Trend Source and Their Insulting Grocery Shop Offers

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@rothers27 wrote:

It is a bit insulting when someone is trying to convince you to do work for $14, offers no mileage, and also won't pay you for at least 30 days. Minimum wage is about $8. So if you are getting paid $5 (reimbursement does not count because that is not your money, you can say "Well I'd buy it anyway" but the fact of the matter is the only money that is freely yours is the $5.00), is WAY below minimum wage. Ridiculous. Some people say, "Well, buy really cheap stuff, like spend 8 cents on a hot pepper" REALLY? I don't want that though, I don't want to buy it. I'm forced to have to invent ways to keep money because I'm not getting paid enough in the front end. In any case, I would be insulted. And even if I wasn't insulted, if you felt insulted that's valid. No one should tell you how you should feel.

Also, I'm probably the cheapest person on this whole board, but I would still pay someone $14 to NOT do this shop. That's how much it sounds like it sucks. I can buy groceries for the week at ALDI for less than that and there is no report, and more groceries.

What reality are you living in and can I join...you say you can buy groceries for a week for less than $14.00 at Aldi's, not believing that one, but it sounds good.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
@Traveliz wrote:

Love these shops too. My husband and I both do them and do a ton of them. He is taking a new job in another area and is concerned about the effect of not having these shops available to him. Seriously he considered how well he fares food wise when he talked salary with the new position. I will not be following him for awhile so will still be doing them. Love them.

I'm so with you Liz, I figure 2 grand a year for food, paper goods and allergy meds isn't a bad gig....I like to eat well, and get reimbursed , yes for me....and for the rest, sick of defending, just don't do them, more for me.....

Liz

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
I haven't had any experience with either but I know workers who were on my payroll made big deals out of hours given because of benefits being raised or lowered etc. I did read a little on the Google Box and it seems that there are a ton of criteria that make you eligible for the disability section. Blindness/partial blindness, loss of limb, cognitive impairment, and in some states psychology difficulties like bi-polar and depression. etc and it read like it was funded from a different source than Social Security -- general treasury. Ah well. I shall cross this bridge when I come to it, but definitely good info to store. I'm almost 40 years from the eligibility age for SS but once I get there, it will probably be 77 or nonexistent.

The pay part is definitely subjective. I do some bank shops for $20 that I'm comfortable doing for that price range. They'll start out at $8-$12 and when I see $20, I am alright with doing them. Other shoppers wouldn't touch a bank inquiry shop for less than $40-$50.

I don't even mind the $2-$3 phone shops that record me if the call is quick enough and the report is short. I sat one day and did 53 phone calls at $3 each. The more calls I made and submitted, the more the scheduler sent to my inbox (I applied to a bunch for the week) Each took 2-3 minutes each for the call and I could use my computers touch screen to select the bubbles as the people spoke to me.

I'll do a restaurant shop for $10 if it's a fast report. Some shoppers set themselves at $25.

Car dealerships... I don't want to touch them... but if there's $75-$150 on the table, I'll suck it up and do them. I see them get picked up at $14-$17.

I used to be okay with $25 pay on a service shop until I encountered a couple of the worst garages and longest wait times. Now I try to wait it out to $50-$75 plus service paid.

Pizza shops -- I'm alright with just getting a free pizza now and again and love when they actually hit a $5-$10 bonus. Some shoppers won't grab them for less than $25.

ETA: Postal shops -- I don't mind a nice $12-$18 shop. Some shoppers ignore these as being pointless unless they are already mailing. I take the opportunity to mail to a food bank or I'll send grandma something. Last week she got 3 cans of mini ravioli's. I got paid $28 a post office because it was rural.

MegglesKat


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2017 04:27PM by MountainCacher88.
At first I hated these shops and only picked up a few here and there. Now I shop 12-14 locations every 2 weeks in my area. All of these are near where I live or on the way home from work. I try to only buy $12 of groceries at each shop so that I can profit a little bit and also because it can be hard to find enough things to buy when you are doing so many shops.
I just told a scheduler that I'm giving up on these shops. I just cannot get that grid correct for some reason! And I've been cooking for 40+ years - I KNOW how to grill shrimp for gosh sakes. I guess some shops are better suited for me. This particular client is not. I love my other big grocery shop and do all those I can - and they bonus well at times. I feel the frustration of the OP.

Susie shopping the Columbus Ohio area and outlying communities.
For some added perspective here, we need to remember that even though all of us are talking about the same parent company, we are not all talking the same brand. The parent has many, many brands, and they offer a fairly standard survey, including the same questions, and the same "grid". However, in my region, the "brand" is a 150,000 square foot variety store that includes not only a large grocery department, but also floral, jewelry, home, garden, apparel, electronics, and more. I still have to cover the whole store with the grid, but I also get to ask questions in the additional departments. The pay is $12 with $9 reimbursement. I have three other chains that MS around here. Each of them is 1/3 the size, and each offers more money. I don't hate TS, but it is much easier for me to shop the other stores in my area. I never shop this brand without a large bonus.
Northfork Research has a very large regional chain of grocery/variety stores that I shop here in Ohio. Their report is so reasonable and they pay okay with frequent bonuses.

Susie shopping the Columbus Ohio area and outlying communities.
I just received my payment a day early, as tomorrow is Saturday, so instead of waiting until Monday, The Source paid me early.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
@Lucy88 wrote:

Northfork Research has a very large regional chain of grocery/variety stores that I shop here in Ohio. Their report is so reasonable and they pay okay with frequent bonuses.
I had signed with them years ago (10) and never saw anything in my area....just checked and updated profile to find a nice shop where I'll be tomorrow, was able to self-assign, so thanks for the reminder.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2017 03:24PM by Irene_L.A..
I guess it really just depends on the person. I have shops that paid $100 but the report was so long and the revisions were so aggravating that I would never accept them again. On the other hand I have half a dozen of these stores within 10 miles of my house and I can knock out several in an hour or two.

I would rather spend five or ten minutes in the store for 15 or 20 bucks than to get paid a higher amount and be stuck at the business forever or reporting forever. As for my house we haven't paid for groceries in 6 months so I'm pretty happy.

I simply make my grocery list for the week like everyone does and when I go to the store I pick up the first three or four items on the list and when it gets close to the reimbursement I cut it off and pick my list back up at the next store. By the time I hit all of my stores I've usually gotten everything on my list. It's pretty awesome for me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2017 10:15PM by MysteryMaven.
When I do the TS shop, I go into an acting role. I am having a party! smiling smiley I need items in the bakery, deli and meat department. It's actually interesting to listen to the different ideas the store associates present. I would have to say on average, they really do care and will go into great detail about the different items. I know walking in the store, what I will be paid. You won't ever get rich working for TS and their pay is lower---- their PAD is scarce (hard to get) but go inside the store and get some of the items you were going to buy anyway. smiling smiley
I recently did an announced inspection and audit for trendsource that was basically designed to see if an office/business/law office/bail bonds office/etc. had safeguards in place to protect serious personal information in client files that included things like credit history, financial assets, criminal history, income, etc. This type of inspection is an important safeguard to protect against fraud and identity theft. It is amazing to me that the base pay for this type of inspection is $17! I spent 45 minutes at the location and 30 minutes entering in the report. This does not include driving time and the time studying before going to the location. At best, this pays $10 an hour.

It is sad that the security of the personal identity of thousands of people relies on the professionalism and thoroughness of someone barely making minimum wage. And someone that trendsource has never met in person. They did do a basic background check on me before I was approved to do this, but they still don't know me from a hill of beans. This isn't checking on whether or not a cashier smiled and a burger was fresh; this is much more important.

(Note: the location I audited was 150 miles round trip, and I was able to negotiate an $83 bonus)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 03:16AM by thunderdeacon.
That is very true, thunderdeacon. I haven't done these because of the seriousness and time to pay ratio. When they ask me or send me the emails I've told them I can't afford the learning curve right now. These seem like at least $30 audits to me. How embarrassing for them, the client and the company/person being audited that they are sending in someone that barely makes minimum wage and all that goes with it. Their training shows someone in a suit, nice outfit doesn't it? How do you afford the professional clothes, professionalism and equipment at that pay rate? I'm sure they're being paid a couple of hundred for each of these. If I ever did take them, the most they would get from me at the location is 11 minutes!
I do these business Verification jobs as well, but only in my town within 5or 6 miles (no freeway driving). I enjoy these jobs, but yes, pay is very low for time and knowledge involved, and all the photo's you have to take. This is really serious work and I think worth 30.00, but....The company has many positives, but low pay.. I have never had a pad. They sent me an email to do a job and I asked for a 5.00 pad and the job was sitting days later, I didn't get it. The good outweighs the bad for me because they have a lot of jobs in my town, and pay quickly. They also are the nicest people to work with and I hate to wait for reimbursement..

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
I've done lots and lots of these shops. They can be a pain if you can't find anyone to speak with, but overall, I love them. I moved to a smaller town and there aren't any of these shops here so only when I go visit another city can I do some more of these.
I live out in the middle of nowhere, and there are not a ton of shoppers out here. I always ask for PAD, but I only end up doing about one shop per month for trendsource because of the relative lack of available shops.

This inspection was so much different than anything else I had ever done in this business. This almost seemed like something that should be carried out by a government regulatory agency, or at least someone with more extensive training. Not someone who randomly signed up and is going to get paid minimum wage.


@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I do these business Verification jobs as well, but only in my town within 5or 6 miles (no freeway driving). I enjoy these jobs, but yes, pay is very low for time and knowledge involved, and all the photo's you have to take. This is really serious work and I think worth 30.00, but....The company has many positives, but low pay.. I have never had a pad. They sent me an email to do a job and I asked for a 5.00 pad and the job was sitting days later, I didn't get it. The good outweighs the bad for me because they have a lot of jobs in my town, and pay quickly. They also are the nicest people to work with and I hate to wait for reimbursement..
I agree that it is laughable that they expect someone to dress so formally, professionally make calls to set up a time to do the audit (must be done in four hours, no less!), actually be free when the client is free, do a thorough and professional inspection of different types of sites including people's homes, fill out a relatively long report that requires subjective observations of the client's behavior and mental state, and protect the personal identity of citizens for $17. This is not a $30 audit. I have decided that I will not consider doing this for less than $50, and that's assuming it is close to home.

@spicy1 wrote:

That is very true, thunderdeacon. I haven't done these because of the seriousness and time to pay ratio. When they ask me or send me the emails I've told them I can't afford the learning curve right now. These seem like at least $30 audits to me. How embarrassing for them, the client and the company/person being audited that they are sending in someone that barely makes minimum wage and all that goes with it. Their training shows someone in a suit, nice outfit doesn't it? How do you afford the professional clothes, professionalism and equipment at that pay rate? I'm sure they're being paid a couple of hundred for each of these. If I ever did take them, the most they would get from me at the location is 11 minutes!
I had one I had to return 3 times (unusual) because the client kept wanting more pictures. Lots of detail, think next time, I'm asking for pad....problem here is they get taken without pad, many shoppers in my town.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
I do my local grocery stores (there are tons of the large chain surrounding me) many times per month, at least 6-10. I love them and will sometimes do them for reimbursement only, but most times get a nice fee along with the reimbursement of $10.50. With that being said, we don't have the TS brands up north, but when I visited my sons in SC I did one. YIKES, it took me forever. In fact, if I remember correctly, I was asked why I was in the store for so long. I was totally thrown for a loop by it. But that was probably because I was not familiar with the store to start with. I think I made it harder than it was. I thought I had to have all the names and all the interactions, descriptions etc. I made a lot of circles around the store and by the time I finished I was a mess. I chalk it up to first time shop in unfamiliar store. You Southerners might feel the same way about my favorite grocery store. I still don't know if I would attempt it again though.

*****************************************************************************
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around....What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?
I imagine that the shopping environment is universally different in L.A. than it is here in rural western Oklahoma.
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

@Lucy88 wrote:

Northfork Research has a very large regional chain of grocery/variety stores that I shop here in Ohio. Their report is so reasonable and they pay okay with frequent bonuses.
I had signed with them years ago (10) and never saw anything in my area....just checked and updated profile to find a nice shop where I'll be tomorrow, was able to self-assign, so thanks for the reminder.

I grabbed two for tomorrow. Both had a $12 bonus. One is 1 mile from home. The other is 5 miles from home and 500 yards from another shop I had scheduled.
If you don't think a job is worth it, then don't do it...

Absolutely no one is forcing your hand...

Quit complaining...

Werd to Big Bird...
Different strokes for different folks. There are some shops I do that other shoppers think don't pay enough to bother with. There are shops others take that I wouldn't be willing to walk next door to do. If you don't feel a shop is worth it, don't do it. But posting your disapproval on a forum and calling certain shops "insulting" insults other shoppers who may take those shops regularly. Take the shops that appeal to you. Don't take the shops that do not. Don't denigrate others who may have different standards than you do.
NoobNeutralizers..........There's a pill for that.

The OP's point was obviously not "denigrating others', nor do I think that the op was talking about the standards that other people have as much as the crap fee that is paid for these extensive assignments.

I know that as soon as the "If you don't like it, don't do it" mindless, passive-aggressive, elementary-school type of responses start coming from people who don't have anything to add or can't think of anything to say start coming is when that thread starts to close because people stop responding. I would like to see that behavior stops on this forum.

Then again I have high standards because I would like a fast food worker to ask me if I want to make that a combo, a Deli Associate to ask me if I want a sample, a Car Salesperson to ask me for the sale, an appliance rep to narrow down their recommendation and a cell phone rep to provide a demonstration....please!
"If you don't like it, don't do it" isn't passive-aggressive. It's a freedom statement. I don't do the grocery shops, either, because I don't find it's worth my time. But I don't tell other shoppers that they are "being played for a fool" (OP's last sentence) because they do the shops. Obviously, many folks benefit from the shops and enjoy them. The grocery shops don't have anything to do with appliance shops or any of the others that you mentioned. We all want better service, but of the 4 scenarios you mentioned at the end of your post, I only do 2 of them. For the other 2, my philosophy is "I don't like them, so I don't do them." Not passive-aggressive, just enjoying the freedom and perks of being an IC.
Since these stores require 30 minutes inside the store, how do you knock out several in an hour or two?

@MysteryMaven wrote:

I guess it really just depends on the person. I have shops that paid $100 but the report was so long and the revisions were so aggravating that I would never accept them again. On the other hand I have half a dozen of these stores within 10 miles of my house and I can knock out several in an hour or two.

I would rather spend five or ten minutes in the store for 15 or 20 bucks than to get paid a higher amount and be stuck at the business forever or reporting forever. As for my house we haven't paid for groceries in 6 months so I'm pretty happy.

I simply make my grocery list for the week like everyone does and when I go to the store I pick up the first three or four items on the list and when it gets close to the reimbursement I cut it off and pick my list back up at the next store. By the time I hit all of my stores I've usually gotten everything on my list. It's pretty awesome for me.
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