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 Mystery Shopping
 Stationary and Business cards, are they worth doing for a Mystery Shopper?
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K.Willingham
Star Contributor

Mobile, Alabama
USA
254 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2004 :  7:34:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just passed my Silver Certification...YEA!!!!!
Now I need to print stationary and business card, or do I? If any of you have printed these items what did you order and what did you put on it.

Kathryn
Silver Certified

Ellie G.
Contributor

ON
Canada
69 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2004 :  7:46:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kathryn,

I only printed business cards when I was going to attend the Gold conference, and physically meeting new schedulers and other shoppers. Other than that, I can't see why/when you'd ever need them. It's not like you hand them out to business owners after you shop them!

I didn't pay to have them printed; instead I purchased business card sheets at an office supply store for about $10 (on a shop, even!), and used my All-In-One at home. This worked very well and was even fun to do. I printed my name, phone number, email address and shopping locations on them.

Hope this helps!
Ellie G.

MSPA Gold Certified #j0dnjw
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KSSLorri
Star Contributor

Cincinnati, Ohio
USA
603 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2004 :  8:06:02 PM  Visit KSSLorri's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
If the IRS chooses to audit you, or a mystery shopping company that you work for, I can tell you that it will help BOTH of your cases, 100% if you have your own business cards that state "Independent Contractor". The small thing like a business card has been a make or break issue in several states, where both the MSP and the shopper would have had to pay several years in back taxes and Social Security.

It you are a shopper, you should treat it like a small business and market yourself that way, including business cards and even online stationary!

Lorri (Kern) Hsu
KSS International, Inc.
KSSLorri@kernscheduling.com
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DeeDeeRose
Valued Contributor

Florida
USA
152 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  04:17:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What should we state on these business cards other than our name, certification no. and the words "Independent Contractor"? Then do we just stash them away somewhere in the event the IRS might choose to audit us? I just can't imagine what I would do with these cards other than that.

MSPA SILVER CERTIFIED rvcg5f
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Kanga
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
250 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  05:04:38 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In addition to my name, Independent Contractor and gold certification number, I put my phone, cell and fax numbers on mine as well as my email address.

MSPA Gold Certified #xixazy
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Meri
Trainee

Southbridge, MA
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  06:03:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have a question about this also. Is it enough to say Independent Contractor? Or should you have an industry attatched to it?
For example, Marketing auditor or Business consultant? Hey those sound good

Meri
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LisaBGoesShopping
Star Contributor

PA
USA
3092 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  06:03:50 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would only print them up if you have some use for them. You're not required by law to have them (unless you decide to incorporate, i.e., become a corporation).

I don't know that I'd print up stationery and business cards just on the off-chance that the IRS might do an audit. You can always print them up if you receive notice of an audit.

You should use letterhead whenever you send a collection letter to an MS company. Most companies provide an invoice or receipt form for billing, but not always. When they don't, use it for billing as well.

Both letterhead and business cards should give your name, address, business phone (whichever phone you use to conduct your MS business from, whether that's your home phone, a dedicated business line, your daytime job phone), cell phone if you use one, e-mail address.

Then you can add whatever else you like, such as:
-- a logo or picture
-- a slogan ("Assessing Quality in the Customer Experience")
-- the words "Independent Contractor"
-- a short bulleted list of your special skills ("reliable, always anonymous, attentive to detail, thorough reports, digital photography, MSPA Silver Certification")

I don't know that I'd blare the words "Mystery Shopper" on a business card. Maybe something more discreet (and more formal) like "Retail Auditor" or "Merchandising and Auditing."

Whatever you choose to say and however discreet you choose to be, you do have to give some idea of what you do on your card -- or the person you're giving it to will quickly forget and toss it.

Here's a question: You go out to lunch and by the cash register, there's a bowl for people to leave business cards for a drawing for a free meal. Would you really want to leave a card in there that says you're a mystery shopper?
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Roger42
Star Contributor

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  10:42:17 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You can use words such as 'market research', 'auditor', 'consultant' and like that to describe yourself. I have my name and "Market Research Consultant" along with all of the other pertinent info.

Roger
Gold Certified - 15 Years Experience
Specializing In Audits
Covering Mid Atlantic and Northeast
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Paula Kutka
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1671 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  1:53:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here's where I got mine.
vistaprint.com

$8.95 for 250

Also I thought there were not alot of uses but I read on the MSPA board that one shopper includes one with the hardcopy paper she sends in. Since I read that I paperclip my papers and attach the card at the top.

I have on my cards that I am a Mystery Shopper/Compliance Auditor
I have a few of the areas I do like hotels, restaurants, retail, etc.

I have my name, that I am MSPA Gold and my #

I have my address

Phone
Cell
E-mail
and that I shop the Greater Houston/Galveston Area and beyond.

For the idea of stationary, I don't think I would need it unless I was doing a mailing. I suppose the next time I print cards I should put Independent Contractor on the card.

Paula
Gold Certified shopping the Houston/Galveston area and IAH Airport since 2002
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BlueAbe
Star Contributor

Mid-Central, Ohio
USA
2096 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  1:55:24 PM  Visit BlueAbe's Homepage  Send BlueAbe an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
The cards are also good for places like Subway, that have those bowls for drawings for free lunch, and things like that. :-)

I advertise my kids website on my card, so I get double bonus there. If I get drawn for free lunch, I get the free lunch, but who knows, maybe they have a kid, see the website address, and go, hey, this kidsjellybean site looks interesting, maybe I'll go on over there and check it out with my kid!

Gold certified since the beginning. Merchandising, Mystery shopping, & Court Research throughout Mid-Central Ohio.
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Allyson
Member

Cambridge, Ontario
Canada
22 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2004 :  5:04:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was just thinking about making some of these up myself. Can anyone recommend a good site to get clip art or photos for mystery shopping to go on a business card or letterhead?

MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping the Cambridge and Kitchener/Waterloo ON area
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NancyInKY
Valued Contributor

Louisville, KY
USA
177 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2004 :  04:25:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I, personally, don't see a big use for cards that indicate me as a mystery shopper specifically.

BUT I do have some personal contact cards that I have always used because you never know when you meet a new friend...or run into an old friend or relative that you've lost contact with...or move like we recently did. They're really handy for not having to jot down the information for someone over and over again.


Nancy
Louisville, KY and the surrounding areas.
Silver s6ayvx
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JohnV
Star Contributor

Bridgeport, WV
USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2004 :  1:50:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Being that total annonymity is rule #1 for this profession, When I had my business cards made up I did not put my name or address on them. I did not want to receive any phone calls from any fast food restaurants to whom I had given a bad report, so I did not include any phone numbers. I certainly did not want anyone to know I was a mystery shopper so I did not include a job title on my cards.
I have not had much use for my cards, but on the other hand I really got a great deal on the printing.
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Ellie G.
Contributor

ON
Canada
69 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2004 :  3:16:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LOL That's why they were a great deal...they were blank! Just kidding...


MSPA Gold Certified #j0dnjw
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ShawnaL
Star Contributor

USA
492 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2004 :  08:18:42 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What if you just put independent contractor, than M.S., merchandising or something, then if you put it in a bowl nobody would know what M.S. was, but if you give it to someone at the Gold convention they would know what you mean.

I guess since we all have printers you can always print up all sorts of cards with different titles and descriptions depending on the situation, just keep a few sheets handy all the time, maybe it would come in handy for shops where you have to pretend to be someone else, just hand them a business card that says Joe Smoe, M.D. for the bank shops and such!

Shawna
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LisaBGoesShopping
Star Contributor

PA
USA
3092 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2004 :  10:23:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
When I had my business cards made up I did not put my name or address on them. I did not want to receive any phone calls from any fast food restaurants to whom I had given a bad report, so I did not include any phone numbers.
But John, whyever would you hand out your business cards to a fast food restaurant?

The whole purpose of a business card is so the person or business you give it to can contact you later on. Presumably this would be because they want to do business with you.

I agree that it would be a no-no to put Mystery Shopper as your job title, but a few people have made some good suggestions about alternatives.

On the other hand, you can always make up a personal card with just your name and contact info. People do this. It all depends on your purpose in using the card.
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Ray Sola
Volition.com Staff

Prescott, AZ
USA
3099 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2004 :  1:11:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was just going thru the cards I got from people at the MSPA Conference. Here are some things NOT to include:

Listing of any other businesses you have or work with. Make up separate cards for your other ventures.

A URL to a personal website - like with pictures of your cat, baby, vacations, etc. If there is a resume there somewhere, you can put a link to that on the card.

Personality is good. Looking like you are all over the place and don't have your priorities straight is not.

The card should represent you as a professional.
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MarieSpree
Star Contributor

NY
USA
511 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2004 :  1:55:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I totally agree with Ray about the websites. Be careful though, because even if you don't have links, they might be able to see the rest of your site by typing it in. If I give them www.mypage.com/personal/resume, you can bet they'll look at what's on the homepage and the /personal site. Keep your personal stuff on a completely different URL that they can't figure out.

"Let's shop til we plop!" "You mean shop til we drop?" "Whatever!"
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Barbara N.CA
Star Contributor

San Francisco, CA
USA
2397 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2004 :  4:04:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
JohnV

Excellent. But, I did you one better. To be environmentally friendly, I ordered mine to be printed on non-paper. I, too, got an excellent deal. Furthermore, mine are as light as a feather. Nay! Lighter still!

(Actually, I have had some MS business cards printed. But, they're outdated now and I'll order new ones soon.)

Barbara
MSPA Gold Shopper since June, 2003.
MSPA 2005 "Go To" Shopper
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Chelle Dafoe
Member

Brampton, Ontario
Canada
24 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2005 :  12:37:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just had some business cards printed and they have:

my name
iCSE
Indepentant Customer Service Evaluator

address
phone #
cell #

I didn't mention Shopping or my silver MSPA cert as I wanted to be able to give them out to people who don't know I'm a mystery shopper.
I hope to attend a conference soon, and I might add something more to them when I go.



Chelle

Happily shopping Southern Ontario
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Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50247 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2005 :  12:42:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Waste of time and money, in my opinion.

One question on a prior post. Since when are your required by law to have business cards if incorporated? I have been president of 4 corporations and this is news to me. (Of course I had business cards) I may have misunderstood the post.
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