Do Mystery Shops Decrease a lot During a Recession?

Wondering about this, as I believe we may enter one within the next year.

I started shopping in Dec. 2016, so have never gone through a recession period. I was guessing the competition would be more fierce for shops, but wondering too if shops just completely disappear b/c client is cutting costs?

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I think that clients change quiet often and you'll see the same shop for a year, then all of a sudden it pops up with another MSC. That being said, I think that companies think that the easiest thing to save money on is a mystery shopping program. A lot of corporate offices have switched to surveys via email or on a receipt with a gift to the customer, rather than having a full on MS program. I think that's a mistake, and not just because I want to keep doing this, but because you will never get the full story from a survey that someone is taking for the chance at a free prize.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
The biggest impact of the Great Recession of 2008 was that a number o chain went out of business either that year or in the next few years. And their MS programs, of course, disappeared as well. Circuit City, Radio Shack, K-Mart (the chain is on life support) come to mind. Some retrenched out of this area (Krispy Kreme and others).
@shoptastic wrote:

Wondering about this, as I believe we may enter one within the next year.

I started shopping in Dec. 2016, so have never gone through a recession period. I was guessing the competition would be more fierce for shops, but wondering too if shops just completely disappear b/c client is cutting costs?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@Jenny Cassada wrote:

A lot of corporate offices have switched to surveys via email or on a receipt with a gift to the customer, rather than having a full on MS program. I think that's a mistake, and not just because I want to keep doing this, but because you will never get the full story from a survey that someone is taking for the chance at a free prize.

The thing with the surveys is that I never do them.

My ONLY reasons for doing them in the past was maybe thinking I could get lucky and win the $500 or $1,000 prize. Once I realized I NEVER win those things (not sure what I was expecting, since it's like winning the lottery practically), then I just stopped doing them. Waste of my time.

I agree you cannot get the same info./intel.

I also wonder if you may get honest and accurate intel from just a survey? Like, is someone maybe trying filling them out super quick without much thought into it.
I began mystery shopping in 2008 near the end of the recession. I did 90-110 shops a month, but I had to scour the job boards to find it. As the economy recovered, more business came back on board, including the housing industry and hotel/casinos in particular.
@AZwolfman wrote:

I began mystery shopping in 2008 near the end of the recession. I did 90-110 shops a month, but I had to scour the job boards to find it. As the economy recovered, more business came back on board, including the housing industry and hotel/casinos in particular.

Wow. You did more shops a month during the recession from Hell than I do in three months during non-recession. tongue sticking out smiley

I probably average around 10-15 shops a month.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2019 07:01AM by shoptastic.
I know of no way of knowing how many shoppers there are but it seems to me that the closer we get to full employment the less mystery shoppers there will be out there and the reverse in a recession when people are getting laid off rather than hired into other jobs. This in addition to companies trimming expenses and with them their mystery shop programs. So a recession is not great for us mystery shoppers. In real life the recession did not end anytime near 2008 where I live.
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