Big Lots is back... With no fee

@ wrote:

Just because it is the norm does not make it good. Good management knows that only in-person observation can give a meaningful understanding of an employee's drive, empathy, and desire to go the extra mile both for the customer and the company.
It's not really the norm (yet), Rousseau. Certainly, small business cannot afford Big Data and analytics programs to aid them. It's costly.

Small business mystery shops (Joe's Diner across the street, Maggie's Bistro next door....) that do survey quantitative data points, though, can still provide management with useful metrics of performance. They are just not number crunched and analyzed with A.I. the way a large corporation might do.

In sports, there is an age-old question/debate over data and analytics. It seems the best performing sports teams often use a combination of human coaching decision-making and analytics insights. That's how I feel about business too. Human imagination and "feel" can complement analytics and vice versa. I don't see one has better or useless.
@ wrote:

But then, I do not believe that any mega business can be good.
I respectfully would have to disagree. While large corporations sometimes do engage in exploitative, unfair, and otherwise harmful practices and get away with it more easily, there are plenty of wonderful companies out there that provide a beloved service and are run with good values. For favorite example?: TEXAS ROADHOUSE

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@KokoBWare wrote:

The MSC NEVER learns. They're trying again to do the bulky item shop in my area for no fee. In a pig's eye.
I just had a $12 offer accepted for BL. It was listed at $10 and I've gotten $12 in the past. I took the furniture shop since the only time I did the bulky item shop I had to walk around the store for the maximum time looking for assistance that never happened (which did not surprise me based on my personal experiences at this store). With the furniture scenario, at least there's usually someone there and it doesn't take forever.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2020 10:30PM by MisterBill.
@shoptastic wrote:

@ wrote:

Just because it is the norm does not make it good. Good management knows that only in-person observation can give a meaningful understanding of an employee's drive, empathy, and desire to go the extra mile both for the customer and the company.
It's not really the norm (yet), Rousseau. Certainly, small business cannot afford Big Data and analytics programs to aid them. It's costly.

Small business mystery shops (Joe's Diner across the street, Maggie's Bistro next door....) that do survey quantitative data points, though, can still provide management with useful metrics of performance. They are just not number crunched and analyzed with A.I. the way a large corporation might do.

In sports, there is an age-old question/debate over data and analytics. It seems the best performing sports teams often use a combination of human coaching decision-making and analytics insights. That's how I feel about business too. Human imagination and "feel" can complement analytics and vice versa. I don't see one has better or useless.
@ wrote:


100% agree.

I've owned small businesses and I've also implemented mystery shopping programs in large corporations in the past .=that's how I found out about it.

Ask the Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash about the last paragraph this week.. sigh

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2020 11:02PM by foodluvr.
My pet peeve is unpriced merchandise at BL (no channel marker and nothing on item itself). I report it every time and submit a photo. Just shopped them yesterday and it was even worse. How do they expect shoppers to purchase stuff without knowing the price.
@kenasch wrote:

My pet peeve is unpriced merchandise at BL (no channel marker and nothing on item itself). I report it every time and submit a photo. Just shopped them yesterday and it was even worse. How do they expect shoppers to purchase stuff without knowing the price.
Report it to your local consumer affairs department, assuming there is a local law requiring it.
@kenasch wrote:

My pet peeve is unpriced merchandise at BL (no channel marker and nothing on item itself). I report it every time and submit a photo. Just shopped them yesterday and it was even worse. How do they expect shoppers to purchase stuff without knowing the price.

Weird. I never have that issue at BL. Sounds like a district problem? I check every price. I don't like surprises at the register anywhere. (Example Chevrons will sometimes not price any of their snacks. Pretty much everywhere peanut butter crackers are $0.99 or $1.09. They were $1.69 last night - um no! Ridiculous)

Also, our local BL manager posts on Facebook and Nextdoor. He lets the locals know when stuff is coming in (Lysol, etc). Plus everyone greets the customers and offers assistance. Pretty neat actually. The BL near my work - not so nice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2020 04:00AM by SoCalMama.
[1drv.ms]

Here’s the picture I submitted with my report. Hope this link works. If you zoom in, there are a few items that have prices but most do not. I think it’s a problem with the management of this store and my reports don’t seem to help.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2020 04:16PM by kenasch.
@foodluvr wrote:

100% agree.

I've owned small businesses and I've also implemented mystery shopping programs in large corporations in the past .=that's how I found out about it.

Ask the Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash about the last paragraph this week.. sigh
Heh. Not sure what sport that is (football?), but I'd simply reiterate that us humans aren't going anywhere soon. tongue sticking out smiley I've read enough on sports analytics, business analytics, and A.I. to know the limitations of these things and how they complement (but don't render useless) human beings.

In many ways, A.I. can even be pretty "dumb" as one Google Brain engineer said in an interview I caught a while back on this topic.

Analytics in a business environment can be useless to solve a problem if you do not have the right inputs/variables measured. Let's say Sonic has a problem with their food readiness timings. Maybe the source of the problem is in their physical grills (not the workers on duty). If your shopper reports are measuring just the timings and management sees who is on duty, that may not be enough. You don't have the right variable input into the problem. Here, you'd still need a human to troubleshoot the issue.

Similar things like that happen all the time in analytics of sports and businesses. That's why, in short, I'm not worried about humans being replaced due to these innovations and tools.
@kenasch wrote:

[1drv.ms]

Here’s the picture I submitted with my report. Hope this link works. If you zoom in, there are a few items that have prices but most do not. I think it’s a problem wit( the managemen5 of this store and my reports don’t seem to help.
Yeah, I would not be happy with that set-up either. That's disappointing.
For the first time ever, the furniture shop was on the job board for $15 at my favorite BL location. I am looking at a furniture piece for my entryway. Great fit right?

I answered the screening questions wrong and now I am banned from the shops.

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

For the first time ever, the furniture shop was on the job board for $15 at my favorite BL location. I am looking at a furniture piece for my entryway. Great fit right?

I answered the screening questions wrong and now I am banned from the shops.
Oh, that's so sad, Honny! I did that once and was automatically banned from a certain type of shop for a while. I feel for ya!
I answered a screening question wrong for one of their shops requiring a car. Banned. Incidentally, their schedulers called me days later and had no problem assigning me one of those shops. There may be hope.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

For the first time ever, the furniture shop was on the job board for $15 at my favorite BL location. I am looking at a furniture piece for my entryway. Great fit right?

I answered the screening questions wrong and now I am banned from the shops.
Ugh I hate when that happens. If it's any consolation, the scenario does not include the piece of furniture that you were likely looking for.
I looked at the MSC app to see what was going on with their burger shops. I saw a Big Lots furniture shop with a fee of $10 and Make An Offer. I got the $15 that I wanted. I wasn't sure how high I could go.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I did a regular store shop there for $95 at the end of November. It was a last-minute call for a very remote location 75 miles away (and with various other bonused shops on the way and back). The overseas scheduler called and I said "That's so far away, I couldn't go there unless you paid me $100," thinking they'd never pay it. The scheduler counter offered $95.
@NinS wrote:

I did a regular store shop there for $95 at the end of November. It was a last-minute call for a very remote location 75 miles away (and with various other bonused shops on the way and back). The overseas scheduler called and I said "That's so far away, I couldn't go there unless you paid me $100," thinking they'd never pay it. The scheduler counter offered $95.

Dayumm!
I received a Samantha type email from the MSC. It offered a premium fee of $5 over top of the existing fee.

The exististing fee is $0.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
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"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I just saw a BL furniture shop for my area. I've never done one. What exactly does it involve? All the details say is to "evaluate" a certain piece of furniture.
Thx
It is the simplest of the two types of shops. You go to the furniture section and express your interest in either a mattress or an upholstered set. Listen to the salesman's pitch. Make sure he checks all the boxes from the guidelines.

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

It is the simplest of the two types of shops. You go to the furniture section and express your interest in either a mattress or an upholstered set. Listen to the salesman's pitch. Make sure he checks all the boxes from the guidelines.
I used to find the bulky item one easier until they decided to add the requirement of checking products for expiration dates. My price for those just went way up.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2021 06:27AM by KokoBWare.
The only thing I’d add to Honny’s summary of the shop is that you have to get a price proposal printout. I had a really terrible and disinterested sales person last week and I had to practically beg for the proposal. I figured that would out me but they just handed it to me and walked away.

A very easy shop with an even easier report - narrative is optional!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2021 12:56PM by NinS.
I did one several months ago and I enjoyed it.. In fact I have both and at the time it had a fee
My MAO was accepted for tomorrow for $15.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I must not be with the MSC because there are Big Lots here (fewer than a year ago) but I never saw shops offered for them from my usual suspects.

I'm a frequent customer, and used to call on them when I was a merchandiser for Foster Grant (who shut down their entire field services operation, canning 12000+ people in the process).

I'd love to know what the shops entailed.
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