Cheap Shops: What shop offers anger you most?

Mine is Burger King's: Burger for only $2. Buy the burger for $5, get reimbursement for $3, and you pay $2. A different offer was get the family dinner for $12.99, reimb $7, you pay $5, or cheap burger for $3, reimb $2, you pay $1. Then of courss, you have to take screenshots, upload them, do the report, etc. Don't even ask about shopper fee.

What's happening to mystery shopping? It seems the pay is getting worse and going backwards when the minimum wage and salaries in general, are getting much better.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2020 01:24AM by ShopperFun99.

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I saw the 3-2-1 deal and shook my head. I can imagine that many MSCs are on hard times due to COVID and for me, this is a time to sort the sheep from the goats. The company offering the 3-2-1 deal was never a company I felt worked WITH shoppers but rather just USED shoppers. I certainly have no sense of obligation to accept their work to assist in their survival.

On the flip side there are companies I have worked WITH and been treated well. These are the companies I hope to see survive and come back strong. For these companies I will seriously consider accepting work with pay cuts for a time, but I do expect they will remember who helped them out.
That was the first shop I thought of, too. I can get better deals with coupons, and I don't have to do anything after the purchase except distribute the meal.
None of them anger me if the deal is clearly stated upfront. It is the ones that are like a bait and switch (fee stated is for doing several jobs) or that hide the details until you have spent time clicking through from email to website, finding the job and then having to search out the details that bother me.
My experience with the bait and switch has been outside schedulers playing games to fill their quotas. That is why I generally hold them in low regard.
@ShopperFun99 wrote:

Mine is Burger King's: Burger for only $2. Buy the burger for $5, get reimbursement for $3, and you pay $2. A different was get the family dinner for $12.99, reimb $7, you pay $5, or cheap burger for $3, reimb $2, you pay $1. Then of courss, you have to take screenshots, upload them, do the report, etc. Don't evven ask about shopper fee.

What's happening to mystery shopping? It seems the pay is getting worse and backwards, when minimum wage is salaries in general, are getting much better.
I love Burger King, but wouldn't do that shop if I had to pay out of pocket. So, to confirm, you were offered no fee and the reimbursement only shop left you paying out of pocket?

I guess the MSC and/or client just wants you to treat the shop as a "coupon."

I've voluntarily made shops a coupon before, by going over the reimbursement budget. But, I don't think I'd ever take one knowing in advance they were wanting me to do that. Not worth it for me personally.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2020 09:36PM by shoptastic.
I like straightforward information. It saves time and reduces fuss & muss. Just tell the shopper what is required. If they like it, they will do it. If they don't, they will haggle with you or find something else to do. This could be so easy.....

Art must destroy violence, only it can do it. - Leo Tolstoy
Response to Shoptastic: If you use coupons, you don't have to do screen prints, then upload them and do the report. Totally worthless shop offer, but they kept coming, I think I will click SPAM to make it go away

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2020 01:30AM by ShopperFun99.
I have seen several of the app coupon shops and none of them were worth doing, even if I were going to use the coupon on my own. I don't even open the emails anymore.

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

I have seen several of the app coupon shops and none of them were worth doing, even if I were going to use the coupon on my own. I don't even open the emails anymore.
Literally same. It angers me that they don’t offer a fair wage, and somebody is going to be desperate enough to do it.

ETA
I am referring to the shops on the app that have you place stickers, take multiple photos, or restock cards. Include the drive time, reading the directions, uploading photos on the phone YOU pay for, and you’re at about $4 an hour. Welcome to 1985 wages.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2020 05:03PM by SoCalMama.
Some of the app shops just make me laugh. With the drive time,
I cannot figure out how these are worth it. Maybe if I was in the store doing shopping - no, not even then.
@teriraia wrote:

Some of the app shops just make me laugh. With the drive time,
I cannot figure out how these are worth it. Maybe if I was in the store doing shopping - no, not even then.
I've never done them, but just curious as to how many app projects you can typically find in the SAME store?

For example, let's say I went to Target and there was a project to take a picture of the shelf arrangement of cookies for Nabisco. That is ONE project and let's say it pays $5. ...If this sounds like an actual project, it's because I saw these YouTube videos on app shopping:

[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]

There is mention of such a project. smiling smiley But, my question is how many projects might a store like Target have?

Could you do 10 at Target and at $5 each, then end up with $50. And then after that, maybe drive to Kroger....Walmart, etc. and do another 10 at each store? Or, are the projects very limited per store?
The OP is referring to the phone app that pushes coupons to your phone when you enter a store. The MSC/client won't fully reimburse the required purchase.

SCM, you're referring to the merchandising app. My issue with them is that the work has already been done by the vendors. There was nothing for me to do.

I like the shops when I benefit from the purchase. I got my garden seeds this way.

@SoCalMama wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

I have seen several of the app coupon shops and none of them were worth doing, even if I were going to use the coupon on my own. I don't even open the emails anymore.
Literally same. It angers me that they don’t offer a fair wage, and somebody is going to be desperate enough to do it.

ETA
I am referring to the shops on the app that have you place stickers, take multiple photos, or restock cards. Include the drive time, reading the directions, uploading photos on the phone YOU pay for, and you’re at about $4 an hour. Welcome to 1985 wages.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I have never been angered by any shops, but I do recall my thought after reading the page for the Burger King job: You must be sh**ting me! I only accessed the work because it was being scheduled by a gal for whom I have completed approx. 200 shops over the years.
@teriraia wrote:

Maybe if I was in the store doing shopping - no, not even then.
There is a phone app with a job that comes up once in a while for these "Already in store?" tasks. Most of the time I just ignore these, because the pay per task is only $1.00 and you only have one hour to complete them. **HOWEVER**, I have 3 Aldi stores all in my area, and once in a while they have these "Already in store?" tasks.....BUT.....if you accept the first one for a buck, then another 10 or 12 show up to accept within the next 4-5 minutes!! One day I was able to secure 12 tasks for a buck each for one Aldi store that is only 4 1/2 miles from me. Sure, I drove there and did it. The ENTIRE task of finding all these items, typing in the price and taking a photo of the price tag was 10 minutes!! So, I made $12 for driving 9 miles round trip and 10 minutes in the store. That doesn't happen too often, but when it does, I do admit to taking those!!
Another thing that angers me...aside from the bait and switch emails are the shops where they not only devalue your time by offering a coupon for an inexpensive item or an item where you can easily find the same coupon online without the shop which requires photos and reports. The fact that some of the shops have gone down in reimbursement/fees during a time when some of us are taking our health into our hands to go out and perform these shops right now is really annoying. I understand some areas have a low virus load but it is still a possibility for everyone to get sick or worse. And the pay/reimbursement does not seem to change whether you live in an area with a serious outbreak of virus or in an area with very low numbers of cases. They should be offering some combat pay in those areas instead of cutting pay/reimbursement.
The ones that tick me off are the ones that outright lie. One big one is the ones done with the missions app for pricing audits of anywhere from 30 to 350 plus items at a gas station, fast food place, or grocery store. They tell you 350 items will take 2 to 4 hours in store and will pay starting at $50 never gets more than $125. Problem is that one will actually take 12 hours at first and if you get familiar and do it each month maybe can get down to 8 hours. 10 hours plus drive time at $50 is $5 per hour minus gas and wear and tear expense.

Even the convience store ones I could do the 50 items in like 20 minutes paid @#$%& as those were $5 or $10. Now if on route with no report okay for the gas station but I still needed $15 minimum.

Don't lie about the time required to do the shop. Now the MSC who does these I do a lot of work for and get fair to good pay on all of their other assignments but this is there dog assignment that they constantly need new suckers to do.

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

Some of the app shops just make me laugh. With the drive time,
I cannot figure out how these are worth it. Maybe if I was in the store doing shopping - no, not even then.

I dont bother with any app shops. I figure if rhe company is not interested in a real report with thoughtful and detailed narrative- something that requires drafting and redrafting, they are not looking for my skills and have no desire to pay me for them either.
re: "hazard" pay for ms-ers

I do think shoppers should have a bump in fees during this time of COVID (at least, not a reduction in them), but for reference, Amazon (a trillion dollar market cap company with massive resources), only offered $2/hour of hazard pay for their warehouse workers. Now, they're not even offering hazard pay anymore.

I'm not sure the MSCs have the finances to offer hazard pay. I tend to think of them as "small players." Many of their corporate clients may be struggling right now - some more than others (grocery stores are probably booming, obviously). Under the HEROES Act, essential workers did have a subsidy for hazard pay. I doubt MSCs and shoppers would fall under that category. I'm 99.9999999999999999999999999999% sure they don't.

Given that, it ultimately falls back on supply and demand as everyone on this forum always says in terms of the fees offered. If shoppers continue to take them at base or even the reduced fees, the MSCs have no incentive to ever raise their prices. sad smiley At the micro-economic level, I guess I just see this as business and not inherently wrong per se. At the broader societal and structural inequality level, I feel it's a symptom of and an indictment of decades of the decline of the American free market and rise of an oligarchical class that controls government via legal campaign finance/donation bribery.

America has become less and less of a free market and more and more of a rigged economy for the rich and powerful. That we have citizens desperate enough to take shops for $1...$2 profit is a symptom of larger structural problems.

Not all big companies have behaved the same. Texas Roadhouse's executives gave up a year's worth of their salaries to pay their workers. They took on increased costs in Q1, which led to operating margin reduction (which leads to a drop in stock price usually and would "hurt" company execs holding shares) to create a worker relief package and shore up health benefits for employees. That's an example of a large company that put its workers first and it's brand first as well. smiling smiley

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2020 01:31AM by shoptastic.
Rousseau, I appreciate the app shops (FA, WGL, Observa, The Source) because they are objective and straightforward. Shoppers know exactly what to look for and what to do. Shoppers hit "Submit" on site, and it's done.

I especially like the "Buy & Try" shops. I got a $12 deodorant, body wash, a decade supply of fabric softener and a bunch of other items this way. The fee was low, but the reimbursed purchase was worth it.

I bought a really horrible diet ice cream. The shop was rejected because the receipt was too light (it printed this way). I threatened to return the ice cream to the store, and the shop was magically accepted.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Yes, I agree the mystery shop companies probably do not have a ton of money to offer an incentive but they are going to have to. I already see the JIB shops going to bonus status within a day and I live in a city with few bonuses before this. But other shops are offered, and we are being begged to do them, at base price. I know from reading on here that there are at times huge bonuses offered at harder to fill locations. None of them are around here. I do not see why the msc cannot negotiate something with the large corporations they contract with. Something temporary. Maybe they can do specific shops less often in order to spread some of the dollars spent around for small bonuses in big cities where the virus is still rampant. Maybe they can target bonuses to areas with heavy virus loads rather than everywhere including some states with 2 cases. Perhaps they have already negotiated and their decision is once again on our backs. Perhaps they have made an agreement with their clients to do as many locations as possible at base and the clients have agreed to allow a smaller completion percentage than before.
They do not offer health insurance so if we end up getting sick on a shop it does not affect their costs. I would hope that they have a higher standard than the scenario I just imagined as a possibility. If they continue to not fill most of their shops at base something will change in coming months. We just may not ever know what it was.
I'm under the impression lots and lots of people are soaking up enhanced unemployment benefits right now through the end of July. So, the ONLY shoppers probably willing to work are those still employed or recently "forced back" who :

a.) need the extra cash; and/or
b.) aren't afraid of the virus

CARES Act and PPP loan companies are just now bringing workers back on, but it's a slow process with phased reopenings. I could be wrong, but personally, I'm expecting a huge disappointing return to work for several reasons and layoffs coming soon (and, thus, a possible increased shopper base):

i.) virus conditions (new spikes and people wary of going out still)
ii.) PPP recipients who close permanently

This is anecdotal, but ALL of my parents friends (seniors or just below senior age) are staying home and their kids are pleading with them not to go out. Granted, they are financially decently well off and can afford to not work and many are retired. But, they don't have plans to go out much (if at all) during COVID and will wait for a very effective treatment or vaccine. One of my mom's friends is considering permanently closing her hair salon because of her husband's medical condition (scared to bring the virus back to him). Their kids bring them things they need and the parents won't be vacationing, won't be eating out, won't be getting their hair and nails done, etc. As I've mentioned in another thread, you can officially reopen the economy all you want, but no one can "really" reopen unless patrons return and that is up to us. If we don't feel safe, we're not going back out. I think many businesses will find much diminished revenue and will have to lay people off.

Secondly, many PPP recipients may have taken loans just to pay their workers and rent with a built-in escape clause. The rule is that if you don't bring everyone back on, then your loan is a loan and can't be converted to a grant. HOWEVER, this is a huge "loophole" of sorts. If you close down permanently, then you don't owe the loans back either. This was a scenario I'd heard brought up before and there's chatter that many companies may have had this scenario in mind (and maybe even the designers) as a no-lose situation. They can grab the loans first and figure out what to do later. If they're seeing business conditions looking bad upon reopening, they can say at that point, nope, we're going out of business and wipe out the loan obligations that way. That could also trigger layoffs quickly without business owners struggling for a long time to keep things afloat.

If we get a bad restart to the economy and lots of layoffs, the shopper base could explode and MSCs may, again, have little incentive to raise their rates if you have lots of people needing immediate cash and willing to work for base rates. Up until now, I've been under the impression that people have still been enjoying their stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment. No need to risk one's life for a $10 shop. In a couple of months? I dunno.

Then, again, maybe Congress extends enhanced unemployment and gives more stimulus...it IS an election year after all. smiling smiley We shall see. We shall see.

Ultimately, it sort of still goes back to supply and demand for me. I do think it's the "right" thing to pay more during a dangerous pandemic. But, if shopper A is okay to accept jobs for $5, then shopper B who wants a $5 hazard premium on shops just can't ever get it. sad smiley
The next few months will be a telling time for all of us and the "experiments" with the right balance between opening back up, not only financially but also for schools etc, and the serious illness including death rates.
For some seniors, depending on their age and medical issues now it seems like they will not ever again be able to go out while just a few months ago they may have been looking forward to vacations, card games with friends, movies, eating out or in with others, being out in nature etc.
Referring to the comment about canning 325 items on an app.... These are about the only shops I see in this area for this company. Every time I read the description and see the huge number of items I just laugh. I can't imagine....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2020 12:59AM by kimmysue.
@sandyf wrote:

For some seniors, depending on their age and medical issues now it seems like they will not ever again be able to go out while just a few months ago they may have been looking forward to vacations, card games with friends, movies, eating out or in with others, being out in nature etc.
Trust me, sandyf, I am a senior, and this has not stopped me from going out at all. Hubby and I go out and walk a mile every evening at one of our county parks, we are now back attending in-person church services, I go shopping each week, plus mystery shopping/merchandising. We are planning to go on vacation later in the summer. So please don't worry that we seniors "will not ever again be able to go out", as you put it. We're out there!!
Someone mentioned on another thread that the new BIg Lot shop do not have a fee! It is only a $5 reimbursement now. What the what? C'mon man!

LIkewise, the Cane's shops are now no fee shops. CHEEEAP!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2020 10:38PM by 1forum1.
Any fast food or retail shop with no fee. I'm not shopping for unhealthy meals or a few dollars worth of merchandise, I'm shopping to make $$$.

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.
Hello guysmom, yes everyone has their idea of what is safe. But where I live it is not at all safe for me to go out and about my life as it used to be. Statistically I have about a 30% chance of dying if I catch the virus. So I am happy for you that you are able to go about your life. My life has become very truncated. I have not gotten together with friends for 3 months, I take walks in the neighborhood and i grocery shop and take bike rides but most of my life is on the sidelines. I do not consider walks and grocery shopping to be a life at all. You are lucky enough to have someone to share your life with. Many, many seniors live alone and also have an underlying condition so they are not going out like before. I am happy for you that you feel it is safe and maybe where you live it is but for the vast majority of seniors who live in cities there is a large viral load still outside our doors. in my city they have stressed that high risk people should not be going out to places. In many states the viral load is bigger now than at any time during this pandemic. So I hope you will take some precautions and listen to the advice of the health experts. Hopefully if enough people bide by the rules we have now this virus will soon be tamped down but from where I live and read the news it does not seem to be happening.

@guysmom wrote:

@sandyf wrote:

For some seniors, depending on their age and medical issues now it seems like they will not ever again be able to go out while just a few months ago they may have been looking forward to vacations, card games with friends, movies, eating out or in with others, being out in nature etc.
Trust me, sandyf, I am a senior, and this has not stopped me from going out at all. Hubby and I go out and walk a mile every evening at one of our county parks, we are now back attending in-person church services, I go shopping each week, plus mystery shopping/merchandising. We are planning to go on vacation later in the summer. So please don't worry that we seniors "will not ever again be able to go out", as you put it. We're out there!!
@sandyf wrote:

Hello guysmom, yes everyone has their idea of what is safe. But where I live it is not at all safe for me to go out and about my life as it used to be. Statistically I have about a 30% chance of dying if I catch the virus. So I am happy for you that you are able to go about your life. My life has become very truncated. I have not gotten together with friends for 3 months, I take walks in the neighborhood and i grocery shop and take bike rides but most of my life is on the sidelines. I do not consider walks and grocery shopping to be a life at all. You are lucky enough to have someone to share your life with. Many, many seniors live alone and also have an underlying condition so they are not going out like before. I am happy for you that you feel it is safe and maybe where you live it is but for the vast majority of seniors who live in cities there is a large viral load still outside our doors. in my city they have stressed that high risk people should not be going out to places. In many states the viral load is bigger now than at any time during this pandemic. So I hope you will take some precautions and listen to the advice of the health experts. Hopefully if enough people bide by the rules we have now this virus will soon be tamped down but from where I live and read the news it does not seem to be happening.
Sandyf, Thank you so much for sharing your own perspective about this, based on your own set of circumstances. Yes, for each of us it is different, and can be very different, depending on our own situations. Yes, let's hope this is soon tamped down to the point where everyone can feel safe going out. ~Hugs~ to you!
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