Trendsource Pricing Games

Hey all —

Has anyone noticed that Trendsource is playing major pricing games with their grocery shops?

I’m just insanely frustrated right now — I basically thought I’d “paid my dues” years ago — it got to the point where schedulers knew my rates, and texted in shops when they were available. I’d negotiated rates of between $20-40 PAD for some particular locations (coming out to around 40-60 total per location) . In fact for all of 2018 and 2019 I didn’t have to try and dicker with them once.

Then the pandemic hit... the rates went to base for simple in and out shops, which I opted not to take. Then they started the “regular” program again, and are begging me to do my previous locations — but with maybe $5-10 PAD max. Their excuse? “They are easier” — well, certainly — that’s worth about a $5 discount to me. Not 50% off my going rate or more. I consider my gas, time, routing and everything else — I usually only shop when I can clear $20 per hour after taxes and expenses.

What’s more insulting is I have a new scheduler and I will tell her what my rate is when she texts with a low all offer — then she will play the “well can you take X?” Game. I’ll tell her no, and she will disappear — and then send an obvious blast text out offering a rate even lower than the “can you take X” rate. I respond with “as I told you last hour/yesterday/whatever I’m happy to do the shop for you for X” — she then disappears, and half the time schedules me at the very last second.

I just hate repeating myself to them... I’m not magically going to drop my rates. Going away and coming back will not make me drop my rates. Asking me an hour later if I will do it for a rate even less than I was offered the hour before certainly won’t make me drop my rates. At a certain point, I will just not take the shops — and it’s at any rate lower than what I’ve offered them. The rate I’m giving them is already a nice break off my pre-pandemic rates... eg 45 instead of 59, 24 instead of 35 etc... they want in the range of 29 and 19-20 now.

I’m just irritated and ranting I know — but it just seems like a disrespectful game — especially since I had this all worked out for a number of years.

Anyone else noticed this? Is it Trendsource in general or have I just got a bad scheduler in my area now? I used to work with Samantha and Sloan and NEVER had to play this game...

N

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It's not just Trendsource. Fees are down across the board. YMMV; this is based strictly on my personal experience the last two months.

I'm willing to cut a little slack right now, as I believe the struggle is widespread.

But I KNOW in the past when I have done jobs for lower fees, no MSC wants to pay over that new, lower fee in the future. I'm hoping that does not happen now, as I am working for less than I need/want.
@ceasesmith wrote:

It's not just Trendsource. Fees are down across the board. YMMV; this is based strictly on my personal experience the last two months.

I'm willing to cut a little slack right now, as I believe the struggle is widespread.

But I KNOW in the past when I have done jobs for lower fees, no MSC wants to pay over that new, lower fee in the future. I'm hoping that does not happen now, as I am working for less than I need/want.

Yep exactly the issue — I cut them too much slack and it won’t be worth my time. But I feel a $15 break on a usually $60 job is fair enough.

On the flip side, I have other jobs that have been paying a lot more — especially if it involves doing any kind of merchandising. For example the “replenish the prepaid card” shops are usually on my 10 foot pole list — but when they are going for $30-60, that changes things smiling smiley
I don’t know where you shop @nbgmediashop, but in Southern California, we never see PAD like that. In Los Angeles, I have heard $0-$5 is the norm. I think that the highest I’ve scored lately is $15 and that was 2019.
Dru sends me email and text blasts. He’s probably annoyed or amused at my replies.
Well, Trend Source is located in California and they think that they can require you to get an EIN not realizing that we do not work under California rules.
Hi. I'm a new shopper and have done four grocery shops for this company. $9 reimbursement and $5 fee. Are these the same shops that people are getting bonuses for? If so, I'm a real chump!
I was a chump for awhile too! It's okay, you live and learn. Although, I've been asking for $5 PAD and I've been rejected so many times recently so I don't think you're missing much. However, if you're in a rural area you have a better chance of getting those $20-40 PAD. I don't think I'll be able to ask for that much.

@gladysfarfel wrote:

Hi. I'm a new shopper and have done four grocery shops for this company. $9 reimbursement and $5 fee. Are these the same shops that people are getting bonuses for? If so, I'm a real chump!
In my area, they are snapped up at base. I rarely get any PAD. They must have been desperate last weekend because I made $100 in pad for three shops over two days. That's the most I've ever seen working for them here.
Where I live The other people that used to grab all the grocery shops/ink audits must not being working.
The grocery shops have gone up to $35 after sitting on board for a couple of weeks. The ink audits have gone up to $30-$40. When they get up to that rate I take them, as I can do both the grocery and ink at the same times, as the office supply stores are either next door or a couple blocks down the street from the grocery stores.
i used to get these at $20 a shop - but after corona hit, like others, i requested PAD and was denied multiple times.

they reworked the reports and the shops are a lot easier - so i willingly grab them off the board at the standard $14 rate and create a route of 3 a day on saturdays and sundays.

it works for me because the stores are relatively close, i can get all my groceries for the week, and i can still get whatever PUA my state is giving me. i actually like grocery shopping too, so it’s win-win i guess.

in my area, the grocery shops started flying off the board - so unfortunately i probably bottomed out my own contractor rate on these by taking them at face, but that’s a bridge i’ll burn when i get to it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2020 03:09AM by charleybuddy.
There are two considerations I have not seen mentioned; the grocer client of Trendsource is definitely not a discount store. One can easily purchase the $9 in food at Aldi's for $7 or less. Secondly, I was paid the standard $5 + $9 for my first Trendsource shop in July of 2006. According to the CPI calculator, $11.13 is the amount they are now paying, minus the overcharge on food from Aldi's and we have no more than $9.13.

I do not in any manner criticize Trendsource or any shopper. The intention of this post is strictly informative.
@SoCalMama wrote:

I don’t know where you shop @nbgmediashop, but in Southern California, we never see PAD like that. In Los Angeles, I have heard $0-$5 is the norm. I think that the highest I’ve scored lately is $15 and that was 2019.
Dru sends me email and text blasts. He’s probably annoyed or amused at my replies.

I’m in the greater Washington state area — around Seattle proper it is much the same — but this client has a number of stores WAY outside of the metro — and I’m also outside of the metro, so I take advantage of sitting in shops and waiting for bonuses. I’d have many more complaints about shopping not paying enough if I didn’t. I can see how it is hard to make money if you are in a metro like LA — I’m in a sweet spot — outside the metro enough that the city metro shoppers don’t pounce for base rate, but not so far away that everything is a drive, and I can also still hit a number of “middle of nowhere” shops with great bonuses with a more reasonable hour or so drive vs 2-3 if I lived in the metro.

As for Trendsource I consistently got $15 PAD for the 3 stores closest to me, and the fourth that is a bit of a haul was $60. At some point for a month or two there must have been a new shopper up there near it because they started getting snapped up for base — For about two months — then they came back to me but the most PAD I could get was $45. After the pandemic they are trying to get 5-10 PAD max. I’m not sure if they are just being cheap, or if the client relaxed the rules a bit so they don’t HAVE to shop ALL the locations no matter the cost.

Two things really frustrate me though — 1. MSPs who get it done cheaper once or twice and the drop the price the next go round (the burger shops do this too.. if I take one earlier in the week because I’m close, the following week it doesn’t get as high as fast) and 2. Those that “include the reimbursement in the fee” — Whenever TS quotes a price, 9 bucks of that is reimbursement, it’s not a fee... as previously mentioned, these aren’t discount grocers. $9 covers a few items and that’s it. When I get $15 PAD at least I know I can grab $25 in groceries, or $40 and get a decent haul for my time.
Well it may be frustrating I would not lower my fee period. Simply state what you will do it for and don't budge. There is plenty of mscs and always other jobs. If they come back to you after denying you at a later date you should be adding to your initial fee so if you would normally do for $45 pad its now $60 pad. I don't play games I run a business to make money.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
I have had very negative experiences with TS schedulers in the past, so personally I choose not to deal with them or even PAD very often at this point. *But* I will say I had a similar experience with them a few years ago. I had a very good relationship with a scheduler who I used to do routes for with decent PAD. Then he disappeared, and his replacement wouldn't give more than literally a couple dollars per location if that. I don't know if they don't look at the past fees or don't care or what. All companies are subject to that with new schedulers, but TS is the most dramatic one that I've noticed. They also seem to have pretty high scheduler turnover too, which makes it worse.

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 smiling smiley
And, unless something has changed, the $9 reimbursement in the grocery brand near me is a purchase of at least $9 PRE-tax so after sales tax you're at $10-11. I have not bothered with them for years.

sestrahelena
@sestrahelena wrote:

And, unless something has changed, the $9 reimbursement in the grocery brand near me is a purchase of at least $9 PRE-tax so after sales tax you're at $10-11. I have not bothered with them for years.

Now it's $9 but includes sales tax so as long as your out of pocket is $9 or more, you're good.
I am new to this and start my first assignment in a day or two. My first one is Walmart Florida. What does PAD stand for.
Is your job with The Source? Please make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company if you are new to this. And make sure you never accept a job that is offered to you by an unknown company and requires you to buy gift cards.



@melsauto wrote:

I am new to this and start my first assignment in a day or two. My first one is Walmart Florida. What does PAD stand for.
@Threemom wrote:

Is your job with The Source? Please make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company if you are new to this. And make sure you never accept a job that is offered to you by an unknown company and requires you to buy gift cards.



@melsauto wrote:

I am new to this and start my first assignment in a day or two. My first one is Walmart Florida. What does PAD stand for.

No, she has a scam check. She's not doing any shopping.
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]
Good. I'm glad it got straightened out! I am obviously behind on my reading here.


@SoCalMama wrote:

@Threemom wrote:

Is your job with The Source? Please make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company if you are new to this. And make sure you never accept a job that is offered to you by an unknown company and requires you to buy gift cards.



@melsauto wrote:

I am new to this and start my first assignment in a day or two. My first one is Walmart Florida. What does PAD stand for.

No, she has a scam check. She's not doing any shopping.
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]
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