Let us predict the future - Work when this blows over?

Could this shake out the newbs and groups of people who randomly would pop on for small jobs? Or you think when jobs do pop back up, that a lot of shoppers will be so rushed and they will accept jobs under their usual minimum?

Will MSCs lose a bunch of clients that just decide never to come back to the industry?

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It's going to be all about the recovery. If we bounce back into a thriving economy, mystery shopping will return to normal. If we end up in a nasty recession (Mnuchin is predicting 20% unemployment), clients will drop programs, fees will drop and more folks will be trying to get in.... The economy had been growing very well for 11 years and no economy grows forever - no matter who is at the helm. It was destined to slow down at some point and COVID-19 is a heck of a trigger. I predict we are going to have a rough recession - though I'm not convinced we'll hit 20% unemployment - that would be a disaster.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Yes. And each shopper has unique abilities and opportunities to describe their own situations and to ameliorate losses and/or adapt to changes.

My personal thought about the forum members is that we are hardy and resilient, even when we have challenges in our lives.

The most dangerous idea is silencing people. - Naval Ravikant
As the recession was playing out a decade ago there were many new shoppers desperately jumping into the business and being angry and frustrated that they were not able to replace salaries with shops. Indeed as MFJohnston indicates, if we bounce back into a thriving economy then shops themselves should return to normal. Last time we did not bounce back. I can drive down a road and remember the 10 businesses within about a mile that I used to shop regularly that went out of business during the recession. They were franchisees--the poor schmucks who pay a bundle to buy a business package and pay their monthly fees and a percentage of the business. They lost everything. Go down another couple of miles and there is another fairly inexpensive area of real estate where another handful of businesses I shopped used to be that were razed when the landlord could find no new tenants. The company that built on the property is not shopped.
The unemployment in my community is off the charts in the off season, which is all but 4 months in the summer. If this doesn't end quickly, well before the season starts, you'll see numbers in the 30s and 40s and possibly higher. People will lose their businesses, their homes, etc based on one bad season. It's downright alarming.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
There was a piece in Vox today (not a publication I normally read) but there was some evidence that this will go on until a vaccine is created. Possibly in waves. I was wondering the other day, if I stay well by staying home, and in a few weeks/months/ whatever/ things get back to normal, or whatever passes for it at that time, will I still run the chance of being infected by a carrier? Common sense says yes.
So I tend to agree with that assessment. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
Should we have incorporated and purchased business interruption insurance, or something? Should we do that in future, if there is a future for this?

The most dangerous idea is silencing people. - Naval Ravikant
A bit late for insurance now. The insurance companies will already have clauses in policies to avoid paying out for such occurrences in the future.
If the "curve" is correct, this will peak in late June/July.


I understand companies cancelling shops; it's probably the right thing to do, as the businesses that stay open may have long lines and crowds, which throws timings seriously off.

I understand that many companies that are shopped will not survive, or will survive in an altered state.

Wish I were employable.

Right now, I'm mostly worried about my daughter, who is a nurse. The LAST place I would want to be right now is a hospital. Any hospital.
Some of the larger national business that contract MSC's will recover. It depends on how long this will take to pass. But I doubt the Mystery Shopping industry will be as big as it was before all this.
Ok, I'll share with you what Scott Adams thinks will be the upside after CV:

Improved Science Networking
Participant Governance
Identified New Leaders
Pandemic Defense
Home delivery
School online
Prepping skills
Fewer Regulations
Supply chain rework
Protecting seniors
UBI tests


Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
I wonder if a new slew of work-from-home gigs pop up in the face of a possible long battle with COVID19 (and I pray, pray, pray we don't have more vicious waves a la the Spanish flu)?

If we don't get a vaccine, will this have a lasting impact on the nature of work for years?

Will people be working from home much more? We have technology that could certainly support that.

The best case scenario seems:

a.) first and foremost flattening the curve to prevent a near-term health disaster
b.) summer weather conditions (for whatever reason - natural and/or behavioral) stomping out a lot of the virus
c.) no vicious second wave in the fall/winter
d.) vaccine by 2021

IF those conditions hold, maybe the world (not just the U.S.) can resume a state of normalcy. If not, I wouldn't have any guesses. It's definitely an interesting question.

I do think UBI will likely play a bigger role in the future should COVID19 be a long fight.
Um, about that 20-second rule while washing your hands with soap and water...

I was in public bathrooms recently and noticed that several others did not follow that rule. Not even close.

If lives depend on adherence, people will die. Because of this lack of conformance, I'm now convinced the majority of the world's population will contract this virus within 24 months. Not spreading fear, just observations.

I also wonder what the view of a "Made in China" label for the youngest generation will become as they grow older; will it be China=pandemic? It meant something different when I grew up; inferior products. And remember, China owns a lot of US Debt in the form of Treasuries.
New Prediction:
The next "must have" item that will be flying off store shelves will be *hand lotion.*

After increasing my hand washing frequency to "constantly" and my use of hand sanitizer to "if it's there, I use it," my hands have started to dry out, crack and bleed. I started using hand lotion last night and this morning there is improvement. My skin is not particularly sensitive so one of two things is true: 1) I'm not the only one or 2) People are not washing their hands yet - in which case I have to wonder why they are buying hand sanitizer?

Yeah.... Hand Lotion may become the next "hot commodity."

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Given what I've seen regarding mass cancellations of shops by clients, I would not be surprised to find out that this is the end for many ms companies. It's going to be a rough world out there for a while, as the clients and the ms companies regain their footing in the industry. I would expect to see more merchandising jobs come along since so many brick and mortar stores are closed indefinitely and will need to gear up rapidly once they are able to reopen for business.
Right now just buying and selling highly leveraged inverse ETFs while at home on Robinhood. Helps passes the time.

You will at some point in time, get the virus. It has mutated twice, there are two strains. It could mutated into a begin virus. Hope that happens. In the meantime, best to put it off. I fear the attack on lung tissue.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
Yes...put it off as long as possible. Flatten the curve. Save lives.

You will either eventually get it or hold out long enough for the vaccine...
@shoptastic wrote:

Will people be working from home much more? We have technology that could certainly support that.

If employers see successful outcomes from people working at home during this period I think we will see those jobs skyrocket. Most of the people in my office are now working at home with just a small handful of low-risk people holding down the fort since we have to keep the building open. My 9-5 is for the state government, a behemoth slow to change and adapt to emerging (or even kind of old) tech. I heard a very high-up comment on how much money the state could save if we maintained this level of work at home and downsized the g-ment buildings. He said it as though it was a new revelation that had never occurred to anyone before.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Wish I were employable.
Cease, I am certain you are employable. Your situation is perfect for a legit work-at-home job and/or loads of phone shops. I know you are tech shy but the larger companies (think Marriot reservations, etc) have in-house programs that are easy to navigate. This is a great jumping-off resource for work at home: [clark.com]
Don't know how many of you have heard/read this, but here is some very encouraging news. The generic drug used to treat malaria, and now frequently used to treat Lupus (one of my friends has been on it for 20+ years for her Lupus) is called by a couple of names: hydrochloroquine or simply chloroquine. This drug has had success in the past of treating SARS-2, and shows great promise for Covid-19, in that it lessens the impact of the virus and prevents is replication. Since this is already on the market and FDA approved, it would be a simple step to allow it to be used for another purpose. I believe there has been talk of at least letting our health care workers start taking it. The news channels and ejournals are talking about this. Anyhow, here are a couple of links about it:




So personally, for me, I predict a bright future. But then, I'm a "half-full glass" person anyway.
There are MSCs that won't make it. There are clients that won't survive. Most will, but some -many?- will have losses so great that they will be looking for ways to cut costs. Some will suspend or end MS programs.

This virus may be here to stay, coming back year after year. Not like this- once herd immunity develops recurrences will be much less severe- but it now exists and will never disappear.

The world, or at least our shoppers' world, is a different place now. The only question is, how much different, and in how many ways?
Panama18 - that's very, very depressing, but it is true. It's time for me to look into another line of work.
When things get back to normal and shops start to become available again, a few words of wisdom.
Don't jump and take shops simply because you need the pay. Get the rates the shops were at pre pandemic. I would suggest asking for fair pay which was almost never the pay offered but you should never accept less than former pay minimum. Ex if shops paid $15 they may come back as same shop paying $10. You should still ask for $25 or $20 whatever made the shop a fair wage but should never do for less that $15. Try new shops if you can't get the rates for the old shops you are used to. Branch out and try different areas. We all must do what we need to do to make ends meat but don't be pennywise, pound foolish it will hurt in the long run. Build a shopping account which has enough in it to do shops and pay for things which will get reimbursed. This account should be used for shopping only. Build an emergency account of 8 to 12 months of expenses. This will help in times of Crisis like the current Pandemic. Wish everyone to be safe and have good health.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2020 04:24AM by Jenny Cassada.
Those companies that return from this financially able to do so may find that they need every advantage possible to thrive and regain their market share. Some may see this as an opportunity to dethrone an incumbent competitor.

Consumers will have changed from this. Nobody will be able to continue on as they did before. Every company's playbook will need to be adjusted. Some playbooks will need to be thrown out. They are going to need data to do that.

Those companies that start off getting a fresh read on the new consumer mindset through mystery shopping may have a distinct advantage. Some MSCs and some clients may well fall away. But others may step into the void with new and interesting mystery shopping needs..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2020 09:16AM by JustForFun.
If we can take China as a model, then we should be mystery shopping again in July or August.
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