Will you start right back up?

When mystery shopping jobs are available again, I'm curious as to how many will snatch them up versus waiting it out until the $600 a week unemployment checks are near their end.

Here in California, the payment will start retroactively in a week and go until July 27. The state is throwing in a bit of cash too so they may be as high as $767 a week. I suspect that is more than most mystery shoppers net per week.

I have a number of established routes that I don't want to lose. I expect my main shops to be back in full force based on conversations with schedulers. But I have to admit $767 a week to sit home is tempting.

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Others will disagree, but getting 'paid' more than I would normally bring in doesn't seem ethical to me. As a matter of fact, if/when I actually get approved for unemployment in Missouri I would be in the same situation of bringing in more than normal.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I'll be getting back to work as soon as things can begin popping up again. Don't qualify for unemployment. Don't qualify for the stimulus check. Still awaiting additional funding for the PPP and approval of it.

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 routinely make more than the $760 a week I would get in unemployment. Not every week, but probably 8 weeks every quarter. I don't miss putting the mileage on my car, but I sure do miss getting out and seeing this beautiful country. I'll get back out as soon as my routes open back up.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/22/2020 03:50PM by HoomanShopper.
The payments will potentially help to keep the MS industry from sliding further into the black hole of dwindling shop fees.

My understanding is that you need to be getting at least $1 from standard unemployment to qualify for the additional $600 each week, so if your award is $167 and you are claiming $165 is shop fees, your check would presumably be for $602 and you could continue to work with receiving benefits.

That means MSC's would need to incentivize choppers to take shops, rather than taking advantage of their potential desperation. Back when I started shopping and the economy was strong, with a low unemployment rate, most shoppers had full-time jobs and shop fees were relatively high. The industry never fully reset from the economic crash IMHO....
I make more than I will get from unemployment per week when I work, I just choose to only work a 1.5-2 weeks per month because I have minimal expenses. I also live with and help take care of things for my 78 year old mother. I can't go out into public places and return home until it's very safe. I will at least take unemployment until it runs out and reassess at that time. Luckily finances won't be a big driver of what I decide to do at that point.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I am willing to return to IC work! I have no idea what will be available near me or whether my distant assignments will return. Wait and see...

I have not even applied for federal unemployment payments. The salient feature here is availability of any assignments at all.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/22/2020 04:15PM by Shop-et-al.
She got a forgivable loan. Her employees hate her for it.
[www.cnbc.com]

@ wrote:

Jamie Black-Lewis received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program for her two spas, Oasis Medspa & Salon and Amai Day Spa, in Washington state. Many of her 35 employees think they will make more money collecting unemployment benefits than from their regular paychecks.
@shoptastic wrote:

She got a forgivable loan. Her employees hate her for it.
[www.cnbc.com]

@ wrote:

Jamie Black-Lewis received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program for her two spas, Oasis Medspa & Salon and Amai Day Spa, in Washington state. Many of her 35 employees think they will make more money collecting unemployment benefits than from their regular paychecks.

Loophole from the SBA:

"Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease."
Source: [www.sba.gov]

In other words, as long as 75% of the PPP loan are used for "payroll costs," this owner could have very well "furloughed" her staff and still technically have the loan forgivable as long as she meets the forgiveness guidelines aka offering to rehire at the end of the pandemic period (I believe July 2020 is what's stipulated in the PPP loan).

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.
She can't because she has to use the PPP Loan within 8 weeks

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
In answer to the question, yes I will start right back up as soon as shops I like to do become available. And i will be happy to do my small part to help this economy get started again.
@bgriffin wrote:

She can't because she has to use the PPP Loan within 8 weeks

Not sure why she couldn't work a way for the staff to partially work part-time to try and satisfy the 75% rule:

$177,000 and $43,800 loans for 35 employees + herself = $220,800 * 0.75 / 2.5 = ~$1,896 per person for salary, benefits, insurance costs, etc.

But read the article slower that the staff simply isn't understanding the stipulations of the CARES act..... Those guys may STILL qualify for partial unemployment AND receive the FULL $600/week for the duration; even if they're disqualified for STATE unemployment, they still get the $600 benefit from the stimulus granted they fall within the criteria for the stimulus bill's definition of "unemployed." I get it. They'll make more on unemployment, but sad that the employees are getting pissed at the owner for doing what she believed was right for the businesses.....

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/22/2020 09:36PM by Tarantado.
@Tarantado wrote:

They'll make more on unemployment, but sad that the employees are getting pissed at the owner for doing what she believed was right for the businesses.....

And potentially short-sighted of the employees. They are set to return to work when the gov't allows it, and still make a claim if their are fewer customers and less income than before.

I have friends on both sides of the EDD fence. Some are making more on unemployment than they would at work, and others are still collecting a paycheck with no opportunity to have a piece of the weekly CARES payout....but when August hits and those $600 checks stop, the unemployed better have saved some money because millions will be looking for work at that point, while the others will still have their jobs + many more weeks of help from EDD if paychecks are lower.
I have never collected unemployment before in my life; I've always just gone out and gotten another job (or two, or 3, or however many it took, LOL), but these circumstances are so unusual -- let us hope they fall under "once in a lifetime", please! -- that I did apply.

I have no idea if I will receive it.

I like to earn the money I get, so as soon as I possibly can, I'll be back to work!

Actually, historically, April (and July and October) are the months I earn the most -- end of quarter bonuses, routes, and lots of available shops. Not at all unusual for me to earn
$3-4,000 in April, so 5 weeks of unemployment would make up for that loss.

And I'm tired of sitting home gaining weight!!!
So I checked. Federal bennnies should be available here next week. I can apply for them and see what happens.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
For the record, you do earn your unemployment money. Most people are getting from a fund they pay into with their regular paychecks. The additional stimulus money, we ALL will be paying for for a long time!
I am expecting that our taxes are going to have to skyrocket in order to get the local and national govts out of the deep debt that is being created now for good cause. I probably will not return to mystery shopping until I deem it safe as I am in a high risk category. Luckily my state is being prudent about reopening at least right now. Nothing to do with the unemployment payments.
I will be cautious going back just because I do not expect the opportunities to be full force all at once. Site lists will not be updated and working through closed locations is bound to be frustrating. I also expect staffing will be short and the service interactions will be different. I would plan put some extra effort into writing reports.

I haven't looked into the details of unemployment because I am still waiting to be approved. However, I assume they would allow us to claim partial weeks. In that case, it would make it easier to start with one or two days as a trial.
Yep I’ve been told $926 a week here. Most likely they will extend that as well. It will be hard for me to leave getting paid that much per week
I have a full time job that I have been working from home. That said, the time off from shopping has been nice and I don't think I will ever go back to doing as much of it as I did before COVID-19.
I'm still working, so not getting unemployment. I don't feel right taking MSC jobs now since I don't need the money and so many people are out of work. I'm wondering if I should be doing these jobs in the first place for that reason.
@sandyf wrote:

I am expecting that our taxes are going to have to skyrocket in order to get the local and national govts out of the deep debt that is being created now for good cause. I probably will not return to mystery shopping until I deem it safe as I am in a high risk category. Luckily my state is being prudent about reopening at least right now. Nothing to do with the unemployment payments.

Where we are, taxes on a small home are 15k per year, on a nicer home 30k/yr. We are already paying close to 40% in federal and state taxes. How much can they possibly take?
@Niner wrote:

@sandyf wrote:

I am expecting that our taxes are going to have to skyrocket in order to get the local and national govts out of the deep debt that is being created now for good cause. I probably will not return to mystery shopping until I deem it safe as I am in a high risk category. Luckily my state is being prudent about reopening at least right now. Nothing to do with the unemployment payments.

Where we are, taxes on a small home are 15k per year, on a nicer home 30k/yr. We are already paying close to 40% in federal and state taxes. How much can they possibly take?

could be a lot more than you think. Your property taxes are not based on income so that is a stand alone amt. I cannot see how they can NOT raise taxes. Perhaps it will be only on what is considered the wealthy but that depends of what nationally is considered wealthy. In expensive cities people often earn more for the same jobs which put them in a higher tax bracket but also a higher cost of living bracket. If just the top 1% are taxed more most of us will not see the extra taxes.
Pols always say they are going to tax only the "wealthy" and they always end up raising taxes on the middle class. How high can they go? Historically, 90% marginal rate.

Not that it matters. We will never repay the national debt. It isn't possible. The only way this debt gets paid is when they inflate their way out of it.

Over and over and over again, they have to learn the same lesson, except they never learn. And the result, every single time, is untold misery, spread far and wide. And this time will be no different, the babblings of Modern Monetary Theory adherents notwithstanding.

Before it's all over they are going to create trillions more in space cash no matter what you and I do, so take the money, and don't step in front of the train, because it isn't gonna make any difference.
I will probably accept shops right away as long as my earnings don't disqualify me for unemployment and I feel it is safe. That's about $250 a week for me. As far as jumping back in full time, I will try to wait until I can make at least as much as I was making before. At that point I'm pretty sure I am legally bound to stop claiming unemployment. There is also competition to consider. The longer I am out of the field, the more likley it is new shoppers will pop up and get comfortable doing "my" shops.
I applied for unemployment in Texas and initially got a statement saying I would get $207 per week. At their request, I have completed four weekly check-ins listing my income. (One week in March I earned $48.) Today, I got a letter saying I was denied benefits.
That's intentional. They want to make sure that those of us with the most imperative to go grab a few coins regardless of risk are content to stay home instead for a while so we can get this virus under control.

@Mrcleandpsyahoo.com wrote:

Yep I’ve been told $926 a week here. Most likely they will extend that as well. It will be hard for me to leave getting paid that much per week


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2020 08:05AM by JustForFun.
I don't see that anything will start up until at least June. Many states are shut down for another couple of weeks at least. I am thankful for the CARES Act because it will allow me to take care of known upcoming expenses. Frankly, I was working way too much before the shutdown happens so having to be forced to take a break is actually a good thing (although, I am getting a bit tired of housecleaning). If my regular gas station routes show up in 6 weeks or so, I'll likely take those back (they're outside so hand sanitizer and mask hopefully will be OK), if only to not lose them for the next year. I won't rush to take all the extra stuff, however as I think there will be those who will need that income far more than I for the time being. A lot of my decision will be made by what the results are of the reopening and what Dr. Fauci advises.
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