Sarah Foley

How to Avoid Getting Caught As A Mystery Shopper

As a mystery shopper, it’s very important that you’re able to remain undetectable. Mystery shopping clients are looking for insight into the real customer experience. If you tip off employees at the shop, you won’t be able to provide an accurate picture of what service is like. As a new mystery shopper, it can be a bit challenging to keep a low profile at times. Here are some tips to help you stay anonymous. 

Never take notes in the store. 

One of the biggest giveaways that a customer might be a mystery shopper is note taking. It can be difficult to remember all the key details of a mystery shopping job, and it might be tempting to start jotting down some notes on your phone. However, you need to resist the urge and stick to making mental notes. If you really need to jot something down, head to a restroom to avoid being spotted by an employee. 

Be thoughtful when asking questions. 

An important part of many mystery shopping tasks is getting specific information from employees in the shop. However, you’ll need to be smart about how you ask those questions to avoid giving your identity away. Before you ask, think about how a real customer would phrase the question. If you come off as robotic or too inquisitive, it could tip staff off to the fact that you might be a mystery shopper. Throughout your shopping experience, put yourself in the shoes of a real customer and act accordingly. 

Avoid telling others about your mystery shopping. 

This is particularly important if you live in a small town where you might bump into friends and family while you are completing jobs. Even if they have the best of intentions, your acquaintances might accidentally give you away to staff while you are working. This is also important if you have kids that you occasionally take on mystery shopping jobs with you. There are many jobs where you can bring someone with you, which makes mystery shopping a great additional source of income for parents. It’s often better for your kids not to know what you’re up to, especially if they’re very young, otherwise they might give you away. 

Your Comments:

  1. Cynthia J Koehler says:

    I have done dark audits for BP gas companies where I pictures to ensure signs are lit properly

    I keep getting told I have duplicate pictures when I don’t

    What can I do to get payment?

    Cindy Koehler

    • Dee Dee says:

      The duplicate photo ruse by the MSC happened to me once. That was the last time. The MSC kept begging me to do the shop again. I refused. I’ll do any shop for them but that one. The best thing to do is try to convince them that your ‘duplicates’ have different file numbers. If they won’t accept that, move on.

    • Geary A Robinson says:

      I have found that a computer program is being used for a MSC that I shop for. I have found out that you have to take a reverse picture of the shop. Example of this is th aisle that shows the end caps, You have to get a different overall picture that shows more of anything but that end cap picture.

    • WH says:

      Make sure the Timestamp is on for every photo you take.