On some shops I'll have to bring the paperwork with me into the shop.

Sometimes they want you to ask so many questions, you cannot remember all of them. There's no other way, except to bring the paperwork into the store with you. Just pretend you printed out some questions.

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Most guidelines, IIRC, insist that your guidelines/questionnaire never be visible on site.

I usually fold them, tuck them into a pocket, and when I think I'm done with the shop, I ask for the restroom, and double check to make sure I didn't miss something urgent.

smiling smiley
@ceasesmith wrote:

Most guidelines, IIRC, insist that your guidelines/questionnaire never be visible on site.

I usually fold them, tuck them into a pocket, and when I think I'm done with the shop, I ask for the restroom, and double check to make sure I didn't miss something urgent.

smiling smiley

That will work sometimes. Other times the sales person is now with a customer and has left the area. They don't see the paper work, I have I have it folded up to the questions and away from them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 03:23AM by johnb974.
That's crazy. I have never done a shop where I could not remember what I needed to do. If you are having that problem you should not do those shops.
I just hope new shoppers don't pay any attention to these misleading posts. If the guidelines say no part of the paperwork should be visible, then no part should be visible. Playing with fire will get one burnt.

And JAS, I often am not sure if I covered everything -- especially when I'm on a route with varied shops, and particularly if one of them is a shop I've never done before.

(But then, I can carry my empty coffee cup into the kitchen and find myself wondering "what in the world did I come in HERE for?".....and my "to do" list all too often begins with "find yesterday's to do list".)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 03:44AM by ceasesmith.
You can always put the shop guidelines on your phone. Just tell the sales person your spouse gave you a few questions to ask. Just look at your phone. By the way, I find many of the questions on the guidelines give you away as a mystery shopper. Because normal shopper don't ask these questions.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 03:57AM by johnb974.
Is there anyone who doesn't have a phone you can put notes in?

Printing out instructions is a huge waste of paper/ink/resources. I haven't printed a single MS document in years.....
@johnb974 wrote:

You can always put the shop guidelines on your phone.

Wait...you had the solution to your question already? Why even make this post?
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@johnb974 wrote:

You can always put the shop guidelines on your phone.

Wait...you had the solution to your question already? Why even make this post?

So others will know what to do, about some of these guidelines.
I would never bring the guidelines with me to the store but I do make a cheat sheet in my own handwriting with short one or two word prompts for me. I review them just before going in and like Cease suggests go to the restroom and review again in the stall. I carry one of those ubiquitous shopping bags with me and put it in there along with other things. I have some very nice ones for nicer stores made out of beautiful material. If your state has not yet banned plastic bags and prompted everyone to carry a shopping bag around with them this may not work.
I am doing a new to me shop tomorrow with a huge list of questions to go over with the consultant. In this type of "research to buy" shop I see nothing obvious in bringing in a few questions to ask on your phone list or a paper if , like me, you also do not use a smart phone.. I may be the only one in California Steve but yes, I am here and enjoying the freedom of not being tied to a smart phone.
@johnb974 wrote:

You can always put the shop guidelines on your phone. Just tell the sales person your spouse gave you a few questions to ask. Just look at your phone. By the way, I find many of the questions on the guidelines give you away as a mystery shopper. Because normal shopper don't ask these questions.

I hope this is all a joke.
Your initial post suggested bringing a printed document into the shop, then another stated you would keep it folded up and pull it out when the salesperson was not around. Really bad idea.

@johnb974 wrote:

@SteveSoCal wrote:

@johnb974 wrote:

You can always put the shop guidelines on your phone.

Wait...you had the solution to your question already? Why even make this post?

So others will know what to do, about some of these guidelines.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 11:45AM by JASFLALMT.
Steve inquires--Is there anyone who doesn't have a phone you can put notes in?

Bob replies--Yes. I took my CRP to a tech to ascertain if she could attach a port for that possibility. Her answer was no, but even if she could, the cord would not be of sufficient length to accommodate my work.
@shopperbob wrote:

I took my CRP to a tech to ascertain if she could attach a port for that possibility. Her answer was no, but even if she could, the cord would not be of sufficient length to accommodate my work.

Luckily you seem to be doing OK without it, Bob

@johnb974 wrote:

@SteveSoCal wrote:

@johnb974 wrote:

You can always put the shop guidelines on your phone.

Wait...you had the solution to your question already? Why even make this post?

So others will know what to do, about some of these guidelines.

John, in all seriousness...was your initial post an attempt to be helpful to other shoppers who might not be able to remember all of the guidelines?

This is literally why some shop guidelines have to say, "Do NOT print out the notes and bring them into the shop".
I know what the shop guidelines say, but there are some shops where you really need the guidelines with you or you risk not getting paid.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 03:31PM by johnb974.
No, I don't. I don't need the guidelines with me. I study the guidelines and form at home, and refresh before I go in to do the shop if I can look them over in a discreet place.

You shouldn't do shops if you can't remember what you are supposed to do. And you are posting that you would break the guidelines and take shop materials in the store with you, even though the MSC states not to do so? This is not the first time you have posted that you have no problems going against the MSC and client's policies and you think there is nothing wrong with it. How can you claim to have any sort of integrity?

@johnb974 wrote:

I know what the shop guidelines say, but there are some shops where you really need the guidelines with you or you risk not getting paid.
You've seen posts of what others do. They write notes to keep with them during the shop or they have the guidelines on their phone.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 04:38PM by johnb974.
This is what you posted.

@johnb974 wrote:

Sometimes they want you to ask so many questions, you cannot remember all of them. There's no other way, except to bring the paperwork into the store with you. Just pretend you printed out some questions.
"I know what the shop guidelines say, but there are some shops where you really need the guidelines with you or you risk not getting paid." I'm curious, what other guidelines have you decided to ignore because they are inconvenient to you to follow? As a poster said above, if you can't follow the guidelines, maybe you're taking the wrong shops.
@Sandy Shopper wrote:

"I know what the shop guidelines say, but there are some shops where you really need the guidelines with you or you risk not getting paid." I'm curious, what other guidelines have you decided to ignore because they are inconvenient to you to follow? As a poster said above, if you can't follow the guidelines, maybe you're taking the wrong shops.

I've had shops that ask you to check the restroom, but do not ask any employees where they are. I've seen shops for restaurants that ask you not to ask for a take home bag. In both cases they say it might tip the employee off that you're a shopper. Those guidelines make no sense. As if only mystery shoppers would do this.

Also many shops ask that you do not reveal yourself as a mystery shopper, YET the guideline questions tip off the employee you're a mystery shopper. I've had store managers tell me they know who the mystery shoppers are by the questions they ask or what they order.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 05:02PM by johnb974.
It doesn't matter if it makes sense to you or not, you contracted to complete the assignment according to the guidelines. If you can't do that, may I suggest Uber or DoorDash instead of mystery shopping? The industry has changed enough without shoppers deciding what guidelines they will or will not follow.
@johnb974 wrote:


I've had shops that ask you to check the restroom, but do not ask any employees where they are. I've seen shops for restaurants that ask you not to ask for a take home bag. In both cases they say it might tip the employee off that you're a shopper. Those guidelines make no sense. As if only mystery shoppers would do this

These seem pretty simple and easy to remember rules to me....Some people are quite shy and will not ask where a restroom is. If you cannot find it by yourself just wander around for a while and someone will probably tip you off. They are generally in the perimeter somewhere near the back or back corner. Sometimes upstairs with a sign. If they do not have one it will probably not be in the guidelines. You might even see another customer and ask them if they know.

No take home bag you can ask for? Often they will ask you. If not, be prepared to either eat it all there or not take that shop if you are not able to be reimbursed enough including fee with no take home food. Personally, like my post about carrying a "shopping bag" everywhere, I also always carry a re usable plastic container in my bag for take home rather than use the throw away stuff from restaurants. I am very environmentally conscious and have been doing this for years. If you are embarrassed by having your own take home container with you just mention that you are doing your part to help in the climate crisis. Everyone should be aware of climate warming and efforts to cut back. We can all help in little and big ways. If you are a non believer just suck it up and say that anyway in the interest of your next leftovers meal.

John, I am not posing the above solutions just for you as I really do not think you are a person who easily takes suggestions from others. But maybe others can benefit from my suggestions. And perhaps you can too.
@johnb974 wrote:

People do shops their own way. Do what works best for you to get the job done.
No. People do shops the way they are told to do shops. You are most certainly going to work your way out of this industry. I wouldn’t trust somebody with the kind of ethics you have claimed to have to do any of my shops if I was scheduling.
@panama18 wrote:

This thread shouldn't even exist. Nothing personal, but it's ridiculous.

This thread is getting the reaction it set out to get.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 11:36PM by Niner.
Yeah...but then again, maybe he seriously thinks it's okay to do whatever he wants. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
I read the guidelines and follow those to a T. If the guidelines say do not bring in paperwork, I do not bring in paperwork. Work out another system where you can remember the questions, John.
Yup.

This is very different from bringing paperwork to a merchandising task or audit (in the recent past, some audits involved recording info on a form). Sometimes it is helpful to show an employee what things in my project look like and/or let them see the information that makes it easy for them to connect me with a specific manager or place within their domain.

I do not bring paperwork to shops.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
My solution to this is to copy the questions to Google Keep. When I need to ask questions during the shop, I refer to my notes.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
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