If you are assigned to a retail, dining shop or any type of mystery shop where a purchase must be made, you undoubtedly need to take a picture or scan of your receipt and upload it to the report form or email it to your mystery shopping company contact.
In the busy world in which we all exist, most mystery shoppers likely confirm that the amount they are paying is correct, grab the receipt, put it in a safe place in their wallet or bag, and then take the picture or scan and send it off to the mystery shopping company – all without every really looking at the receipt.
You may read it to grab a receipt number that you are required to put into your report form, but do you ever really study your receipt?
Sale or purchase receipts these days have a LOT of information. The name and/or number of the employee with whom you interacted, store numbers, date of purchase, how you paid, time you paid, a detailed list of what you actually purchased and those purchases to which you applied coupons or discounts.
At some pharmacy and drug chains the receipt might list the items which can be claimed against your Flexible Spending accounts or how much you have earned in points or rewards.
These little slips of paper can truly tell a story. Maybe even more than you want to share with a mystery shopping company.
And sometimes those tiny, printed wisps of rolled paper don’t have the information you need.
Computers can – and do – make mistakes! As do humans!
Before venturing too far away from the store or establishment where you received your receipt, take a moment to:
- Be sure it is YOUR receipt. Sometimes there is a receipt left in the register or on the counter that the cashier may mistakenly hand to you.
- Check to make sure it is readable. If something is blurred or if the print became blurred from handling, go back and ask for another copy. (Don’t tell us that will give you away as a mystery shopper – MANY people are fastidious about keeping receipts for all of their expenditures! Just act like one of them).
- Know which information you will need to report on. Make sure it is on the receipt as expected. If something is missing, try to determine if there is another way to obtain it, or contact your scheduler as soon as possible to let them know this particular store did not include that information.
- Check to be sure that dates, times and items purchased are correct. If you see that the time or date is not correct, take a picture at the location with a date and time stamp to verify that you were at the establishment when you were supposed to be or you will write that you were. You may not need it – the scheduler may accept your story – but if you can have a backup – why not have it?
- If you are in a store making purchases NOT related to your shop assignment and for which you do not want anyone to know about, then make that purchase separately from your required purchase at the store.
BONUS TIP: Take a picture of the receipt AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! That way if it gets crumbled at the bottom of your bag, mistakenly thrown away or soaked when your child spills their drink in the car, you will still have a copy of it.
As always, if you see an issue with your receipt, let your mystery shopping scheduler or account manager know of the situation as soon as you can. Communication is the key to resolving issues and making sure your report is accepted – especially if a computer or another human caused an error on your receipt.
Do you have a story related to a receipt you needed for a shop? Please comment below – sharing is the way we all learn and become better shoppers!