Idiotic shoppers

@PA Shopper wrote:

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.
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That's only a partial view.... If I have a fully-reimbursed oil change, I get a $50 value for myself as my car needs periodic oil changes. Since I was going to be getting the service anyhow, that's not bad payment for a little report. Of course, getting a payment in addition to the reimbursement would be great, but might not be necessary to make it worthwhile for me. Several times, I've needed to fly somewhere. I found a shop that reimbursed half my airfare. Doing the "shop" was well worth the $150-$200 partial reimbursement........ Those shops had a significant monetary value to me, even though their payment was naught but "reimbursement."

When I was looking to purchase my last car, I knew I would be visiting quite a few dealerships and test driving vehicles. So, I picked up some shops for cars I wanted to test drive anyhow. They pay wasn't "great," but, as I was going to spend time on car lots anyhow, it was really just payment for writing the reports - which made it worth my while.... I've learned to play certain casino card games very well - so I win more often than I lose. Casino shops that reimburse my losses and let me keep my winnings are really valuable to me.

One of they keys to doing well in this industry is finding shops that might have more value to you personally than somebody else....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.

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I agree with MFJohnson.
I took several low paying mattress shops, as I was looking to buy a mattress and figured as I was going to be there anyway, that I might as while get paid something. The same thing with the full service car washes that don't pay much, the report is short and I take one when my car needs a wash and it gets cleaned and vacuumed, windows washed on inside, that all saves me having to do that home.
@F and L TeleComm wrote:

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.
How fast can you complete the MF grocery shops?
It normally takes me 30 minutes or longer depending on how hard it is to find people or if I'm shopping too. But I don't know how to cheat. I can't just walk in and pretend to do the assignment, I really do it EVERY single time no matter how rushed I am. That someone takes it for free, makes me wonder if I'm the only one really doing it. I can't do that. It's one thing forgetting to check a bathroom and another just going in and grabbing some groceries and filling out a report. TS's grocery store takes up to an hour sometimes (PreCOVID). I don't really make much money on grocery shops (I do gas stations), but it helps me get some money back for necessities when money is tight. Sometimes I get food stamps, sometimes I don't. But if your going to cheat the system, then please don't be a mystery shopper. Lousy customer service is a pet peeve of mine since I was trained in customer service by 7/11. I sort of took it to heart.
@F and L TeleComm wrote:

TS's grocery store takes up to an hour sometimes (PreCOVID).
For some reason, the TS grocery shops took me forever (both in-store and writing them up).

Pure torture. lol God Bless those who have to suffer through them! They do provide essentials.

I've heard some forum members say they get in and out of the store in 15-25 minutes. That's maybe happened to me two or three times, but I usually take 45 minutes or more.
There is only one reason I would ever do shops for no pay. In Las Vegas we don't call them shops; We call them auditions, and they are usually required to get a job in the casino industry as well as in the mystery shopping business.
One thing people tend to overlook (in my personal experience), is the tax consequences of no-fee shops.

Reimbursements aren't taxable income. So if an oil change would have been $50 out of pocket, you'd have to EARN 50$ plus whatever your tax rate is to pay that out-of-pocket and it not being reimbursed.

Math sorta ain't my thing, but if you're in the 37% tax bracket, you'd have to earn approximately $80-85 to pay for that oil change out of pocket. At a 32-hour week, minimum wage job, that could be a third of a paycheck (it seems that most minimum wage jobs tend to keep employees at less than 32 hours a week so they don't have to pay benefits).

So a no-fee, reimbursement only job may appeal to both high income shoppers and minimum wage shoppers both.
An expensive oil change is one of the few services that would be worth a no-fee shop assuming it was close to home. However, $9 worth of groceries or $10 worth of overpriced restaurant food are not moving the needle for me.
@shoptastic wrote:


How fast can you complete the MF grocery shops?

Normally, in 30 minutes, but it also depends on if I'm taking my time and shopping as well. But yes, MF's shops are faster than TS's, normally because I don't have to notate names and descriptions.
I would like to sincerely thank MF Johnson and ceasesmith and many others, for their kind and intelligent guidance through this Forum. I also am very grateful to the Forum originator. I became disabled and had great difficulties getting work, and I struggled to get sufficient food and basic necessities. I read this forum and followed the advice that they so generously provided here, and have obtained great food (perhaps too much!) sometimes with little or no fee paid , money, and eventually a job as a result! It is impossible to express in words what you have done for me, and I am sure, for others in need. MF Johnson and ceasesmith, you are awesome! xxooxx
P.S. Please call me Beastie, not Beastie x. That is the name of another Forum member, but somehow gets tagged onto my replies.
Thank you again, A Grateful Beastie
The "x" is there so you can delete your name by clicking on it (I think).

smiling smiley

Other forum members don't see it, just the person who posted or liked.

And you just made my day, and maybe some others' day, as well!
@F and L TeleComm wrote:

@shoptastic wrote:

How fast can you complete the MF grocery shops?

Normally, in 30 minutes, but it also depends on if I'm taking my time and shopping as well. But yes, MF's shops are faster than TS's, normally because I don't have to notate names and descriptions.
I haven't logged into TS in close to a year, but if their grocery shops still have those questions you have to ask, then those were the more time consuming parts for me. I try to "set the stage" for those and fit in with shoppers in those sections. Act natural and find a natural way to ask those weird questions.

Only when an associate wasn't there was I able to get in and out quickly. If I saw a section with no associate where I had to ask a question, I would practically run over there. Then I could say I didn't see anyone (cameras would back me up on this). ...Of course, you had to double-check, but often there just wouldn't be someone there at a particular time. If you waited long enough, though, an employee might show up. I always hoped and prayed no one was there. grinning smiley

Does that make me lazy?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2021 11:48PM by shoptastic.
Zero fee folks - You are paying for doing those shops with your gasoline expense and vehicle maintenance. You are not thinking of future financial demands. You are also enabling MSC's to offer more zero-paying shops. Even if there is a zero fee shop nearby, I won't accept it. Principle is more important to me.
Zero-fee folks who add something on the fly, walk or otherwise add no gasoline expense and vehicle maintenance.- You are paying nothing for doing these shops. Your work is additive.

@satin7 wrote:

Zero fee folks - You are paying for doing those shops with your gasoline expense and vehicle maintenance. You are not thinking of future financial demands. You are also enabling MSC's to offer more zero-paying shops. Even if there is a zero fee shop nearby, I won't accept it. Principle is more important to me.

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.- Al Bernstein
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
I don't do these shops, but it is unfair to call them zero-fee shops. As with many shops, the reimbursement may count for some people. And honestly, I don't understand why people take $5 or $10 shops, but they do.
What is the difference in doing the Texas Road House Shops? Those are no fee shops unless there is an bonus at the end of the month?

ETA. TRH house has pretty good food.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2021 01:31AM by Isaiah4031a.
I took one Red lobster shop. It was 100 for two people to eat. No shop fee. Now I didn't mind when I first took the assignment because I never eat at expensive restaurants, or maybe once every 10 years, whenever I used to get lump sums of money. I completed my report and it was too much work for free. A couple of days later I got an email from the editor, not with 1-5 questions as expected. There were like over 10 questions. The report took several HOURS. I never did one again, and I won't not without a fee.
I, too, shop for the desire rather than need of it, so I might be choosier than some about the fee. On the other hand, as much as a no-fee shop rubs me the wrong way, as it does others, I weigh the total payment.

Examples: I had a haircut shop that paid $15 plus $18 reimbursement. Sounded good until I failed to properly vet the client; the cost of a cut, shampoo, and tip (forget the blow-dry) cost me almost $30. A haircut-only was $20, so even without a tip, I wasn't reimbursed fully. I ended up netting a small shop fee.

I recently did a restaurant take out shop that reimbursed $30. No fee. I considered it fair. Afterward, I saw dine in shops for the same restaurant paying $5 and reimbursing $25. A lot more work for the same price. It was a no-thank-you no-brainer for me.

It seems that MSPs might be better off paying one set amount to include reimbursement instead of setting a separate shop fee plus the reimbursement amount, although it might not work for all shops.

I just realized that, for shoppers whose livelihoods depend on this profession, a shop fee would count fully as income, where as reimbursement might not. Hmm.

Oh. Now I just read the post about the above-cited issue. I wonder if the MSCs could call it reimbursement if they paid a set fee, which could be over the actual reimbursement so that only the excess would be called a shop fee and count as income. I also wonder if any states consider reimbursement a benefit of the job so do consider it income.
@satin7 wrote:

Zero fee folks - You are paying for doing those shops with your gasoline expense and vehicle maintenance. You are not thinking of future financial demands. You are also enabling MSC's to offer more zero-paying shops. Even if there is a zero fee shop nearby, I won't accept it. Principle is more important to me.

That sob story and a token will get you a ride on the New York Subway (which I took to all my assignments, anyway). If you're like me and had an unlimited card, it doesn't cost any extra to go do one.
If I'm going to the grocery store to buy groceries and I happen upon a shop that will reimburse me for some groceries, I will take it. That one with MF had zero fee but was super easy. I don't consider that as having an extra gas expense as I am going there anyway.

Kim
Think about getting rid of your cat/ dog if you you can't afford to eat healthy. Sounds kinda idiotic to me that you cant eat healthy because you are spending grocery money on them. I guess idiots are every where.
@Isaiah4031a wrote:

What is the difference in doing the Texas Road House Shops? Those are no fee shops unless there is an bonus at the end of the month?

ETA. TRH house has pretty good food.

The Texas Roadhouse report will take maybe 20 minutes and is super easy. The Red Lobster is much more involved and will likely take two hours.
No pet? Think about getting rid of the kid who eats the most, or the neighbor who happens by when funds & flood are low. Or Gramma.

Are shoppers now expected to exchange ongoing companionship and caring opportunities for sporadic fees?

@NM1962 wrote:

Think about getting rid of your cat/ dog if you you can't afford to eat healthy. Sounds kinda idiotic to me that you cant eat healthy because you are spending grocery money on them. I guess idiots are every where.

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.- Al Bernstein
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
O P said she/ he is on food stamps sometimes. Can't eat healthy because it is too expensive for her. It would seem to me that she should not pass up any shop if this is the case, much less call people idiots who would rather do the shop with no fee than to be on FS. So yea I dont think she/ he should be too proud to take a shop for groceries only and call people who do idiots! Maybe the OP will apologize and so will everyone else who didn't call her on it.
If one approaches this business rationally, as an independent contractor one is free to choose or reject projects and MSCs according to what benefits their unique situation the most. I am extremely grateful for the wonderful and generous advice proffered on this site by the intelligent , thoughtful, experienced, and kind individuals on this forum. They are truly angels who have taught me how to make the best choices at any given time, and helped me to make a better life for myself (and I am sure others) and my pets!
Until there is some sort of collective bargaining agreement in place for this business, we can exercise our freedom of choice and our best judgement in navigating the system, and gather the experience and knowledge required for success. Thanks again to the wise and caring people on this forum. I hope that we all continue to be successful!
Underlying many comments that I read on these boards is incredible judgement about those who are doing any and everything just to make ends meet. I will admit that I have had moments of judgement, moments I am not proud of. Have I done assignments for no or little fee - yes, for a variety of reasons (wanting to try a restaurant but not wanting to put my cash out, getting my foot in the door, "splurging" on something that the reimbursement allowed me to justify the splurge, needing to fill some time so getting something is better than sitting around, etc.). However, I came across this article the other day and the author specifically mentioned taking assignments for no fee or a very low fee just to pay her bills. For everyone who wonders "what kind of person" takes low or no fee jobs, it's worth the read. It also astounds me that many times the excuses I hear for not offering a helping hand is that people need to just work harder / pull themselves up by their bootstraps but when they do, if the solution doesn't meet an arbitrary standard, it's not good enough. [www.huffpost.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2021 04:24AM by KarenMSW.
That's a good read. Thanks! Ive been reading this board for years and never responded to any post until this one. A couple of reasons is because I knew if my grammar or spelling or punctuation was not perfect someone here would have to correct me and say something about it. After years of reading this forum I have a good grasp of alot of the people here. A few know it alls- a bunch of smart alecks- a few winos... In my opinion, the folks that chastise someone who does a shop for no fee is and has done plenty of them. Ok. Here goes some math for all the Shoppers who claim to only work for big bonuses because their time is so valuable, or they feel insulted by the mystery shopping company or whatever their ego tells them. I have to take an hour lunch break everyday at my real job. I have a company car with all fuel paid. I can travel anywhere in the city on any given day. I hate to pack a lunch because bolonga sux. Now, if I have a Sonic shop that will reimburse me 8.00 bucks- how much have i made? $16.00. Thats how much! 8 bucks free food + saving 8 bucks I didn't have to pull out of my wallet to pay for my own lunch. Hell, I've been bonused alot of money over the years and I've made some good money from mystery shopping but I would never criticize anyone for eating. Do the math------ 9 dollar grocery reimbursement = 18.00. $ 45.00 dollar oil change = 90.00. As a reminder, the OP was calling people idiots for their motives. Later he/ she stated that they were on food stamps and couldn't eat right because they were broke,yada yada,yada. My advice to the OP is don't cut off your nose to spite your face and also take the grocery shop without a bonus if it gets you off the public assistance that I'm helping pay for.
I can honestly and proudly say I do these grocery store shops at $0 and reimbursement. These stores are everywhere, I have 9 within 4 miles of my house and 4 more on the way to work. They are usually offered at $12 reimbursement on the first week, and $15 with a sub on the third week. Easy to get to, free food that we enjoy, the shop has no narrative and only check boxes. I can easily complete it in 20 minutes in store and 5 minutes to do the report. That's $24-30/hr reimbursement of food that I would be spending money on. I can live with that rate. Pro tip: some weeks the store also offers $10 off $50 gift cards when you spend $50 in groceries, great bonus to apply to other shops or buying gas.
I will not apologize. Let me explain why. Every shopper on here has valuable information to impart. You should have enough self-esteem to realize that the information you put into your report is valuable to somebody. Your time and gas are valuable. Now in two instances, I have more understanding. One if you are going to that exact store anyway then yes just reimbursement is worthwhile. If as you say you just click checkboxes and have no narrative at all. However, remember this store is one of the more expensive ones. I can go to Walmart and buy twice as much stuff for the same amount of money. There is only one item I can get at that grocery store that I can't get at another and it costs a mere $1.50. I have on occasion stopped at this store for just that one item. The other time when I understand is when you are trying to get your foot in the door. But remember you only have to get your foot in the door occasionally. Shoppers need to stop selling their selves short. Am I a cheap person? Yes, I am. I don't buy meat at this store, Walmart, or the other main grocery store shopped by TS unless it is marked down on clearance because it is so expensive. There is a neighborhood grocery store in my town that I can fill my whole freezer with meat for about $40. I have said before that idiotic may not have been the best choice of words, but my opinion does not change that if you go to 5 of these stores in one day and at each store spend only 12-15 and complete a report you need to charge for your time and out of pocket gas. Now if you have five stores five minutes from your house (or five minutes apart) then maybe you have time to spare but I don't. I make way more on my gas stations and only do this to supplement.
As for those of you criticizing people on food stamps, your entitlement is showing. You do not know anyone's situation to know if they need food stamps. You don't know what their working capabilities are or aren't. To be snobbish towards those people who rely on food stamps means that you have very little heart. I am not saying that all people on food stamps need them and there aren't those who abuse the system. I know that there are. I know that there are men who don't work that can work. But I would never criticize someone for needing help once in a while. As for pets, who are you to tell someone to arbitrarily just give away their pet. I guarantee you that dog is more loyal than 75% of the men out here. Some people have assistance dogs. IF that dog/cat improves their quality of life then maybe the money spent on it is worth it. Vet bills are atrocious and make pet ownership difficult. But thank goodness I know where the cheapest vet in middle Georgia is.
So what if it eases your burden, staves off boredom, or otherwise gives your life a little kick!? Even if it just eases your burden and does not "get you off the public assistance", I heartily applaud doing whatever assignments work for your situation! You do your assignments for your reasons.

p.s. i will never try to guilt you for using whatever assistance is made available to you. It exists for you!



@NM1962 wrote:

.... My advice to the OP is don't cut off your nose to spite your face and also take the grocery shop without a bonus if it gets you off the public assistance that I'm helping pay for.

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.- Al Bernstein
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2021 05:19PM by Shop-et-al.
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