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 Do I need to borrow a kid to do the Santa Mystery Shop
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AShuman
Star Contributor

Gastonia, NC
USA
448 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2004 :  06:02:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
We have those shops here... but the ones close to my home were snapped up before I got the notification email. The ones still there, with an ever increasing bonus, are at least a 2+ hour drive... Now if I had a few gas shops along the way, and maybe a few other shops I could scrounge up in the area, I might take them. Ah well.

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem loaning a kid for this type of shop if I knew the person well. At first, I sort of agreed with the person who said to leave these shops for shoppers who have kids, but if they are being bonused... obviously shoppers with kids are not taking them, for whatever reason.

As far as disclosing to the mother of the child... That would be a yes. Keep it brief. Only include the essentials - not the company name!

Alison
MSPA Gold 2006
Shopping Greater Charlotte, Gastonia, and the Upstate of SC.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2004 :  08:22:22 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
You really wouldn't have to give the details. You could just say you have an opportunity to get Santa pictures for free and even ask the mom to meet you there with the child. It couldn't hurt to ask, all they can say is no. You never know, you and this mom might hit it off and there you go with a new friend. P.S> Kimsvision, if you see this shop snap it up and come get my daughter....

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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OntarioGinaG
Contributor

St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada
91 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2004 :  09:59:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How about saying you got this assignment through the mall, not through secret shopping. Or better yet, tell her you won a free picture with Santa, but it is not transferable. Beleive me, I know what you mean about not wanting to tell anyone what you do. I have had the opportunity to buy stuff for assignments, that I could bring to work to give out to people, but I don't like them knowing I do this on the side. Hey everyone, I just felt like buying a $17 box of Cinnabons to give out. Yeah, right.
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Zoya
Member

Maryland
USA
38 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2004 :  2:04:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You can definitely borrow mine!

(Or, better yet, I'd love to do this kind of shop myself!)
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GeriLynn
Contributor

OR
USA
87 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2004 :  12:40:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There has to be a certain level of trust in a friendship. If you don't trust your friend enough to tell her about the real reason to see Santa then you two are not close enough that she should be trusting you with her child.

GeriLynn
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AlliSimon
Contributor

Humble, TX
USA
60 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2004 :  3:50:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do not have any children of my own yet, but if I did I would for sure let you borrow them. I do not see a problem with it at all. I do not like to tell people about MSing if I can get around it. I understand what you mean.
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Alycat
Member

Coatesville, PA
USA
44 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2004 :  7:58:31 PM  Send Alycat an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been drooling over these shops as well. Alas, we have already been by to see Santa THREE TIMES on our own time and got nothing but a terrified, screaming toddler.
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PEgleston
Trainee

Oak Ridge, NC
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  11:44:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Do you have a pet? A lot of people get pictures of Santa holding their little dog or cat. Just a thought! Or how about just a pic of Santa alone...you can tell them that you are sending it to your niece or nephew.

Paula
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Alycat
Member

Coatesville, PA
USA
44 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2004 :  7:42:08 PM  Send Alycat an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
That would be too memorable! They'd have my name and address because they'd have to bill me for the Santa suit after dear fat tabby cat shredded it...
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Andie
Valued Contributor

Sealy, TX
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2004 :  8:18:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Have any of ya'll stood in line to have a picture taken with Santa lately? I was a bad mom and took my kids out of school to "avoid the rush" and stood in line for 1.5 hours. A friend of mine said they stood in line for 2.5 hours on Saturday...

But then again we have a great Santa at our Mall - his own white beard and full head of white head and needs no padding!


Andie
Gold Certified, CCSE
Small Town TX
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2007 :  07:47:43 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Andie

Have any of ya'll stood in line to have a picture taken with Santa lately? I was a bad mom and took my kids out of school to "avoid the rush" and stood in line for 1.5 hours. A friend of mine said they stood in line for 2.5 hours on Saturday...

But then again we have a great Santa at our Mall - his own white beard and full head of white head and needs no padding!


I did one of those last week and the shop took a grand total of 40 minutes, from entering the line to leaving with the pictures!

We also have a great Santa here. But isn't there only one Santa?!?

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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LynnJ
Star Contributor

MA
USA
409 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2007 :  1:48:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Last year I took my son (then 4) to see Santa at a Kia dealership! Saw the big sign out front about a week before and off we went. There was NO line, the manager took photos with her digital camera, and then Santa printed them out himself. And they were really good pictures! And they were FREE!! Way better than a wait in line at the mall with a hyper little boy.

Gold Certified in Central Massachusetts
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SueMontagne
Star Contributor

USA
786 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2008 :  9:12:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Does it have to be a kid? What if YOU got your picture taken with Santa?

Take care -
Sue Montagne
Hair & MSPA Cert: Silver (70 - the new 30!)
"Retired" and LOVING it (mostly)!!!
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  04:34:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you can do it alone, do it by yourself. It won’t look weird.

About ten years ago I had a horrible job as a head “Santa’s helper” (we were NOT allowed to call ourselves elves because – and you will love this – because they were worried that it was not politically correct and might offend someone. That’s right – all the elves out there might be upset. Never mind that elves don’t exist……..let’s just not anger them!) and adults had their photos taken all the time. Once a group of adults even got out a GUN to use in the photo!! You would think this was sort of odd (and it was) but the whole entire job was so surreal that this didn’t even faze me. I mean parents were yelling at their children “if you don’t smile then we are canceling Christmas”, some of the parents cried because they didn’t like the photos or once someone threw a photo frame at me because it didn’t have enough color in it.

(by the way – the company I worked for sent me to Las Vegas for training and we had to cover things like: “Making sure Santa is in the bathroom alone (so not to scare little kids)”, “how, when and how often to check Santa’s Breath” , things Santa was allowed to read or not read between kids, and “where Santa is allowed to touch HIMSELF and how many minutes to wait between kids if he has done so”. )

I quit two weeks before Christmas – worst job I’ve ever had and I’ve had some weird ones!!

PS I agree with above- if you don't know someone well enough or trust them enough to tell them what you do for a living then asking to borrow their kid is sort of odd.
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  06:17:45 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LisaOV
(we were NOT allowed to call ourselves elves because – and you will love this – because they were worried that it was not politically correct and might offend someone. That’s right – all the elves out there might be upset. Never mind that elves don’t exist……..let’s just not anger them!)

That is funny!

I am going next week at one of the many malls around here. It is scheduled for a Friday though...Not sure how it'll go, since I won't pull my kid out of school for a shop and I live about one hour away. I am afraid it won't be a repeat of last year's experience, where it only lasted 40 minutes from beginnig to end. Argh, and my hubby won't be there to help either.

This could prove to be a grave mistake...

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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AnitaTNShopper
Star Contributor

Nashville, TN
USA
704 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  6:35:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I saw these Santa shops, however they were not bonused and since it is reimbursement only, it was not very appealing.

My little sister and I saw a Santa today for free at Chick Fil A.

Lisa your story was so funny, I am in tears. Do tell how did you check to see if Santa had presentable breath? Training in Vegas sounds way cool.

MSPA Gold Certified 2006
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  6:40:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Anita, I'm not kidding about this, but we had to go over there and smell him and then CHECK OFF that we did this. They honestly had forms for this!!
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AnitaTNShopper
Star Contributor

Nashville, TN
USA
704 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  6:48:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Servanne


I am going next week at one of the many malls around here. It is scheduled for a Friday though...Not sure how it'll go, since I won't pull my kid out of school for a shop and I live about one hour away. I am afraid it won't be a repeat of last year's experience, where it only lasted 40 minutes from beginnig to end. Argh, and my hubby won't be there to help either.

This could prove to be a grave mistake...




Perhaps you could arrange for a friend with a child to meet you at the mall, and surprise them with a photo with Santa.

Lisa that sounds like one heck of a job. Did you have to wear a little Santa's helper costume? Hopefully it paid well. LOL

MSPA Gold Certified 2006
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  7:16:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
No, it didn't pay well and sad to say we didn't get to wear cute little outfits. And our Santa made us call him Santa - even his paychecks came UPS where only he could sign so we never found out his real name. The whole thing was just too much for me.

When I quit they tried to tell me that I had to pay them back for the training in Las Vegas, but that never happened.
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Gretta
Star Contributor

Jacksonville, NC
USA
1566 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  7:19:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'd love to take one of my cats to see Santa at either PetsMart or Petco, but I know none of the three would be very happy about it. I also only have one that I could even attempt to put a harness on for the ordeal and although she is the most outgoing and friendly of the three she still would not be very happy with us.
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