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More Tips & Tools for Mystery Shoppers February 6, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.

Yesterday’s post reviewed items that are useful to mystery shoppers for general record keeping/filing and office supplies. Today we will dig deeper into other websites, tips, and products that will help mystery shoppers prepare for shops. In the next post, we will finish this series by looking at things that will help you while you’re on your shop.
Adobe Reader
Many mystery shopping companies upload shop instructions in a pdf format, and others will use a Microsoft Word program. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat for opening pdf files, you can download it for free at Adobe’s website.

We have found that online maps are not always 100% accurate. There has been more than once when Mapquest has led me astray, for example. If you are doing a shop in a location that is new to you, we highly suggest using two websites to confirm the location and directions. Some popular map sites are:

Yahoo Maps
MSN Maps & Directories
Rand McNally

Another helpful site for mapping out a route of shops is Maps on Us. This site will let you enter up to 6 locations and plot the best route for you. It is a free service that can save you time and money spent on gas. This can also be helpful when you are viewing job postings and want to see how a particular shop fits into your current route.

Paint/Paint Shop program
Paint comes with most Windows programs. If you click on Start, then Programs, then accessories, you should see the Paint Program on this list.

This is a helpful program for shop instructions. Instead of printing out pages of shops notes, you can read through, copy/paste (or take notes in a separate Word document), and then transfer them to the Paint Program (to do a screen shot, hold down both the windows icon key and the print screen key. Open your Paint program and then right click and select paste). Doing this will save money on ink and paper – it will also allow you to file the notes on your computer, and use them as an easy reference as you’re preparing for your shop and writing your report.

Save Money with Print Options
Another helpful way to save ink and paper is to use the “Fast Draft” option if you have it (check your printer settings in the Control Panel), or adjust your page setup and/or print specifications. This will allow you to print two to four pages on one sheet of paper.

To do this, you can choose one of the following methods:

1. In the Page Setup tab under “File”, choose the margins tab and you should see ‘multiple pages’ – use the drop down menu to select two pages per sheet. Click apply and then okay.

2. In the Print tab, on the bottom right corner you may see a ‘pages per sheet’ option – you can use this drop down menu to select 2, 4, 6, or more pages per sheet. Make your choice and then click apply and then okay.

As a mystery shopper, you want to work as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. We hope that some of these tips will help you meet that goal.

Until next time…happy shopping!



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