Selecting a Private Investigator for Surveillance

how much does a private investigator cost

Selecting a Private Investigator for Surveillance

Video Surveillance Investigation

Regardless of where you are, the video surveillance investigator you hire can have lasting effects on your particular case. Choosing the wrong private investigator for video surveillance based on the price alone may expose you to scrutiny by your partner, your business associate or legal representative, targeting the competence of the hired investigators.

To avoid these pitfalls and more we have put together 4 questions we recommend asking any investigator that you are considering hiring for video surveillance.

1. Ask For A Copy of Their State Issued Private Investigators License

Licensing requirements vary from state to state. Ensure that the investigator is licensed in the State in which you intend to hire them. Don’t be afraid to confirm with that State that the investigation firm you are looking to hire is in good standing and have the correct licensing. Most states have the ability to check the registration of the business online, as long as you have the licence number. It is a legal requirement for any video surveillance investigation firm or sole operator to list their licence number on their website. Before contacting them check the validity of the licence with the relevant authorities.

2. Ask If the Private Investigators Surveillance Videos Have a Date & Time Stamp

Make sure that your investigator’s videos are authenticated with a date and time stamp on every scene. If there is no date and time stamp the video is less likely to be admitted as evidence into court, and will be of no value to you. It amazes me how often I still see surveillance videos with no date or time stamp on them. Current digital technology with time and date stamps can be tricky so make sure you get what you are paying for.

3. Ask The Private Investigator You Are Hiring What Type Of Plan They Would Implement For Your Specific Video Surveillance Scenario.

Present the facts of your case to the private investigator and ask for a surveillance strategy. Every surveillance job is different, and your potential video surveillance expert should have no problem sharing their ideas with you about they plan to achieve surveillance success on your behalf. An investigator specializing in video surveillance should have good rationale in their approach to your case. The strategy should be logical and based on the facts of the case resulting in an efficient and effective plan to achieve the desired objectives. For an experienced investigator this should be quite straightforward.

4. Ask How Much Your Private Investigator Charges – Be Wary Of the Cheapest Price

You know the old adage – you get what you pay for.

The two investigator formula is a formula for success. After obtaining video the next most important thing is avoiding being caught out by the subject. Years of experience in the field often correlate to an increase in the price of surveillance. It is worth the extra money to assure that you are hiring a veteran surveillance investigator(s) that knows how to avoid being detected. A private detective is not invisible and relies on experience and common sense to blend in with his surroundings, and not take chances that would risk blowing open a discreet investigation.

Once the surveillance is compromised and a subject is aware they have been followed by an investigator you can never follow that person again without them looking over their shoulder limiting all future success. Two private investigators covering every possible exit, mode of transportation and the ability to follow long, short or quick and frequent stops is the best strategy for conducting video surveillance undetected, allowing for multiple attempts and increasing your chance for success.

Going with the cheapest price in the beginning may end up costing you twice as much in the end.

Contact us directly at for more information on our surveillance services.

  • Tracey
    Posted at 09:42h, 27 December Reply

    Can you access deleted Facebook messages or yahoo emails off phones or computers.
    If so how much does this cost. I suspect my husband is having an affair.

    • lipstickadmin
      Posted at 22:54h, 15 January Reply

      Hi there,

      Typically we can retrieve deleted messages from email and Facebook but we do need the telephone handset to do this. If we had the mobile phone for a few hours we can carry out a forensic extraction of all of the data including deleted information. There are a few restrictions we have and need to know the model number of the phone before proceeding.

      for more information on this service check out our blog article on this topic by following this link

  • Kanwaljit kaur
    Posted at 16:32h, 11 March Reply

    I suspicious that my husband having affair with someone . I want to know about him . I want to know cost of this case.

    • lipstickadmin
      Posted at 02:38h, 31 March Reply

      This type of investigation is almost always solved by surveillance – having the person followed and see where they go and who they meet. It is charged by the hour and it is up to the client to select hours and days based on their knowledge of the movements of the person potentially cheating. So the ultimate cost depends on how many hours it takes for the cheating person to meet with someone. If it happens on the first or second surveillance period you will spend less than if you selected ten periods with no relevant movement.

      The hourly rate is $125 and there is a minimum of 4 hours each surveillance periods. We are a little more expensive per hour than some companies but where we differ is that everything is included. Our costs include GST, mileage, travel time to and from the start point, video, report and regular updates throughout the job. So it is basically a flat rate per hour for each hour you do.

      If you would like to make a booking just mail us direct at

  • Muriel Grieve
    Posted at 08:03h, 23 January Reply

    My son has 50/50 custody of his son on a week about roster. We would like to have the mother followed in order to find out who she is leaving my grandchild with and what she is doing in this time?. Would only need your service for 1 week. However, would video surveilance be reqired or would a printed report be enough to present to the court to gain full custody?

    • lipstickinvestigation
      Posted at 09:24h, 23 January Reply

      Hi Muriel,

      Family law surveillance is a relatively straightforward exercise. We just charge an hourly rate for every hour of surveillance you do – and you select the hours. The rate is charged at $125 per hour and this INCLUDES GST, mileage, travel time to and from, video, report and regular updates – so it is a flat rate for every hour we are on surveillance. We endeavor to get as much information as possible using legal means.

      A report and video and images are supplied as part of the service, but we can’t comment on whether the court will award full custody. It will depend on what happens during the periods of observation and then the court will assess what they see and make their decision. That part is way beyond our control. Obviously there is more of a chance that custody orders will be changed if the mother is leaving the child in dangerous situations or is caught up with drugs and alcohol. Our experience is a court won’t change orders if she leaves the child at her Mum’s place while she goes to work. It really depends on what transpires during the investigation as to what changes may be made. A week of surveillance should give you a much better idea of exactly what is happening, and then you can assess the need for further investigation once we see what is really happening.

      If you have any further questions or would like to get something started, just email us directly at and we will help you out.

      The Lipstick Team

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