Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.


Since grade school, we have heard our parents tell us to choose carefully who we befriend.

“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”

Still today, as (most-of-the-time) adults, we do not give our friendship readily to everyone we meet.

Unfortunately, when working a “normal” 8 to 5 job, it is quasi-impossible to choose our coworkers.

Let’s be honest: most of us chose this career path because we are nothing but conventional!  As Independent Contractors, we are business owners.  And as business owners, we get to choose with whom we conduct business.

No more coworkers eating your lunch (which was labeled, by the way – with YOUR name, not his!).
No more stories about  Saturday’s party (to which you were not invited).
No more walking past that cubicle that smells like old sewage (did they not get the Febreze air freshener Secret Santa gave them?!).
No more going in the elevator at the end of your shift and inhaling unbelievably  strong cologne (which thankfully smells less now than 8 hours ago!).
No more birthday cakes in the break-room.  Wait, no, this one was not so bad.  You can keep buying your weekly birthday cake.  It’s got to be someone’s birthday somewhere, so better be prepared!

Anyhow, now you get to choose with whom you work!


In the Mystery Shopping industry, it is crucial to partner with people who have not lost the notion of “life happens”.

Too often, when faced with a personal crisis (illness, grief, weather, transportation, etc), independent contractors have to deal with the added stress of announcing the delay to the company reps.

Thankfully, a great majority of company reps are humans.

Joking aside, remember to communicate with your company reps. They too have dealt with crisis at one point or another in their life, and they can help you figure out what to do work-wise.

The fear of letting down a scheduler should not ever be a problem. As long as the communication channels are open, all is well.

The issue comes in when you do not communicate, and force the company reps to discover, without you telling them, that the job will not be done.

Of course, extraneous circumstances may prevent you from communicating with the company reps. However, I can assure you that if you explain what happened once things settle down, everything will be OK.

If the company reps still do not understand and forgive, then maybe it is time for you to re-evaluate who you are partnering with.


The following companies are EDS clients, and will always respectfully treat you as fellow industry professionals, and fellow human beings with lives outside Mystery Shopping.

If you choose to apply with these companies,  please put EDS in the Referred By box if there is one.  It does not give me cold hard cash, luxurious perks or free cookies, but the more people know about EDS, the more work for all of us!

(NB – the following companies are listed in chronological order.  The sooner they asked for EDS services, the higher up on the list they are.)

FSS – Financial Shop Solutions You can sign up with FSS here:

EERI – Eagle Eye Retail IntelligenceYou can sign up with EERI here:

Baird Group You can sign up with Baird-Group here:

Faith PerceptionsYou can sign up with Faith Perceptions here:

LeBlanc & Associates You can sign up with LeBlanc & Associates here:

Elite Shopper ForceYou can sign up with Elite Shopper Force here:

CLTC – Consultants for Long Term CareYou can sign up with CLTC by following these instructions:Go to to fill out a shopper agreement.  Your user ID is the word “mystery” and the password is the word “shopper” – please note that both words are case sensitive.  Do not include the quotation marks.  You must select at least one city from the Available Cities list that you are available to shop in. Please put “EDS” in the Referred By field.

For information about the mystery shopping industry, I recommend you look to the IMSC – Independent Mystery Shoppers Coalition at  You may also email the IMSC at

And if you have not done so yet, sign up on our Shopmetrics site at


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Interview with Servanne Edlund

The article below was posted on

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Servanne Edlund, the IMSC Vice-President, was interviewed by Mystery Shopper Magazine.

Servanne launched her own recruiting and editing company, Edlund Data Services, in November of 2014.  In this interview, she candidly answers about her experience as a mystery shopper, her role as IMSC Vice-President and the direction she would like her newest venture to take.

You can read the interview here:


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Please note: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not represent those of the IMSC.