The Source Business Inspections

My fellow shoppers, I would like your opinions both pro and con regarding the business observations and inspections for The Source. Note that The Source was formally Trendsource. Specifically interested in your opinions about pay, time allocated to each shop etc. Thank in advance for your opinions.

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Basic business inspections are not particularly hard to do with the app. Time spent is usually less than 20 minutes for the business inspection (not including drive time). Several inspections such as Scope E require much more time and detail. Trendsource pays more for this type of inspection but the pay was decreased several years ago. Some require inside and outside measurements plus a lot of pictures. I tend to avoid these because I do not want to measure a variety of individual rooms. The exterior (scope D) are simple and not difficult and are close to what a business inspection pays.
The I-9 visits are easy but pay is low.
The company will consider PAD requests.
I love these. I always ask for PAD. The time on site is typically 30 minutes. Most of the clients have been through the process before, so they know what to do.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I decided to mostly retire my mystery shopping shoes. I realized, despite the fact that I enjoy writing, I really disliked writing a lot of narrative, so I almost exclusively do field inspections. I like visiting various businesses, mostly small ones, because it allows me to have a small peek at how businesses run. Plus, it was my ray of hope that there were still functional businesses during the pandemic and my outlet for getting out during the lockdowns and being around people. I have to hand it to Trendsource that during the lockdowns, they eventually introduced virtual inspections. When the shelter in place orders expired, they encourage inspectors to wear a mask and use hand sanitzer.

Inspections work for me because it is mostly yes/no, multiple choice questions with barely any open ended questions. If people are prepared, you can be in and out in 20-30 minutes. Half the questions can be answered by observation. Pretty easy work for $17-19. Most of the contacts have been happy to have me because they really need the inspection to use whatever service they applied for. Out of every 25 inspections, I might 1 or 2 that have been gruff or impatient with the process. What can be dicey is whoever does the QA. Sometimes, I think I have taken a clear picture or explained myself well enough, but it gets kicked back. I answer back right away and that's the end of it. There was only one time where there was a lot of back of forth on one assignment, but it eventually was accepted and paid.

On occasion, I do the property inspections. I used to dislike the covert ones because I never wanted to be confronted by someone asking what I was doing taking pictures (although if that happens, you can just give them the authorization letter). Now, I've learned to go to those businesses outside of business hours while it's still daylight. I've done the repo inspections and the $40 inspections, but haven't had enough desire to do what it takes to do the $70 ones.

They do pay on time like clockwork on the 5th and 20th of the month. I've been starting to ask for PAD for when I have to do inspections outside of my county and, most of the time, am approved. I only do the bordering ones. I've learned that if I do the ones that are two or more counties away, it takes more time to drive out to the inspection than to actually conduct it.

Inspections kept me employed during my time of transitioning to a different metropolitan area and during the pandemic, so I am grateful to them. I could go on and on about why I like them, but I'll stop here. But I know everyone has their level of comfortability with certain assignments. I don't do the grocery shops anymore because it's not worth the $14 to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2020 03:18PM by iharris.
Thank you for the above information. I also will not do the grocery audits.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2020 08:51PM by Barry C.
Before I add my comments, I fired this MSC last year for violating the "three strikes" rule. To their credit, it did take 13+ years, but for me a violation is a violation.

Receiving my money was never a problem, it was when a hitch on an assignment popped-up, and my attempts to explain the situation evolved into talking to a wall. On number two, as an example, the shop required a pic of the street address. The eatery had recently purchased vacant land next day and constructed a new building; for whatever reason, no one had placed an address anywhere, I notified Trendsource, only to receive a pasting of the guidelines concerning a pic. I made two more attempts and received the same response before I cancelled the job.

Their business model is to pay both quickly and reliably, BUT, IMHO, they are usually bottom payers.
Their QA people can sometimes be picky, but I have never not been paid for an assignment, even if I was missing a crucial pic or one was too blurry to see the detail they wanted. They answer fairly quickly, for me at least. I reach them more easily by email, although I have been able to reach them by phone occasionally.

Forums like these are helpful because it shows people can have different experiences with the same company.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2020 08:00PM by iharris.
To each his own. From reading a previous thread, I found out that they used to pay way more than $17-19 per inspection, but I'll take that over a shop where I have to spend an hour or more just on the report. In fact, I just did an inspection today and the total time it took, including the driving, questionnaire, and finishing up the report, was about an hour, so I think that was pretty fair.
I find they don't like anything that doesn't go exactly according to the inspection form. It seems like everyone I do comes back asking for clarification even though it's clearly explained in the report. For example, I keep getting asked for shredding and file cabinet photos when the client is 100% digital and has no paper.
You have to ask for PAD.

@claabe wrote:

Fair Pay ?????????????? Not really !!!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Yes, indeed.

I'm a route shopper, and many's the time I have anchored a profitable route around a $75-$175 inspection.

@claabe wrote:

Fair Pay ?????????????? Not really !!!
@claabe wrote:

Fair Pay ?????????????? Not really !!!

There are several companies out there that only pay you $3-$5 to an inspection.
Now that's not fair pay!
I did business inspections for this company several years ago. Do they still require you to get a background check at your own expense?
Yes, they do but since it is required for you to work it is a write-off.

@tigerdave wrote:

I did business inspections for this company several years ago. Do they still require you to get a background check at your own expense?
And the expense is minimal, and IIRC, is good for three years.

I recently did the more extensive background check, and it cost nothing.
Can anyone explain the property inspections where you don't step foot on the property? I'm picturing Bubba walking out with his shotgun demanding to know what I'm doing.

What about the business inspection where you draw a sketch (but measuring not required)? Do you do a drawing on paper? Are these otherwise basically the same as the regular ones?
I prefer the covert property inspections that are businesses because I go outside of business hours during the daylight. I've done the house ones with no problems, but I don't get a lot of those in my area.

As far as the sketch, I do mine in Paint.
I had a confrontation with a Bubba while performing a street view photo verification job. This jerk came charging after me threatening me while I was on public property. Imagine a 36 year old man charging a 60+ year old grandmother ! I called 911 and police kept him occupied listening to his litany of how unfair life has been to him...I completed the job and never performed another. In these perilous times we need to take into consideration how many Bubba's there are walking among us. Nope. Not worth it.
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