National Consumer Panel is Accepting Applications Again!

National Consumer Panel has once again opened up opportunities for people to participate in their consumer panel.

Now, I know, from past comments that people have mixed emotions about this.  Some love it and some say it’s too much work.  But, it is available again and I wanted to let you guys know if someone was interested.  Here is some basic info if you are unfamiliar with it.

NCP  measures consumer attitudes and behavior. The panel collects opinions to help manufacturers and retailers make decisions on what products to develop or improve on. So what’s in it for you?

You get a hand held scanner and when you shop you scan the UPC code on the items (at home) and once a week transmit it to the company. Every time you scan and transmit you will be earning points for gifts such as electronics, jewelry, toys and more.

If you are interested in finding out more info you can head over here to check it out.

I you have tried this, please let others know your experience, both negative and positive.

Just an FYI: NCP is the same company that brings you the Nielson Ratings.

The links in the post above may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
  • Melissa B

    WAYYYY! To much work. I understand that you have to do some work, but this was way to time consuming for a working mother. It’s not only scanning that is time consuming it is entering all the info. coupons, deals, etc., etc., They have scan bar codes for produce and such. If you have a lot of time then go ahead. The point levels to get prizes aren’t good either. It would have taken at least two years to get what I wanted and that is if I did the extra survey’s they send you. I do not recommend unless you have about a half hour after every big shopping trip to spend scanning and putting the other info into the scanner.

  • Meghann

    I agree with Melissa, it was way too much work! I was really interested in it when I first received it but quickly learned that it took forever to enter in a single shopping trip and at the time I lived alone. You have to scan every item and then say if it was on sale, then what kind of sale, then if you used a coupon and so on. I never received enough points for what I uploaded considering all the work involved. It went back soon after I received it.

    • Melissa B

      I gave the scanner 6 weeks, then I sent it back. I didn’t include that in my reply 🙂

  • Kristine

    Definitely not worth it for me either, I got accepted and then I got the hardware and it didn’t even work! I read through all the manuals and realized I just did not have the time for it and you are right Melissa, the point values are ridiculous…it does work for some people…just not for me.

  • Siri

    I’m still on the fence about this. I’ve been doing it for about 6 months now. It really isn’t a big deal for the random little trips I take during the week (Target, CVS, etc.). The big time-consumer is using it for my grocery store trip. I take about an hour and a half at the grocery store and then about 45 minutes when I come home to scan it all. I have gotten down a system now so it really isn’t that hard, it just takes a bit. The funny thing is it sometimes annoys me that I’ve used coupons or store deals, because you have to enter extra info when that happens (if you didn’t get a coupon or sale, you can just answer no and move on to the next one. I am on my second scanner, the first one wasn’t great. I also never feel like the info is 100%, for example when I buy gas I scan the ‘gas’ card they sent me and then enter the total amount. So they don’t really know how many gallons or what price I paid per gallon, there isn’t enough detail for that.

    I don’t mind the online surveys at all though, they are usually quick and easy. I’ve gotten into doing online surveys for extra cash, and this does bump up my points value.

    I figure I’ll continue for another few months and see where I’m at with the points. I just looked at it and I can get a few decent things, but nothing that I really want (yet). I have about 15,000 points at this point, and I transmit weekly (you get points per transmission) and I answer all the surveys.

    Would love to hear some feedback from someone else who’s still doing it in hopes of gold at the end of the rainbow. 🙂

  • Paula

    Well I have been trying to get involved in this for some time now and everytime I put all my info in it always comes back saying “we dont have anything for your area!”

  • Ann

    I have tried many times too and every time they tell me nothing in my area!

  • alison

    I’e been registered with these for ages…never got a scanner or gifts…total wast of time

  • John

    I was interested in this when I first heard about it and signed up for it but after hearing about all the time it takes to do and the little that you get in return, I decided it was not for me. Coincidentally, a few weeks after signing up I was offered the scanner, so I then responded that I did not want it.

  • Evelyn

    I’ve been doing this for about 3 years. It’s so-so. I have gotten a system down where it doesn’t take me as long to scan, but on a day where I hit many stores…it’s a pain scanning everything in and trying to find the store names, etc. I get invitations to do surveys and take part in maybe 60% of them. I’m a stay-at-home mom but have 3 very active kids so I just dont spend the time taking the surveys as much as they would like me too. I’ve never thought about cancelling as it’s just become a way of life. I also only ordered one item with my points- the Shark Steam mom and have been very happy with that. I’m eyeing a Blu-Ray player but it’ll probably take me another 5 years to get it (and by then it’ll be gone). Agree the point levels are ridiculous, but..hey…it’s free and I’ll do what I can when I can.

    • Siri

      I’m also a stay-at-home mom with three kids. Maybe that’s why we put up with it, because we feel like something ‘free’ is worth our very limited time. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but I’m still willing to keep it around until it really bugs me. 🙂 I do the surveys at night while my husband and I are watching TV.

  • Christina

    I actually just received my scanner and package today from them. After skimming the MOUNDS of paperwork and seeing how much work is really involved, unfortunately I am going to send this right back to them. They really need to update the technology on this to make this quicker/easier. The scanner should hookup directly to your PC and allow you to input the information quickly online and transmit to them real-time instead of having to hold your scanner up to a phone once a week!!! You’d be able to enter information so much quicker if it was an online system.

    • Siri

      Christina, I do hook mine up to the computer to transmit the information each week. No phone involved. That is actually a very very simple part of the process – just hook it up, select “Transmit Now” and it’s done.

      Siri

      • Melissa

        Mine doesn’t have the capability to transmit through the computer either. When I signed up, I was under the assumption that I could transmit that way.

        • Siri

          Melissa & Christina, I think you should contact them and find out why not. Like I said, it takes me all of 2 minutes to transmit. Easiest part of the whole process!

  • Rachel

    I agree with others… its SO MUCH work for so little reward… I sent mine back. If you dont use alot of coupons, it may not be that big of a deal, but if you use coupons or purchase an item on sale, you have to answer 3 questions for each item… who has time for that?? plus, my scanner wouldnt upload info right… so I finally gave up and sent it all back… glad some others have had a little luck

  • Ruthanne

    I’ve been part of this for about 9 months. It took a little while to get the hang of, but I’ve pretty much got things down now, and as Evelyn said, I do what I can when I can. I can scan things quickly, even using coupons, and I don’t find the time involved to be too bad, especially since you get freebies for it. The points rack up faster than I thought they would.

  • Melissa R.

    What great timing. I just got my scanner in the mail today. I signed up for this quite a while back but just received the confirmation email in the mail a few weeks ago. I’m going to give it a go for the next few weeks and see how I like it. Since I’m a stay at home mom I do have the time to scan it. So if you already did sign up for it the good news is that you still have a chance to get it it may just take a while before a scanner is available for you.

  • Katy

    I signed up for this a while back, and never got anything for it (scanner etc.) so I canceled my membership. I tried to join again just now and it told me I couldn’t. O-well!

  • Barbara A

    After it arrived I saw how much work was involved and returned it…. way too time consuming.

  • linda

    6 months! So not worth the time! Sent it back! Never again!

  • Heather

    I just received an e-mail saying that my family was picked. I guess I will update you after I receive the scanner and use it for a bit. =)

  • Marley

    I’ve been a National Consumer Panel (formerly called Nielsen Homescan) for a little over 9 years now. I agree that it can be a lot of work, especially now that they want you to scan in codes for produce too. The points are EXTREMELY slow to rack up. The scanner can be wonky…I fought with one scanner for 6 months as it kept losing the store list and I would lose all my data. It took about 3 more months to get it returned and replaced with another one that had the same problem. They finally sent me an “improved” scanner which takes even longer as you have to go through the entire list of stores to find the one you need rather than just typing a few letters of the store’s name and it comes up on the scanner.

    I have thought about cancelling a few times but I have won money several times. The $50 American Express bucks (or something like that) and, in 2007, $1000. I try to scan every single week so you get more entries into the contests as I know you can actually win. I also feel like since a lot of people don’t remember to transmit every week, one must have a decent chance at winning money.

    They make a big push about “making your consumer voice heard,” which is kind of nice. I have made it clear why I will never shop at some chains (due to their business practices and so on) which is sent to those companies and/or used in market research. If companies don’t know what you’re buying and/or where you’re buying it, they won’t know how to improve or change things.

    It takes absolutely forever to get enough points to get anything even slightly decent, and if you save for a long time for something big, it probably won’t be available once you have enough points to buy it. I have gotten about $200 worth of “rewards” in 9 years and probably have enough points now to get something else worth about $50.

    Also, it was a much better deal when I joined in 2003. They used to give 500 pts and up to take surveys. Now it’s 150 points and some of the surveys are super long and irritating. I pointed that out to the NCPanel and they didn’t care. I made a decision to do this in the first place because I figured out how many points I could rack up in a year…then they made surveys worth about 1/3 of what they used to be worth. Not cool.

    Finally, the “customer service” is horrendous. The website is very amateur and poorly-done. It’s pretty antiquated technology all the way around. I don’t know why I keep doing it other than for the chance to win a decent amount of money.

  • Bill

    So I got an offer to sign up with these people thru some survey company. Got the equipment and plugged in the charger and it didn’t work. So I called and they told me to send it back and put the form in the box saying what was wrong. It’s been over a week and I didn’t hear anything about a replacement box so I tried to login. It said that my membership had ended. So I called, it turns out that the clowns who process the returns didn’t bother to notice (or look for) the form in the box and apparently there was something I was supposed to check on the Fedex return label to say that it was defective. Well, the person I spoke to on the phone didn’t tell me to do that when he told me how to send it back! The person I spoke to this week was going to send a note to see if they could reinstate me, and apparently it will take 4 weeks to get another scanner!

    Are they always this incompetent?t

  • Marley

    Bill, to answer your question: Yes. They are that incompetent.