Overview: Many of us only have one or two landmark occasions in our lives that would lead us into the premises of a fine jeweler, usually an engagement or anniversary. Typically at such moments, it is easy to be swept away by the event itself. As first time-consumers, the sparkling merchandise overwhelms all. By stepping into the role of a mystery shopper, you can regain your perspective and learn all about the finer points of fine jewelry.
Project Variations: Assignment scenarios vary depending upon the client. The client is not always the jewelry store itself. The client can belong to a diamond consortium, a precious metals guild, or a designer.
Some scenarios insist upon couples to complete the visits. Others allow single shoppers.
The usual scenario involves shopping for a set of wedding rings. However, there are other occasional assignments related to shopping for watches or other high-end jewelry pieces.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: Typical time on-site is about a half hour. Usually assignment instructions are very specific about the time a shopper spends with the sales associates because the client tries to mitigate possible lost sales during such interactions. Reporting can be quite detailed, as the client is trying to find out how effectively a sales associate represented merchandise and services.
Strategies: Be prepared with a backstory, whether making a visit as a couple or as an individual. In the case of shopping for a set of wedding rings, you will want to be able to believably explain to the sales associate why you are wanting a new set or an upgraded set.
It’s not unusual for a long-married couple to return to a jewelers for a better set years later when they are more financially established. It’s also not unheard of for rings to have been lost or misplaced. This is one time where it is beneficial to look the part you are playing to make the visit more convincing. So leave the hoodies and flip-flops at home and dress it up a bit.
The client will specify if there are certain lines you should focus on during your visit. It’s standard for the shopper to be required to ask about the attributes of different metals, maintenance programs, warranties, payment plans, options, and pricing.
Be sure to ask for a business card and use the back to note item numbers and prices of different sets. Some clients want to know exactly what you were shown, and if the pricing was accurate.
Other aspects of the visit that the client may ask about will include descriptions of how the sales associate tried to establish rapport, if they tried to close the sale, and what about the presentation would make you tempted to purchase from this jewelry store.
What Others Have to Say: Judging by the postings on www.mysteryshopforum.com, a lot of these types of assignments stay on the job boards for a while. This is due to low pay and/or an overly involved visit and report. Many shoppers that have completed fine jewelry assignments report that getting a reimbursed piece of jewelry was among some of their best mystery shopping “bennies”.
Estimated Pay: Pay can vary from $15 to $20 per visit, but can go higher. At the time of writing, several of these visits were paying $45. Some assignments include an attractive reimbursement for some purchases.
MSCs: Among the mystery shopping companies that conduct fine jewelry store evaluations are National Shopping Service, Jancyn, and Associate Consumer Evaluations.