grocery stores

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When we apply with mystery shopping companies, most, if not all, of them require that shoppers sign a confidentiality agreement. Telling others or publishing the names of the clients a MSP services is a violation of that confidentiality agreement. Note that the posting guidelines from our Forum Administrator, shown to the right when you type a new post, state "Do not reveal the clients of mystery shopping companies."
I sometimes do my regular shopping at Vons and find staring at name tags a fun game to play. Especially when I put something on the bottom of my cart....They pretty much stand at attention and think that I am a shopper.
On occasion I look at my watch and write notes like I am a mystery shopper just to see if the service improves. I mentioned this previously and a member of the forum said it makes it harder for the shoppers.

This is a teaching moment. In my opinion, the servers and associates know they are being shopped. You should use a Digital recorder and not take a written note. When you get home you can debrief the recorder and get all the info.

I just tell the partner I am dining with the visual snapshot I am taking and the recorder is recording the mark that I drop or the server drops to mark the time and events that are occurring.

If I am shopping alone I talk to myself. People do that all the time. Before the age of cell phones, they would have dropped a net on you if you talked to yourself. You must be discrete when you talk to yourself.

If you are a professional you can be sneaky and get all that info, even if you have to say "WOW", OMG, Yikes, grunt or groan or make other exclamations and remember what was happening when you marked that time. You can tell the recorder what happened when you grunted or groaned as soon as you do not have associates watching you or within earshot.

Practice before you go for real so you know what your recorder can hear. Be aware of music that might be playing or crowd noise in restaurants.
Just did my first grocery store shop this past weekend. They were all out of the cheese I wanted at the deli, darn. Cashier did not look for item under cart. Bagger asked me if cashier got it. Nope. Then, she gives me a dirty look like I was not going to say anything. Yikes!! I did it, my first grocery shop!
@ShopNflop - if you want to stay covert that is absolutely the way to go. However, most shops don't pay me NEARLY enough to go through all that trouble winking smiley

For most dining/fast food I just pack my questionnaire in my briefcase and fill it out inside the location. Sometimes, I bring my laptop (when the location is known to have free WiFi) and just skip the paperwork and report it directly from the location.

I have many covert cameras, recorders, and DVRs in all sorts of shapes and sizes (my day job sometimes required I use them), but I find $10 and a free meal is not worth me spending a half hour in a restaurant, driving home, reliving the moment as I play everything back (which can sometimes be a hassle) and then notating it.
sweetness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just did my first grocery store shop this past
> weekend. They were all out of the cheese I wanted
> at the deli, darn. Cashier did not look for item
> under cart. Bagger asked me if cashier got it.
> Nope. Then, she gives me a dirty look like I was
> not going to say anything. Yikes!! I did it, my
> first grocery shop!

Excellent! If there are enough shops where you live, and rotation allows, you can certainly make a dent in your grocery billssmiling smiley
I was just laughing because dinner tonight was updating leftovers from last night. The meat, the spice rub ingredients, the cooking broth, the pasta all came from shops, as did all of the ingredients to make a pie except the lemon and the orange that came off the trees here in the yard. The veggie last night was broccoli from my garden (seeds were from a shop) and tonight the veggie was out of a can from a shop. The dishwashing detergent (both liquid at the sink for the pots and pans and powder for the dishwasher) are from shops, as are the dishtowels and dishrag and scrubbies. The paper towels to wipe up the mess I made are from shops and the pot of coffee I put on to go with the pie is coffee from a shop.

"Dent" in the grocery bills? Heck, what are grocery bills? :-)
Yes Mert and Flash, I hope to make a dent in my grocery shopping, bigger than coupons, but of course will still be using coupons.
YAY!

Flash, I have not spent one unreimbursed cent, for groceries or non-food items that can be found at grocery stores for over seven months.

Sweetness, I continue honing my skills at couponing. A coupon used on a sale item, on super double, or triple coupon week can result in a near zero balance due!! Then, I can spend my shop reimbursement on non-coupon items, which are primarily the perishables. Couponing, together with mystery shopping, is a perfect storm.

My husband uses the word "huge" to describe what I can do smiling smiley
I have spent some unreimbursed money for groceries when I see a 'too good to miss' sale at a store that is not shopped or there are things I want/need that the shopped stores do not carry. But it is an insignificant amount in the greater scheme of things.

Unfortunately none of the stores in my area double or triple coupons. What I do find handy is that the stores I shop will honor competitor coupons and one of the stores will honor 2 one-per-item coupons on a BOGO. I don't think I have spent more than about 35 cents on a fancy bottled pasta sauce since I started shopping. Using 2 coupons on a BOGO salad dressing deal I have nifty marinades cheaper than the price of the oil and vinegar to make them myself.
Can anyone give me advice on Major Merchandise Service (MMS). I did three road shows for them....my last one, they sent me a Dear John letter, due to a Manager could not confirm...I had set-up the show.....This was so unfair, because I sent pictures and names....etc.....How do I get paid for the one day I went to set-up.

Toni
Usually a "road show" is a product demonstration of a new product. They are merchandising type gigs rather than mystery shopping. I would assume that there was some agreement within the merchandising contract to handle the set up time, but since I don't do merchandising I really would not know. My closest interaction with "road shows" is to go and observe them as a shop--making sure they are there and presenting and evaluating the presentation.
Ditto...Would you be interest in driving 60 miles round trip, no mileage paid for $9.00 per hour for 2 days @ 4 hours per day....merchandising magazine.....That's one for ya!

Toni
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