Mystery Shopping – Four Things You Need

Time for another mystery shopping post! We have already gone over how to get a mystery shopping job, next we will look at what you will need!

Mystery shopping is pretty easy, but there are a few things that will make your life a lot easier!

You need a way to keep track of time without making it known to the store that you are the mystery shopper. I start the timer when I walk in the store and then I will hit the timeout button whenever something of importance happens (I am greeted, I get in line, whatever that shop asks for). I can do this easily (just hit the button while the timer is in my pocket. When I leave the store I have a record of exactly when everything happened. If you use a regular watch just make sure you remember the times. I know some people take a bathroom break so they can write them down 🙂 If you need one then the Emerson Economy Stopwatch is on sale for less than $7. If you have a cell phone handy then you can use that!

You will need to print out your shops, the forms you need to fill out, and other random things the companies will send you. You might be able to do this from a library, but it will be much easier if you have one at home. If you are in the market for one then check out a laser printer. They are great for coupons too! The toner lasts for thousands of pages, unlike an ink cartridge which is usually rated for less than a hundred.

You will need to scan your shop questionnaires and the receipts, usually within 24 hours after the shop. I must admit that my scanner broke and I had to rely on Kinkos to do this! It was much easier to have it at home. Trying to get to Kinkos within 24 hours after the shop when many of my shops were on a weekday in the evening was sometimes hard. It also would cost me $3-$5 for them to scan and fax everything so that definitely cut into profits. If you are going to mystery shop full time then definitely invest in a scanner.

Occasionally you will need a Digital Camera to take pictures of the facility you are shopping. A camera phone will not take clear enough pictures! For these types of shops you usually reveal yourself at the beginning.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa B. April 7, 2009 at 3:32 am

I have found this information very useful, thanks for taking the time to share. You didnt say if there would be anymore posts on this.


2 zobars April 7, 2009 at 5:13 am

thanks for stopping by my blog. I found yours now and I will be visiting it daily now.


3 Banner Printing April 7, 2009 at 5:28 am

Nice post!
Very helpful and informative!


4 Babette April 7, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I think a digital camera is needed sometimes.


5 LittlePeopleWealth April 7, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Good point Babette – I’ll add that one 🙂 If you do inspection shops then you definitely need one.

There will be one more post on mystery shopping (organization methods).


6 Little Miss Moneybags July 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I mystery shopped for years and never needed a scanner. A digital camera worked fine for taking pictures of receipts. Looking forward to your post on organization — boy do I have experience with that!


7 LittlePeopleWealth July 15, 2010 at 3:15 am

My digital camera was not that good (I don't think they one I have now would be either. Did you take multiple pictures so you could zoom in on the different parts of the receipt? The company I worked with always wanted the details on the top and bottom of the receipt too.


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