Big Lots is back... With no fee

@CoolMusic wrote:

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.
I'd be surprised if you weren't with the MSC, it's one of the BIG ones.

If you live in a high-population area where the MSC is offering a lot of shops, the Big Lots shops can be easy to miss on the job board. For example, the MSC is currently offering 224 shops in my radius. Sometimes they'll offer 1 or 2 Big Lots shops wedged in between two phases of "Who Wants a Burger?" lol. Like I say, they can be easy to miss.

In the furniture shop, you basically enter the furniture department, wait for someone to help you and time how long it takes to be helped, then feign interest in a sofa, recliner etc. You have to take note of what kind of questions they ask you about your needs (in my experience, they won't ask you very many at all lol). Then get a "price proposal" as proof, then buy some item elsewhere in the store so you can evaluate the cashier ($5 reimbursement).

The "bulky item" shop basically involves picking up a, well, bulky item (like an oversized pillow or laundry basket) and carrying it around the store to see if anyone offers you a cart (in my experience they never do). You're also supposed to ask an employee on the floor to direct you to a product you know they have to see if they'll walk you over to the item. Recently, they added a requirement to find 5 product types and check expiration dates (this has become a deal breaker for me given the meager fee). Then buy something to evaluate the cashier.

Both shops require evaluating a restroom.

The shop report is super easy-peasy, though.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2021 05:36AM by KokoBWare.

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My easy “Furniture” shop turned into a big waste of time. The rep didn’t know how to do a price proposal but tried for over 10 minutes. Finally he printed out a screen capture of the item on their website. I explained all this in the report but am expecting the shop to be denied.
My furniture shop was flawless for once. The SA was available as soon as I walked in. She did everything perfectly, and even rang up my purchase for me. Since I used an app coupon, my TP purchase was under reimbursement.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Ken-- Let us know how it turned out.

This shop has not been offered in my area in several months.. I wonder how come they don't do it all the time like the Drive In Burger Shop or the place with the very loud music...
It's offered quarterly and disappears quickly despite the $0 fee. The one I did was MAO, so I assume it was a flake.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I think they have a much longer rotation than the other MSC clients. When I do one I don’t see the same location for many months although I see the other locations sitting on the board.
I just got offered $16 from their automated email scheduler for the furniture shop. Best I'd done previously was $12, so I'm taking it. I much prefer that one to the bulky item shop, since at my store they never offer assistance on the sales floor.

Update -- got the shop.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2021 07:49PM by MisterBill.
@MisterBill wrote:

I just got offered $16 from their automated email scheduler for the furniture shop. Best I'd done previously was $12, so I'm taking it. I much prefer that one to the bulky item shop, since at my store they never offer assistance on the sales floor.

Update -- got the shop.
Congrats on the $16. Best I've ever done is $12, and I had to be visiting a different state to get that. In my high-population area, the tops has been $8 which relegates it to "stocking stuffer" status for me ... won't do it unless it's in a geographical cluster with better-paying shops I'm doing.

As I mentioned upthread, I used to prefer the "bulky item" shops - for one thing, people sometimes think the bulky item has to be heavy, and it doesn't, a big fluffy pillow will do. Plus less "acting" involved than having to stay in conversation with a specific sales person for several minutes. However, a few months ago, when they added the requirement that you have to run around the store checking expiration dates on 5 items, that made it a little too labor-intensive for me considering the fee. So if I ever do another BL it will be furniture.
@KokoBWare wrote:

Congrats on the $16. Best I've ever done is $12, and I had to be visiting a different state to get that. In my high-population area, the tops has been $8 which relegates it to "stocking stuffer" status for me ... won't do it unless it's in a geographical cluster with better-paying shops I'm doing.

As I mentioned upthread, I used to prefer the "bulky item" shops - for one thing, people sometimes think the bulky item has to be heavy, and it doesn't, a big fluffy pillow will do. Plus less "acting" involved than having to stay in conversation with a specific sales person for several minutes. However, a few months ago, when they added the requirement that you have to run around the store checking expiration dates on 5 items, that made it a little too labor-intensive for me considering the fee. So if I ever do another BL it will be furniture.
Yeah, I was shocked at the $16 offer, since I've also never done better than $12.

Do you have to check five specific items or just random items? The bulky item shop wouldn't be bad if your store has employees that actually approach you on the floor. But mine doesn't, so I ended up walking around for 15 (I think) minutes while no one offered to assist. Reminded me of the old BB&B shops where the same thing usually happened.

Did the furniture shop today and once again I could not get the employee to give me a printed quote like they're supposed to. He did write something out by had, but that's not what they want, and the form doesn't offer a spot where you can upload that instead. I asked twice if he could do something on the register, and he said no.

I remembered that I had a 10% cash back offer for Big Lots on my Chase card, so I used that card to pay for my transaction. Made up for some of the overage since I got a package of paper towels that cost $6 with tax.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 04:35PM by MisterBill.
@MisterBill wrote:


Yeah, I was shocked at the $16 offer, since I've also never done better than $12.

Do you have to check five specific items or just random items? The bulky item shop wouldn't be bad if your store has employees that actually approach you on the floor. But mine doesn't, so I ended up walking around for 15 (I think) minutes while no one offered to assist. Reminded me of the old BB&B shops where the same thing usually happened.

Did the furniture shop today and once again I could not get the employee to give me a printed quote like they're supposed to. He did write something out by had, but that's not what they want, and the form doesn't offer a spot where you can upload that instead. I asked twice if he could do something on the register, and he said no.

I remembered that I had a 10% cash back offer on my Chase card, so I used that card to pay for my transaction. Made up for some of the overage since I got a package of paper towels that cost $6 with tax.
Not 5 specific items, they give you I think 7 general areas to look in (pet food, cosmetics, cookies & crackers etc.) and you have to pick 5 and find any item in each that fits that category. The one time I did it, you'd be surprised how many items don't have expiration dates on them at all, that slowed me down. It's also a little bit of a pain having to pull items off the shelf while carrying the bulky (since I have NEVER been offered a cart).

The walking around requirement with the bulky is 10 minutes.
That's what they want to find out: if the employees are helping customers in a timely manner and if they are printing the proposals.

I have a Chase rewards card. It's nice when I get cash bag for my MS purchases. The Big Lots shop keeps me stocked with toilet paper and the Chase card ensures I am under reimbursement.


@MisterBill wrote:

Did the furniture shop today and once again I could not get the employee to give me a printed quote like they're supposed to. He did write something out by had, but that's not what they want, and the form doesn't offer a spot where you can upload that instead. I asked twice if he could do something on the register, and he said no.

I remembered that I had a 10% cash back offer on my Chase card, so I used that card to pay for my transaction. Made up for some of the overage since I got a package of paper towels that cost $6 with tax.

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

That's what they want to find out: if the employees are helping customers in a timely manner and if they are printing the proposals.

I have a Chase rewards card. It's nice when I get cash back for my MS purchases. The Big Lots shop keeps me stocked with toilet paper and the Chase card ensures I am under reimbursement.
I always get cash back on purchases, 5% on restaurant purchases and 2% on everything else. This was a specific chase offer for 10% back on purchases at Big Lots on top of what the card normally gives me (which is only 1%). I'd actually forgotten to take the card with me but fortunately had it loaded to Samsung Pay, so I was able to use it.

My BL shop was accepted, so once again they did not complain about my not getting the proposal. I would really have preferred to have a spot to upload the handwritten info the guy gave me, but I guess they don't care if it's not the exact thing that they want.

I hadn't thought of getting paper goods at BL, had always bought food. But I didn't really need anything that they had. Paper towels are much more useful. I would have purchased ice melt if they had it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 10:33PM by MisterBill.
Yeah, they can't penalize you for the employee not doing what they should. They need that information.

The Chase card that I have offers 5% quarterly bonuses. This month, it's club stores (not gas, of course), drug stores and cell phone bill payments.

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

The Chase card that I have offers 5% quarterly bonuses. This month, it's club stores (not gas, of course), drug stores and cell phone bill payments.
Yes, I have that card, and it also has merchant bonuses that have to be actvated. They're called Chase Offers. Look for them in the app or on the website.

The 5% may not work at the club store gas pumps, but you can buy a store gift card at the register using the card and then use that gift card to pay for gas. Then you get 5% back on gas.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2021 12:19AM by MisterBill.
I paid my cell phone bill with the card and got the 5% cash back. I paid the amount on the card the same day. Gas at the club stores is not eligible. I never thought about using a gift card...great idea!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
So I did the "easy furniture shop" today for the biggest bonus I've ever gotten here on my home turf: $20 fee. Actually drove 17 miles to do it because I was able to cluster a couple of other shops in the area. Had never gotten more than $8 for one of these here at home, and tops was $12 out of state previously.

Strange: Small purchase still required per guidelines, but when I filled out report, no request for the non-furniture receipt. And no questions about the cashier for small purchase. Only needed to upload price proposal. This is new. Since this location only had ONE register open in spite of 9 people being ahead of me in line, and I have advanced osteoarthritis in my left knee that makes standing in place really painful, if I'd known i wouldn't be asked to prove the small purchase I would have just left after the furniture sales interaction lol.
KoKo, I upload the price proposal and the receipt in the same section. Check your shops to make sure that one is not on hold.

I always pay for my purchase at the furniture counter.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
One thing: These shops are much better-paying in rural areas than in urban. I just got $25 for one in a rural area I visit a few times a year. And since the sales associate "flunked" (did not ask me any questions "to fit my needs" as guidelines state) I was in and out in 12 minutes (so fast that I was required to explain why it went so fast).
I love the $0 fee shops. The shoppers who take those end up flaking and I get $15.

My shops have me stocked in TP and most time, it's under reimbursement.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I activate the Chase offers. I also have something similar on my debit card.

The last time I did a BL furniture shop, I saw an accent chest I had to have. I got the name of it and looked online for a lower price. Between the BL Rewards and 5% cash back on my debit card, I saved about $40.

@MisterBill wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

The Chase card that I have offers 5% quarterly bonuses. This month, it's club stores (not gas, of course), drug stores and cell phone bill payments.
Yes, I have that card, and it also has merchant bonuses that have to be actvated. They're called Chase Offers. Look for them in the app or on the website.

The 5% may not work at the club store gas pumps, but you can buy a store gift card at the register using the card and then use that gift card to pay for gas. Then you get 5% back on gas.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
There were 5 on the board near me on Long Island, at no fee. They went to a whopping (sarcastic) $5 fee a few days ago. Now only 2 left.

That's why shoppers on Long Island can't have nice things. sad smiley
@KokoBWare wrote:

There were 5 on the board near me on Long Island, at no fee. They went to a whopping (sarcastic) $5 fee a few days ago. Now only 2 left.

That's why shoppers on Long Island can't have nice things. sad smiley
I'm in Westchester and some idiot took my local store while it was still at $0 fee! I've generally been able to get it for at least $12.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2021 06:48AM by MisterBill.
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