Panda Express is Coming Back!

I just got an email that says Panda Express shops will be starting up with a new MSC around the middle of the month!

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.

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I got the email too. However, it appears their reimbursement is INSUFFICIENT from what I'm reading ($7.50). You can't even get a 2 item combo here in California for that amount. But they are going to have drive-thru shops available as well. Not only walk-in..
I'm sure there will be plenty of people who do these since it's been awhile since they were last able to shop them.
Seems like people go nuts when something returns they were used to doing. Standards are dropped and people race to the bottom to take them. Eventually after they get sick of them....the fees will have to be raised. It's funny watching Jack In The Box fees each week. They start so low and end up at double or more by the end of the week. Don't get why anyone takes them early when they could wait a few days to get them for so much more pay.

I don't know how this company that is doing the Panda will handle bonuses. I know I see bonuses on some of their bank account shops, but still haven't figured out their pattern yet.
We kinda already know how they handle bonuses. It's been the topic of many discussions, unfortunately.

sestrahelena
The old MSC did not even reimbursed enough to cover the meal...I used to take the Panda Express Shops at base, because I liked the food, and it was always a good thing to take the occasional shop at base for that MSC, but I never expected to make a profit. Not even sure the one Panda in my city will even be included as the shop is on the US division of the new MSC...Time will tell..but I will not be doing them at base, that is for sure.

Lady Marius
Canadian Mystery Shopper
Just reading this thread this MSC just has to rhyme with Calypsos.... I did not see that email yet but challenge me please. I am hoping I am wrong.
$6 fee + $7.50 reimbursement is 50 cents better than the $4 fee + $9 reimbursement (if I remember correctly) from old MSC. Although still not great - maybe they'll get bonused.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2021 10:22AM by boridi.
@boridi wrote:

$6 fee + $7.50 reimbursement is 50 cents better than the $4 fee + $9 reimbursement (if I remember correctly) from old MSC. Although still not great - maybe they'll get bonused.

Oh yes I had to look in my spam folder for this. Shocking!
I had to look that up. Yep a whole 0.50 more. So I make a whole $1.20 for my time doing the report. My costs, bus fair ($3.20) and the cost of the meal ($11.50). And the meal has probably gone up since I was last there so it may even cost me more then I am making to do this shop. The Panda Express is also not even near any other shop, so no bundling. At least before it was near another of the Previous MSC's client's (I am currently banned from them). Of course I may consider if and when I am allowed to shop that other client once again. Don't see this shop getting bonused. Also probably a mute point since its on the US side of this MSC, so I am figuring we may never see the location up here shopped. Maybe if additional locations open up here.



@jrj76 wrote:

@boridi wrote:

$6 fee + $7.50 reimbursement is 50 cents better than the $4 fee + $9 reimbursement (if I remember correctly) from old MSC. Although still not great - maybe they'll get bonused.

Oh yes I had to look in my spam folder for this. Shocking!

Lady Marius
Canadian Mystery Shopper
I like the food for lunch, and there are a couple of locations fairly near me. The old company was not a money maker, but you have to admit, the reports were EASY. I may pick some up again. Hopefully we won't have to take pictures of the food, like with the old co. (I dislike doing that, even though it's so common now that it does not stand out)
It really is not better. The $9 was not taxable. The additional $2 on the fee is taxable. Even if you use the excess meal cost as a business deduction (which you should), this is still worse overall than the old fee + reimbursement. How much worse depends on your marginal tax rate, but it is worse at any tax marginal rate.
@boridi wrote:

$6 fee + $7.50 reimbursement is 50 cents better than the $4 fee + $9 reimbursement (if I remember correctly) from old MSC. Although still not great - maybe they'll get bonused.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I saw this come up, scanned through and saw the fee & reimbursement, and stopped reading.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@myst4au wrote:

It really is not better. The $9 was not taxable. The additional $2 on the fee is taxable. Even if you use the excess meal cost as a business deduction (which you should), this is still worse overall than the old fee + reimbursement. How much worse depends on your marginal tax rate, but it is worse at any tax marginal rate.
@boridi wrote:

$6 fee + $7.50 reimbursement is 50 cents better than the $4 fee + $9 reimbursement (if I remember correctly) from old MSC. Although still not great - maybe they'll get bonused.

Good point. Let's assume I order a two-entree plate, which is about $8.50 after tax near me.

Old MSC: $4 fee + $8.5 reimbursement. $12.5 total income. $4 is taxable.

New MSC: $6 fee + $7.5 reimbursement. $13.5 total income.Only $5 of the fee is taxable since there is $1 in unreimbursed shop expenses.

Seems to me that I get $1 more in income and pay tax on $1 more, so I come out ahead unless my marginal tax rate is >100% smiling smiley

I'm ignoring mileage expenses since they would be the same in either case.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2021 02:28PM by boridi.
@boridi wrote:

Seems to me that I get $1 more in income and pay tax on $1 more, so I come out ahead unless my marginal tax rate is >100% smiling smiley

I'm ignoring mileage expenses since they would be the same in either case.

And that assumes you do enough shops for the MSC to get a 1099. Or do you all claim ALL your mystery shopping income even when you don't get a 1099?
@wrosie wrote:

@boridi wrote:

Seems to me that I get $1 more in income and pay tax on $1 more, so I come out ahead unless my marginal tax rate is >100% smiling smiley

I'm ignoring mileage expenses since they would be the same in either case.

And that assumes you do enough shops for the MSC to get a 1099. Or do you all claim ALL your mystery shopping income even when you don't get a 1099?

I claim all of it.
You're required by law to report all income...
@wrosie wrote:


I'm ignoring mileage expenses since they would be the same in either case.

And that assumes you do enough shops for the MSC to get a 1099. Or do you all claim ALL your mystery shopping income even when you don't get a 1099?[/quote]

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
They are now up. There is a short quiz to take first. Seems pretty straight forward and basic report. Just a bit more than the last MSC. Photo of food and of course receipt required. Worth my time if I'm in the area for a reimbursed (if I include the fee) meal. Only issue is rotation of two months at the same locaiton.
@kenasch wrote:

They are now up. There is a short quiz to take first. Seems pretty straight forward and basic report. Just a bit more than the last MSC. Photo of food and of course receipt required. Worth my time if I'm in the area for a reimbursed (if I include the fee) meal. Only issue is rotation of two months at the same locaiton.

The old MSC required a photo of the meal and receipt too.
I haven't seen any Panda Express with a drive-thru near me. I would shop a drive-thru for that fee plus reimbursement.
@BusyBeeBuzzBuzzBuzz wrote:

LMAO @ $7.50
Even more LMAO is the fact that there will undoubtedly be shoppers who keep this fee low by doing the shops sad smiley
I'm ok with the reimbursement for this. $7.50 is a valid price for a bowl, at least around here, and there doesn't seem to be a requirement to order a drink (I'm not a fan of fountain drinks anyway). I like that buying a bowl instead of a plate is an option, because sometimes a plate is too much. With the previous MSC bowls weren't an option, and I don't like bringing extra stuff home from dine in shops.

I signed up for one, just to see how it goes, and because I'm going to be in the area anyway. I have to go and buy dog food in a store in the same exact parking lot anyway.
The email today (Monday) says "Can we buy you lunch?"

Have you ever had someone offer to buy you lunch and only pay part of it? Why not just be honest and say, "let us help pay for part of your lunch."

I was not aware of the 2 month rotation (commented on above), but they won't have that option when it comes to some remote locations. They will be begging the same shopper to return for every scenario as often as they post these.

I'm guessing we will see revisions to these shops and the rules rather quickly.
It looks to me like everyone is assuming they have to buy a 2 entree plate for the shop. A bowl, with one of the regular entrees, is less than $7. I think the pay is too low, and they'll have trouble getting folks to do them until they are bonused up to about $15.

Except that it's Panda Express, and it's a REAL NICE change from burgers and sandwiches, so folks might be willing to do it for less just for realish food for a change.
So there is no requirement of what to,buy?
Do you have to,buy beverage?

quote=Morledzep]
It looks to me like everyone is assuming they have to buy a 2 entree plate for the shop. A bowl, with one of the regular entrees, is less than $7. I think the pay is too low, and they'll have trouble getting folks to do them until they are bonused up to about $15.

Except that it's Panda Express, and it's a REAL NICE change from burgers and sandwiches, so folks might be willing to do it for less just for realish food for a change.[/quote]
@CANADAMOMMY wrote:

Are there specific food required on,panda?

The guidelines say to buy a bowl or a plate. no requirement for a drink or any add on sides.
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