Mystery Shopping Memory Tricks

Image courtesy of and Stuart Miles


I’d really like to mystery shop, but after looking at your sample forms (in the Mystery Shopper Training Program) I’m a little nervous. I quite possibly have the worst memory ever. How on earth can I do mystery shopping?

Mystery Shopping does require a fair amount of memory…but, no one is perfect, and there are always tricks to help you get the details you need for a great shop. Here are some that I use:

For Apartment Shops: They always give you brochures, or floor plans, or community newsletters, or business cards, or whatever. Take them, and take notes on the shop. It’s very common for an apartment seeker to write down the prices, move-in fees, etc. So take advantage of the opportunity!

For Bank Shops: As with apartments, brochures abound. Since employees like to rattle off interest rate information as quickly as possible, grab a brochure and take some notes. More often than not, the employee does this for you without prompting.

For Retail Shops: Be VERY familiar with the assignment before you head out. Create a little cheat-sheet about the areas you’re supposed to visit, or the products you’re supposed to buy. Keep it in your purse or wallet, and head to a different department, (or washroom) to take notes. A cell phone comes in handy here, since you can text yourself or leave voice notes for particular things you notice.

For Restaurant Shops: These are the bane of existence for anyone who has a poor memory. Since they’re all about timing, make sure you have a watch with a second hand, or a digital timer on your phone, and cheat sheets in your purse or wallet. You can mark off your cheat sheet under the table, (or in the washroom) as each course is served, or just pretend that you’re texting and leave notes in your phone that way.

Regardless of what type of shop you do, make sure that after you leave, you drive about a mile away, pull over, and take more notes. If you have a tape recorder, you can fill out the form orally so you don’t miss anything. You can also leave yourself text messages, or voice notes on your cell phone. If you have a laptop or iPad and can hotspot, you may be able to finish up the form right there!

Developing a good memory takes time and perseverance. You can help build the skill by doing memory games online, or by doing sample shops to get you warmed up. Don’t worry, in time, you’ll become a pro!

Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!

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