Panda-reimbursement too low...

@Notme2021.....you make some valid points like the FICA tax. But some points are not as valid like having a car and phone is something most people already have that are NOT shoppers. So you being a shopper didn't require you to go get a vehicle or a phone. As far as time spent looking for shops, last time I checked both Panda, JITB and others are sent to you, so it involves no search other than to click/accept a location that you want. Yes, not all shops are that spoon-fed like that.

Mystery shopping does not require people to work certain hours. You take the work you want to take and ignore the opportunities you feel are not worth the effort. There are enough shops to do that don't require monetary outlay (apartment shops, storage facilities, phone calls, etc) so those that have capital issues and cannot front money still have opportunities.

I'm always going to WANT the most $ I can get for as little effort as possible on my end. But I don't also think that I'm deserving of some terrific wage for something that most people can do. My teenage daughter could do shops (if an MSC would allow someone under 18 to signup). So let's not pretend this is a highly-skilled position. Just like most of us could walk into a grocery store and do those jobs with very little training, those grocery store workers could do mystery shopping with very little training as well. BTW, I'm not picking on grocery workers, I'm only pointing out that these are not what is considered "skilled labor."

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Some people have cars and some don’t. Working in a grocery store doesn’t require a reliable vehicle.

Do you mean that you get emails saying what shops are available? You still have to find your state in the email, check to see what locations are still available in that state, sign in, self-assign, etc. I’m sure this is all time you don’t consider “work” but it is.

Let’s say that you recalculate and instead of it taking you 10 minutes, it takes you 20 minutes per shop if you include drive time, parking, walking inside back to your car, all the admin time. (Would have to be very close, no traffic, no line). And you try to say, “Oh, but that’s still $24 an hour!” No, because of the expenses like mileage. Also, if you had 24 shops in your area, could you do three shops an hour, and complete 24 in a day? No. That’s why taking the tiny shops and calculating an hourly rate makes no sense whatsoever. There are reasons to do them (I’m doing a bunch of app-based jobs today that pay little but they pay within an hour or two and I need the cash to invest in more lucrative work), but receiving $24-$30 an hour is not one of those reasons because it’s not true.

I was talking about the Panda shop and the $8 reimbursement amount, which was the topic of this thread. It has value. Of course there are always other shops. That’s like telling the cashier to just find another job if they don’t like getting paid so little.

Grocery store cashiers in most states don’t make a living wage. I don’t care what skills someone has or does not have, they should receive a living wage for their 40+ hours.

We’re paid for having experience and common sense that children don’t have. I’m sorry you feel that your time spent has so little value, but it’s really not work for children.

@hbbigdaddy wrote:

@Notme2021.....you make some valid points like the FICA tax. But some points are not as valid like having a car and phone is something most people already have that are NOT shoppers. So you being a shopper didn't require you to go get a vehicle or a phone. As far as time spent looking for shops, last time I checked both Panda, JITB and others are sent to you, so it involves no search other than to click/accept a location that you want. Yes, not all shops are that spoon-fed like that.

Mystery shopping does not require people to work certain hours. You take the work you want to take and ignore the opportunities you feel are not worth the effort. There are enough shops to do that don't require monetary outlay (apartment shops, storage facilities, phone calls, etc) so those that have capital issues and cannot front money still have opportunities.

I'm always going to WANT the most $ I can get for as little effort as possible on my end. But I don't also think that I'm deserving of some terrific wage for something that most people can do. My teenage daughter could do shops (if an MSC would allow someone under 18 to signup). So let's not pretend this is a highly-skilled position. Just like most of us could walk into a grocery store and do those jobs with very little training, those grocery store workers could do mystery shopping with very little training as well. BTW, I'm not picking on grocery workers, I'm only pointing out that these are not what is considered "skilled labor."


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2022 06:00PM by Notme2021.
I don't live my life around shops. I make shops fit into things I'm doing. Yes, some people are trying to make this a full-time job. I am not leaving my house to do any shop. I grab shops because I will already be there (same shopping center) or because I have a time gap to fill between events where I'm already outside of the house. There are plenty of shops I refuse that I feel are not paid worthy of the effort to do the assignment, but Panda is not one of them. It has to be the simplest food shop i am aware of.

I get that people doing this as a FT job need more money. But you still are avoiding the issue of "skills." I'm sorry if your children are incapable of getting a name of an employee at a retail/fast food establishment and documenting the time they entered/exited and what might have been said or if they were upsold something on a meal. There are jobs/professions that require real skills. Mystery shopping is not one of them. "Experience and common sense" are not needed for many of the mystery shops available.

As far as "living" wage, that is debatable. Most people live BEYOND their means regardless of their income. I have a rental house. I see the renters. They sometimes have nicer cars and the latest Iphones. I'm not going to go down the path of "living" wage. If America was so terrible, we wouldn't have so many people fighting to get across our borders for the opportunities some here don't want or want to complain about.

The best part about mystery shopping is that so many different people can do it and do it the way they want and best suits their life. There is nothing preventing a felon, a disabled person, a rich person, a poor person, any skin color or gender identity from completing a mystery shop. This is an opportunity that really does NOT discriminate unless it's a shop looking for specific target (which is a very small percentage of shops).
If you’re just doing shops at locations where you are anyway, then why are you talking about the hourly rate and implying people want to earn outrageous amounts? That’s irrelevant to you, and your calculations are completely inaccurate because they don’t include travel etc. that should be included. It’s just a bonus for you that you happen to be there.

I’ve never done a Panda shop (and most likely won’t because of dietary restrictions), so I don’t know that exact form—I’m just talking about the work generally when I say that it is not for children.

@hbbigdaddy wrote:

I don't live my life around shops. I make shops fit into things I'm doing. Yes, some people are trying to make this a full-time job. I am not leaving my house to do any shop. I grab shops because I will already be there (same shopping center) or because I have a time gap to fill between events where I'm already outside of the house. There are plenty of shops I refuse that I feel are not paid worthy of the effort to do the assignment, but Panda is not one of them. It has to be the simplest food shop i am aware of.

I get that people doing this as a FT job need more money. But you still are avoiding the issue of "skills." I'm sorry if your children are incapable of getting a name of an employee at a retail/fast food establishment and documenting the time they entered/exited and what might have been said or if they were upsold something on a meal. There are jobs/professions that require real skills. Mystery shopping is not one of them. "Experience and common sense" are not needed for many of the mystery shops available.

As far as "living" wage, that is debatable. Most people live BEYOND their means regardless of their income. I have a rental house. I see the renters. They sometimes have nicer cars and the latest Iphones. I'm not going to go down the path of "living" wage. If America was so terrible, we wouldn't have so many people fighting to get across our borders for the opportunities some here don't want or want to complain about.

The best part about mystery shopping is that so many different people can do it and do it the way they want and best suits their life. There is nothing preventing a felon, a disabled person, a rich person, a poor person, any skin color or gender identity from completing a mystery shop. This is an opportunity that really does NOT discriminate unless it's a shop looking for specific target (which is a very small percentage of shops).
I guess an upside to this is if people think low pay on a project I am not interested in is good, then it is a nice distraction for my competition to have while I focus on higher paying work. :-)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2022 04:32AM by Curious99.
One could order a bowl and stay below the $8 reimbursement in my area. But I like the plate. I consider both fee and reimbursement to be reimbursement on food shops so I get the full amount of the reimbursement and don't have to figure out what to order to stay at or under the reimbursement amount. btw...these shops are now bonused in my area.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
@hbbigdaddy wrote:

I can see the argument from both sides here. Yes, the reimbursement should be $10. The pay of $8 doesn't bother me. I do online or drive-thru. 2 pics is super easy and the report is a breeze. I don't think I've ever had an experience that lasted more than 4 minutes and that includes placing the order on the app.
The report takes a lot more than 4 minutes, especially since you have to write 2 narratives and include a redundant comment for every negative answer. That said, I leave the Pandas on the board because of the so-called reimbursement which is more like a subsidy than a reimbursement.
I never claimed I could do the report in 4 minutes. I'm talking about the time in person for an online or drive-thru scenario.

It takes me 10 minutes total to do a panda and that includes ordering on the app (less than 1 minute) / picking up (2-3 minutes tops)/ filling out report (7 minutes).
@whosear wrote:

One could order a bowl and stay below the $8 reimbursement in my area. But I like the plate. I consider both fee and reimbursement to be reimbursement on food shops so I get the full amount of the reimbursement and don't have to figure out what to order to stay at or under the reimbursement amount. btw...these shops are now bonused in my area.

Are you sure? I am in NE OK and there was just a price increase and now the reimbursement does not cover a bowl.
When they first took over this account the reimbursement covered the bowl. But as of a couple weeks ago it does not anymore. I have a couple of bonused shops that i have to do tomorrow. I won't be doing them again after that until the reimbursement is fixed.
It comes up to $8.01 with tax in Indy area. And we have an extra 2% tax here for our convention center and sports arenas downtown.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
A bowl with a regular entree, orange chicken, or kung pao chicken, in my case, currently comes to $8.18 in all of the counties closest to me. There aren't any Pandas in my county, and if there were, it would be crappiest possible version of it, so we are thankful for small favors.

If Panda says you can substitute it for an entree, you can for the shop too. I've learned the hard way, this shop is not about the food, this shop is about the service. They quit asking if we received a full portion, because they aren't selling full portions anymore.
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