I have been working as a full time mystery shopper since 2006 and I have been witnessing how this Industry is getting slowly degenerated.
As all of you know, every year is more expensive to live. Gas goes up and so everything else goes up. How about the fees for our hard work? Those go down!!! Big companies like Intellishop are exploiting and destroying our industry. As we all now, due the Economic diffuclites our Country is going through, hundres of new shoppers sign up every day. Intellishop and other companies are taking advantage of this and devaluing the work.
During 2012, Intellishop gained several new clients and cut the fees almost in half. This proves how much companies like Intellishop care nothing about the Industry but only care about how to exploit more their shoppers and make more money. One of the most frustrating moves I have ever seen was the following:
---- Better Business Solutions had valet/self-park shops. Valet shops paid $21 and self-park paid $18 plus the obvious reimbursement for parking. The requirement was to stay 20 minutes (for both valet and self-park) Questionnaire was okay, very decent.
---- BBS looses this client. Guess who has it? Intellishop! Now these shop pay $10 for self and $12 for valet. The questionnaire is exactly the same, but with the additional change of having to stay 30 minutes! Pay gets almost cut in half and you are required to spend 50% more time...
Now what am I going to do? Maybe I should go ahead and call my cable company. I will request extra TV and extra Internet speed, but I will pay them half of what my bill is now. They should't complain, should they?
Intellishop, The Slayer did this with more clients.
Now, we have the other side of the coin... the companies that slowly destroys you. They rarely change clients, their shops are pretty much the same and they are a decent company overall... with one problem. The slowly dock their fees. Market Force is also in the same group.
This morning, I was going to grab a few cell phone shops with Measure. When I log on their site, I notice how the shops went from paying $11 to paying $10. One buck docked from fee, but same requirements. However, when I went to pump gas, I paid $3 more than last year early January (yes, I keep track) Of course, same shops, same locations and same requirements... pretty much the same work and drive for less money.
Why do companies do this? Because they know that many people needs Mystery Shopping for a living these days, at least, as a side income, but necessary. They know that people will shop anyways if they decrease their fees.
This is pretty pathetic and I am so uninspired to write. I had several versions of this post, as well as other thoughts, but I am feeling so uninspired that I do not even know what to write or how to write it well... not even willing to review this very post for grammar/spelling errors... I am seeing how this Industry is getting slowly destroyed... not because only of how the fees are getting docked to the ground, but for many many more reasons (that I wrote about and then erased due lack of inpiration)
What do you guys think?
My only hopes rest on Video shopping. Something I have been doing since 2011, where companies do value the shopper a lot and fees are very decent. Hopefulyl more and more clients will awakened and move from paper shops to video shops... And greedy companies like Intellishop wont be able to ruin it since only a fraction of the Mystery Shopping population do work with videos.
Hello, Astral. Welcome to the forum. I've been shopping since late 2009, so I've seen a little of what you're talking about. This is happening not only in this business but in all businesses across the board and across the country. When jobs are harder to get, people work for less because they must. As the economy gets tighter, companies bid lower to get contracts because they must. We are working at fees less than we would like, and I expect the mystery shopping companies are also working at fees less than they would like. The clients are probably working at lower profits than they expect and they are probably paying more for mystery shopping than they would like.
I have also heard that video shopping pays a lot more than regular shopping and auditing. I considered video shopping and came to the conclusion that it could be much better than regular shopping. I backed away from switching over because of the outlay for equipment and maintenance, the travel required, and the long rotations. A killer for me was not wanting to be away from home overnight. Video will probably continue to be good for several years (or a few) but as more and more shoppers switch over it will also become more competitive.
There are no easy answers. I do this part time as a supplement and so far I have been able to find more work than I need. I'm not proud and will pick up whatever is fair and available along a route. I have no preconceived notions of what an individual shop "should" pay. I know what I want it to pay and if it meets my criteria it's good enough for me. If it doesn't meet my requirements, I just mentally say "no" and move on.
It's clear from your post that you are highly concerned about this and you're discouraged. It's not good for anyone to worry about things that can't be changed by individual effort. If I can't change it, I don't worry about it. I take whatever works for me and go on down the road. If this stops working, I'll do something else. That's not a courageous decision. That's just a practical description of what will happen if this stops working for me. I'll have to do something else. Realize that necessity will always provide a solution of some kind.
Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Liberal that I am means disagreeing with a small portion of your statement. In the last two years a certain oil company switched from 10 minute mystery shops to 30 minute audits and the MSC offered a new starting rate of a whopping $2 more and "the client" has become so incredibly picky that a shop can be thrown out over small details. That client has also set world records for profits the last several years. To rub salt into that wound, their huge tax breaks are being subsidized by..........you guessed it, us.
Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
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