Trendsource contacting me for shops two hours away

The schedulers at Trendsource don't seem to understand geography. They keep contacting me for business inspections that are nearly two hours from my house. Do they actually think I'll do it for a $10 PAD fee?

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Mister Bill, if you live in a place with not many competing Agents, ask for a fair pay.

Mine starts at $175 for those inspections two hours away. To me, that's fair pay for prepping, copying, driving, and reporting. Others may think that's too little (I'm leaning that way myself, with the recent increase in gas prices!).

I got that e-mail today for one four hours away. I told them I might consider it for $250, but probably not, as a four-hour drive may mean I wouldn't make it home the same day. Plus $70 of that would go straight for gas, so what's left would be borderline acceptable just for 8 hours of driving. Of course, the mileage deduction making all the $250 non-taxable affects my computation, too.

(If anyone bothering to read this is close to Rapid City, SD, Trendsource wants you!)

(The ones two hours away, I can usually route some other shops to go with, so it makes a mini-route that turns out to be quite profitable. On a four-hour drive, my physical limitations mean I really can't do other assignments -- I'm just too exhausted.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2021 02:58AM by ceasesmith.
In my case at least some shops are on Long Island and I'm sure they have plenty of shoppers closer than I am. I've also gotten emails for shops in Pennsylvania.
They seem to have a newer person with a lack of geographical knowledge. I, too, received an offer last night to do a revealed inspection for $10 pad, for a six hour drive to a major city where I am sure they have shoppers. I have also received offers from this person with just a city I have never heard of. When I asked what state it was in, there was no reply.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2021 09:11AM by mjt9598.
I'm getting them from more than one person, both texts and emails. And what's really annoying about the emails is that they have a really useful (not) subject line, like "Trendsource" or something with their shop number in it, but not the actual location. You need to open the email to figure out where it is, and it's not always at the very start.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2021 02:09PM by MisterBill.
Don't let them try to be a push over with you in regards to the fee. I remember one time years ago they have a major grocery store chain as a client and couldn't get this one specific store covered out in the middle of Montana. I made a deal with them, and they actually paid for my flight, rental car and gas and hotel room for the night just to visit this one store. :I even received quite a nice pay for that one shop too.

But let's not forget, Trendsource is the same company that tried to pin shoppers with each other when they tried out that horrible bidding system where instead of the higher bidder win, it was the lower bidder that one. Many shoppers including myself pretty much disowned them when they did that. Now I don't even bother looking at their emails of logging in to check my account for the poverty pay they are offering shoppers.
Always request PAD.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Always request PAD.
I always do, but there's a limit to how far I will travel. And it doesn't seem like there is a way to set the distance limit they contact you for.
The PAD system remains a mystery. However, one distant shop now consistently pays decently with PAD for me. And, they raised the pay by a few bucks. This is extremely helpful because their shop is situated in an area that features few other assignments along the way and nearby.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time. - John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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I live in Nebraska; NE.

More than one scheduler believes NE means "North East".

smiling smiley

Heck, with my Nebraska plates, I was stopped by a border guard at US/Mexico border and asked if "that" (Nebraska) was in the United States.

This was by an American guard on the US side of the border.

I told my neighbor I was going to New Mexico to visit a friend, and she asked me why in the world I wanted to visit a foreign country.

Ignorance is rife.

smiling smiley

@mjt9598 wrote:

They seem to have a newer person with a lack of geographical knowledge. I, too, received an offer last night to do a revealed inspection for $10 pad, for a six hour drive to a major city where I am sure they have shoppers. I have also received offers from this person with just a city I have never heard of. When I asked what state it was in, there was no reply.
@MisterBill wrote:

The schedulers at Trendsource don't seem to understand geography. They keep contacting me for business inspections that are nearly two hours from my house. Do they actually think I'll do it for a $10 PAD fee?

I left them 4 years ago since I got fed up of doing the quotes based on industry norms, and being shot down.

I think the final straw for me was they wanted me to quotes for 4 stores that were over 2 hours from me, one quote per store. When everyone knew I could've dropped the price if I made all four stores one big circuit.
@OldDog wrote:

I left them 4 years ago since I got fed up of doing the quotes based on industry norms, and being shot down.

I think the final straw for me was they wanted me to quotes for 4 stores that were over 2 hours from me, one quote per store. When everyone knew I could've dropped the price if I made all four stores one big circuit.
Yeah, that's all you need, put in lower PAD amounts for each of four shops to get the total you want, then get one or two of them.
New shopper here. What is PAD... and I am in Los Angeles. It could take me 2 hours to go 20 miles sometimes. LOL. But yeah, that's quite a ways.
@jozig67 wrote:

New shopper here. What is PAD... and I am in Los Angeles. It could take me 2 hours to go 20 miles sometimes. LOL. But yeah, that's quite a ways.
I forget what it stands for but it's basically distance pay, although I generally use it to get the price up to what it takes to make it worth doing whether it's near or far away.
@jozig67 wrote:

New shopper here. What is PAD... and I am in Los Angeles. It could take me 2 hours to go 20 miles sometimes. LOL. But yeah, that's quite a ways.

When you request PAD, it requires a short justification/explanation as to why you are requesting it. I believe tolls, distance, public transportation costs are what it was meant for. You can pretty much put what you want in the explanation though. It also takes a while to see if you get the shop with PAD requested. I guess they wait to see if anyone will take it without PAD.
When I submit PAD, I know in advance how far (miles) I will drive, and how long (time) I will drive for the base fee. Then I calculate excess miles which I charge out at the IRS rate and how much time (which I charge out at a specific rate that I have in mind). Then I add costs for toll bridges and toll roads. Unless I am really bored, I rarely even bother to submit PAD for jobs more than about an hour away. In the case of business verifications, I have to assume that I will be doing the verification and nothing else. Same thing for taking photos/measurements - I have to assume that I will be doing nothing else, Of course, there are the rare "external photos only" assignments that I happen to be able to schedule into existing routes.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@MisterBill wrote:

@OldDog wrote:

I left them 4 years ago since I got fed up of doing the quotes based on industry norms, and being shot down.

I think the final straw for me was they wanted me to quotes for 4 stores that were over 2 hours from me, one quote per store. When everyone knew I could've dropped the price if I made all four stores one big circuit.
Yeah, that's all you need, put in lower PAD amounts for each of four shops to get the total you want, then get one or two of them.

I didn't have a problem doing PADS, but as I told them during a heated debate.

It costs me time, it costs me money, both of which they don't pay unless they accepted the quote.
Trendsource does it to me all the time. First they do not offer a PAD. I tell them I need a PAD. First they offer the $10 and The OSI is quite a distance I asked for more PAD. Dad 9.9 times out of 10 I get what I asked for. You just need to request what you want to do the shop. Good luck.
A Trendsource scheduler once asked me why I was asking for PAD on a distant job. I said that in addition to time and distance, I've been a completely reliable shopper for them for almost 20 years. She replied that my reliability doesn't count for anything. At least she was being honest!
I asked for $10 PAD for a local OSI last week. Just checked and I see that they gave it to someone else. They never contacted me to see if I would do it, even though it's in my town, I found it on my own. They only contact me for the distant ones.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2021 04:21PM by MisterBill.
I was contracted with Trendsource for 12 years, only firing them due to their refusal to pay me for a shop I proved, with photos, had vacated its location and the small town in which it had been in business. Their reason was the client stated the store was open for business. When I was a shopper for them, I ALWAYS typed "irrelevant" in the why space. Why I want what I want is completely, as an IC, my business.
My experience is that they only call about shops that they are having problems filling. My guess is that someone picked up the one local to you at base pay, so they had no need to call anyone.

I get calls for ones that are 3 and 4 hours away. If I am really bored, I submit a PAD for many hundreds of dollars. Once it gets up to a 2-hour drive (without traffic), it effectively becomes an all-day job. I can't count on doing anything else, and for OSI, I am largely at the scheduling whim of the client.

You would think that they could get out a map. Also, they don't understand that I am not a bird. I have to drive on the roads, which often doubles the "fly like a bird" distance. In this area, there are also toll roads and toll bridges that I have to use.
@MisterBill wrote:

I asked for $10 PAD for a local OSI last week. Just checked and I see that they gave it to someone else. They never contacted me to see if I would do it, even though it's in my town, I found it on my own. They only contact me for the distant ones.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I wrote to the scheduler and he told me that there was a way to set the distance I wanted to be notifed about on their website. I checked and there is no such option, the only mileage setting is when you search on the website. Then I got an email and text for a shop 3:40 and 180 miles away. Since I was already on the website, I just turned off notifications for OSI and similar shops. Should dramatically cut down on my spam texts and emails since they send around a dozen emails a day.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2021 12:06AM by MisterBill.
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