Do you ever wear disguises when mystery shopping? It can be a good idea when shopping several locations of the same business, or when you are asked to return to a business you have shopped in the past. However, most of the time a disguise isn’t needed. All you need to do is avoid standing out in a crowd. Here is how . . .
Wear appropriate clothes. Always dress appropriately for the business you are mystery shopping. Most people in a home improvement store are not wearing cocktail dresses and high heels, for example. So dress to fit in.
Keep your clothing simple and non-descript. Don’t be too flashy, and avoid memorable clothing, such as t-shirts with controversial sayings on them.
The same goes for jewelry. If you have a large ring or other piece that people will remember, leave it at home. They may not remember your face, but they will remember the rock on your hand.
If you are using equipment, such as a voice recorder or digital camera, make sure it can be concealed in your clothing or bag. You do not want a an obvious “lump” in your shirt where the microphone is hidden, or a wire peeking out from your collar.
Carrying a large purse or backpack may cause employees to watch you as a possible shoplifter. It will be hard to do your job if they never take their eyes off you.
Change your hair style. Wear it down one time, and in a pony tail or bun the next. Pull your bangs back with a headband. Go curly. The change doesn’t have to be dramatic. It might be as simple as parting your hair differently.
Wear your glasses (or take them off). Glasses can make a big difference in your appearance. Some shoppers use “fake” glasses with plain glass in them instead of lenses.
The idea is always to blend in with other customers, and not to stand out. So if you decide to wear a disguise, keep it simple. The best disguise is usually a minor change to your appearance, not putting on a wig and big sunglasses.