Real Talk

Manufacturer Mystery Shopping in the Electronics World

Some people still buy electronic systems and components off the shelf at popular big box stores but serious enthusiasts revel in building their own systems from the ground up. As technology races forward, the competition gets more cutthroat, so clients send their top quality manufacturer mystery shoppers in to get the skinny on what’s happening behind the sales scene. You’ll pose as an excited consumer full of questions, looking to make a good deal on the higher quality brands. These shops are fun, challenging and require knowledge of what’s hot in today’s electronics industry.

Pre-Visit Preparation

Many manufacturer mystery shop assignments focus on a particular brand. Although guidelines are provided for each shop, a certain amount of self-education is required to learn the lingo, be able to convincingly discuss system options and pricing, and ask pertinent questions about warranties and their limitations. Shop compensation generally takes this preparation time into consideration.

Meeting the Sales Associate

You may be asked to cold call a shop, meaning you can conduct your assignment with whatever associate approaches you upon arrival to the business. In some cases, shoppers must interact with a particular person. The second scenario requires phoning ahead to check the availability of that person, claiming an unnamed friend or family member referred you to them based on their sales experience with them.

Questions and Concerns

These are typically outlined in the shopper report but must be presented in a realistic way. For instance, you may have to reveal a set budget for your purchase or claim it’s a special birthday gift from Grandma, who has agreed to pay for whatever you want. If you’re shopping for navigation or telecommunication systems, be prepared to share your traveling habits and common routes. Most vendors have payment plans and warranty choices, so be prepared to answer relevant questions.

Visiting the Location

Shops that sell a wide range of electronic systems can be overwhelming. They are normally loud and bright, with customers and consultants huddled around the showroom listening, viewing and comparing several choices at once. You should appear impressed with the operation but not wide-eyed like you’ve never before seen such activity. Ask for as many brochures and handouts as you can and don’t be shy about jotting down price points, financing rates, and warranty information.

Closing Procedures

At the end of the sales presentation, which can last as long as an hour, shoppers close the interaction with remarks about thinking over their choices or claims they have to discuss the purchase with a partner. Since this is a major purchase most people don’t make a decision on a whim and asking for a business card for follow-up is standard procedure.

You can learn a lot as a manufacturer mystery shopper. And with all that knowledge, you might get one step closer to fulfilling your personal electronic dream – or at least know exactly what you want when your proverbial ship comes in.

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