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Frequently Asked Questions
A Mystery Shop Evaluator is an independent contractor who collects sensitive business intelligence for AboutFace clients.
Visit our Gig Central page and create your free shopper account, it’s that easy!
Once you have qualified as a Mystery Shop Evaluator, you will begin to receive emails when our clients have evaluations located within a certain distance from your zip code. We encourage you to check the listings regularly, as new evaluations are frequently added throughout the month.
AboutFace chooses evaluators based on geographic location and performance history. It is important to complete evaluations successfully and on time to be considered in good standing. You will receive evaluation notifications based on your location. The standard for most evaluators is within a 50-mile radius.
The number of shops available to Mystery Shop Evaluators depends on a variety of factors including:
- Projects within an area
- Mystery Shop Evaluator’s history and reputation
I received a notification of an evaluation available in my area, but when I logged in to view the details, it was gone. Why?
If the evaluation no longer appears as available, it has been accepted by another Mystery Shop Evaluator.
That depends on the type of client project. In most cases, it is acceptable to bring another person along unless the stated client objectives specifically state otherwise. If other people are permitted by the evaluator guidelines, make sure YOU perform the shop.
Simple! Log in, click on “Edit My Profile” and make your changes. Keeping your personal information up to date is critical, so we urge you to make changes as soon as they occur. Be sure to click all tabs and fill out all information on each tab to ensure your profile is up to date.
You should send an email to the email address on your evaluator guidelines. General questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Names are an important role when evaluating someone’s performance. It is a best practice to make an attempt to gather the names of all employees with whom you interact. This should be done in a natural way, and not in a manner that gives you away as an evaluator. Please review the guidelines for each assignment for the name policy of your evaluation.
AboutFace grades each evaluation on a scale from 1-5 in the following areas:
- Scoring Accuracy –Were all scores accurate throughout the evaluation?
- Timeliness –Was the evaluation started, completed, and fully submitted to the client before the due date without extensions? Unless otherwise directed, was the evaluation submitted the same day as the visit so that the client had the report within 48 hours from the occurrence?
- Comment Quality & Grammar –Were the evaluation comments answered thoroughly with complete sentences and with good grammar?
- Proof of Visit Quality –Did the evaluation contain all required quality proofs of visit? Examples include: time stamped photo(s), geo located photo(s), receipt(s), and/or business card(s).
- Overall Report Quality – 20% Were all names obtained, and were guidelines followed so the report gave robust details about the evaluation.
In an effort to ensure we are providing accurate times to our clients, most AboutFace evaluations will require a photo while onsite. This can be geo-located by turning on your location services and time stamping in the settings of your mobile device. This tells the client where you were, what time you were there, and prevents confusion. There are also time stamp and geo-location apps available in the app store.
If you still have questions, email the Mystery Shopping Supplier Ambassador. We are here to help!
Each client project is different. Your payment amount is dependent on the complexity of both the shop and the evaluation. For example, a simple purchase shop would pay less than a purchase and return shop. The payment details as well as any reimbursement amount for required purchases can always be found in the stated client objectives for your particular project.
AboutFace pays all Mystery Shop Evaluators using PayPal™. If you don’t already have a PayPal™ account, setting one up is simple and free.
You will be paid approximately 30-45 days from the date of the shop submission.
Please complete this inquiry form by clicking HERE. Our Finance department will reach out within 48 hours.
How can I recognize mystery shopping scams? What should I do if I receive what looks like a check claiming to be from AboutFace?
AboutFace never sends out cashier’s checks to evaluators or solicits for evaluators by mail. At AboutFace, we value our evaluators and want to educate them to look out for scams that may seem too good to be true evaluator. Unfortunately, shopper scams are becoming more prevalent in our industry and on occasion AboutFace has been made aware of a scam using the AboutFace name and logo.
What to do:
If you have received an email, letter or check from anyone claiming to be with AboutFace other than a known AboutFace scheduler:
- Understand that this communication did not come from AboutFace. Do not cash checks such as these.
- 2. Please contact your local police department and file a report with www.ic3.gov.
- You can also report the scam as active to the MSPA and go to the following link to find out more information on how to report potential scammers: http://www.mspa-na.org/benefits/avoid-scams
We encourage you to work with authorities to stop this. Protect yourself first.
How to tell:
- AboutFace does not send out checks in large sums, and all checks will have our corporate address listed. We pay our mystery shop evaluators via PayPal. If large sum checks are received, do not cash them. We also require all evaluators to sign our Independent Contractor Agreement before performing an evaluation for payment.
- All AboutFace emails are sent to you with the aboutfacecorp.com domain only. Our corporate offices are in Georgia so please be on the lookout from emails and letters that do not support our physical address.
We value all our evaluators who work hard, and we regret that is an ongoing problem in this industry. If you receive correspondence of this nature from a company posing as AboutFace please contact our Anti-Scam Response Team as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to perform your evaluation
Once you are qualified as a Mystery Shop Evaluator or Panelist for AboutFace, you will begin to receive emails and text messages about opportunities located within your area. We encourage you to check the project listings regularly, as new assignments are added frequently throughout the month.
If you see an available shop in your area, you have the option to accept it or decline it.
Remember, when you signed up with us you added your home and work addresses to your profile, so we are sending you notifications within those specific areas. From your Mystery Shop Evaluator home page, you can easily check for assignments outside your area on our job board. This feature enables you to search for shops if you’re traveling or if you have a second home in an area other than your primary home zip code.
A detailed shop flow is provided in each project’s evaluator guidelines in order to help you have a rewarding and successful experience. Since specific requirements vary from client-to-client and month-to-month, we urge you to read through the evaluator guidelines and the evaluation form prior to every shop. We want you to have a great experience, so please feel free to contact the scheduler or other contract person provided in the evaluator guidelines if you have questions.
Best Practices for a successful shop:
Before Your Visit
Log in to your Mystery Shop Evaluator home page and click “View Visit Details or Fill Out the Form” for the shop you have agreed to perform.
Read the evaluator guidelines and the evaluation before your visit.
ALL projects require a proof of visit (i.e., receipt, business card, quote, floor plan, etc.). Check the evaluator guidelines for the type of proof needed for your shop.
During Your Visit
Be sure to double-check that you’re at the correct address!
Perform all required portions of the shop. Depending on the type of shop, requirements could include a home tour, a purchase and/or return or a test drive.
REMAIN ANONYMOUS!! This is key. Behaving as a regular customer protects your status as a Mystery Shop Evaluator and allows you to have a typical customer experience.
Be sure to obtain the required proof of visit item(s).
After Your Visit
Once you have completed your shop, we suggest going immediately to a location away from the shop site and writing down the DETAILS while they are fresh in your mind.
Details can include:
- Specific items/features mentioned by associate(s)
- Names and descriptions, as required
- Timing for the visit
- Any other shop specific details
Remember this – details tend to be forgotten with time, so TAKE NOTES!!
Submit the evaluation and your proof of visit by midnight on the same day of the shop (unless otherwise noted in the evaluator guidelines).
When submitting your evaluation, it is critical that you provide substantial information about your experience. Remain objective and support your comments with details from the interaction(s).
- Log in to your Mystery Shop Evaluator home page, locate your accepted evaluations in the center of the page and click “View Visit Details or Fill out the Form.”
- Make sure to turn OFF your pop-up blocker.
- Be sure to address EVERY question in the appropriate comment box. Details are key, and you will be contacted if details are missing! Tips to ensure your evaluation will be great can be found at the bottom of every set of evaluator guidelines.
- While you are completing the evaluation online, be sure to save frequently. Don’t risk losing your hard work and having to start over!
- Once you are finished, attach your proof-of-visit and click on SUBMIT (NOTE: Do NOT click on SAVE after attaching the proof-of-visit because doing so will prevent the evaluation from submitting properly).
- When your evaluation has been properly submitted, a confirmation number will display on the screen. Write down your confirmation number, and you are all set!
Once submitted, your evaluation will be assessed. We maintain strict quality control practices to ensure we provide our clients with the accurate, thorough product they deserve. Quality Control Suppliers will review your evaluation upon completion, and they will contact you if they require help understanding your evaluation. You will be asked to respond within a limited time-frame.
Feedback is a vital tool we employ to give you a better understanding of what makes a GREAT evaluation. Therefore, for each evaluation you submit, you will receive feedback from an editor.
Mystery shopping is an exciting opportunity to share your customer experiences and be heard.
Read on to see if it’s for you.
What It Takes to be a Mystery Shop Evaluator
A mystery or secret shop evaluator is a self-employed individual (Independent Contractor) who calls or visits a business interacting as a real customer would. By following guidelines to perform the assignment and making observations that fit in the categories the business seeks to understand, the shopper is partnering with the brand as a consultant or advisor of sort. It is important to an evaluator’s success to understand the directions and provide a detailed write up about the experience. Mystery shopping provides flexibility and a good discretionary income. An evaluator can choose only the assignments that are appealing, can work for many companies, and can work as much or as little as preferred.
To qualify as a Mystery Shop Evaluator with AboutFace, you must have the following tools and capabilities:
- Reliable transportation (unless performing an in-home evaluation)
- Computer and ability to check e-mail often
- Scanner and copier (digital camera and/or smartphone is also required for some shops)
- Writing skills
- Ability to remain objective when describing your experience
- A memory for details
- Be deadline driven
We depend on you to follow through with each of the requirements and commitments listed above. When you accept an evaluation, you are fully responsible and committed to completing the evaluation on time. If you don’t perform your evaluation on time and as laid out in the client guidelines, you risk being disqualified. We want you to succeed and to continue to participate and profit from your shopping.
It goes without saying that the more knowledgeable you are, the more profitable mystery shopping will be for you.
AboutFace has developed the Mystery Shop Evaluator Community Best Practices to provide you with essential tools and resources to make that happen. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or just stopping by for a refresher, below are a few reasons the Mystery Shop Evaluator Community Best Practices should be a vital part of your AboutFace evaluator experience:
- Discover best practices for conducting a shop and writing a quality evaluation. Our standards are high. If your shop is rejected, you won’t get paid for it. Understanding conditions under which shops cannot be accepted will show you how to AVOID rejection
- Learn tips and tricks to becoming a better Mystery Shop Evaluator
- Get answers to your questions (We know you have questions!)