CandidShopper Disclosure Guidelines

Last updated: October 24, 2023

CandidShopper provides a mystery shopping platform connecting shoppers and clients. We are committed to transparent communications and ethical practices.

This document outlines disclosure requirements for shoppers using our platform.

If you violate these Disclosure Guidelines, we may reject submitted assignments, forfeit payment and either temporarily or permanently terminate your account. Remember that your participation in the CandidShopper program is also subject to compliance with our Independent Contractor Agreement.

Shopper Disclosures

When completing mystery shopping assignments, shoppers should take care not to reveal they are mystery shoppers unless directly asked by online store or marketplace staff. If they are asked directly shoppers should disclose:

  • That they are evaluating an online store or marketplace if asked for feedback on their experience.
  • That they cannot accept gifts or gratuities from online store or marketplace staff.

Shoppers should NOT disclose:

  • Details about specific assignment objectives or assignment tasks.
  • That they will be submitting a report about their experience.
  • That the visit is part of a larger mystery shopping campaign.

Social Media Disclosures

When posting about brands or products as part of a paid social media promotion, shoppers must CLEARLY and CONSPICUOUSLY disclose:

  • The material connection between the shopper and the brand i.e. that it is a paid partnership.
  • Use clear terms like "#Ad" or "#Sponsored" in the caption.
  • The specific compensation or rewards provided e.g. product sample, monetary payment.

Disclosures must be easily noticed and understood by the average viewer and must comply with the FTC's Social Media Influencer Disclosure Guidelines.

Feedback & Review Disclosures

When you submit feedback or write a review on a marketplace or online store you have to clearly disclose that you got the product that you're reviewing for free and and must otherwise comply with the FTC's Endorsement Guides (FAQ).

  • Always clearly say in the review itself (near the beginning) that you received the product/service for free.
  • Your review must be honest and based on your personal experience with the product. If your experience was negative, you should say so.
  • No specific wording is required, so feel free to use your own voice – but it needs to be clear that you got the sample for free and have a material connection to the brand. For example, “Thanks [BRAND] for the free [product]!”

Report Accuracy

Shopper reports should provide a factual and objective account of their experiences. Shoppers should not:

  • Exaggerate positive or negative elements of their experience.
  • Omit important details about their interactions and observations.
  • Edit images or media in ways that misportray the actual conditions.

Accurate reports are vital for clients to obtain valid insights.

Please contact us if you have any disclosure questions or concerns before, during or after your assignments.