


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2020 08:56PM by Lady Marius.
If you search YouTube he has his own channel, where be gives tutorials on several of the companies he mentions in the CNBC piece, and even films some of his Mystery Shops and posts the videos. He links clients, left and right. And displays several of his MSC Completed Shops Lists, and their Job boards. (For example , Market Force, Service Sleuth and Reality Check come to mind). ICA Violations abound in everything he posts about Mystery Shopping. And of course he has taken the mystery out of mystery shopping by plastering his face and name all over the web.

Lady Marius
Canadian Mystery Shopper
I work in the same market as this guy..... I don't work cheap and.... he claims larger compensation than what I get.... With how cavalier he is about posting his face all over the place and linking clients to MSC's, I question his mystery shopping claims..... Do I believe you could pay for 100% of your food in this market? Yes. However, it would take a lot more time (shopping and writing reports) than what he cites.

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