Has anyone done the BARE price audits?

It looks easy enough, but I'm not sure how one covertly scans 204 items in a convenience store. ????

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@rmkeith wrote:

It looks easy enough, but I'm not sure how one covertly scans 204 items in a convenience store. ????

Going to be quite tricky. I've done the ones in the warehouse club and discount store and that takes forever. I do some of the pricing lookups where you just go and get the price but don't have to scan and take photos and that goes much quicker.
204 items in a convenience store is going to be tricky unless it's one of the large travel centers. You're going to have to make multiple trips and I'm not sure it's worth it, but that's me! I can do the warehouse club pricing lookup in about 30 minutes but it's the same list every other week so you get to know where things are and what they do and don't have and goes quick.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2022 12:37AM by foodluvr.
I tried one. The convenience store was not busy, and the two associates stared at me the whole time. After about 10 minutes, one associate approached me and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was doing a pricing audit. He asked if I had authorization to be there, and I said no. He called his manager and then asked me to leave. I did not get paid.
@thunderdeacon wrote:

I tried one. The convenience store was not busy, and the two associates stared at me the whole time. After about 10 minutes, one associate approached me and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was doing a pricing audit. He asked if I had authorization to be there, and I said no. He called his manager and then asked me to leave. I did not get paid.

Ahh, yeah, that can happen. Honestly it's not as big a deal as you think. You can go to another location for that brand to finish so long as it is within 60 miles.

I do a lot of these for the convenience stores. They're usually not horrible, but the client has been a PIA of late. Sometimes the lists have had a lot more items than we thought there would be.
@weatherman2111 wrote:

@thunderdeacon wrote:

I tried one. The convenience store was not busy, and the two associates stared at me the whole time. After about 10 minutes, one associate approached me and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was doing a pricing audit. He asked if I had authorization to be there, and I said no. He called his manager and then asked me to leave. I did not get paid.

Ahh, yeah, that can happen. Honestly it's not as big a deal as you think. You can go to another location for that brand to finish so long as it is within 60 miles.

I do a lot of these for the convenience stores. They're usually not horrible, but the client has been a PIA of late. Sometimes the lists have had a lot more items than we thought there would be.

Agreed. I act like I'm waiting to hear back from somebody or if they asked me. I tell them that they were out of whatever my husband wanted so I'm waiting to hear back from him. But I would never take these at base pay!
I guess I just don't feel comfortable being somewhere that I'm not supposed to be. It would be different if I was going in as a regular customer to buy something and make some observations. But staying there for half an hour to an hour and scanning on their merchandise without actually having authorization to be there is something I just don't ever do. I'm not going to jump through any hoops. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to delay. I'm not going to tell them I'm waiting to hear back from somebody when I'm not. I'm not going to lie to them. I'm going to tell them exactly why I'm there. And if they want me to leave I'll leave. That happened, and I didn't get paid. Therefore, I don't do those anymore, and I don't work for that mystery shopping company anymore either.
I do that every month. At 2 of the stores I went to the manager was there & he said said "Don't come back". I found others of ths same brand and did them. In one of the convenience stores (in a gas station) there usually is a different employee each time I go ther. Sometimes they look at me (but neversay anything) and sometimes they don't even look at me or bother me. I guess it just depends on the store.
@thunderdeacon wrote:

I guess I just don't feel comfortable being somewhere that I'm not supposed to be. It would be different if I was going in as a regular customer to buy something and make some observations. But staying there for half an hour to an hour and scanning on their merchandise without actually having authorization to be there is something I just don't ever do. I'm not going to jump through any hoops. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to delay. I'm not going to tell them I'm waiting to hear back from somebody when I'm not. I'm not going to lie to them. I'm going to tell them exactly why I'm there. And if they want me to leave I'll leave. That happened, and I didn't get paid. Therefore, I don't do those anymore, and I don't work for that mystery shopping company anymore either.

I get it but keep in mind that most mystery shopping equates to lying. I'm there to do a job and most of the time I don't have a letter of authorization to do most of the mystery shopping I do. I try to blend in. I have a good story and I get in and get out.
I certainly don't knock anyone for doing them. Especially when their bonus and they pay well. We all have to make a living. And true, all mystery shopping is a lie to a certain extent. But 90% of mystery shopping is sanctioned by the company that is getting shopped. The smaller percentage of competitor mystery shopping is at least set up where you portray yourself as a regular guest or potential customer.

This is just complete corporate espionage. This is walking into an establishment and doing a covert inventory audit at a place that is in no way sanctioning it. This seems above and beyond any type of dishonesty that would be involved in regular mystery shopping. And again 90% of mystery shopping is done for the exact company that is being shopped, and it is sanctioned by their management team. And the employees know that there is a mystery shopping program. That is very different. Once I tried to do one, was refused, and was not paid, that was it for me. I'm not going to drive around the state looking for a place that's going to let me do this nonsense without stopping me. If they would have paid me for the one that I tried to do, then maybe I would reconsider. But once that happened it was no dice. I'm not going to bend over backwards to help them get this nonsense done.
@foodluvr wrote:

@rmkeith wrote:

It looks easy enough, but I'm not sure how one covertly scans 204 items in a convenience store. ????

Going to be quite tricky. I've done the ones in the warehouse club and discount store and that takes forever. I do some of the pricing lookups where you just go and get the price but don't have to scan and take photos and that goes much quicker.
204 items in a convenience store is going to be tricky unless it's one of the large travel centers. You're going to have to make multiple trips and I'm not sure it's worth it, but that's me! I can do the warehouse club pricing lookup in about 30 minutes but it's the same list every other week so you get to know where things are and what they do and don't have and goes quick.

Thanks! I haven't done anything for this company yet, and maybe this isn't the best way to start. I really don't EVER want to have an unpleasant interaction with store employees.
@thunderdeacon wrote:

I guess I just don't feel comfortable being somewhere that I'm not supposed to be. It would be different if I was going in as a regular customer to buy something and make some observations. But staying there for half an hour to an hour and scanning on their merchandise without actually having authorization to be there is something I just don't ever do. I'm not going to jump through any hoops. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to delay. I'm not going to tell them I'm waiting to hear back from somebody when I'm not. I'm not going to lie to them. I'm going to tell them exactly why I'm there. And if they want me to leave I'll leave. That happened, and I didn't get paid. Therefore, I don't do those anymore, and I don't work for that mystery shopping company anymore either.

I feel the same. I don't do jobs that require me to misrepresent myself. Maybe I'll stick to restaurant jobs where I truly represent myself as a eater!
@foodluvr wrote:

I get it but keep in mind that most mystery shopping equates to lying.

I do not agree with this statement. I will not perform a shop that requires using a canned scenario (unless the scenario is true to [my] life). I shop, make observations, and write about them. Sneaky? Perhaps. Lying? Only if you choose. Several well-paying jobs are posted right now with ACL, but I will not perform them because I would have to use a situation that is not true to my life.
Mystery shopping is role playing. It is playing a role in order to measure the experience, service, product, etc. It's a way to do it covertly so that employees and establishments don't know they're being watched at that exact second.

There's nothing wrong with that. And I do not consider that lying. I am being paid to lie. I am being paid to play a role. An actor or actress is not a liar because they are playing a role in a movie that is not there exact self. We are actors and actresses providing observations for companies.

That said, the price audit is not a mystery shop. We are not providing observations of service or the facilities for the corporate entity. We are going into a store and doing a clandestine inventory audit. That is completely different from normal mystery shopping. It's not sanctioned by the place that we're visiting, and they don't even know it's going on. At least with normal mystery shopping, we are being employed with a contract from the company that's actually being evaluated. So the corporate entity approves of it and sets up the system. The employees know that there is a mystery shopping program, and they know that at some point a mystery shopper will come in. That's so different from the price on it. This price thing is just corporate espionage, and they're asking us to go Kamikaze into a place to do a massive inventory audit where we are not even sanctioned to be.
@patman9760 wrote:

@foodluvr wrote:

I get it but keep in mind that most mystery shopping equates to lying.

I do not agree with this statement. I will not perform a shop that requires using a canned scenario (unless the scenario is true to [my] life). I shop, make observations, and write about them. Sneaky? Perhaps. Lying? Only if you choose. Several well-paying jobs are posted right now with ACL, but I will not perform them because I would have to use a situation that is not true to my life.

Agree.

Just the opposite is true in most cases....you are there to report the truth.

I went to IHOP last night on my own--no shop involved. As is my habit, I notice things like un-bussed tables, the time it takes to be served, the general atmosphere of the restaurant, the check out process, etc... It was a terrible experience....service that was more like passive resistance...they screwed up my order too. Had this been an evaluation, I would have said that:

------
"There was an un-bussed table to my left that sat unattended for the entirety of my evaluation
My waitress refilled my coffee cup one time and did not offer to refill my water
I ordered blueberry pancakes from the menu that stated the pancakes themselves were "chocked full" of blueberries and had blueberry compote and whipped cream on top. The items I was served were regular pancakes with whipped cream and blueberries on top. The pancakes were cold enough to the point where butter placed between them did not melt. There was no customer satisfaction check made by the waitress whose only interaction after delivinging my food was to ask if I was ready for the check. "
-----

This isn't lying. It's the truth. Whether I identify myself as a mystery shopper or not is irrelevant...all customers should receive good service. So, like you, I disagree with the stance that we are lying when we do evaluations.

That being said, I will not take a job that, through the shop instructions, tells me to present an employee with an ethical dilemma. I am aware that one shop for a testing laboratory--where people go and take standardized exams--wants you to try to cheat or violate the rules. I wouldn't do that one. Not because I don't think it's valuable...because I, personally, don't want to give a guy or gal who is just there working a harder day than they already have. God bless those who do this though...it keeps them on their toes. I just don't want to be the one doing it. But even then, that isn't "lying"...that is testing the systems they have in place.
@rmkeith wrote:

Thanks! I haven't done anything for this company yet, and maybe this isn't the best way to start. I really don't EVER want to have an unpleasant interaction with store employees.

I love working for BARE....I think you will too.
I absolutely agree. Somewhere on this Forum there is a post from me years ago in which I said that when I am mystery shopping according to a scenario, I am an actor in a one-person play and I have an audience (usually) of one. Actors are not lying, they are portraying a particular situation. So are mystery shoppers. I have done high-net-worth investing shops, and they were fun. I have shopped in thrift stores, and those were fun also. I keep passing up the mystery shops for Rolls Royce cars. They pay a lot, but I haven't yet been able to get my head around a plausible scenario (the shop has very few restrictions or suggestions).

I have done some integrity shops where I simply observe and report, and I am fine with those. I did a different integrity shop where I had to offer an employee in a Halloween store cash and see if they would accept so that I would not have to stand in line to buy my item. I will never do another shop like that again.
@thunderdeacon wrote:

I am being paid to play a role. An actor or actress is not a liar because they are playing a role in a movie that is not there exact self. We are actors and actresses providing observations for companies.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I guess lying was a bit strong. Playing a role is probably better or acting. Bottom line is most of the stuff that I do I wouldn't do in my real life. I have no need for childcare or senior living, but I make a good living shopping both!
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