Four Reasons Not to Take Kids on a Mystery Shop

Unless you are specifically assigned to a kid-friendly shop, meaning the mystery shop contract specifications state you will take children with you to conduct the shop, it’s best to mystery shop alone or only with another adult.

There are several reasons not to take kids on a mystery shop. Here are 4 major reasons:

Mystery Shopper with Child

1. Distractions

Children are such free spirits.  More than likely the child will want to play or enjoy the scenery.  You will not be focused on the shop or agent, or whether the child will run too fast and fall somewhere and break something or injure themselves.

If you are hired to complete a mystery shop, you want to complete this shop to the best of your abilities without distractions. This includes recalling all the details necessary to complete the written evaluation for your mystery shop.  If you are not able to pay attention, you may miss vital detail that should be included in your report.

2. Increased chances of being revealed

Children are very open and will speak their minds.  If a child tags along while you complete a mystery shop, he or she may mention something that would tip you off as a mystery shopper.  You could be caught off guard by a question a child asks you, or you may even give an inappropriate answer that can be overheard by the person being shopped.

3. Interrupt the flow of the presentation

Every employee has specific steps and guidelines that they must follow as part of their sales process. The point of the mystery shop is to capture that normal process and report to the client how well the employee is performing to expectations.   As a mystery shopper, you want to give the employee every chance to succeed in their job.

When you have to tend to your children during the mystery shop, this may confuse or derail the salesperson from the normal sales presentation, causing them not to do their ‘best’.

Mystery SHopper with Family4. Altered Video footage

It is very important that you complete a video mystery shop alone.  Children may cause you to record unnecessary footage or misalign your camera angle due to pulling on your shirt to get your attention.

There is also a chance that a child may mention, by mistake, that you are wearing a camera.  This would not be a good thing and could cost you the current shop (and the chance at future video shops).

We understand that on rare occasion there may be a reason to take your child to work with you.  However, you must know that they can have an impact on your earnings potential since they could distract, detract from, or even void your mystery shop.

Children are bundles of joy.  But mystery shops, especially apartment shops, should be completed by the assigned mystery shopper only.  Even another adult could alter results of the apartment shop, so be careful taking guests period.

When you conduct your shops alone, you can better ensure you are completing the shop to the best of your abilities and the employee is performing to the best of theirs.  The person you are shopping deserves your time and attention. If you have questions about whether it is acceptable to take a guest or a child with you on a shop, consult your mystery shop assignment details or the mystery shopping company.


-Stacy M