Inspections and grocery shops

I am considering taking a shop that pays $17, its one of those Certified OnSite Inspector shops. It's close to home, meets my minimum ($15) and SOUNDS relatively easy. I was going to go for it until I got to the part where they want me to pay $6 for a background check. With all of the negative talk about TS I am not sure I want to do that. However, shops are slim pickins' in my area so I am wondering if I should proceed. Thoughts?

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2016 12:17PM by Kristie6923.

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Kristie, I work for TrendSource very little because the pay is low and they have few jobs I am interested in. I have never paid for the background check so I haven't done those particular shops. I go months without shopping for them and suddenly they will get a project with a client that interests me and I'll do a bunch of shops for them .... then the project ends and I don't shop them for a while. The downside for TrendSource is low pay. The good things about shopping TrendSource: very, very quick and easy reports with almost no narrative, easy editors (I have NEVER gotten a question or ANYthing from them after reporting), easy scheduling, website that allows easy access to my shop/payment history, nice employees (what little I communicate with them - only when trying to schedule shops after I have exceeded the maximum number and I want them to waive that), and very fast pay - they pay twice a month by direct deposit. Not sure my rambling thoughts will help you, but ....... I've read the negatives, too, and, while I agree that the pay is low, I'm perplexed by them being selected the worst.
Ah, but paying that $6 for the background check clears you for jobs for the year. I rarely shop for them without a bonus, so I get the $6 back on the first shop. And it is a 100% deductible expense. However, if there's any
chance at all you'd be shopping in my area, please don't pay the $6! LOL!!!!

smiling smiley
I did pay the background check and do the on-site inspections and other business related jobs that are not mystery shopping. It has led me to field service work with other companies. They are on the low end for payment, so I always try and get some more money, but if it is in town, I try to accept. They are easy and so is the report.
I have no problem with paying the 6 bucks. Ditto for all the reasons that Jay C as to why I like them. I try to grab all the inspections I can get to before anyone else takes them. I would like more money but then on the other hand it still pays more than a lot of the cell phone shops are paying lately, plus you make an appointment and you do not have to role play. I do the inspections for another company that paid for the background check several years ago but they said they did not normally pay for the background check but were making an exception at the time. In my area doing any of the shops are on average from $9/10 up to about $15. A $25 shop occasionally pops up and those are snared as soon as the email arrives. TS was my top paying MSC for last year. Between doing the on sites and their phone shops, the income keeps me in my day-to-day spending money.
I have done a few of those. The thing that can make it difficult is arranging a meeting time that works for both parties. I did one start-up company where the owner had other businesses and was very difficult to reach. Several phone tags over several days later, we finally arranged a time to meet, but I couldn't work it out where I had other errands nearby. The job itself is easy. I only accept ones very close to home so I don't get stuck again driving somewhere for only that job.
Thanks everybody. I think it is worth the $6, assuming I will get more jobs with them. If not, well lesson learned. It's only a 10 minute drive from home.
I paid the $6.00 a year ago and considered it a business expense. I actually enjoy the site inspections but gave up on them when I was constantly placed on the reserve team. I think someone in my area has a stronger history with Trendsource than I and jumps on them before I can get them.

plmccut, is that you?
Jake - I don't think it's me because if I don't catch them as soon as they are posted someone else grabs them. I've learned that there are about 3 times a day when the new shops are posted and sometimes one might get posted in the late afternoon. So I check frequently during those three time periods if I can. Believe me, when I see someone else got one that I wanted, I grit my teeth and snarl like kitty cat!
I haven't done those, but I have done grocery shops for Trendsource. The grocery reports were too tedious for the pay that's offered, but I still do them occasionally if I can get a bonus. I do like that they pay really quickly.
If you can actually get one of the inspections, it might be worth the 6.00. I did them for about two years,This year I did not redo the background check because they evidently found a local inspector they bend over backwards for.
I think you should go for it! I did one last week and, It was kind of interesting, the people were really nice. It also gives a break from the secret shop which does get a little boring sometimes. No narrative at all and I already got paid for it! So go ahead, do it!
teriraia - When I had my first background check with TS, I was given the option of receiving a copy of it which I took. So, yes, in response to your question it does appear that the "background" checks are basically a google search. I worked at one of the National Labs and held a "Q" clearance for over 15 years. That required a "real" background check that I was told cost anywhere from $10 to $15,000.
I pay the $6 once per year. No problem. I generally enjoy doing the business verifications. Take extra photographs, including close up photos of all locks. I don't do the site surveys where you have to measure stuff and provide sketches, but have done ones where you take photos but never set foot on the property. I also do some of the printer and ink scenarios if I am passing by the store. Very easy.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I like site inspections. I take ones nearby and they are pretty quick once you get an appointment scheduled.

If they call you, they are desperate and will offer better bonuses than just the online bonus option.
I did several Medicare Advantage open enrollment shops this fall, and enjoyed them. Im only in my mid-50s and probably know more about the subject than most people who can qualify!

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I am fortunately young enough that I can do their alcohol audits. Though they only pay $6 and reimburse $5, I pick up a whole route of them and snag distance pay. This month I've done about 50 audits for them. 50 audits times $6 = $300 + PAD. Plus, the reimbursement buys me lunch and their app makes reporting VERY easy. Also, I have built a pretty good reputation with them, so my scheduler will generally offer me jobs first. For me, they are very worth it, though I would love a higher payment. But I've also never done any other jobs for them. But from what everyone else says, I would definitely pay the $6 for the background check.
@lexna23 wrote:

I am fortunately young enough that I can do their alcohol audits. Though they only pay $6 and reimburse $5, I pick up a whole route of them and snag distance pay. This month I've done about 50 audits for them. 50 audits times $6 = $300 + PAD. Plus, the reimbursement buys me lunch and their app makes reporting VERY easy. Also, I have built a pretty good reputation with them, so my scheduler will generally offer me jobs first. For me, they are very worth it, though I would love a higher payment. But I've also never done any other jobs for them. But from what everyone else says, I would definitely pay the $6 for the background check.

I did a very large route of these a couple months ago (with PAD too) because I knew I would be moving soon. I earned enough for my security deposit and then some! Woo!

I have also started picking up a lot of their grocery shops, which I find to be worth it for the groceries, even though of course I wish the fee was higher. I do love the schedulers (for both grocery and alcohol compliance projects), the app, and the very quick pay at TS.

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 smiling smiley
I signed up for it and have made my first two attempts to contact the business to set the appointment.
I have been mystery shopping trendsource for about a year and I love working with them. I always make routes like others have said with PAD and I've established a good relationship with them so I think they are worth shopping for. I have not done any of the onsite inspections with them however but I have seen them (in my area) with the PAD available emails ha.
I have had a problem with TS and I could never straighten it out. I was blocked from picking up jobs and when I called there employees were not professional. I was actually told the notes said I was swearing on the phone at the director of personnel. This is the reason given. I never do that with anyone. A second call I was told they did not have to give me a reason. I think this is unprofessional of a company that endorses the Mystery Shoppers conference for further training.
@Jay C wrote:

Kristie, I work for TrendSource very little because the pay is low and they have few jobs I am interested in. I have never paid for the background check so I haven't done those particular shops. I go months without shopping for them and suddenly they will get a project with a client that interests me and I'll do a bunch of shops for them .... then the project ends and I don't shop them for a while. The downside for TrendSource is low pay. The good things about shopping TrendSource: very, very quick and easy reports with almost no narrative, easy editors (I have NEVER gotten a question or ANYthing from them after reporting), easy scheduling, website that allows easy access to my shop/payment history, nice employees (what little I communicate with them - only when trying to schedule shops after I have exceeded the maximum number and I want them to waive that), and very fast pay - they pay twice a month by direct deposit. Not sure my rambling thoughts will help you, but ....... I've read the negatives, too, and, while I agree that the pay is low, I'm perplexed by them being selected the worst.
Why work for $17 ? By the time you drive to the site, do the interview & pictures + do a report. You are working for less than minimum wage. I AM NOT shy and ALWAYS bid it with PAD; even if it is across town.
Should another person get it; it will not take time to figure out the math. I probably get every other one of the jobs, but only have to go out once for the 3 times you go out..........just sayin'.... Do the math on ALL mystery shops and don't be shy to ask for a Bonus. Do excellent work and you will do repeat business.
Actually you pay the Background Check Company the 6.00. Its just a check to confirm identity and, Criminal History, felonies. Six dollars is cheap! You get a copy since you paid for it. Any other MSC's want one you have it. I have paid allot more in the past.
They email me all the time with those inspection shops. Since I saw this forum about the background checks with trendsource I think I will pay the $6.
Concerning their background checks: Is this a money-maker for them? I have passed the government background check for Global Entry and they would not accept that as fulfilling the background check requirement. I also did a large number of those inspections for them before they started the requirement and never had any complaints about me or my behavior.
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