Shop Pay Differential

shop pay differentialIt’s Monday morning and I open my email to discover I have over 20 job notifications posted there. I open the first and discover ABC Company has need of a shopper to check out and report on the registration process of a new home builder in Any Town, USA. Good! That’s just the kind of job I like. The details say the visit should not last more than 15 minutes. When I look closer I find the written report has about 25 questions and requires each answer is noted in the lengthy step by step narrative. Also, I need to provide an alias name and email address so I can track follow up. Well, the pay is $35. If it weren’t for the time involved in the travel to Any Town my hourly wage would be okay. I’ll keep this one in mind.

After checking a few other emails, some with jobs that pay as low as $3 for a phone call, I open the next and find XYZ Company is offering a new house shop, also in Any Town, USA. On this one I have to provide my alias information to XYZ Company before hand. They will assign me an alias phone number but they will track phone follow up while I will track email follow up. The details for the onsite portion are pretty much the same except I have a target and specific day to shop. The report consists of 10 questions, two of which require a short comment. NO NARRATIVE! The pay for this is only $30… but they offer a $15 travel allowance.

I shop frequently for each of these companies. Because I enjoy this type of role playing I will continue to work for each of them. However the difference in pay gives me cause to wonder. Does one charge the client more?
New home shops are not the only type shop where I find a substantial variation in payment for similar work. The pay for similar scenario bank shops varies widely as does shopping for new cars and apartments.

I also I also wonder why report requirements differ so much when shops I am doing, while for different agencies, are for the same client. I’ll save that discussion for another time.