Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Wednesday, October 5th
Elite CXS is a smaller, veteran-owned small business that helps companies improve their customers' journeys, partly through the perspective of mystery shoppers. But, don't think there aren't a lot of opportunities for secret shopping here just because the company isn't an industry giant: previous clients of Elite CXS have included GMC and Porsche, Gold's Gym, Burger King, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and KB Home.
Don't get too excited by the numbers
We'll admit we got a little chuckle out of the "simple math" Elite CXS offers on their "Why Become a Mystery Shopper?" page. You could make over $53,000 in a year! We know from our personal experience with mystery shopping that it's never a 40-hours-a-week, year-round kind of job. But that's a nice thought.
Basic application process
To apply for mystery shopping opportunities with Elite CXS, you'll go through the usual steps of entering your name, birthdate, address and phone number. The next screen is the Independent Contractor Agreement: no big surprises here, just the usual spelling out that you're not an employee, you'll keep assignment details confidential, and so forth. After that, you'll have to verify your email address to finish your application.
Finish your profile to see jobs
Once that's complete, you'll have access to your shopper dashboard. Complete your profile to unlock job access; you'll find most of it under the Details and More headings. It's fairly extensive: it even asks for your hair color, height and weight. It only takes a few minutes and then you'll be able to see all current job listings.
Easy reports, good pay
We were pleasantly surprised to see how many options were available in our general metro area. From what we could see, Elite CXS isn't trying to overwhelm you with picky observation details that are easy to miss - and then refuse to pay for not completing the shop according to their specifications. Reading through a few mystery shopping opportunities here, the requirements were straightforward and easy to do. For example, one job focused on financing options offered at a furniture store; the report was simple, you only needed to upload a business card or brochure and a time-stamped photo of the location, and the payout was $22 for a job estimated to take 15 minutes or less. Maybe that $53,000 figure isn't as far-fetched as we thought.
Mystery shopping jobs
Some of the mystery shopping opportunities that Elite CXS offers include Property Management, New Home, Real Estate, Senior Living, Retail, Restaurants, Car Wash, Automotive, Education, Hotels, Cruise Lines, Packing & Moving, Self Storage, and Marinas.
Phone/web jobs plus live events
Two other options for mystery shopping here are phone/web assignments and lead generation. The first is pretty self-explanatory, but the second was unique to Elite CXS. At the time of this review, it looked like they were focusing on live events: asking shoppers to propose venues where UFC fights or soccer matches were being broadcast and then offering the opportunity to evaluate those venues.
Active on social media
Elite CXS has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. We were also glad to see that, unlike many of their competitors, this mystery shopping company has an up-to-date presence on their Instagram account, with plenty of posts over the weeks (even days) leading up to this review. There's not a lot of feedback from mystery shoppers who've worked with this company, however.
Small but solid
Overall, we give Elite CXS a four-star rating and our recommendation. We love how easy it is to sign up and look for available mystery shops, and that there were quite a few ready to go in the areas where we searched for opportunities. This is a smaller mystery shopping company that's still worth looking into.
In today's economy, everyone's got a side hustle, from making crafts to sell on Etsy to delivering people's takeout meals. What if you could get paid to eat at your favorite restaurant, get your oil changed, or scope out the newest coffee shop in town? That's what hundreds of thousands of mystery shoppers have been doing - for decades.
This is no "here today, gone tomorrow" gig: companies have relied on the intel gathered by mystery shoppers to get first-hand perspective on their signage, customer service experience, product quality and more. What does it take to be a "secret shopper" ? Attention to detail is crucial: some evaluations may have just a few aspects to track (like cleanliness of an entryway and a particular ad's signage), but others require more.
For example, some mystery shopping programs require you to keep track of specific times and names of salespeople while discreetly snapping photos and not blowing your cover as an everyday customer. And yes, a little bit of acting skills can go a long way when doing a mystery shop, since you may have to pretend to be very interested in that new cell phone plan, hot menu item, or fancy new construction home. Other than that, as long as you look at mystery shopping as a fun way to make some money and not as a career, you should have no trouble succeeding as an evaluator.
A word of caution: mystery shopping companies' names are often used to target victims in money laundering scams. Most of today's secret shopping platforms make payments via PayPal, and never in advance of doing a shop; you won't be "invited" to be a mystery shopper with a $1900 cashier's check in the mail. If you receive anything like that, you should contact the company through the toll-free number on their website and ask how they would like you to go about reporting it to the authorities (such as the Federal Trade Commission or the police department). And, whatever you do, DON'T CASH THAT CHECK.
It's also important to realize that you should never be asked to pay to be a mystery shopper. In the past, some less-than-reputable websites have offered to "unlock the secrets" of mystery shopping for a membership fee or one-time payment - when in reality, all you get is a list of secret shopper companies (like the ones we've evaluated here, for free).
Enough about the tricky stuff: let's move on to choosing a mystery shopping company to get you started. Here are several factors to help you pick where to begin:
TopConsumerReviews.com has sorted through today's most popular mystery shopping programs, to give you the information you need to get started on your new side gig. We hope this helps you choose a company that's the right fit for you. Have fun being a "secret shopper" !
Select any 2 Mystery Shopping Companies to compare them head to head
CBS Dallas on MSN
Unsolved Mystery Nearly Left Big Tex Shirtless For State Fair Of Texas
It is hard to imagine the State Fair of Texas without its iconic 55-foot greeter, but in 1970, a missing piece of clothing nearly kept Big Tex out of the fair.That year, Jack Bridges, the creator of ...
Tue, 04 Oct 2022