National Consumer Panel Overview
National Consumer Panel (NCP) is an online paid panel that gives you the opportunity to earn prizes by scanning the purchases/shopping that you make for your household. This is a great way to get some very nice products just by sharing with them information on the products you purchase every day.
NCP came into existence as a result of a union between two leading companies Nielsen & IRi and it has been operational since 1923 according to the BBB. The single requirement for becoming a panelist in NCP is that you be a resident of the United States.
How Do You Get Started On National Consumer Panel?
To start as a panelist on the App all you need to do is to register (as a free member) and fill out information about yourself.
Once you complete your profile you will be placed on the probation list and added to the panel randomly – this way they generate various demographic group to compile their information.
Once you’ve been accepted as a member into the program they will send you a handheld scanner to scan your groceries purchases (this will be sent to you by NCP only if your family qualifies for one, but if otherwise, you will have access to an NCP Mobile app to scan barcodes on groceries you’ve purchased).
Here is how the process works
Once you have got your handheld scanner you will have to enter in the codes for the stores that you shop from. Every time you make a purchase simply scan the UPC codes for each purchase.
You’ll be required to enter the store where you made the purchase, amount paid for the item, and whether you used a coupon or it was on sale.
Thereafter, you will need a phone that you can hold the scanner up to (don’t use a phone with the disconnect button next to the mouthpiece as this doesn’t work well with such phones) and transmit the shopping data to NCP.
As soon as you have transmitted the information then you earn points which will be added to your total. To keep track of the number of points you currently have you can go online.
How Does the Scanning Process Work?
What you have to do is use the scanner on the barcode information that contains all the items you purchase in a grocery. The scanning process might seem simple but it actually not.
For new users, what the panel requires from you is information giving the detail of how much quantity you bought of a particular item and whether a discount coupon is used in the process.
For items bought from their designated stores, the prices are prone to show up automatically. While for other stores without this, you have to enter the prices manually. It’s therefore, advisable that you should make sure that the receipt for those items is always near to you during scanning.
Your account with Nielsen will be credited with points when you scan an item. After you have concluded the scanning, you’ll need to transmit all the data stored in that scanner to Nielsen at the end of the week.
This you do by connecting the scanner to your computer and pressing appropriate buttons on the former to enable the transmission of all information to Nielsen.
Point To Note
At the point when you sign up for this program and you are accepted the handheld scanner is free, but once you decide to end the participation you’re required to return it to the panel. The panel will post you some prepaid return shipping labels that you need to use to send back the scanner. This is why it’s advisable to keep the scanner’s original box intact.
How Much Does NCP Pay?
Upon the successful completion of a transmission for the week, your account is credited with “points’ that you can thereafter redeem for prizes from the NCP catalog.
This catalog has a good number of prizes to choose from and for every 1000 points you get $1 amounting to around 15 cents reward for week’s scanning work.
What determines the amount of points you earn is the duration of your membership with the panel. The minimum cash out balance for NCP is $20.
Lastly, NCP conducts periodic sweepstakes, in which a single week’s transmission is similar to a single entry for a member.
What Are The Consumers’ Complaints?
Acceptance Takes Time– One of the complaints given by consumers in this program is the non-certainty of being accepted immediately into the program. This is so because acceptance is based on the availability of an opening or a need for specific household demographics, thus availability could take a time in some cases.
You might want to also reason with me that though this is bad but it’s also should be expected. The reason is that just as any wise entrepreneur will do, in market research everything is made to be in concord with the forces of supply and demand.
So, of what point will it be recruiting you when they already have a sufficient supply of people that fit your household demographic?
Much Time Taken In Recording product Info– It indeed sucks considering the time taken to scan each product and transmit other required info needed. The former isn’t a big problem but the later is as it takes up way too much time. It’s not worth the time nor is the reward point value commensurate to the efforts.
It takes a long time for Reward points To Accumulate– Although it is lovely getting paid for what you already are doing, but not getting those rewards to be attractive like checks, PayPal payments, etc like other panels offer could be discouraging.
Scanner Malfunctioning– Unluckily the scanners do get faulty at times, though it doesn’t occur always but when it does it’s an inconvenience especially considering the fact that the rewards are limited and it’s not always worth it.
The hassle involved when you have problems with the scanner is that you’ll need to send it back and wait to receive another scanner replacement but there is a delay in this sometimes.
Robot member support– Another thing that really sucks here is having to face the unfortunate issue of dealing with automated recording before you actually get the opportunity of talking to live support.
In the end, you have your way to speak to someone, though. It’s just the time taken that isn’t worth it.
- Earn rewards for something that you already do in your daily life.
- You don’t have to pay for the scanner
- If the scanner malfunctions you can replace it for free
- Takes to long to accumulate points
- If the scanner goes down you have to send it back and it could take some time to receive the replacement, therefore your losing out on valuable points.
- It might take some time to get accepted which means it will take time until you get a scanner
My Final Verdict
In my own view it isn’t worth spending all the time for such a meager reward, but for you it may be different.
Above all, I would suggest, you go ahead and give it a try by registering for the Nielsen National Consumer Panel, get your handheld scanner, use it for a for some time and decide how you feel about it.
After all, you lose no cost in doing this.
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I hope this review of National Consumer Panel was able to help answer any questions you might have had and give you the helpful information you were looking for. If I didn’t answer your question please feel free to leave it below and I will be sure to get back with you.
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Thank you for taking your time to read my review and if there is anything I can help you with please don’t hesitate to ask. Take Care!