Common Mystery Shopper Jams – and How to Get Out of Them

There is nothing that can ruin a great day of mystery shopping than getting into a sticky situation. There are so many different jams that mystery shoppers can run into on the job, but some are far more common than others. Understanding what common mystery shopping jams are and how to get out of them can come in handy on many of your future assignments.


Forgotten Mystery Shopping Assignment Requirements

Mystery shoppers are busy people. On any given day, you may have several different assignments that you need to complete, and each will have unique requirements. Of course, you also may have other things on your mind besides work. Everyone has things going on in their personal lives, and some may have a full-time job that creates additional responsibilities. It is understandable that you may forget a few requirements from time to time, but what can you do when you are standing in a store or other venue and realize you have forgotten those requirements? You can consider walking out of the venue and returning later after you have reviewed the requirements. Another option, however involves accessing those requirements on your smart phone. For example, you can take the step to email the file to yourself prior to completing your assignment. If you get into a jam, you can simply open the file on your phone and read through it.


Forgotten Mystery Shopping Assignment Details

Forgetting assignment requirements on-site is one thing, but what happens if you get back home, sit down to complete your report and realize you don’t remember the answers? You can mentally walk through your assignment in your head as a first step. This may help you to recall with greater clarity the observations you made on-site. However, it may be necessary to go back to the venue and make some of the observations a second time. If you do this, ensure that you don’t get caught and are not obvious about why you are returning. This step should be done with care as the same person visiting a small venue two times in one day can be suspicious. To prevent this from happening in the future, consider jotting down notes immediately after you complete your site visit, or use your cell phone to secretly take notes on-site.


Overcommitting Yourself

From time to time, a mystery shopper may realize that he or she has overcommitted on a specific day. Consider that when you overcommit yourself and cannot complete all of the assignments you signed up to do, you run the risk of damaging your shopper rating and your reputation with one of your providers. Your goal should be to complete all of your assignments on a regular basis, so consider reviewing the acceptable shopping dates for your assignments again. Is it possible to move one to later in the day? If not, can you possibly work a little faster to complete all of the requirements? Can you move some of your other commitments for the day to another day? When you overcommit yourself, you unfortunately do have to make some tough decisions, and sometimes you simply have to power through and work a little harder.


There are a number of sticky situations you may come across as a mystery shopper, and these are among the most common. You can take steps to prevent them from happening, and if they do, you now know how to handle them.