Trendsource was founded in 1989 in Denver, Colorado and relocated their home base in San Diego in 2004. They were a founding member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) which is a comprehensive resource devoted to educating and assisting shoppers advance their mystery shopping career. Trendsource provides various services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. The primary services Trendsource offers its clients include mystery shopping, pricing and merchandising audits, exit interviews, and onsite business inspections and verifications.
The pay range for assignments widely varies based on the type of shop, time required, and complexity of the shop. Some assignments offer reimbursement for product purchases and a nominal reporting fee while others may pay $75-$100 for a highly detailed assignment.
Payments are issued twice a month via check or direct deposit. Shop opportunities can be requested on your field agent home page and an email notification will be delivered once the application has been accepted.
At this point, you have the opportunity to accept the shop or decline the shop if it is no longer of interest to you. For each accepted shop, you will need to review a brief training and pass a short quiz before you may conduct the shop. While this process can seem redundant if you have performed the shop many times in the past, it is an excellent tool to ensure that you cover every detail of the shop and are issued full payment for your time and effort.
The company website, www.Trendsource.com, offers a detailed description of the assignments offered, the company history, and how to register as a field agent. Field agent is the term Trendsource uses for what most other companies refer to as mystery shoppers.
Prior to registering as a field agent with Trendsource, it is strongly advised to consult www.mysteryshopforum.com to review other shopper discussions as this company does many things that are a bit different from most other companies. One difference with Trendsource is that they require shoppers to have an Employee Identification Number (EIN) as opposed to a Social Security Number which is the typical payment requirement with other companies.
This has become a polarizing issue with many shoppers as there is much confusion about EIN’s and the necessity of establishing one in order to accept assignments. Trendsource offers extensive information on their website that explains their reason for making this a shopper requirement and covers the bottom-line impact of using an EIN. Another topic of strong opinion and debate is the requirement that field agents pass a certification and pay a nominal fee for a background check in order to conduct onsite business inspections and verifications.
On the forum, you will also find many discussions touting the benefits of working with Trendsource such as quick payments for completed shops and simple shop reports. Trendsource is widely considered as a top-rated, highly respected company for many shoppers and a cornerstone in their shopping career.
Personal Experience: Trendsource was one of the first companies I signed up with almost 2 years ago and still regularly work with them. I have performed dozens of onsite business inspections and verifications as well as marketing and pricing audit assignments. In addition to these more detailed and time intensive assignments, I have also performed many mystery shops for pizza delivery and carryout, childcare facilities, and various retail shops.
Based on my experience, I feel that the company generally offers appropriate payment for the amount of time and detail required for the shop. I have found them to respond quickly to any question I may have and appreciate their willingness to work with me if I have an issue conducting the shop. The prompt communication I have consistently received from my schedulers, the ease and simplicity of reporting performed shops, and the quick payment for submitted shops are just a few of the reasons I continue to seek opportunities from this company.