Trendsource EIN?

It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me that Trendsource seems to REQUIRE an EIN in order to shop for them. Am I missing something??
I'm one guy, not an employer or employee. Why would I want an EIN??

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

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This has been a loooong discussion. A Search will bring it up. I am against it. I still shop for them without an EIN...

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
The one time I don't do a search on a topic. So you CAN shop for them without an EIN? From what I can see they require it. Ok. I'll go hunt for the topic.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Hoju, they let some of the pre-EIN IC's continue on their SSNs. I can't work for them because I came in later, and refuse to get an EIN, and it's required of all new ICs.

Some times you just have to turn around, give a little smile, toss the match, set the bridge ablaze, and walk away.

Silver Certified on the Carolina Coast. You want fries with that?
What jonchance said is correct.

I didn't get paid for a shop I did in Oct. (and I understood the rules going in) but as soon as I capitulated and got the EIN I got paid.
I'm in the same boat as Jon. I did read the other posts about it and decided that for me, there's too much risk of this biting me in the butt in the future and not enough reward.
Trendsource has a link under resources called "The truth about EIN". Have you read it?
jennyshhh Wrote:
> Trendsource has a link under resources called "The
> truth about EIN". Have you read it?

Yes, and the extent of their explanation appears to be, "...will serve to protect not only the Mystery Shopping companies, but ICs as well, by strengthening the independent-contractor relationship."

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Because I'm not an employer.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2014 01:00PM by Hoju.
A Search will describe several down sides...

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
I happen to have an EIN because I own a tutoring business. My understanding per the IRS is only one EIN per person. Seems so odd to give them my EIN for a business that has nothing to do with mystery shopping.
If the IRS allows only one EIN per person, wouldn't it be very accustomed to the concept that it's used for more than one business?

Personally, I liked the idea, because it seemed that it would be safer than handing out my SSN willy-nilly.
This company is a flake anyway. I tried to do a shop for them and they posted it with a completion date of 3-1-14 to 3-31-14 and other MSC that I shop that show a date range for a shop I can shop it any day as long as it is completed by the last day in the date range. Since I didn't select a date they put me under review for the shop. I am done with them. This was the first and only shop I am going to try with Trendsource.
They've treated me well, paid me promptly, and answered any questions I asked. I'd say they're the farthest from a flake imaginable. All companies seem to have their little quirks, and we have to read the fine print. I've seen assignments where they make it clear that they want you to pick a date from the original range. Nothing all that strange--MarketForce does the same, Trendsource just lets you wait longer before you choose the day.
I also did not want to have to get an EIN just to work with them. I few weeks ago I got locked out of my account for not providing an EIN. Then a scheduler calls me and asks me to do 2 urgent shops. I explain I wont get an EIN and he said no problem, he will handle that if I can do the shops today. I agree, he assigns me the shops and I complete them no problem. A few days later and the account was locked again. I don't think they pay without an EIN so I think I'm done with them.

Floating around like a feather hoping the wind will set me down somewhere awesome.
When I mentioned using an EIN to my tax accountant, she didn't seem to think I'd have a problem. I have a full time job and mystery shopping is a side gig for me, so wouldn't that be evident from the income I'll report?

I guess I'll see how this plays out in the future.

In the meantime, TrendSource is keeping me busy and I have nothing but positive things to say about them.
I have been shopping with them for about 8 years. A few years ago they started asking me to get the EIN. I said no. At one point they threatened that shoppers who did not get EINs would not be allowed to shop for them anymore. They retracted that statement, though they state that shoppers who have EINs get priority. I never got the EIN and don't plan on doing so. I don't do that many shops for them, but it's not because other shoppers are getting picked first. I just don't think that they pay very well so I choose to do more shops with other companies who do.
I actually have an EIN from a home shopping business I had many years ago in a different state that is now defunct and I do not use it anymore. I'm so happy my taxes are easier without it, all of my income is IC (either through my regular freelance work or my MS work) and I don't really want to go back to further complicating my taxes by going back to using my EIN with just TrendSource. I have a shop scheduled with them for Saturday and now I'm getting the "get us your EIN and W-9 or get locked out" message. I'm not sure its worth it for just one company. When I lived in another state, if you had an EIN you were expected to pay business taxes in the state, the current state I live in has different rules regarding income in the state for EIN holders but to me it just doesn't make sense.

Ellie in Ohio - trying to get those ends to meet...
BellaFenice Wrote:
> What a shame. They are missing out on shoppers
> with that requirement.

What a shame that shoppers are missing out on work because they refuse to get something that won't hurt them as long as they are conducting themselves in a legal manner.

There was a rumor here once that someone got an EIN and ended up having to get a business license because of it (unrelated to mystery shopping -- it was a different business altogether) and they believed that it was the acquisition of the EIN that tipped off the local entity.

I've never believed it because the IRS has better things to do than go tell every city in this country that someone in their jurisdiction just got an EIN. (The IRS only shares information when required by law -- Federal law, not state laws.) You can have an EIN and never use it for anything; who would want to wade through all that information trying to find the one person who got an EIN, actually started a business, and didn't get a business license for their business?

Just get the EIN. It's free and takes about 10 minutes online at

Or don't get the EIN and I'll take those Trendsource jobs you're passing up.

There are people here who don't want to admit to their town hall that they are running a business (mystery shopping is a business unless you are claiming the income as a hobby) out of their homes and get any required business license to do so, but they want to tell the IRS they are when it comes to deducting the mileage to their first local stop of the day.

Keep yourself legal and you don't have to worry about these things. If you don't like your local laws, lobby to change them.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
dspeakes. What a shame you do not have all the facts. You are partially correct. I will give you that. What about those on disability? They are allowed to make so much each month. If they get am EIN, it raises a red flag that they are ready to go back to work. Some do misuse this - Others would be hurt by this.

In addition, Maritz and Trendsource decided to use this to further distance themselves from Shoppers, liability for accidents and other reasons. Both companies backed off on this requirement for their current Shoppers when it started costing them money...

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
My husband has to have an EIN to be the one in charge of a trust for his sister. Really has nothing to do with anything but just pointing out that EINs have varying uses. And he is not taking any payment for being the administrator of the trust but he still had to get it.

Liz, I find that interesting. Do you think it is a way to track money?

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
mrcomputer101 Wrote:
> Liz, I find that interesting. Do you think it is a
> way to track money?

Being admin for estate doesn't necessarily mean any money is going anywhere, but apparently you do have to have one to be estate admin...
It won't be long until we are all tracked by chips planted on is anyway...
I actually spoke to city hall so don't make assumptions about others trying to hide their businesses. Trendsource also has very little work and what they have here is paltry. Like MrC, I was grandfathered in so on the rare occasions they have a worthwhile job I get a call. Meanwhile, I am not going to jump through any hoops for them. I have been willing to provide proof of insurance, DL, background checks, etc. for other companies. The difference is the money I stood to make was in the thousands. My take from Trendsource over five years is a whopping $150, if that.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I hear ya, Lisa. I have been with Trendsource for about 8 years. I used to do some bagel shops for them, but these days the electronics store shops they have in my area pay $10 and the generally don't want to add distance pay, so it isn't even worth leaving the house.
So I did the math today, and dug through my old emails from Trendsourse. Seems I could have applied for about 300.00 in shops if I had gotten my EIN and applied for them in the last 2 months. So reading over the posts I just made one and uploaded it. Watch me never see a shop nearby for them again lol

Floating around like a feather hoping the wind will set me down somewhere awesome.
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