Bestmark Payments

Did anyone receive their 1/31 payments from BestMark? Mine was missed, so wondering if its just me or if they are just late all around this period. Thanks!

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I had to bug the scheduler for the one shop I did in November and finally received payment on 1/18. In his reply, he mentioned them having problems with some payments and adding me to the "list" of payment issues. He said they were working on getting caught up. This makes me not want to shop for them.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
@MsJudi wrote:

I had to bug the scheduler for the one shop I did in November and finally received payment on 1/18. In his reply, he mentioned them having problems with some payments and adding me to the "list" of payment issues. He said they were working on getting caught up. This makes me not want to shop for them.
Uh-oh..........
I wonder how they would like their clients being late with payments? They should at least show the courtesy of notifying you.
I'm not buying they are having "issues". Sounds like they are trying to sugar coat a MAJOR systemic problem. In December I hounded them for my November shops that weren't paid until 1/20/22; but should have paid per their "guidelines/policy" on 12/15/21. Nobody ever responded to my emails or phone calls.

I went searching for their executives and found one on LinkedIn and Facebook. She got a personalize professional note from me (no response from her). I also messaged BestMark via Facebook, which I received a generic response. A miracle happened, shortly those messages after my payment appeared.

Looking back through payment problem threads, the problems started early-mid 2021 when they switched systems. A company that can't get their payables act together in over 6 months has some serious problem.

I've stopped doing any of their jobs.
@buckhill2 wrote:

I'm not buying they are having "issues". Sounds like they are trying to sugar coat a MAJOR systemic problem.. [...]

The systemic problem is likely that they are under capitalized and rather than either raising more capital or securing bank financing they are having their smallest vendors - shoppers - float their cash flow problems. Without even paying interest.
Bestmark. Had a long email discussion with Cory there last week. He's been there 18 years. When I started doing their shops in 2019. they paid like clockwork. What Cory told me is that they lost ALL their clients in the Pandemic. Many of their clients are gyms and restaurant chains, and those are two types of businesses that got hit really hard by Covid.

They gave up their office space and started the company over from ground zero -- the executives of the company went home and worked for free to start the company back over. I see they have back some of their old clients (and lost others, particularly thinking about a major Minnesota-based electronics retailer). But they took on a lot of purchase/return shops for compliance at [and since he told me I hope I'm not violating the rules by saying] a certain online auction site that starts with an e and ends with a bay. And apparently that is the tail wagging their dog and screwing up their pay schedule.

I am not upset WITH them -- but IMNSHO not responding to shoppers and ignoring BBB complaints is not a good way to run one's business (they have 16 completely non-responded to complaints in the last year, BBB has dropped them from an A+ to a B-). The project managers don't control the pursestrings, all they can do is push the complaints up the food chain.

I've been told by more than one person that their new benchmark is to pay people 30 days after the shop's been processed and accepted -- and they've changed the words pay date to estimated pay date. Still, they owe me for 6 completed shops and I'm pushing back hard on them that I'm not going to do any more shops for them -- especially ones that require me to expend money -- until I see some money from some of these other shops.

That's all I know. I hope that they can turn it around, but I'm not going to be spending a lot of my money for their shops and wait 30+ days to not be paid back. I trust THAT they will pay me, but I don't know WHEN they will. Cory said he's escalating shopper complaints to the CEO.

And to the OP, I had all my shops moved from the 2/28 schedule to the 3/15 schedule, and they are still unpaid, and they KNOW I'm not doing the shop that is assigned to me until they pay me the backlog.

Shields up. Yellow alert.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2022 09:06PM by gsfreeman2.
And as an independent contractor you don't have the rights of an employee, so you can pretty much raise a ruckus and from there go pound sand. I can't even tell what their legal corporate name is, where they are incorporated (it doesn't look to be MN anymore) or where you would go sue them if you were of the mind to do so.

Continuing to sit and spin.

@Rousseau wrote:


The systemic problem is likely that they are under capitalized and rather than either raising more capital or securing bank financing they are having their smallest vendors - shoppers - float their cash flow problems. Without even paying interest.
I've never done a shop for them, and thanks to the red flags here, probably never will.

I "get" their problem; it's not unique in the pandemic era. BUT, they owe honesty to their shoppers. Be upfront, tell them the situation, and promise to pay them as soon as possible (and make good on that). But don't just ignore them! That's a very poor way to conduct business, and I wouldn't blame long-time shoppers for bailing on them. More for ignoring their concerns than for late payments. Non-payment? Different story.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Last summer when it was clear that they had a boatload of upset shoppers, they posted a thank you and a thin excuse on their Facebook page. And until now they were honoring the 30-day-after-shop-reviewed rounded to the next semimonthly payment schedule. But now it's not working again.

And as much I *could* use the money, what really *upsets* me is being ignored and lied to. If you have a shopper payment inquiry email, RESPOND TO IT. IDGAF how busy you say you are and how you're working 8-12 hour days. Guess what, we do too. Started shopping yesterday at 6:30 a.m., went until 4 to complete all my writeups, then did another shop at 10 pm and got it in before 1am so it would get counted.

But ignoring the BBB is something a business does at its own peril. Had I seen that I wouldn't have taken all the shops. I mean what they owe me (about $250) isn't going to change my life -- I got a fancy Valentine's dinner that if I had to pay for it myself, I did, some burger meals that again, if I got shafted having to pay for them myself isn't world-ending -- but the time and the gas and the effort with no acknowledgement whatsoever is the real pisser.


@BirdyC wrote:

That's a very poor way to conduct business, and I wouldn't blame long-time shoppers for bailing on them. More for ignoring their concerns than for late payments. Non-payment? Different story.
Another day, another lack of a response. Emailed back the scheduler and told him there's no way I'm doing the (3-times rescheduled now) shop tomorrow. Enough. Pay me when I'm due the money or don't expect I'm providing you with services.
Wow. So sad that it has come to this. I did plenty of shops for them Pre-Covid. Bestmark was the fastest paying company I worked for. I never encountered any issues. :-(
@gsfreeman2 wrote:

And as an independent contractor you don't have the rights of an employee, so you can pretty much raise a ruckus and from there go pound sand. I can't even tell what their legal corporate name is, where they are incorporated (it doesn't look to be MN anymore) or where you would go sue them if you were of the mind to do so.

Continuing to sit and spin.

@Rousseau wrote:


The systemic problem is likely that they are under capitalized and rather than either raising more capital or securing bank financing they are having their smallest vendors - shoppers - float their cash flow problems. Without even paying interest.

I did not suggest either that I am an employee or a creditor nor am I raising a ruckus, I merely stated my analysis.

As to the corporate name, its not difficult to find the following:

The website's terms state, "The website (“Site”) hosted and maintained by BestMark Operations Company, Inc." [www.bestmark.com]

Their website also shows that their NV license number is 1095. That license is held by Bestmark Operations Company, Inc.

There is no company by that name registered in MN. However, there is one by that name in MI. Also in MI is a BESTMARK ACQUISITION, INC. with the same address.

Previously, a BestMark, Inc. was registered in MN. That company changed its name to THREE DIPS, Inc in 2017 was dissolved in 2022.

A Nevada foreign corporation filing principals of BESTMARK OPERATIONS, INC to include both Jeff Hall, the president listed on the MI registration along with several individuals at the MN address known to be that of the former BestMark, Inc.
[www.nvannualreport.com]
Well today's update is that they took me off the shop and i can no longer see shops on the board any longer. Cory sais payroll is processing today but they still show unpaid to me. So I guess ultimately I'll get paid but this is the end of the line. It's a bummer because at one time they were a great company and maybe someday they will forgive me but this is where I draw the line.

As for that BestMark holding company in Minnesota it is an assumed name and not a corporation name, The underlying corporate name no longer exists. At least it didn't when I looked a few days ago, maybe it wasn't bad standing or it could be incorporated elsewhere like Delaware.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2022 10:41AM by gsfreeman2.
@gsfreeman2 wrote:

As for that BestMark holding company in Minnesota it is an assumed name and not a corporation name, The underlying corporate name no longer exists. At least it didn't when I looked a few days ago, maybe it wasn't bad standing or it could be incorporated elsewhere like Delaware.

Refer to my above post. The corporation exists in MI, not MN.
@Rousseau wrote:

Refer to my above post. The corporation exists in MI, not MN.

The address of the Michigan entity is the address of Second to None. I do see Bestmark was acquired by a capital firm in 2017 -- with a quick Google search I don't see a link between the companies, but perhaps there is.
Looks like the Private Equity firm that invested in Bestmark in 2017 exited the relationship in 2020. Often times this means they sold the company, but thats not listed as the outcome. Looks like they simply pulled out.

[www.generationgrowth.com]

and...Bestmark's CEO has been working at Shutterfly since 2021. And they currently show now CEO or President, just a few employees in MN.

[www.linkedin.com]
@Cassiespark that lines up with what Cory told me -- that they lost all their customers at the beginning of the pandemic and they lost their office space and went home -- it could be that the VC firm (or the pending acquisition) pulled the plug when BestMark ran out of revenue. So it would make sense that the higher ups at BestMark needed other jobs.

The other weird thing is the Michigan incorporation of the BestMark name at Second to None's address and and Jeff Hall's name being tied to BestMark . I wonder if STN was/is in the middle of acquiring BestMark and that was GG's role since they list themselves as helping business transition in ownership? BestMark "likes" Second to None on Twitter.

All very weird but none of it gets me money. More promises from Cory today but still all 6 jobs are on their pending pay board and haven't been over to the paid board.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2022 08:29PM by gsfreeman2.
I am waiting for some shops to be paid. They use to pay every couple of weeks. It was always a good turn around.
This seems like a tragic situation. I have not shopped with BestMark since before the pandemic began, so I have no insights, information, or complaints about current events there. I only have a happy and satisfied history with this company. Hopefully, the changes will work out for the good of all involved.

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. - Langston Hughes

- Langston Hughes._
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan {that was then; this is now-- the age of demanded and. apparently, permitted, infanticide. how far and how rapidly we have devolved!}
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Bestmark Inc. received a Paycheck Protection Loan of $404,400 through Bell Bank, which was approved in April, 2020.

This loan has been disbursed by the lender and has not yet been fully repaid or forgiven. The exact status of ongoing loans is not released by the SBA.

They received FREE money to help pay those on their payroll. LOL?

Information obtained from SBA Paycheck Protection Program Data Lookup - FederalPay
Did any of your shops get paid as promised? Mine did not, hopefully you have fared better!
Another day, shops are still sitting on the pending board, another email sent, no response from BM. Getting damn sick and tired of this.

Fired a shot over the bow and made a post on their Facebook page.

[www.facebook.com]

Feel free to jump in.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2022 03:56PM by gsfreeman2.
The next shot should be via LinkedIn to one or more of their executives. I did the FB and LinkedIn, miraculously within a week I had my payment.
I was paid for a 12/3/21 shop in only a week.

I have not been paid for a 2/1/22 shop which shows as pending 3/15/22.

They have some cool stuff, so I hope they stay in business. Their website functions much better than Second to None.
I have a 1/27 shop that still has not paid. Worse part is no one responds to emails, phone calls, incl. their schedulers.
Today's response from BestMark.

Good Morning/Afternoon, I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you, I am still waiting on more updates on the payment issue. Yesterday I was told there will be multiple batches of payments going out this week as we continue to try to catch up with the backlog of payments that must be made. Please understand that I do NOT work in the payment department. My job is only to schedule shops and I have absolutely no information or ability to access payment info. Please continue to direct your questions about payments to shopperpaymentinquiry@bestmark.com even if you don’t get a response because I know that this email box is being looked at and payment issues are being added to a list for those batches of payments. Sending an email to shopperpaymentinquiry@bestmark.com is absolutely the best way to get this resolved as I have literally no power to do anything related to your payment issue. I am aware of the backlog of payments and that we are trying to actively work through the issues and I wish I had more info for you, but I just don’t have any updates at this time. I understand your frustration/anger at not getting paid on time and I wish I had more info for you, all I can tell you is that we are working on it and I hope this will be resolved soon. Your payment is not the only one that we are trying to work through as there has been a systemwide issue. Please continue sending your inquiries to shopperpaymentinquiry@bestmark.com and we will continue working on the issue until it is resolved. Thanks and Take Care~Cory
Have you considered emailing shopperpaymentinquiry@bestmark.com? lol. Good grief, that would be a wonderful suggestion if it actually resulted in any sort of response!!!
@Cassiespark if anyone ever answered - even if there was just an autoresponder that said thanks for your message we're working on it. This whole thing smells like a bunch of bovine excrement to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2022 10:37PM by gsfreeman2.
Sadly, it seems like a shop-at-your-own-risk type of deal going forward. Doesn't sound good for Best Mark. I do hope they can regroup.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
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