Completing a Shop Prior to Assignment

Has anyone done this? I routinely do shops for a company prior to assignment knowing that I will be assigned the shop.

For example, last night I requested a shop with a due date of 7/30 (shop between 7/1-7/30 , 30 mins after the business opens). The scheduler assigns the shops twice a day and I knew by 11AM I would be assigned the shop. I completed it at 9:30AM as I had things to do and went on my way. I’ve always marked Ok to Pay, but I started thinking, does anyone else do this?

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No, I would not do a shop prior to assigning. I've taken paperwork with me in case a shop I've applied for was assigned while I was out, but I'd never try to do it without it being assigned. IMHO, that's a bit risky.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
That's very risky, especially if the shop has a reimbursement.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Super risky.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Risky, but it is your choice to accept that risk. Shops I know well sometimes change requirements in subtle but critical ways.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2021 07:59PM by myst4au.
I wouldn't be nearly as scared of the guidelines changing as I would be not being assigned the shop. What is a self assign shopper picked it up? Or a scheduler was working with another shopper on building a route that included that one, and it was assigned to them?

If there is no reimbursement then it's only a time risk and I might be willing to take that risk. Reimbursement involved?! No way!

Servimer Regional Manager- Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin & Minnesota
I have done it on occasion when I was already in the area. For example, I was doing a route of gas stations when I noticed an office supply store right across the street, on a different street name. I wasn't familiar with the location, so I hadn't picked it up for the route (back before GPS). I knew it had a $25 bonus on it, and I had done others of the same shop that month, so I took a chance. I was not surprised when it was still available when I requested it, as it was in an out of the way little town. It didn't take that long, and I ended up with some extra money.
I can not imagine any circumstances in which I would even consider such an act. As has been noted, though, it is your business.
Sure, I do it on occasion. Worst case I wasted my time and maybe lose out on reimbursement. It's a roll of the dice. Main thing, unless you are on really good terms with the scheduler, don't tell anyone about it, especially if a bonus is involved.
For some reason no one wants to do box shops in Newark. When I need to mail an item, I usually request the night before, complete the shop per the guidelines and wait until assigned and then enter it.

These are the only ones I do this for.
If I am requesting a "box" shop and want to do it the next day I send an email to the scheduler letting her know my availability to do it very soon and it usually gets assigned quickly.
@sandyf wrote:

If I am requesting a "box" shop and want to do it the next day I send an email to the scheduler letting her know my availability to do it very soon and it usually gets assigned quickly.

That's probably a better option lol
@sandyf wrote:

If I am requesting a "box" shop and want to do it the next day I send an email to the scheduler letting her know my availability to do it very soon and it usually gets assigned quickly.

Yes that is the best way. But sometimes I know the scheduler is desperate, and if I'm passing by a location there isn't always time to get a response. Some schedulers are quick to respond, others not so much.
Please do not laugh, throw tomatoes, or otherwise annoy a sleepy bear. Once, I thought I had scheduled my gig for a specific day and because it was geographically logical. When next I opened the report form, I saw a new date-- or a date that I had chosen in error. Mmm??? So I had completed all the steps of a shop during a road trip and had to repeat this gig a few days later. In my defense, it was about ninety degrees and I felt that as about nine million degrees. I could be forgiven for being over-cooked. But seriously. In other circumstances, I would not choose to complete the work prior to being granted the assignment. Some companies specifically prohibit this practice, and I am too much of a wuss to do it intentionally. In this situation, I just completed a gig on the day that I believed was assigned to me.

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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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2021 03:36AM by Shop-et-al.
Watch out...I'm going to go to Newark and grab all your shops now....LOL...

Nay..not stepping foot in Newark unless it's North Newark and then it's a big maybe.

@Capurato wrote:

For some reason no one wants to do box shops in Newark. When I need to mail an item, I usually request the night before, complete the shop per the guidelines and wait until assigned and then enter it.

These are the only ones I do this for.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
Lolol - a lot of people don’t like shopping in Newark which at times I totally understand. What’s wild is that the service in Newark is much better than in the suburbs.

@MsJudi wrote:

Watch out...I'm going to go to Newark and grab all your shops now....LOL...

Nay..not stepping foot in Newark unless it's North Newark and then it's a big maybe.

@Capurato wrote:

For some reason no one wants to do box shops in Newark. When I need to mail an item, I usually request the night before, complete the shop per the guidelines and wait until assigned and then enter it.

These are the only ones I do this for.
Since I have had ASSIGNED shops cancelled by MSC without explanation, and AFTER completing them on time, I would NEVER EVER complete one that hasn't even been assigned. However, I generally have to drive 100 miles or more to get to a shop, so I'm in a different situation than many shoppers.
So, which Newark? There are 27 of them in the United States. They include, Newark, CA; Newark, OH; Newark, DE, and 3 of them in NY. I did have someone with NJ license plates stop me in Newark, DE about 30 years ago looking for a place that turned out to be in Newark, NJ. He insisted indignantly that there was only one Newark. He finally admitted to following the sign on the Delaware Turnpike that said Newark, DE. Curious about the other Newarks? Look here: [www.nytimes.com]
@Capurato wrote:

For some reason no one wants to do box shops in Newark. When I need to mail an item, I usually request the night before, complete the shop per the guidelines and wait until assigned and then enter it.

These are the only ones I do this for.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I purposely left out the state haha.

Most Newark’s have bad reps, however this one uses to be the car theft capital in the states.

They have since then sort of cleaned up their act…

@myst4au wrote:

So, which Newark? There are 27 of them in the United States. They include, Newark, CA; Newark, OH; Newark, DE, and 3 of them in NY. I did have someone with NJ license plates stop me in Newark, DE about 30 years ago looking for a place that turned out to be in Newark, NJ. He insisted indignantly that there was only one Newark. He finally admitted to following the sign on the Delaware Turnpike that said Newark, DE. Curious about the other Newarks? Look here: [www.nytimes.com]
@Capurato wrote:

For some reason no one wants to do box shops in Newark. When I need to mail an item, I usually request the night before, complete the shop per the guidelines and wait until assigned and then enter it.

These are the only ones I do this for.
@Capurato wrote:

Has anyone done this? I routinely do shops for a company prior to assignment knowing that I will be assigned the shop.

For example, last night I requested a shop with a due date of 7/30 (shop between 7/1-7/30 , 30 mins after the business opens). The scheduler assigns the shops twice a day and I knew by 11AM I would be assigned the shop. I completed it at 9:30AM as I had things to do and went on my way. I’ve always marked Ok to Pay, but I started thinking, does anyone else do this?

Personally I think you're playing with fire. I have always checked to see if I've been assigned before proceeding, if there is any doubt. Generally I wait until I'm assigned until I even leave the house.

Of course, lately I've been doing far more merchandising and usually they are a lot less flexible on doing work early (and will explicitly tell me if I have the go ahead to do it a few days early).
I hear what you’re saying, but at times it’s the reward is greater than the risk. If it was just a shop I saw (food, retail etc) I wouldn’t risk it.

100% of the time that I have been assigned the box shop after I sent the item, I have been paid.

If I don’t get assigned the shop or it is rejected, I’m out the money I would have spent anyway to mail the items. I use it to recoup shipping costs from selling stuff online. It’s essentially a double dip in a way. The buyers pay a small shipping fee and I get reimbursed shipping plus receive a payment for something I would already do.

@DrSquash wrote:

@Capurato wrote:

Has anyone done this? I routinely do shops for a company prior to assignment knowing that I will be assigned the shop.

For example, last night I requested a shop with a due date of 7/30 (shop between 7/1-7/30 , 30 mins after the business opens). The scheduler assigns the shops twice a day and I knew by 11AM I would be assigned the shop. I completed it at 9:30AM as I had things to do and went on my way. I’ve always marked Ok to Pay, but I started thinking, does anyone else do this?

Personally I think you're playing with fire. I have always checked to see if I've been assigned before proceeding, if there is any doubt. Generally I wait until I'm assigned until I even leave the house.

Of course, lately I've been doing far more merchandising and usually they are a lot less flexible on doing work early (and will explicitly tell me if I have the go ahead to do it a few days early).
@Capurato wrote:

I purposely left out the state haha.

Most Newark’s have bad reps, however this one uses to be the car theft capital in the states.

They have since then sort of cleaned up their act…

I disagree with that statement!!

*****************************************************************************
The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
@Capurato wrote:

Has anyone done this? I routinely do shops for a company prior to assignment knowing that I will be assigned the shop.

For example, last night I requested a shop with a due date of 7/30 (shop between 7/1-7/30 , 30 mins after the business opens). The scheduler assigns the shops twice a day and I knew by 11AM I would be assigned the shop. I completed it at 9:30AM as I had things to do and went on my way. I’ve always marked Ok to Pay, but I started thinking, does anyone else do this?
NEVER ASSUME. Besides being risky, it could be viewed as unprofessional... running your business without an actual contract. And what happens if the client cancels their contract with the MSC? You have lost out on money and time. I had several jobs assigned to me and the client cancelled all of them. I am thankful that I did not do them early.
Perhaps a kitchen table MSC with one scheduler/editor would realize the time of completion was before the actual assignment was made, but with this client/MSC I’d be pretty shocked if they were monitoring for this extremely rare scenario. That the OP would be visiting this store and paying for this product anyway certainly changes the risk/reward equation.
What are you going to do when a sharp-eyed editor sees that your IN/OUT was 0930-0945 (for example), but that it wasn’t assigned until 1100? Do you accurately report the times, or fudge them? Seems like a quick way to get yourself deactivated.
@ColoKate63 wrote:

What are you going to do when a sharp-eyed editor sees that your IN/OUT was 0930-0945 (for example), but that it wasn’t assigned until 1100? Do you accurately report the times, or fudge them? Seems like a quick way to get yourself deactivated.

I mean I have to provide a receipt which is reviewed so I don’t think I could fudge it. Maybe you can teach me your ways?

In regard to this assignment it goes like this.

The job is to be completed between today and a future date. If I complete it today, regardless of the time I am assigned the shop, am I still within the guidelines?
I don't know all systems, but I've not edited in one where the date/time that the shop was assigned shows up as part of the editing process. Having said that, though, I can't imagine why a scheduler would NOT want a qualified shopper to complete a shop "on spec" should the opportunity arise. When I have done so, I let the scheduler know that I had done so, and that I had read the guidelines prior to entering the store. Never had a problem.
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