Idiotic shoppers

I do the MF grocery store shop in my area. Some shopper has started taking the shop for 0 (yes ZERO) shop fee and only getting a reimbursement. I do the ones in my town for $5 plus the reimbursement. more for the suburbs. I don't know who is doing them for free, but STOP BEING AN IDIOT! You're giving away ms for free. You have to walk around to five different departments and ask a question, don't you think your time is worth more than free?? You are being an idiot.

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While I can't comment on the motives of the shoppers who do these for zero fee, since I'm not in their shoes, I also won't do them for zero fee. My time is certainly worth the $5 fee!!
I wouldn't call them an idiot but it's definitely not worth doing any shop for free in my opinion. But alas, many do.
Everyone has to start somewhere. When I started doing food shops, I did the popular burger shop for base fee. I didn't know any better.

Then I discovered bonuses. That was a game changer!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I am the idiot. Yes, I take the MF grocery shops for $0. Since COVID-the fee has disappeared. Rarely there is a $5 fee put on the shop- usually for the last minute assignments that someone else flaked on. I take these shops at no fee as I need groceries. During the pandemic, I was spending a ton of money at supermarkets (I stopped dining out or even getting takeout). The shops are super-easy, as I am used to asking the stupid questions and filling out the report- I was doing the grocery shops for about 5 years pre-pandemic. Call me an idiot if you must, but these grocery shops feed me and my family. Sure, it would be nice to have a fee or bonuses. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a shop today and every day for the rest of the week.
I agree with FrugalCat. My reason being that no one can know another's situation. That is why when I candidly state shoppers must take a stand against fees that amount to a pittance, I ALWAYS include the disclaimer that where need exists, my position does not apply. As an example, my bottom charge for a phone shop is $15. If, though, I were hungry I would jump on $5. No amount of need, though, would convince me to accept what Trendsource was offering a few years back of 50 cents or is currently paying of $1.
Generally speaking, no-fee shops rub me the wrong way. ACL comes to mind. With a few exceptions, no amount of shopper hold-out changed the way they did business, at least before Covid. With MF, It’s possible in my area to be reimbursed about $100 a month doing their grocery shops. I rarely see a $5 fee. I wouldn’t hold out for the possibility of that fee if we were hungry and pinching pennies.
I could easily go get a part-time job making 10 to $15 an hour. My thinking is that if after driving, gas, shop time, and reporting time, my pay is not at least $15 an hour, why am I even doing it? if somebody else wants to make less than that that's their choice. But I choose not to. The only reimbursement only shop I would ever consider would be a hotel that I would need anyway on a route. And that's assuming the report is not outrageous. However, the opportunities for that are few and far between.
I like the variety of viewpoints here. It is probably true that it is sometimes a good idea for shoppers to get as much money per gig as possible. Who wants to work for nothing? But what is something, and what is nothing? Some people work in this industry and also receive other benefits. That is certainly something. For them, if earnings exceed some threshold, they might become ineligible for other benefits. This is where it gets messy.

If they exceed the earnings threshold but cannot consistently earn enough money to make up for the lost benefits, they will suffer. They might end up with nothing, such as no more housing, etc. That is something. For these people, it might make sense to have reimbursed groceries even if they do not receive a fee that is worthy of their time, energy, and skills. At least they have some groceries and whatever benefits they receive.


Are they idiots, or are they smart enough to do the math and figure out how to maximize whatever earnings and benefits they can cobble together in support of whatever lives they can manage to have? Each shopper is unique!

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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I wish I could like this 100 times. Personally, if someone called me an idiot I'd say right back at ya!

@ceasesmith wrote:

And certainly the proper way to convince anyone not to do something is to insult them and call them names.

Very persuasive.

Kim
I wonder what the shopper who used to do them for $10 thinks.

I'm only half kidding. I'm sure someone was doing my shops before me, probably for more.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/2021 12:34PM by mystery2me.
@F and L TeleComm wrote:

I do the MF grocery store shop in my area. Some shopper has started taking the shop for 0 (yes ZERO) shop fee and only getting a reimbursement. I do the ones in my town for $5 plus the reimbursement. more for the suburbs. I don't know who is doing them for free, but STOP BEING AN IDIOT! You're giving away ms for free. You have to walk around to five different departments and ask a question, don't you think your time is worth more than free?? You are being an idiot.

You have to understand that many people do NOT mystery shop as a job. I don't; I am a "lifestyle" mystery shopper and while I almost exclusively do dining and hotel mystery shops, I also will take a "free" shop (which often happens when I get a small amount of pay but need to pay for gas or food or something) for the experience, because I'm a pretty fast writer. Like yeah, I may need to spend 10 hours writing up a $4000 vacation, but to me that's worth it.

The people taking these grocery mystery shops may have a hard time putting food on the table right now. Maybe they're un or underemployed due to the pandemic, in which case they themselves may not value their (abundant) free time. Don't project your biases on everyone.
Those MF grocery shops that require sliced meat or cheese and a sandwich have always been snapped up by a shopper(s) in my area at reimbursement only. There are a handful 30+ miles away from me that are offering $8 plus $15 reimbursement. I'd consider those if I planned on driving through the area for other reasons. I've never had one of their sub sandwiches and hear they are very delicious! Last summer I had to travel out of necessity and attempted to pick up one of the shops in a town I was driving through. My "make an offer" of $12 was declined.

Since everybody needs to eat, I can understand how some may accept these shops at reimbursement only. Money that would've been used for purchasing food can be set aside for other required living expenses... rent, utilities, medication, etc. I don't think these people are stupid. And I do believe there's such a thing a "life sustenance" shoppers. But I understand the frustration of seeing shops snapped up for low fees or reimbursement only.
I started doing grocery shops about a year ago. I always ignored them because the fee was $0. I saw the pattern that slowly evolved: toward the end of the month, $0 shops were bonused $10-25 likely due to flakes.

By the time I got a rhythm, COVID came and grocery stores went.

@mystery2me wrote:

I wonder what the shopper who used to do them for $10 thinks.

I'm only half kidding. I'm sure someone was doing my shops before me, probably for more.

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

I started doing grocery shops about a year ago. I always ignored them because the fee was $0. I saw the pattern that slowly evolved: toward the end of the month, $0 shops were bonused $10-25 likely due to flakes.

By the time I got a rhythm, COVID came and grocery stores went.
Same here, I could Shop the Rite supermarket chain by waiting until the end of the month when bonuses showed up, sometimes even boosted them with make-an-offer, but coronavirus killed off that program with that MSC. There are still a few scant grocery shops in my area with other clients/MSCs, but the requirements are kind of daunting given the fees so no.
Question: Have reimbursements gone higher for grocery shops, given food inflation (which seems dramatic in some categories)?
Nah, reimbursement still the same, but the pay dropped to nothing. There are shoppers that like to work for nothing.
@ConnieB wrote:

Nah, reimbursement still the same, but the pay dropped to nothing. There are shoppers that like to work for nothing.

Grocery shops may be a way a single mom or hungry senior can keep food on the table. Before we abuse, criticize and accuse, let's walk a mile in their shoes.
@bestofbothworlds wrote:

@ConnieB wrote:

Nah, reimbursement still the same, but the pay dropped to nothing. There are shoppers that like to work for nothing.

Grocery shops may be a way a single mom or hungry senior can keep food on the table. Before we abuse, criticize and accuse, let's walk a mile in their shoes.
No EBT payments on this shop.

ETA: my bonuses are even higher now in 2020 and 2021 for the same locations.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2021 05:28AM by SoCalMama.
@bestofbothworlds wrote:

@ConnieB wrote:

Nah, reimbursement still the same, but the pay dropped to nothing. There are shoppers that like to work for nothing.
Grocery shops may be a way a single mom or hungry senior can keep food on the table. Before we abuse, criticize and accuse, let's walk a mile in their shoes.
I understand both sides.

Times are very tough. Most banks have tightened lending standards (just like 2008-9) and 18.5 million Americans are collecting some form of unemployment with the economy having 10 million less jobs than pre-pandemic.

Food is a life essential, so doing a shop for free meets that need. On the other hand, food inflation has also gone up, so without a higher reimbursement and no fee, it also means a much lower value in that shop. It would be nice if MSCs upped their reimbursement amounts at least to reflect inflation.
i do the ts ones. before covid, the ones in my area i could get $20 for each; now they get taken at base. i like doing a route of 3 a week (even at base), just so i don’t have to pay for my own groceries. i have noticed i have to jump on them quicker lately to get my preferred shops, because they go incredibly fast. i also feel bad grabbing more, because maybe someone else needs that shop more than me.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2021 07:51AM by charleybuddy.
shoptastic inquires--Have reimbursements gone higher for grocery shops, given food inflation (which seems dramatic in some categories)?

Bob replies--I completed my first grocery shop for Trendsource in July of 2006; the pay was a $9 reimbursement and $5 in cash. In 2020, it was still the same, which meant, due to inflation, it had gone south.
@FrugalCat wrote:

I am the idiot. Yes, I take the MF grocery shops for $0. ...

I have only read a few of the responses so far but for me I see little difference between what F and L calls the "idiot" who takes these shops for $0 and the one who takes them for $5. I cannot fathom $5 being enough compensation for pretty much any shop esp this one that has so many requirements. That is why I try to find reimbursement shops where I find 95% of the value of mystery shopping for me. For someone who is shopping for income, food can be considered income as it is a necessity. If we all had the same needs and values I would think only 10% of the shops would be sought after and the other 90% would just sit there. Go for it Frugal Cat if you find value!
@SoCalMama wrote:

ETA: my bonuses are even higher now in 2020 and 2021 for the same locations.
Maybe you can share strategies/methods for getting a bonus on such shops.
@shopperbob wrote:

Bob replies--I completed my first grocery shop for Trendsource in July of 2006; the pay was a $9 reimbursement and $5 in cash. In 2020, it was still the same, which meant, due to inflation, it had gone south.
Wages have also been stagnant for the middle-class as well, despite higher productivity.


This is a political problem in the U.S. more so than market dynamics. Legalizing corporate political bribery in America in 1976 Buckley v. Valeo and 1978 First National v. Bellotti has greatly shifted power to corporations/elites/wealthy and hurt workers since the late-1970's. This won't change until you get money out of politics.

It angers me tremendously. For those of us who can afford to not do these shops at base or no fee, maybe a small bright spot is that we don't depress the shop values further.

Me holding out maybe also gives others a chance to take them who need them during these difficult times.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 01:27AM by shoptastic.
People really need to know the value of the work that we do. Taking no fee shops indicates that you do not understand the value of your work for the company. People that take no fee jobs just lower the fees for everyone.

There are so many more options for people to earn actually money then mystery shopping now. I can make more doing Door Dash or Uber Eats and I don't have to memorize 20 pages of guidelines and that if I get one thing wrong, the shop is denied.
I understand the statement that we don't know someone's situation so maybe they need those groceries. and maybe they are not being an idiot, but aren't those the people that need the shop fee even more than we do??? So the fault then goes back to the MSP for insulting low-income people and getting the shop done for free! I have grocery stores for MF that I do for a $15 dollar fee and one that I get 30 dollars for. The same exact shop. I tend to buy toilet paper and dog/cat food with these shops. I rarely buy food with them. We need to stand up for those impoverished enough to be grateful for a measly $9 dollars or 12 dollars worth of food. We only have two adults in my house. I buy store brands, rarely can I afford seafood and much produce. I don't buy meat at Kroger, Publix, or even Walmart because it's just too high! I buy it at a discount grocery market in the hood. With my frugal buying habits, I still can reasonably spend $40-50 a week on groceries plus $40 worth of meat at the discount store. I can only DREAM of being able to afford to buy a completely healthy diet of a month's long groceries! You know what kind of cereal I buy? the $1-2 dollar boxes at Walmart-Great Value. I rarely splurge and buy a $5 dollar box! I am ecstatic about Trendsource's grocery store changing the requirements for COVID. Now the fee and reimbursement are much more reasonable.
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