Devaluing Mystery Shopping To A Ridiculous Extreme.

JASFLALMT, there are 2 different MSC's in my area that have oil changes on their boards right now. They are both with the same client for the same amount. I am sure you are signed up with both the MSC's. Maybe if they are not in your area right now, they are coming.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

I need an oil change but haven't seen any in my area lately...bummer. I haven't paid for an oil change in about 17 years.

@MFJohnston wrote:

I'll do reimbursement-only shops if it is for something I was going to purchase anyhow. Then, it's just as good as money. I need to do oil change about every two months. Since I need to do it anyhow, why not get it reimbursed for a short report?

@samshopper wrote:

This is also why I won't do reimbursement only shops. Especially ones that are capped. The MSP is most likely getting full reimbursement (not capped) and making a decent profit margin for not paying the shoppers.

Shopping Arkansas, Louisiana, & Mississippi.

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I’ve always been able to find an oil change when I need one.

I usually see oil changes for the big national place — it’s split between MSC’s (that are Sassie). This time one of those two MSC’s also had dealer oil changes as well — bigger reimbursement by $20 over the big chain and I usually get synthetic so that was nice. I used to use that dealer often (and they take all brands of cars since they are trying to do an quick serve type concept now)... so I went there.

There’s also a video shop that always pops up for oil changes at another smaller chain of the quick change places but I haven’t tried it yet — but it’s an option.
True story. I need $50 to meet my goal. I need the money no later than 03/31/2019. Here is how I "found" the money:

- fifty dollars minus thirty five dollars [skip one salon manicure/tip] = fifteen dollars.

- fifteen dollars minus one local shop [probably a ff but who knows] = zero dollars.

Am I bad?

Praying is work. - Mother Angelica
Well since no one named any clients, it wouldn't be wrong of you to name the MSCs.

Previously I have done oil changes in my area for Service Sleuths, Intellishop, Circle of Service, and IPSOS (mostly for the Sassie companies, though). I know Bestmark used to do some dealer service shops but I don't have the right vehicle for those (if they even still have them). I am signed up with about 100 MSCs and none of them have posted any oil change shops over the past couple of months in my region.
HS Brands = Service Sleuths...you are on the other side of the country from me. Thank you though!
Agreed.. I remember some time ago, doing those oh so fun mall audits for $20-$30... nearly fell off my chair when I saw it is now at $7... um, Im not spending my whole day at a mall, asking a bunch of "hey Im a mystery shopper" questions to mall staff for $7. But clearly, someone is. Very sad.
Of course... Have you checked KSS? They have a slew advertised for me - that are not showing up on the actual MSC's job board....

@JASFLALMT wrote:

HS Brands = Service Sleuths...you are on the other side of the country from me. Thank you though!

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
That was a great idea. I just looked, and there is an investment shop but no oil changes...hopefully something will pop up soon. Thanks again!
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I need an oil change but haven't seen any in my area lately...bummer. I haven't paid for an oil change in about 17 years.

Maritz has a recent boatload.
Thank you. It's amazing how different regions can be in the shop offerings, isn't it? They do have some dealership sales shops I am thinking about, I appreciate the tip.
Yes, it is. I see them in and around Dallas, Charlotte, Omaha, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Tampa and New York City. I have learned on this forum about retailers I had no clue about.
Frontline Shoppers right now but the car place is not American so they may not have any for you.
Not saying the name and it is not listed above but I see super bonuses on mine.


@JASFLALMT wrote:

Well since no one named any clients, it wouldn't be wrong of you to name the MSCs.

Previously I have done oil changes in my area for Service Sleuths, Intellishop, Circle of Service, and IPSOS (mostly for the Sassie companies, though). I know Bestmark used to do some dealer service shops but I don't have the right vehicle for those (if they even still have them). I am signed up with about 100 MSCs and none of them have posted any oil change shops over the past couple of months in my region.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

So the car place is not American or the car make is not American? I am in the US...

The place where you would get an oil change is not American. I can't say much more than that without giving the name of the client away.
I will sometimes do low or no pay shops for companies that are new to me. It helps me to get insight into how they communicate and their writing style.

Some of my biggest bonuses come from companies that try to skate by cheap at the beginning. It doesn't affect me if someone else does it before the end of the month.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2019 08:53PM by 1cent.
Confero has a ton listed in my area.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

Well since no one named any clients, it wouldn't be wrong of you to name the MSCs.

Previously I have done oil changes in my area for Service Sleuths, Intellishop, Circle of Service, and IPSOS (mostly for the Sassie companies, though). I know Bestmark used to do some dealer service shops but I don't have the right vehicle for those (if they even still have them). I am signed up with about 100 MSCs and none of them have posted any oil change shops over the past couple of months in my region.

Job listing sites; [www.msjobboard.com] - Shopmetrics; [www.mystshopsol.com]; [www.jobslinger.com] - Sassie; [www.volition.com] - Various links; [www.mspa-na.org] -MSPA Members; link at bottom of forum page to their extensive list of companies
It seems to me there are many shoppers out there who cannot write well enough or feel they cannot and who only do the easy check the boxes shops that often pay less. If a client wants to spend less but still have a mystery shop program they will contract for that type of shop. Evidently it serves what ever their needs are since these programs sometimes run for years. We cannot, as shoppers, imagine some of these to be helpful to the client but then we have no idea why the client is doing these. Perhaps it is important to their shareholders or board of directors that they have a mystery shop program but the board or shareholders do not even look at the detail that comes out of it. There could be many reasons a client might choose that sort of shop and pay a low ball amount. And evidently there are lots of shoppers who choose those shops. If this is not you then move on to the more lucrative ones. Where I have an issue is with the low paying shops that require multiple narratives and a full fledged discussion with a salesperson. Those shops should not be paying rock bottom.
As a comparison, perhaps in my mind only, I see ads thrown in my face all the time to buy meals at places where I think the food is inferior and costs more than a good meal at my favorite restaurants. Those places I do not eat at have a following. I cannot figure out why people would eat there but they do. I do not want to see their ads everywhere but it comes with life. Ads for mystery shops you do not want to do also come with life as a mystery shopper. So just move on and ignore them. Evidently there are enough people willing to do them for whatever reason to get the contract fulfilled.It might require them to pay more for a small percentage of locations. If no one every took those shops the fee would go up but others are willing to take them.
@ngbmediashop wrote:

@boridi wrote:

@ngbmediashop wrote:

Yet — rather than notice the price point at which I do them, that I’m a reliable shopper, and say “Hey! I have a ton of these to get done again — would you like your route that you did for $XX each last time?”, they spam me to do them at base rate for a month
If you're referring to JITB, I get emails that say exactly that: "Want to do the same location again for $<bonused amount>?"

I usually get those as well at the end of periods — in my case the most recent e-mail I received was to do the same ones I did yesterday — for $2 less each. Nope!

I was referring in general to the way these are priced — I get tons of emails from the schedulers over the course of a period begging me to do previous ones I’ve done... but they only offer $5... then 7... then 9... then some are 9 and some are 11... 14... 15... obviously tons are still sitting. I just did 40 over 2 days between 17 and 20 each. 15 is the magic number for my closer ones — once it’s 17 and 20 I’ll make a weekend out of it.

My point is... if they are that desperate, and know what my rate is, why play the game? If I was able to plan these easier, I’d actually be able to hit a number of their extremely hard to fill ones that I know they always miss.[/quo



I have five locations within a five mile radius, and $12 is my minimum, with $15 being the highest they've offered so far. Recently, they have been messaging me to do shops outside of my area. Today, I received a $20 offer, which is the highest yet, but the location is a 2.5 hour drive, round trip. Also, there is a new "rule", stating that only one location can be done for that price.

I live in a semi rural area, and the max offered, as prices increase on the job board, is lower than the larger cities. I don't understand why the same shop maxes out at $10 on the job board here, but will reach $14, or more, in LA and other large cities. I once asked for a higher bonus to do the five local shops, plus another seven or so outside my area. I was told, at the time, that they couldn't go over the $12 they were offering. A few days later, they emailed me, and asked me to do them for $14, but I had already filled in my schedule, and couldn't fit them in.

I agree that it would save a lot of time if they would just offer the jobs at the price they know I'll accept, instead of sending the endless emails they send for base pay.
Why should you make more for a job because your doing a route, pay is pay, work is work...yes, I shop part-time, does that make me lesser needed than a shopper working full time. Video shopping is not allowed in CA, and I never cared to do it. Standards should be set for all, grocery prices have gone up due to the new tariff;s as has everything, why not shoppers, we are making less due to this alone. Having no one ever speak up for us would be a sad commentary on our entire industry. Prices going down in an economy where everything is rising needs to be addressed. Perhaps a new shopper will start at a lower price to learn the business, then he/she should expect more, so please don't tell me Isaish to not complain, I am doing the same quality work I have done over the years, why should I expect to be paid half price?

Live consciously....
Well for the newbies, let me give you a little insight into mystery shopping. I've been mystery shopping since 1991, so I would say I've seen alot through the years. First, mystery shopping companies bid/contract with the client usually on an annual basis. High bid is not the way it works. The low bidder on the contract is the winner, thus; resulting in low fees paid to shoppers. Second, a variety of people mystery shop: college students, parents who are employed full-time, but supplement their income by mystery shopping and yes seniors. Now seniors may or may not be unemployed, but it's usually their choice. Seniors have earned their Social Security and pension income and usually mystery shop to stay busy. So, just because you may rely on mystery shopping to be your only source of income or your aren't getting enough in your disability check because you have never worked a day in your life, don't be critical of those who have paid their dues and are enjoying retirement. Third, if you are shopping for fees offered, you are totally stupid. I don't do a shop unless I get the fee I ASK for from the mystery shopping company. I don't need them, but they need me and will have to pay my ASKING fee for me to complete the shop which is completed in a totally professional manner, within the guidelines and detailed in writing. Finally, if you are so critical on mystery shopping, maybe you should get off your butt and flip burgers at a burger joint. Who knows, maybe you will be shopped by me someday.
Well for the newbies, let me give you a little insight into mystery shopping. I've been mystery shopping since 1991, so I would say I've seen alot through the years. First, mystery shopping companies bid/contract with the client usually on an annual basis. High bid is not the way it works. The low bidder on the contract is the winner, thus; resulting in low fees paid to shoppers. Second, a variety of people mystery shop: college students, parents who are employed full-time, but supplement their income by mystery shopping and yes seniors. Now seniors may or may not be unemployed, but it's usually their choice. Seniors have earned their Social Security and pension income and usually mystery shop to stay busy. So, just because you may rely on mystery shopping to be your only source of income or your aren't getting enough in your disability check because you have never worked a day in your life, don't be critical of those who have paid their dues and are enjoying retirement. Third, if you are shopping for fees offered, you are totally stupid. I don't do a shop unless I get the fee I ASK for from the mystery shopping company. I don't need them, but they need me and will have to pay my ASKING fee for me to complete the shop which is completed in a totally professional manner, within the guidelines and detailed in writing. Finally, if you are so critical on mystery shopping, maybe you should get off your butt and flip burgers at a burger joint. Who knows, maybe you will be shopped by me someday.
Be careful which MSC you do your oil change for. I waited 87 days to be paid for my last oil change.
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