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Mystery Shopping Do’s and Don’ts Guide

So, you’ve never done this before, you’re just getting your feet wet in this new shopping world or maybe you’ve been Secret Shopping for years. Either way, there are going to be insecurities when it comes to accepting or signing up for these shops. To help you navigate this unique world of undercover evaluations, here's a guide to a few do's and don'ts of mystery shopping from a Secret Shopper Coordinator’s perspective.



Submit Your Survey On-Time:

  1. Unless otherwise stated in a client briefing, your survey is due at 12pm CST the day following your scheduled shop. Some shops are in two or three parts. Be aware of anything being expected of you prior to physically going to the shop location. If a shop requires a follow-up, try to finish the bulk of the survey prior to completing the follow-up portion. This will tell us that you are actively working on the shop and avoid unexpected cancellations. If for any reason you are not able to submit a report on time, reach out to our coordinators. This shows us that you are a proactive and alert shopper.

Ask Questions:

  1. No question is a silly question. We get shoppers from every shopper demographic. We understand that you may not have all the tools and knowledge that you feel you need to succeed. If there is anything you’re unsure of or feel you need additional guidance on, your coordinators are here for you! Remember, if you send us a question, we appreciate a response back just as much as you do!

Schedule Accordingly:

  1. Make sure to schedule your shops for when the weather, shop hours, and your schedule align. If a shop shows it’s available, make sure it isn’t a holiday or that the shop is closed on that day. As the independent contractor, it is your responsibility to keep in mind that rescheduling and cancelling shops affects your shopper classifications, our clients, and other shoppers. We kindly ask you to be aware each time you’re assigning yourself to a shop.


Don't Assume, Always Verify:

  1. Maybe you’ve done the same type of shop with a specific client numerous times and you think you’ve got it all figured out. Then, that client decided to switch up some details on what they’re looking for and you didn’t verify your briefings before completing the shop.

    Maybe a shop location’s hours have changed, or the store closed altogether.
    Bottom line - Always verify information and details to ensure the accuracy of your survey and avoid frustration or a trip back!

Don't Skip Survey Details:

  1. Include all relevant details in your survey, even if they seem minor. Being thorough enhances the value of your feedback to the client. Remember to write in complete sentences. If you feel that you often forget small details, consider taking notes following the completion of your shop or filling out your survey from the app on your phone in the parking lot of the shop while every detail is still fresh in your mind.

Don't Compromise Anonymity:

  1. If when reading the client briefing prior to completing a shop, you can’t envision the shop going smoothly without accidentally revealing yourself, ask for guidance from our coordinating team on ways to avoid being discovered or consider leaving that shop to another shopper to complete. In some cases, you are eligible to complete certain shops multiple times and some shop locations have the same employees working each day. If you find that only the employee that helped you last time is available this time, avoid completing the shop on that day.

By adhering to the do's and steering clear of the don'ts in mystery shopping, you'll enhance your own shopping experience while also contributing valuable insights to the businesses you so carefully evaluate. As always, we thank you and wish you happy shopping adventures!

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