Is It Normal to Be Scared to Mystery Shop?


We have all heard of “stage fright,” but is there such a thing as “shop fright”? Some people who are interested in mystery shopping tell me that they are too afraid to take their first assignments and get started. How can they get past the fear and launch their mystery shopping careers? Any time you do something new, it is normal to be a little nervous. You were probably nervous the first time you got behind the wheel of a {Read More}

Can a Mystery Shopper Take Home Leftovers?


I recently got this question from a mystery shopper: I just got my first fine dining assignment, and I can’t believe how much food we have to order! The instructions say that the mystery shop is for two adults, and we have to order an appetizer, two entrees, two side dishes and dessert. We usually share one meal, so I know we can’t eat all of that! Can we order one of the meals to-go? Would it be okay if {Read More}

Mystery Shopping On the Road

travel trailer

A shopper asks: I am getting ready to retire and my spouse and I want to hit the road and travel across the country. Is it possible to mystery shop while we are on the road? Anything we need to watch out for? Sure, you can mystery shop on the road, whether you are on a one-week vacation, you regularly travel for your job, or you have become a permanent road warrior. There are a few things you may have {Read More}

Being a “Top-Ten-Percenter”


Several years ago, when I was developing the MSPA Gold Certification, I spent a lot of time talking with executives, schedulers and others at mystery shopping companies. As we talked about what they needed shoppers to know, I discovered some shocking and disturbing truths about mystery shoppers. The biggest problem was that of shoppers who accept assignments then do not complete them. Sometimes the shopper cancels at the last minute and other times they simply do not do the shop. {Read More}

Secret Shopper Resolutions


Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? How many of them have you kept so far? Uh-oh. Maybe it is time to make a few simple resolutions that can make you a more successful mystery shopper this year. Why not give some of these a try? Communicate more. Mystery shopping companies want shoppers to keep them informed. Let them know if there is a problem scheduling an appointment or something goes wrong on the shop visit or a {Read More}

Submitting Mystery Shop Receipts


Most mystery shopper jobs require that you submit a receipt or some other documentation (such as a business card) for an assignment to be complete. Some may require that you mail the original to them, but most of the time the mystery shopping company requests that you upload a scan or digital photo of the receipt. Here are some suggestions for getting a good quality image of the receipt to submit with your report. First of all, pay attention to {Read More}

Mystery Shopper Mistakes – Top 10 Visit Mistakes


Although anyone can make a mistake during a mystery shop visit, there are some mistakes that are completely avoidable. Here are ten mistakes that can derail your shopping career, but can be easily avoided with proper preparation and attention to detail. Failure to read the guidelines and form before the visit. In order to know what you need to do, you need to review the client’s guidelines and the report form you will complete after the shop visit. Without this {Read More}

Get Off to a Good Start in 2011


A new year is a good time for a new start, especially when it comes to running your mystery shopping business. Here are some moves you can make now to get organized and take your mystery shopper business to a new level of profitability in the coming year. Clear out your file cabinet. Get rid of outdated shop notes, printouts of reports and guidelines, and other clutter. In general, you should keep shop notes ad report copies for at least {Read More}

Secret Shopping Guide – 7 Tips to Be a Great Secret Shopper


Being a great secret shopper is simple, but that does not mean that it is easy. Secret shopping is a business, and successful secret shoppers are professionals who take their work seriously. The tips in this article will make you a great secret shopper and help you get more and better secret shopper jobs. Doing these seven things will make you a better—and a more successful—secret shopper.

Restaurant Mystery Shops and Food Preferences


Each of us has at least one food that we simply refuse to eat, and there may be others that we do not care for or should not eat. This may be due to health reasons, religious prohibitions or just personal preference. Most of the time this is not a problem on restaurant mystery shops. The guidelines may state that you must order an appetizer, entree and side, but not specify the exact menu items to be ordered. There are {Read More}