I have been contacted by several shoppers who have received emails from mystery shopping companies suggesting that they register as Independent Contractors (ICs) with IC Pro. They wanted to know whether this is a scam (it’s not) and if it is something they should do.
Mystery shoppers typically operate as ICs, which provides several benefits to both the mystery shopping companies and to us as mystery shoppers. Recently, both Federal and state governments have been challenging IC status in many industries. Although these actions are not directed specifically at the mystery shopping industry, they will have an impact on all of us.
Although some mystery shoppers like the idea of being employees rather than ICs, they may not like that status as much when their pay is decreased (to cover the mystery shopping providers’ increased costs of carrying them as employees), when they are restricted from working for multiple companies, or when they are unable to deduct their business expenses, such as Internet access, mileage, etc.
One thing we can do to prove we are ICs is to operate as independent businesses and to affirmatively state that we are doing so. There is a new service from Surf Merchants (the folks who brought us SASSIE) to make that easy.
IC Pro is a simple way to inform participating companies that you are an IC. There are lots of advantages to both you and the mystery shopping providers, so let’s take a look…Continue Reading