How long have you been mystery shopping? Since September 2012.
Where are you shopping?Northern Arizona and the Phoenix area.
What got you started? I have a friend who started shopping after losing his job, and after hearing about the shops he did I decided to give it a try too.
What was your first assignment and how did it go? My first assignment was a sub sandwich shop. I had my old tape recorder with me because I was afraid I’d forget everything. I was nervous as a cat when I walked in there and couldn’t remember half of what I was supposed to do. When I got out to the car with my sandwich and started filling out the report I realized I didn’t have the receipt. I had no idea what to do. I also realized I had failed to get the cashier’s name.
I figured I had totally blown the shop and wouldn’t get paid and was deciding this just wasn’t for me when I realized the sandwich had been made wrong. Hallelujah! I had a reason to go back inside. So I went back in and told the cashier the sandwich wasn’t supposed to have onions on it.
She went to remake the sandwich and I mentioned the receipt and said I needed it to get reimbursed for work. It turned out it was still right there on the counter. Whew! She gave me the new sandwich and I took it and the receipt and started to turn away and I remembered I had AGAIN forgotten to note her name. I turned back in desperation and noticed a promotional poster for some kind of cookie by the register and called her back to ask a question about the cookie and finally got a peek at her name tag.
Well, all’s well that ends well, and I now had my original receipt, the name, and a sandwich I could now eat. I went back to my car to finish filling out my report.
The question about the music playing was answered when I listened to my tape recording and could hear the music I hadn’t even noticed in the store. So I survived my first shop, got the report filled out, and eventually was paid for it. I’m about to do my 160th shop and I still have a hard time remembering to look at the name tag.
What is your favorite type of assignment? I like bank shops because they’re fast and easy and there are lots of them.
What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? I haven’t had a chance to do a timeshare or casino shop yet and I’m hoping to do those sometime this summer.
What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? When trying a new shop, do one shop, preferably near home, and fill out the report and get your feedback before booking more of them. They’re not always quite what the job offer describes.
What’s your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? I hate when we are required to say or do things that a real customer would have no reason to say or do.
What’s your favorite MSC? I’ve done the most shops for Market Force, and I love being able to self-assign and to change dates and I’ve had some really lucrative shops through them. I usually check them first when I’m trying to find shops to do. But my worst shop from hell was one of theirs too. You have to take the bad with the good sometimes.
MSPA Certification: I got my Silver in December.