Tip: Marketforce will pay your tolls!

This isn't a big deal to many of you living in the midwest or southern states (minus Texas & Florida) but here in the northeast we have to deal with many many tolls! I always looked at marketforce as a cheap company because they're always posting shops for really really cheap fees and barely bonus them as times move on. But there's one saving grace for them that has now got me regularly shopping for them the past two months: they will pay your tolls!!! The tolls can be more then the shop fee and they will still pay them! This is huge for me because I live in Jersey and there are a ton of shops in NY but the tolls kill any chance of making money trying to do those shops. So the last two months I've been testing it out to see if this would work. If you know marketforce you know there's that brief question at the start of all of their reports that says "did you have any expenses for tolls or parking". I have a feeling like I used to 90% of you likely hit no and move on. If you hit yes you're asked how much. Well for the last two months I've decided to test it out by just inputting the normal tolls I had anyway that I'd normally write off as part of doing the job along the Garden state parkway and NJ turnpike. Turns out they paid all of them. SO I got bolder in February and I decided to book some shops in staten island. The outerbridge crossing is a $12.50 toll alone! Additionally I already had a shop route planned for Pennsylvania but I added a $4 grocery shop to my route from Marketforce and put all of my toll expenses along the Pa turnpike in that report. Just got paid an hour ago and it;s all there! The staten island shop was a $15 fee...not only did they pay the $12.50 bridge tollbut they paid the $5.50 round trip Parkway toll along the route for that one shop. Same thing with the $4 grocery shop! This is a game changer for me and something I hope can help you guys out as well!

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FYI they stop at $20 unless you can provide extra justification. That's per shop though, so if you do more than 1 a day you can spread things around.
I think I misunderstood professional guest's posts so I deleted the original post here.....it seemed like they were being sassy but I think they're being genuine

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2016 03:50PM by 1JJ.
I actually specifically try to pick up a Marketforce job in an area I have personal business (doctor appointment, personal shopping trip) to pay the tolls.
I haven't ever gotten approval before a shop. My toll system has an electronic "FasTrack" system. I log in and print a copy of the toll paid with the location and amount. I can't remember if this "receipt" is required, but I think they ask for something to be uploaded to support the reimbursement.

I've never submitted a toll over $5-6. I think someone mentioned that you can only submit up to $20 without prior approval, but I've never had a toll near that amount and have never gotten prior approval.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had any luck submitting parking meter reimbursements. I can see a parking lot where you get a ticket and a receipt, but what about parking meters that you just pump a few quarters into? Anyone been able to get reimbursed for that?

Shopper in California's Bay Area
If your parking is less than $3, you don't need a receipt, you just put in the amount. If you exceed $3, you need a receipt.
Yes, MF reimbursed me for parking at a meter, where there was no receipt (but the parking was cheap). Fortunately, most parking meters in my area now issue receipts (that have to be displayed on one's windshield during the paid parking period, also printed on the receipt).
In response to JC's comment what he said is correct to the policy but not to the practice. I've never once been asked for a receipt and I've submitted tolls as high as $18. I have EZ pass so i can't submit a receipt until the end of the month anyway when they send the bill. I would say if it's under $3 don't worry about a receipt but anything over $3 you should be prepared to submit some kind of proof if asked. Even if it's that marketforce will have to wait until the end of the month to see the proof then i would just tell them that ans send when i get my bill if they ever actually asked. But I wouldn't try to submit $18 claims unless I knew there was some way I could eventually prove it
I have a Texas toll tag that also works in Oklahoma and Kansas. I stopped at the toll booth on the way to an Oklahoma shop and asked the attendant for a receipt. Market Force did not ask for my copy but reimbursed me. It does open up new areas to shop around me.

Some days you just have to create your own sunshine.
I have a EZ-Pass and can always go online to get an up-to-date list of tolls which I have paid. There is no need to wait until the end of the month. Posting is essentially instantaneous.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
If you have EZPass and need a receipt right away for any reason-and it's not immediately available online, you have to take down the EZpass and go through the cash lane

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2016 05:25AM by jmitw.
I had a ferry cost that I entered onto the report. Just included a note I had to take a ferry over. The fee was paid without any questions. It was around $19.
Whether you need to submit the receipt or not, you should be getting one and holding onto it for the tax deduction. I only submitted charges for parking one time and don't remember if it was included with fees at the end of the year.

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.
The IRS does not require receipts for any expenses less than $75. I still think it is a good idea to hold onto them, but it is not an IRS requirement. That has been true since 1995. Before that, the threshold for receipts was $25. It is easy to find online documentation for this. I chose one to show how long the $75 rule has been in effect: [articles.philly.com]

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I must say your honesty and transparency about this topic is refreshing. This is a question on my list of things I would like to know but can't seem to find a straight answer anywhere. This began for me as you had mentioned completing jobs in the Northeast. I started out in Mystery Shopping doing Business Inspections for MSI/Trendsource. After completing my second business inspection and applying for others I started to question if I was in this to just take up my precious time or to make at least a little bit of money (actually I was losing $$$) With this revelation I started to request PAD only after receiving emails that they desperately needed my help and it stated at the top "NAME YOUR PRICE". I'll use the last job that was requested via email...It was additional 4 hours plus a total of 248 miles round trip, plus almost $6 in tolls each way. What would anyone say is an appropriate amount to request? I NEVER EVER EVER get a job accepted that I submit with PAD. I can't imagine the company that is requesting this job to be done would think this is appropriate, that all these expenses come out of ones pocket. I searched high and low for an answer to this or some guidelines or boundaries and all I found was something written from a lawyer standpoint who worked as an independent consultant for various jobs. I know IC in all types of fields that are allowed to submit "job specific" expenses, travel time compensation, mileage, tolls, meals, hotel stays, in addition to on the road out of the office expenses needed for job completion. Why is this any different? And this is how unions came to be???
The information is correct that we can absolutely ask for all those things. But if the MSC has a contractor within 20 miles of the job site, why would they pay all those expenses for someone 500 miles away?

Look at it this way. If you need your grass cut are you going to hire someone to drive 500 miles, pay their hourly rate, tolls, hotel and per diem or are you going to hire the kid down the street for $25?

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.
@love2research wrote:

And this is how unions came to be???

No, this is NOT how unions came to be. Unions were organized for the protection of employees who lacked the ability to negotiate the terms, conditions, benefits, and pay of the jobs. Independent Contractors are not in that category.



@love2research wrote:

I NEVER EVER EVER get a job accepted that I submit with PAD. I can't imagine the company that is requesting this job to be done would think this is appropriate, that all these expenses come out of ones pocket. I searched high and low for an answer to this or some guidelines or boundaries and all I found was something written from a lawyer standpoint who worked as an independent consultant for various jobs. I know IC in all types of fields that are allowed to submit "job specific" expenses, travel time compensation, mileage, tolls, meals, hotel stays, in addition to on the road out of the office expenses needed for job completion. Why is this any different? And this is how unions came to be???

This is different, because the ICs in many fields who submit expense reports for job related expenses are those who are contractually bound to a specific contract requiring them to take assignments in distant areas, requiring them to travel. Mystery shoppers are not bound by contract to accept assignments in distant locations.

As an Independent Contractor, it is in my best interest to get the most compensation possible for my work. If I worked for TrendSource, it would be in my company's best interest to get assignments completed at the lowest possible cost. To do that, I would utilize mystery shoppers located close to the assignment whenever possible. I would "never ever ever" pay PAD unless it was absolutely the only way I could get a particular assignment completed. When a company requests a job done by a MS IC, the company does not care where the IC is located or what expenses come out of the IC's pocket. They (and I would do the same in their place) want to take the lowest bidder. The IC needs to be smart enough to determine whether a job is a viable choice, based on income/expenses, and, if it is not a viable money-maker, don't accept the assignment.
I submitted one time for just over $20. It was a combination of 4 different tolls I paid on one trip. It just came up with an additional text box asking why they were so high, and I explained that for that time of day, the route I took was best. I was not asked any further questions.
@thegov2k2 wrote:

I submitted one time for just over $20. It was a combination of 4 different tolls I paid on one trip. It just came up with an additional text box asking why they were so high, and I explained that for that time of day, the route I took was best. I was not asked any further questions.

Also true. I just found it was was easier to break tolls/parking up over multiple assignments when possible.
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