Grocery Shop

Today, I did a grocery shop, and I shop there frequently when not MSing, but sometimes when I am asking the questions in each department, it seems like they have to know that I am a shopper. Of course, in most departments, I usually don't see the same employee, but I think the meat department manager is on to me. Are the employees aware of what questions asked by mystery shoppers? Should I take advantage of the create your own question option?

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Sunshine11, "Create your own question" depends on the MSC's guidelines. Which MSC/client are you shopping? As you have named neither, you are able to discuss either MSC or client. Then, we have a basis for discussion.
@Sunshine11 wrote:

Today, I did a grocery shop, and I shop there frequently when not MSing, but sometimes when I am asking the questions in each department, it seems like they have to know that I am a shopper. Of course, in most departments, I usually don't see the same employee, but I think the meat department manager is on to me. Are the employees aware of what questions asked by mystery shoppers? Should I take advantage of the create your own question option?

****************


Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
For one chain of stores, you have a choice of 3 departments...and it changes about every other month...january it might be pharmacy, bakery, meat...february it might be deli, seafood, etc...and you can ask any question you want....I've actually taken a break from one of the stores in this chain because you always have to talk to the produce clerk if they are there...and 3 times in a row, the same guy was there.....

for a couple stores its just the bakery and deli and there is a list of about 6 questions you can ask..luckily they changed them about a year ago.....you used to have to ask something like do you have donuts..when in most locations tehre was a big bright donut case a few feet from the counter!

it depends on the shop guidelines...usually you can add a little back story...like...we are having an office party on .....as long as the actual question meets the requirements..

or maybe you can add on a few extra questions (but not count off if they can't answer the extra questions) to make it seem more natural...like ...how about....instead?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2015 04:09AM by jmitw.
Be either anonymous or friendly. If friendly, greet them and engage them in conversation like a friend you see occasionally. Fit the question in as a comment.
I'm fortunate here because I can choose to ask whatever I want and that will not out me as a shopper. I come up with some really strange questions! winking smiley Are the cheeks on the frozen hog heads tender? Yes, they eat those here. I found out they are used in burritos and that.......
These are Publix shops, and you have to go to every department and ask one of the three questions or there is an option to fill in your own question usually. I may take a little break from these shops.

Sandra Sue, that is a good idea about being friendly and chatting.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2015 03:06AM by Sunshine11.
@Sunshine11 wrote:

These are Publix shops, and you have to go to every department and ask one of the three questions or there is an option to fill in your own question usually. I may take a little break from these shops.

Sandra Sue, that is a good idea about being friendly and chatting.

I shop Publix all the time and have never seen an "ask your own question" option - in fact the guidelines here state the exact opposite! The screening questions actually make you agree to NOT ask or make up your own questions and to stick with the ones they provided for each department. Some of them are to me dead giveaways, but ours is not to reason why, our is but to shop or, er, try. Yeah that's it.

Maybe you are in a different region or a different MSC has these in your area. But I've done hundreds and never got to ask my own questions. Wish I could, it would make us less memorable.
I shop for a different client. I am free to ask anything as long as it is related to that department. That is much better, right?
It's been my experience that the folks we are usually shopping don't know that there are mystery shoppers and they certainly are not getting paid enough to care. I have never worked that client. I did get busted for a Hallmark shop AGES ago, but literally went to Hallmark just after breaking up with my girlfriend and I don't think I exactly gave my best performance. I got a call from my scheduler later that day saying "yeah..you are gonna be taking a break from Hallmark for a while." When I asked how I got busted she glibly said, "You told the associate that you had a $2.00 limit (or whatever the exact reimbursement amount was) and had her walk you all around the store showing you only items that cost $2.00."
I thought it was kind of a hilarious story to tell a sales associate about a $2 budget. The low reimbursement is actually the hardest part of that assignment, kind of like the $1 or $2 reimbursement at the pool store shops.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I like how when you do a Publix shop it states that you must ask one of three exact questions in each department. Then the survey gives you the option to fill in your own question. They always like to give you the rope to hang yourself with the way they write the surveys. They write them in a way that you can fill them out without following the shop guidelines and it looks like its all ok. I never filled out the survey and write in my own questions, but I'm sure that would be instantly rejected.
Do y'all do these shops for the $8 fee, or wait for them to be bonused? They are pretty time consuming.

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

Silver Certified
There is one shop, that I love, that reimburses $35. Haven't seen it on the boards lately, but I can get them done in 15-20 minutes.

The other company that I often do grocery shops for only pays $5 and reimburses $9. :/ I have to wait for bonuses on that one. They often take me upwards of 40 minutes and I honestly find them annoying.
@scanman1 wrote:

I like how when you do a Publix shop it states that you must ask one of three exact questions in each department. Then the survey gives you the option to fill in your own question. They always like to give you the rope to hang yourself with the way they write the surveys. They write them in a way that you can fill them out without following the shop guidelines and it looks like its all ok. I never filled out the survey and write in my own questions, but I'm sure that would be instantly rejected.

I use one of the three exact questions.

Not my circus - Not my monkeys @(*.*)@

~Polish Proverb~


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2015 06:27AM by cubbiecat.
It's been awhile since I've done one, and I only did one, because it sucked skunk ass, but the old MSC there was only 1 department that you had to ask the specific question word for word, the others you were allowed to paraphrase.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I don't know how many of these are out my way but I have done one that pays both a fee and reimbursement. The MSC asks that you ask one specific question in two different departments but other ones are pretty much a free for all. I usually pretend with any shop like I'm new to the neighbourhood and to the business. It's not uncommon

Definitely take advantage of the create your own questions where allowed.. it can be as simple as asking if the floral employee if they sell blue roses. It doesn't have to be as hard as it seems smiling smiley I was really afraid after doing this because I thought the report sucked but I was told it was the best first report the MSC has seen from a shopper for that particular client. Don't sweat the small stuff.. try starting/responding to the conversation with the Meat Manager in a friendly way. Talk about the weather, be yourself. If you feel nervous/worried it probably shows

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
I guess I am lucky. I don't have to deal with anyone at the grocery store. I do competitive price audits and simply collect prices. I shop two stores that are close to each other almost every week. I end up with all of my groceries paid for between the two stores and $24 cash.
I quit doing the bigger chain stores where you have to interact with everyone and have a BOB. Too stressful for me. I do the local food co-op. 3 interactions, make up your own questions, I shop there on occasion anyway so it's easy peasy.
In NV we have a chain of Hispanic markets. We have to have an interaction is 6 depts. We can ask our won questions. I always start with, "Habla English?" A lot of the time they say no or a little. I get a big smile and practice my Jr High school Spanish with English and pantomine. We all smile and it goes well. The big thing about these is they want the debrief in English and Spanish. They turned me on to "Google Translate" which lets you answer in English and it translate that answer into Spanish. Employees always appreciate the attempt to speak in Spanish, and I practice my Spanish. Am I memorable? Hell yes, but I am memorable in most places I go. Who expects the friendly shopper to be a mystery shopper? Not me. Oh, the reimbursement is up to $70 with very few restrictions on what we can buy.
I grocery shop (Not MS) at a Hispanic market because they have really good loss leaders. If I have a question, I have to find the store manager as he's the only one that speaks any English. Sometimes I get lucky at the deli and someone with a number behind me will translate to get me out of their way when I can't point fast enough.

scanman> " They always like to give you the rope to hang yourself with the way they write the surveys."

I laughed so hard when I read this! Thanks! (cake everywhere) smiling smiley
We have 5 or 6 Hispanic markets...I shop the Super Walmart a mile or so from me...they MATCH other store sale prices. I go online and note which fruits and veggies (mostly) are priced the best, also at Sprouts and one other Whole Foods like market...plus the 4 remaining chain markets here in Vegas and go to town. My cart usually is half full of the "matched" prices. I LOVE it! I tell the people that get in line behind me that they might want to go to another line if I have a lot of matches. After I am done, I find the supervisor on duty and compliment the checker if she or he is nice about the matches. Most know me by sight and thank me. I want WalMart to continue the practice, so that is what I do. I also compliment any friendly employee on the floor I interact with. Why not. I worked retail and recognition always put a smile on my face!

This last time, the person behind me showed me the sign at the register about the WalMart "Savings Catcher" program that will scan your receipt to see if there are any lower prices I might have missed. It found $.78 I missed on one shop, and I am waiting on a second receipt. You an scan up to 7 receipts a week. We can redeem for a WalMart ecard. I am very new to that, but so far, it worked beyond what I found on my own!

I have not seen WalMart shops in my area, but would not do my store, just as I do not do my Blue Bank branch when I do the combo shops. I do not think it is fair to mystery shop my regular haunts!

Hugs
@imsuzie2 wrote:

We have 5 or 6 Hispanic markets...I shop the Super Walmart a mile or so from me...they MATCH other store sale prices. I go online and note which fruits and veggies (mostly) are priced the best, also at Sprouts and one other Whole Foods like market...plus the 4 remaining chain markets here in Vegas and go to town. My cart usually is half full of the "matched" prices. I LOVE it! I tell the people that get in line behind me that they might want to go to another line if I have a lot of matches. After I am done, I find the supervisor on duty and compliment the checker if she or he is nice about the matches. Most know me by sight and thank me. I want WalMart to continue the practice, so that is what I do. I also compliment any friendly employee on the floor I interact with. Why not. I worked retail and recognition always put a smile on my face!

This last time, the person behind me showed me the sign at the register about the WalMart "Savings Catcher" program that will scan your receipt to see if there are any lower prices I might have missed. It found $.78 I missed on one shop, and I am waiting on a second receipt. You an scan up to 7 receipts a week. We can redeem for a WalMart ecard. I am very new to that, but so far, it worked beyond what I found on my own!

I have not seen WalMart shops in my area, but would not do my store, just as I do not do my Blue Bank branch when I do the combo shops. I do not think it is fair to mystery shop my regular haunts!

Hugs

At one time, if you put the difference on a Bluebird card they would match it and then double it. Bluebird is an American Express Card that they offer at WalMart sometimes they have them for free at the store you just have to put money on it. Think Walmart does this because the Waltons can not break into banking for some reason or other. Could probably make a little extra change like this.
One store in the area offered grocery shops by another MSC, not the same one as I had been doing with. The original MSC offered $9 and up to $5 reimbursed. and at least 10 departments interactions or employees, with questions in each. Really got to be a PITA that was only slightly bonused because the grocery store has a monopoly in the area. They were like liquor stores (every block next to a bankgrinning smiley).

I wonder if the original MSC lost the client, but another MSC is also shopping the client. Or the client is $$$financial enough to hire a couple different MSCs. I noticed the new MSC has been bonusing the fee each day it remains on the job board. Since Wednesday of last week the fee has risen from $11 to $30. It might be because this is the last week of the month but that is not bad. The requirements are less (5 interactions including BOB and $10 reimbursedsmiling smiley) $40 for 30 minutes sounds good.
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