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BARE INTERNATIONAL Mystery Shopping / Unethical Practices / Scam

1 Fairfax Station, VA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

This complaint is targeted to BARE INTERNATIONAL ( business conduct.

I have been a registered shopper with the business entity and have received several payments for mystery shop services I performed on their behalf. As a registered shopper, I frequently visit my profile.

What bothers me most about this business is the fact that I am not able to check the direct deposit information I entered. The only time I know that I have entered the information incorrectly is when they tell me that the direct deposit is rejected. In that case they have to deduct $2.00 from shop payment to cover the cost of "cutting" a check to me. This is indicated in the independent contractor agreement. In the shopper profile section, you could not see what you entered because it is indicated as "**************" If anybody can tell me what number that is, please don't hesitate to tell me. Neither do their system do verification if the number is being entered incorrectly.

So, they shovel the independent contractor agreement down my throat and I have to accept it ... what's the problem you may ask? Well, there is a lot of wiggle room where they did this on purpose. First, they have at their liberty to opt for a different payment method such as paypal, disclosing the last four digit of checking account, do internal verification of data entered, etc. I know for a fact that the system/software that they used are also used by other mystery shopping businesses. You may also say ... why not just

update your account information? well, I did to no avail and I will not know until I am informed that payment has been rejected.

So, my complaint is $2.00 continue to be deducted each time they make payment. Of course they cut check per assignment instead of one lump sum. I got $2.00 less per assignment.

Multiply this with a number of other shoppers they subject this to their policy. They sure make a hefty profits at the expense of other pathetic shoppers. Now, this sound more like a SCAM.

I warned them that I would not hesitate to file a complaint. Of course, I was ignored.

Who would care if a shopper complaints? However, I am sure I can post my complaint and warn other shoppers when they decide to do business with BARE INTERNATIONAL that they would deliberately cut checks to deduct $2.00 for every shop that you do.

For technical information, this business does not have registration with the Better Business Bureau.

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  • Ba
      16th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I am a Project Manager with Bare International and I coordinate shoppers globally everyday without any payment issues.

    This fix is quite simple. Log into to your shopper profile and delete the exisitng bank information. Then, enter the correct information and save it to begin receiving direct deposits again. Problem solved!

    We look forward to working with you again. Thank you!

  • At
      25th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Bare International Mr. Manager, Please pay my money, I did 2 audits more than 40 days back.
    Your people are saying due to technical errors my report cannot be submitted, , but I will get paid for this.
    Do you have an answer ? my ID is :

  • St
      31st of Mar, 2010
    -4 Votes

    I signed up with Bare and with Bestmark and IMHO, mystery shopping is a crock. These companies take advantage of you. They get a fortune from retailers to assess them yet they pay you $5-15 per store?? And you don't even get free stuff? I was asked to review a retailer in the local airport. The pay was $5 to go in, chat, buy something, then go home and spend 30 min or more writing up a report that was due immediately. I was told that I would only be reimbursed for $3 of my purchase. I bought mints. big whoop. It took about 15 min to run into that store but that was 15 min out of the time I could have had to relax at my gate.
    Same thing for a local Best Buy. Fast turn around so there's not much flexibility in your schedule. Had to drive over, spend about 30-45 minutes with clerks then go home and type up a report. and we're talking essay questions on top of multiple choice. we had to describe everything that went down during the visit. Again for $5, + $5 in merchandise. Oh gee, what can i get for $5 at Best Buy? After you do this once or twice you realize you're better off working at McD's parttime if you really need cash.

  • Sw
      17th of Jul, 2018
    0 Votes

    @stevenweinstein I've been a mystery shopper for 4 years with Bestmark and I have not had any problems. I do the math before I agree to do a shop. You have to take in consideration the location from your home. If you have to drive too far to get a profit, don't sign up for it, it's that simple. There are plenty of items in Best Buy under $2.50, so there's no need in spending $5.00 on merchandise. The idea of getting merchandise from these stores is to prove you actually went on the date and at the time you report, NOT to "get free merchandise", so I grab the cheapest candy I can find because I'm a mystery shopper to earn $$, not to get things for free. I also do the math there and subtract the item cost along with the gas it takes to get there and, if I'm profitable, I go, if not, I don't. It's that simple. The question you need to ask yourself is "What am I wanting out of being a mystery shopper?". I agree that the report is a long process, but they have greatly reduced the amount of narratives necessary. I'm just beginning BARE Int'l, so I cannot comment on that company. I hope it's legit!

  • Mi
      3rd of Apr, 2010
    +3 Votes

    I worked with Bare International and had no problems with them. I had some very interesting assignments and they were with good quality clients. I made more per job with them than most of the other mystery shop companies (I was registered and worked with over a dozen). I think many people get into mystery shopping thinking they are going to make a load of money and get a bunch of free stuff. It just doesn't work that way. But if you are good and quick at writing narrative reports plus enjoy making a little extra cash in between errands, this might work for you. They disclose everything upfront and you know what you're getting paid on a job before you sign up for it.

  • Ch
      23rd of May, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I dont know what going on with Bare International, most of the staff have left or have been replaced. Shops seemed to have dried up and most new account managers have no clue or left before its pay-time.. Wont be long before this company is out of business I think. Maybe this is the way to have shoppers pay for their incompetence.

  • Ch
      20th of Jul, 2017
    +1 Votes

    @Cheryl Hobson I did work for them in Jamaica since June 2017 and I've not received payment. The manager is not responding to my whatsapp messages. This is crooked and dishonest.

  • Ge
      4th of Nov, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I have worked with Bare International on several occasions and have always found them to be understanding, respectful, and very professional. If I have ever had a question or issue, I simply have asked and it was resolved right away. Mystery Shopping is a great industry to be a part of and I always get "free stuff" when I do a shop. I find this complaint to be far fetched.

  • Du
      21st of Nov, 2010
    -1 Votes

    The issue here seems to be a mystery shopper who doesn't proofread. A company or anyone else can only respond to that which you write down. If they had printed in their job stats that an assignment paid $30.00 and then you got a check for $25.00 because someone didn't proofread their work who would be at fault? Not proofreading and spellchecking will cost you a lot more than $2.00 in the future - you better learn to do it now! I came on this blog while I was/am getting ready to accept an invitation to join their company - your reputation follows you!

  • Er
      3rd of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have been shopping for BARE as well as another two dozen shopping companies for four years. I have never had a report refused, any payment deducted from shops or any other problem. All schedulers and editors have been cooperative and helpful with any problems I may have had in the beginning. All shop requirements, fees, reimbursements and required expenditures are disclosed up front before you accept a shop. During my time mystery shopping I have learned what assignments are worth my time and which aren't. As a mystery shopper you are an independent contractor and in total charge of your work schedule and assignments. I take only those that I would normally spend money on or that average $10 an hour. Do your homework, plan well and you can make a little money while deducting your mileage for everyday shopping. Personally I get tired of people bashing the good companies such as BARE International while giving money to scam artists that charge you to look at job boards.

  • Le
      10th of Dec, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I also work with Bare International and have had nothing but the best support from them! On one occasion I inadvertently shopped at the wrong store and they still paid for it as the information I had been given was a bit misleading.
    I don't do mystery shopping to get rich. I do it because I enjoy it and because I believe it helps consumers (including me) to have a better shopping experience. I appreciate getting my expenses covered and the 'free stuff' is just a bonus.
    Not all shops are $5-$15. I have had a $50 shop where the merchandise that I was allowed to purchase (and be reimbursed for) was $250. No one can say that is small potatoes.

  • Su
      13th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    I have been a shopper with Bare International for over 5 years and I have found them to be the best of all the mystery shopping companies I'm with. I have never once had an issue with pay, in fact it has always been timely and automatic. You always have a choice which shops you accept, but I find them to be really rewarding! The reports don't take long to fill out if you are literate and creative. The turnaround is not prohibitively tight and even so, on the very few occasions when I've had a technical issue like a broken scanner, I have written the project manager and they have gladly given me an extension to the deadline. I've gotten to keep free jewelry, dinners, jeans, drinks out and even got a free round trip ticket to another country PLUS a hefty amount of pay on top considering it took less than an hour to fill out my report. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but a fun and interesting way to pick up a little bit of extra cash, treat yourself and sometimes a friend as well. Plus I feel I make a difference, especially if I'm able to report either exceptional or sub-par service.

  • Ma
      12th of Mar, 2011
    -5 Votes

    We have just had a visit to one of our stores from a Bare snooper. Our other store received a snooper phone call. What a croc. The comments made were contradictory, misrepresentative, inaccurate, and sometimes just downright lies. One snooper, for example, said that the salesperson never gave them her name. In another part of their report, she said she did give her a name. If you're doing this job to make $5.00-$15.00 per shop, you must be used to doing your own shopping at WalMart or Target. What in the world would you possibly know about a high end store that sells products that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. You snoopers are just out of your class, and Bare has no business hiring people who could give a rip about the impact your inaccurate reporting has on someone's job. Our sales associates receive gifts and thank you notes from our customers raving about our customer service. Yet, one of you comes in and makes untrue derogatory remarks about something you see for a fraction of a day out of many years in business. The company you were rating for, Pandora Jewelry, wants their stores to be pushy, aggressive, cheesy, and ask customers for personal information that is frankly none of their business. Please, go get a real job.

  • No
      11th of Apr, 2011
    -1 Votes

    I have done a few shops for Bare. I do not think it is a scam. If something doe not work for you, you should move on. I find Bare a bit complacent; expecting a higher standard of their shoppers than their own standard; slow to respond.
    That's OK; but a bit ironic considering the line of business they are in.

  • Ma
      11th of Apr, 2011
    -2 Votes

    To Nonmous:

    I believe you are missing the point. I am not employed by Bare. I am the store that was reviewed. My problem is not only with the quality of the snoopers, but with a company like Pandora Jewelry that is trying to mico-manage every aspect of the stores to whom they sell. I can understand a store like Macy's or another large department store wanting a report on how their employees are doing. But Pandora does not own our small high end store. We just sell their product. Yet they try to tell us how to run our business. They give us a list of over 20 things we are supposed to do when selling a Pandora product. One of them is asking customers what their "unforgettable moment" was so we can sell them a charm that will remind them of that moment. How cheesy. And really none of anyone's business. What if my unforgettable moment was the first time I had sex with a guy? Is that really any business of the employee? What charm should I then be pushed to buy, a large silver penis? You can see how ridiculous this could get. Please, Bare snoopers, just stay out of the stores that sell Pandora. We are doing just fine without you.

  • No
      14th of Apr, 2011
    -1 Votes

    To Mad Hornet
    Actually, my comment was directed at Rahakim, the complainant.
    Now that I am here I will mention that your issue does not seem to be with "Bare snoopers" but with Pandora.
    Glad you are doing fine.
    Me too.

  • Ma
      14th of Apr, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Actually, my issue is with both Pandora and Bare. It seems that Bare does not adequately screen their snoopers. If you don't live in the world of the affluent, shop in those shops on a regular, have no marketing experience, no merchandising experience, no retail experience, no travel experience, no college education, etc, how could you possibly judge a high end store where affluent shoppers go? You are biased before you walk in the door and are supposed to make judgements about things with which you have no experience. The report is thus meaningless and offensive.

  • Ha
      19th of Apr, 2011
    -1 Votes

    @Mad Hornet - It seems as though for someone working with so many affluent people, you are completely lacking decorum and are void of any class. I would be embarrassed to have someone who speaks the way you do in a public forum representing my company. If I was representing Pandora Jewelry, I would find out which locations being shopped the first two weeks of March 2011 received negative reports. I would contact that location and share this thread with them and respectfully ask that you be reprimanded for the way you are handling yourself here.

    I and a scheduler and have met many Mystery Shoppers in the last decade, and I would choose every single one of them to work for my company before giving you a second thought. If bitterness and vulgarity equates to "doing fine", I suppose I'll be perfectly content being just OK!

  • Ma
      19th of Apr, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Your post just proved my point. You obviously not only don't understand retail or the affluent shopper, you have been content with scheduling "Leave it to Beaver" shoppers as well. If you were offended by my post, please don't go to anything but "G" rated movies. You will be highly offended in a very public place.

  • Tr
      20th of Dec, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Is it me or are some people on this board just people from Bare trying to big-up their duff company?

    At least some of you have been paid. I'm waiting on $200+ and they no longer respond to emails.

    Absolute unprofessional scam-artists.

  • Ra
      15th of Mar, 2012
    +1 Votes

    I am a mystery shopper with bare international & several other mystery shopping companies too.
    I genuinely have following complain with Bare International & would like to warn people of their irresponsible behavior towards the shoppers.

    1. The pay is very minimal as compared to the other mystery shopping companies.
    2. Their report is unduly long & elaborative.
    3. Everytime you mystery shop for them & they would find 100 errors in your report, however genuinely, you have filled their reports.
    4. All the other companies, in cases of doubts or disconnect would call you & confirm the details & rephrase the things if they feel is required but the members of Bare would try to exclude your reports on maximum grounds possible. Once you have sent the report & the receipt to them, they will tell you that your report is excluded & will not pay you.
    5. 70% of the times, they will find reasons for not paying you but will fetch the receipt & report from you & would present it to the company & will fill their own pockets.

    I have found this company very unethical to work with & I am hugely disappointed. So, shoppers!please be aware!

  • Ra
      15th of Mar, 2012
    0 Votes

    I read all the comments for the Bare above & realized how blatantly they talk & how offended they are by the shoppers comments. It is only when somebody gets cheated they take out time & write their bitter experiences about the company. The Bare people should have taken that on a positive note rather & tried resolving the matter with the individual rather than taking it so furiously. Look at their language & the way they are offending themselves. That itself shows the level of maturity the team has for the shoppers. Once their work is done, they would shamelessly talk blatant about the poor shoppers. What a pity, Bare!

    Please check on your language & have some decorum & act like a matured company. Only because you have cheated & acted rude with some shoppers, they have to be on the forum to tell their bitter part. Be sympathetic rather than being a dacoit of useless kind!

  • Ba
      22nd of May, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Hello everyone,

    Yes there was a scam that went around for quite awhile and there is still a chance of it re-occurring. If you ever have any questions regarding Bare whether it be assignments, payment issues, emails, etc. please contact me directly at or 800-296-6699 and ask for Jason Bare.

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