I agree as well, I just started mystery shopping about a month ago and have done a bunch of jobs for different companies and so far I have gotten 2 payments from Trendsource and no payments from anyone else. I also got paid for two grocery shops I did for them last Sunday that I got paid for 2 days later. Which makes me wonder why they can be so good about payment while other companies take 90 days to pay you.
Triple Platinum Certified - Shopping South Central Kansas
I like the reliable payments but in all honesty what happened to OP is rare. I have done shops 3 days before pay date and they took their sweet time verifying reports and missed the pay date. Or they wait until the 5th or 20th to ask you a question about a shop you have done several days before.
If payday falls on a weekend, they used to pay the weekday before but not anymore. It will be the weekday after the weekend or holiday. I do appreciate their consistency.
I love their fast payment schedule too and they seem like really nice people to work with.
On the downside, they don't offer a big variety of shops (at least where I live) and the grocery pricing shops are the WORST shops ever. I've done a few of them and I have vowed I will never do them again. The other shops they offer in my area are too low paying.
They are a nightmare. They give you a list of 50 items to find - many of which are written in abreviated code, so it takes a while just to figure out what an item IS. If you can't find the item where it would be expected to be found in the store, they expect you to look through the entire store to find it. If they do not sell the item, they want you to note what other brands are available. If they offer the item, but in a different size, you have to note that too. No matter how efficient, quick and organized you are, this shop takes at least an hour, not including report input. And then, once you are finally done submitting the report, Trendsource will question some of the prices you noted saying they are different than what others have found. Well, if they already KNOW what the prices are, why are they having you do the shop?
Way too much aggravation and headache for $7 pay and $8 reimbursement.
Even with a hefty bonus, I will never do these again.
I agree with CheeChild, I hate the shops where you have to look up prices. I have never had one of those shops where they did not question a price. If they question the price, they expect you to call or go back to the store and re-verify and it is rarely for just one item.
I believe they purposely question prices, regardless of whether or not they know they are correct, only because I have done many of these shops and not one of them went unquestioned. Plus these shops may not be paid before pay day or they will wait to question you on pay day so it is too late to submit.
It's one of those catch-22 situations, where you're not fully "engaged" until you accept and complete a shop. For me, the shop offer came via email, and after completing it, I was finally able to see the job board. At least that's how it was for me, and I'm guessing that's how they handle things in general. BTW, that first job for me was one of the audits that people have spoken negatively about. It wasn't fun, but it was ultimately worth it.
Personally, I think the love Trendsource gets is pretty over-rated. They pay on time and they're shops are fairly easy. There are numerous companies that pay ontime and as frequently as Trendsource (CRI off the top of my head ... and they even pay weekly).
At the same time, if you really think about it, Trendsource's rates are some of the lowest in the industry (just a cut above Certified's rates for comparable shops), you will be financially penalized for not submitting shops before midnight (unlike most other companies which cut some slack), they try to inflate the pay of shops by including reimbursement into the advertises shop fee (very misleading), and they rarely bonus.
Really don't understand the love this company gets from people out there. They are a very average mystery shop company to work for.
I don't like trendsource. Money is low, shoppers are like sheep. Hey, that's just what came out of my mouth....let me give it to the editor..."They are a brilliant company with great potential for shoppers who like shopping." That's better.
I hate shops who make women feel like all they do is grocery shop. Women are NOT to be catorgized this way. Off my soap box....
ps: Give me a shop to test my T-Bone that I bought and evaluate it....LOL!
There is one shop I do for TrendSource that compensates well, and that's the one I do -- every single chance I get! Every now and then, I'll do a different one, but usually only when it's en route to another appointment or shop. For me, the company is well worth it, just because of that one shop.
I have actually done the grocery pricing audits for bonus only and if they let me two lists in the same visit. I did two on 3/17 for $60 total (each list was $7pay, $15 bonus and $8 reimbursement). I was paid on 3/20 the full $60 and then a few days later I was questioned ONE price on one of the lists. I told them it was accurate and I haven't heard back.
I did three lists in February for $75 total. I don't mind them if they bring in hefty bonuses, but I will never do it for the standard $7 pay and $8 reimbursement.
Assuming we're referencing the same market, your statement is only correct IF the chain in question is your grocer of preference AND you normally purchase deli items. If though one prefers discount grocers such as Aldi's, where I've found the prices to be approx. 30^ lower, and one doesn't purchase deli food, which doesn't appeal to me, the $14 total quickly becomes less that $10.
The above reminds me of a dinner assignment from 2008. The maximum expenses were $90, but even with ordering the most expensive meals and another to take home, we were only able to spend $78; it's probable the $90 was merely a hook to assure completion.
> I just added up the regular (not audit) shops I've
> done, and I was pleased to see that it has
> amounted to $150 worth of free groceries.
And when you add up the fuel you spent driving to each of these grocery stores, you probably wouldn't be quite as pleased.
I do a lot of a different chain (and different MSP) and find it is very productive. I have found a respectable deli product that I can buy 1/4# of (the 'normal' portion for a good sandwich) for $1. That still leaves me plenty to do my shopping. These are not shops you do as orphan shops and most frequently I have the ice chest in the back seat with cooler packs so I can do my rounds. Yes, it is almost the most expensive grocery store in the area, but shopping specials and loss leaders, using coupons and gosh, getting back about 95% of what I spend on groceries, I hardly care if they are the cheapest or most expensive place in town! My pantry stays full, as do both refrigerators and their freezer compartments. What is not to love? The $160 in groceries this month was about a third fresh fruits and veggies, a third meat/protein and the rest was mostly household products such as garbage bags, bath tissue etc. Unreimbursed groceries for March is under $20 for the two of us. I'm sure that if I only shopped steaks and prepared foods the reimbursements would not go nearly so far, but I love to cook and feel a little queasy when I read the labels on most prepared foods.
Actually, the store I do IS one of my grocers of preference, and it's not deli-oriented at all. I spend plenty of money there on my own dime.
As far as gas, for two of the locations I do most frequently, I walk. I occasionally do other locations which are further away, and the small fee on top of the reimbursement covers my transportation cost. That said, generally, I will add on another shop in the same area to defray the cost.
I think we're talking about different stores. Bottom line is, I shop at this store frequently, so I don't mind mystery shopping as I'm doing my regular shopping.
Yup. And certainly having groceries reimbursed is one of those lovely helps to the household economy whether it is your favorite store or not. Obviously shoppers in my area recognize their value as the shops go fast.