Edited By Ceridwyn

Featured Shopper: Miketfse

Forum Alias: miketfse

How long have you been mystery shopping? I’ve been shopping for part time pay since December 2012. In my FT career, I have done competitor comparisons, some mystery shopping, and franchise standards compliance for over 5 years.

Where are you shopping? Southern Alberta and all over Saskatchewan, Canada. It depends where my business trips take me. My home base is Calgary, Alberta.

What got you started?  I had been looking for part time income to supplement my salary and while looking at a number of dubious online work-from-home leads, I saw a “help wanted” ad for mystery shoppers. I looked into it and signed up with Mystery Shopping Canada and did my first shop with them. I was doubtful (as was my wife) until my first $150 paycheck came in. Then I was hooked.

What was your first assignment and how did it go? It was a bank shop and it went pretty well, considering it was my first ever and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I was actually nervous meeting with the bank staff. The report was more detailed than I had thought. I kept asking myself, “Why do I need to write a comment about the employee wearing a name tag?” I kept thinking, “He didn’t. I marked NO. End of story. What the heck should I write?” I kept watching my email, too. I checked every 15 minutes for a request to clarify. I was positive I’d get an email from someone saying, “My God you’re illiterate!! What do you mean by…” Such an email never came and it wasn’t until my 10th or so shop that I gained confidence that my reports were relatively strong.

What is your favorite type of assignment? I have three because they pay well and I generally learn something new each time – bank shops, electronics stores, drug stores. I like retail shops because it often gives me leads on products I actually want to buy, and I have found that if you listen to salespeople, you can learn from them. I just completed my first hotel shop and that was a lot of fun. I’d like to do more of those.

What kind of assignment haven’t you tried out yet? Fine dining. The idea of measuring specific timings does not appeal to me. In fact, fast food dining where you need three timing point, etc, does not appeal either. I guess I just don’t like to measure timings.

What’s your #1 tip for other shoppers? Get a voice recorder and a Google account. The voice recorder will help your memory – great for verbatim reports! It will also help measure timings. The Google account will allow you to have a separate shopping email account. With Google drive, you can keep documents online, such as shop guidelines, which allows you to reduce the amount of paper you use. You can also use the calendar to coordinate your shops. As all of this is online, it’s easy to access with a smart phone and a simple data plan. It can be accessed from anywhere.

What’s your biggest pet peeve with mystery shopping? Having to write a comment for questions that are simple YES/NO, such as, “Did the employee wear a name tag?”

What’s your favorite MSC? Boy, that’s tough. Mystery Shopping Canada, PerformaLogics, Spot Check Services and Consumer Connection are all battling for that position.

MSPA certification: Silver, hoping for Gold soon.


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