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 the guidelines and submit the receipt as requested. The guidelines will always supercede any general information, such as these tips.
Some companies will want your name and/or shopper ID on the receipt. If so, write it neatly on the receipt.
In most cases, you may either scan the receipt or take a photo. I usually find that it is easier to take a digital photo. Use whichever method gets you a clear image in the easiest way.
When taking a photo, you may be able to use the camera in your cell phone. Most recent cell phones take good quality photos. Because you must upload the photo with your report, you need to be able to get the photo from your cell phone to your computer. This may mean simply connecting the phone and computer with a standard USB cable, or you may need a cable made especially for your phone. In some cases, special software may be required to transfer the photos from your phone.
Don’t use a flash when photographing a receipt. It can cause glare that makes the receipt difficult to read.
Once you have the receipt scanned or photographed, you can edit it using your favorite photo editing software. I like to use IrfanView, but you can use iPhoto (on the Mac), Picasa or other online photo editors. Make sure the receipt is easy to read. If the print is very light, you may be able to adjust the contrast and brightness to make it more readable.
Save the receipt file in portrait layout so it can be easily read on the screen.
Save the image as a standard graphic format, such as JPG or GIF. The file size may be large, so reduce the file size by changing the dimensions of the image. Be sure that you maintain the same proportions when resizing so the image is not distorted.
Use a file name that makes sense. The mystery shopping company may tell you how to name the file but if they don’t you might use a naming convention such as ClientName-Location-Date.JPG. So the file name might be ThePieHole-Houston007-102411.JPG. Do not put characters such as periods, commas, apostrophes and slashes in the file name.
Your receipts and other documents are an important part of your shop report. Make sure the images you submit are high-quality.