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Bonuses for Mystery Shops – Do You Hold Out? August 30, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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The end of the month is upon us, and for the last several days schedulers everywhere are scrambling to get the last of their shops scheduled and completed.  In general, this month seems tougher for some reason – there seem to be many more open shops across companies and more bonuses added.  It could be that many mystery shoppers are trying to squeeze in one last vacation before summer ends, or parents are gearing up for a new school year.

I sometimes wonder if  mystery shoppers hold out to apply for a shop before a bonus is added. It’s not a surprise to see bonuses as the end of the month approaches. Some locations are remote, and tougher to fill, but there are others that we wonder about. Perhaps a shopper saw that this shop was bonused last month, sees it posted again for the new month, and waits to take their chances that it will be bonused again.

Sometimes this approach can hurt the shopper, because the shop will be picked up by someone else. Other times it hurts the company. I can recall one mystery shopping company that made an announcement that it would completely remove the bonus program from all of their shops because it seemed that most shops were not being filled until bonuses were added, and it was an expense they could not afford.

From reading boards and visiting mystery shopping communities, I have read the argument that if companies can afford bonuses, why can’t they just post higher fees from the start? The answer is quite simple – the bonus money is not “extra” money that we are keeping for profit, or whatever reason. This is money that is in fact extra and  and companies are essentially “eating” the bonus. In many other cases, schedulers are paying these fees out of their own pockets.  We realize that there are times when bonsues are necessary – that is a fact of the industry. However, when shoppers are “holding out” and causing an increase in bonus money being spent each month, this hurts everyone in the industry.

What do you think? Do you hold out for bonuses?

Until next time…happy shopping!

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