Mystery Shopping by consumer magazines... worth it, helpful and a good thing?
We were mystery shopped a few months back by What Mountain Bike magazine looking for some suspension forks.
We did OK. Rated best in the town over the other 2 in the test, namely Alpine Bikes and Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. By no means did we clear up as we were up against the big boys in town, but we did alright considering.
The criticism was that they would have to almost make us take the cash and that we did not have the stock (no-one did!) but the brief set out by the shopper meant that a buying decision was a wee while off yet anyway and there was no way we were going to pressure an unsure man into buying something he didn't know he needed.
Anyway - it was good to win. It gives us something to keep building on to see what we can achieve. Luckily we have great brands and companies right behind us helping. Some others don't want to be a part of it and that's fine. They can carry on with the 2nd and 3rd place shops if they like, we don't mind ;-)