Trying to not blow my top with Intellishop!

I just got an offer to do a purchase and return at a local retail outlet for $10! Oh, come on!! Can we all unite and protest this kind of piddly pay?? I sent this note: "Just FYI: I would like to let Intellishop know that a purchase and return (including reading the guidelines, driving to the store, driving back to the store for the return, and filling out the report) for $10 is way below minimum wage anywhere in the country." What else can we do to demand higher wages besides not accepting these kinds of shops? Seasoned shoppers: What is your minimum for a purchase and return even if the store is close to you?

Mystery Shopper since 1998; Author of Make Money Mystery Shopping available on Amazon in the Kindle Store.

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@DavePi wrote:

I flaked on two of my scheduled shops for intellishop. Serves them right.
You are such a professional. A professional T-I-T!
@iamloved1 wrote:

Seasoned shoppers: What is your minimum for a purchase and return even if the store is close to you?

There are sooooo many variables. In general for me a purchase and return is two shops and each part of it must pay appropriately. So 27 things to observe on the purchase part would be a higher fee shop than a simple return with 5 things to observe. Can I do the purchase, do some shops nearby and come back for the return? Or do I have nothing of interest nearby or are there hours/days between the two visits so the shop means two separate trips? Is the shop for a company that has always treated me well and they are in a bind.
The latest shop for Intelli is paying $5.00 for a purchase, and you have to spend $15 of your own money, you can return this item. You need to visit a few departments and try on clothing! Are they for real?
All the criteria Flash mentioned I always consider. Purchase and Return are definitely two shops and should be paid as such. $10 for both is highway robbery and most especially since there is a cash outlay. But as long as they get shoppers to do them, they will continue to offer them.
Once they notice that shoppers are not attracted to them, hopefully, as I have observed, they are inclined to increase the fees. Or are prepared to offer bonuses. But I am not holding my breath. There are other avenues.
There is one I do for $14 (sometimes it's bonused). The shop and report are fairly quick, and you can return the item just a few minutes after purchasing, so there is no need to leave and come back. The shop and report take me an average of abut 30 minutes, so I think $14 is okay.
I understand being frustrated when shops don't offer the pay you think is worth it, but I'm surprised by how annoyed some people get.
I think luxury cars are ridiculous. I used to travel a lot for my job and I rented a bunch of cars. Eventually, I got to the point where I had rented so often that they'd often upgrade me to the fancy-shmancy cars. You know what I realized? Cars are basically all the same to me. I don't care about the different brands: the things that matter to me are how carefully the cupholder location was thought out (for me specifically, given how long my arms are and how I prefer the seat to be configured), and if there's a place for my purse. Those rarely have to do with how expensive the car is.
So, when I see a commercial for a car and at the end they say "well qualified lessees may qualify for $599/mo", I laugh out loud. But if people think that's worth it and want that car, more power to 'em. I don't understand why the low ball offers from MSCs don't elicit the same chuckle and delete reaction that I assume the same people have when they see an ad for something they consider to be ridiculously expensive.

Shopper in California's Bay Area
They certainly don't even get a chuckle from me, they just get deleted. I don't care if some shopper finds the pay worth their while and takes the shop because the companies that systematically do that kind of garbage to shoppers are not companies that have any appeal to me to work with. Would I bother with the shop to try to negotiate a fair price? It probably is not worth while. And when you see the complaints about the company: cheap shops, poor communication, pay issues, I find that life is just too short to be bothered with them. Some folks find the company wonderful. They are welcome to it. I did shops for them years ago and decided they were not worth working for in my business.
Another shop company used to have this purchase-and-return shop (shoes, right?), I did it twice last year - once for $18 and once for $14. I would not do it again for the $14, let alone $10. IIRC, you have to return the purchase at least an hour later, making it two separate visits.

We are the people our parents warned us about ~ Jimmy Buffett
I think you are doing the only thing in your power by refusing to do a Shop for nothing, people don't realize on average it costs over $.60 per mile to operate a vehicle your taking good care of. Ten miles driving to do a Shop if you were not in that area just reduced your cash before taxes to $4.00. How much time will it take to "Buy item and Return it" than write a Report for $4.00?

There's no dignity working for Slave Wages if that's how their going to value your time. That company does not care if your putting food on your family's table or would not offer such a insulting payout. My numbers for $.60 are a tad above the IRS's $.56 per mile because the IRS has not upped the cost of operating a car since the Financial Meltdown.
@Pennies4Shops wrote:

My numbers for $.60 are a tad above the IRS's $.56 per mile because the IRS has not upped the cost of operating a car since the Financial Meltdown.

This is not an accurate statement. In 2008 the per mile was 50.5 cents, '09 it was 55 cents, '10 it was 50 cents, '11 it was 51 cents the first half of the year and 55.5 cents the second half to reflect the increased price of gas. So in the time period mentioned, the per mile has been as low as 50 cents in 2010 and as high as 57.5 cents in 2015. Because the price of gas has declined so drastically it is 54 cents for 2016.

You are, of course, free to use whatever number you wish for your own calculations of how much it costs to operate your vehicle, but the IRS standard per mile is what you need to use for your taxes unless you choose the alternative method of doing annual depreciation and actual expenditures.
I am registered with Intellishop but have never done 1 shop for them. Too many horror stories and the pay is too low. I gather that the reports are a major PITA also. Those reasons and the fact that they lag on editing the reports so the pay is also slow. I think the major turn off for me were the "flake" and "hero" citations. Cancelling a shop that requires too much time for too little pay does not make me a flake, and taking a low paying shop does not a hero make.
I'm still more than willing to do shops for them, because at the end of the year I made decent money with them, and most of them are self-assign. Right now, however, I haven't accepted any shops with them because of the very cyclic drop in pay. A luxury car shop paid me $60 and now they are offering $17-$18 for the same shop. Well, I figure, until the cycle starts coming back up over my personal minimum standard, I am on "vacation". I know how much narrative is required on most of their forms, and it has to be worth my time. Apparently winter/beginning of year sucks for mystery shopping, lol!
They picked up a shoe store that used to pay $18 for P/R. Started it at $10, then bonused at $14. 1 11/2 hour wait. I picked up enough stamps to get $40 bucks off a pair of shoes and bought a pair on clearance for $20.

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
I am not taking any of buy/return shops, regardless of driving distance..They are stupid shops and waste of time, especially with cheap company like Intellishop..They are reducing fee all time. Convenience store shop with $5 fee they are asking for a lots of narratives: answering all yes and no questions.

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
Oh how about the new Timeshare shops where they want you to audio record the presentation. For which you receive 2 nights, 2 meals (up to $80) and $20. Usually you can go to a timeshare resort for free for 2 nights and they will give you a voucher for 2 meals (or other compensation) for attending their timeshare presentation.
Just do or not Do, worth it or not worth it? Simple we are independant contractors. Just the same reason why I sell real estate I don't have to work with mean people more thatn once, I choose! Have a great weekend- aint it great to be free to choose? Once their fault twice my fault.

"Your somewhere in the future and you look much better that you do right now"
They lowered their fee for convenience store shops, with narrative, to $5. I said bye-bye Intellishop.
lol. Marketforce called me last week and asked me to do a shop that's an hour and a half away. They offered me $16. I told them I would need considerably more than that because of the 3 hour round trip journey. She came back and said "will you take $17?" Seriously?! No -_-
I've gotten to where I won't take a shop for less than $25 and I refuse to make a purchase. When I get these ridiculous shop offers for $5 or $10 I just answer back and simply say "I wouldn't leave my home for that amount of money. My time is worth more than that".
I have been doing mystery shops since 2001. I've reached the point that if it isn't something I really want to do, I don't accept it. I like hotel shops. I'm retired and I like to travel. I do time shares. I do restaurants, if I want to try that restaurant for some reason or it's one I enjoy. Sometimes I do those $10 shops because I need to visit that store anyway, but I always figure in my time and gas expense. I do the $5 fast food (plus reimbursement) only if it's convenient. When the reimbursement gets up to $15, I take the shop. I'm not intent on making money any more - mystery shopping is more a hobby and a way to get some things I'd like to to paid for by someone else.
I rarely accept a shop under $15. Usually when I do, it's because it is a mile from my home etc., and invariably it comes back to bite me: recently I had to see the notary at a bank. Lo and behold, I was told he would be right with me; 45 minutes later he came back into the building carrying his to-go cup from lunch. He had been at lunch and they told me he'd be right with me!
I recently applied for a 2-night Hotel/Casino shop with Intellishop. I have performed 10 shops for them in the last three years and my shopper score is "9" with them...it wasn't a "10" because of punctuation errors on a couple of the shops. I left more than the alloted time to apply for this shop which was a requirement. After my app had been sitting out there for more than 5 days I decided to call the scheduler. When I called I was directed to his voicemail so I left him a nice, professional and detailed message telling him of my experience and asked for a return call and told him that I would loved to have the opportunity to be of service. The scheduler did not call me back but emailed me telling me that unfortunately, I was not experienced enough to perform the shop. So I emailed the scheduler back and explained that I am a seasoned traveler (my husband is a pilot with a major airline) thinking that this must be the reason why I was not "experienced".

A couple of days ago I saw the SAME Hotel/Casino shop mass-generated email from him that I had applied for and been turned down for posted again!!! I went into my shop log and saw that my app was deleted. So being determined as I am and unwilling to let this go on a matter of principle, I decided to apply for that shop again but with a different date...because I don't give up easily without a reason. By now, it was a matter of determination. The next thing I know, I went into my shop apps and my new app with a new date had been deleted again! In my opinion, I am more than qualified to do this shop. If I wasn't, I would have accepted his initial denial without a second thought. I have shopped for some of the most difficult hospitality companies out there in my book like A Closer Look, Maritz and International Service Check. I'm a semi-retired professional who still does consulting work and mystery shopping in my spare time because I like it. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2016 01:29AM by shellheller.
They lovered fee for paint job from $12 to $9, but for convinience shop I discovered that it just for $5 not for $7 when I picked two shops. I am not going to do so in the future again..waist of time and money

Shopping Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of NJ, since 2009
I won't do a purchase and return unless it can be returned almost immediately. I did one today where you only have to wait 5-10 minutes to return, and it was in a mall where I had another shop anyway. I think all shops are worth at least $20. They want your time and professional reports but don't want to pay for it. I'm fed up with Intellishop in general lately anyway. Horrendous customer service. Trendsource low balls you, but at least they are nice, responsive, and pay quickly. Super nice people.

Midwest shopper. Former New England shopper.
just don't accept them. Period. I do a lot of restaurants b/c I've done them so long I rarely need a cheat sheet anymore, so it's worth the price of a meal to me.
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