Company Overview: In a mystery shopping world with many companies choosing their names from similar words like service, shopper, mystery and the like, their identities can get lost in the crowd. This company does not possess that flaw. The name is also accurate. Dale and Michael Bare founded this company in 1987 in Fairfax, Virginia. Originally focusing on the hospitality industry in the United States with the name Restaurant and Hotel Services, it expanded in 1999 to an office in Belgium and grew geographically and into additional industries.
Today, Bare completes about 28,000 audits monthly for 4,500 clients in many industries in over 100 countries on six continents and has additional offices around the world. On their website Bare states it is “The largest independent, global provider of exclusive mystery customer research, brand audits, compliance audits and customer satisfaction feedback.” Last year, Inc. magazine named BARE International to their list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. Additionally, Micheal Bare is a co-founder of the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association (MSPA) and currently serves on the MSPA Global Board of Directors. The Better Business Bureau gives an A+ rating to this company. Payment in the United States and Canada is by direct deposit or check on approximately the 16th of the month for the prior month’s shops. The website uses the Sassie system. [www.bareinternational.com]. It is available in eight languages including English. Bare also maintains a Facebook page.
Personal Experience: I have performed more than 100 shops for this company over the last few years without complaint. I consistently find a large number of shops in my area for a number of clients in a variety of industries. Schedulers are responsive and helpful and this has resulted in the ability to build good relationships with multiple schedulers. I find the fees to be adequate but a bit low in that range for the work involved compared with other companies. Bonuses are offered on occasion. Feedback is both consistent and instructive, allowing me to improve my shop grades. Payment has always been in my bank account around the 18th of each month following the shop date, give or take a few days. Bare seems to retain clients better than most companies. I found their shopper FAQ page difficult to find as it was buried on the main page on the ‘site map’ link.
What others have to say: There is a lot of discussion on the forum regarding Bare. Many threads ask for assistance from other shoppers for clarifications about shop instructions, advice about the shops, or payment details. A great deal of posts are complimentary regarding this company including that they pay like clockwork. There are a few complaints regarding low pay, unpaid shops, or problems with communication. Most of those complaints are from infrequent posters who seem to be posting to vent about their problems. Bare has posted on the forum inviting shoppers to communicate directly with the company regarding any complaints.
Overall: Bare is one of the largest and most professional in the industry. It is an industry leader. Use of the Sassie system it uses makes it accessible to both beginner and veteran shoppers. The pay may not overwhelm you, but this is a company that should be on every shopper’s list of companies.