Review: National Consumer Panel
How would you like to earn rewards for shopping? I was recently accepted as a member of the National Consumer Panel. I received my handheld scanner and welcome packet last week, and have just completed my second scan. From everyday purchases at the grocery store to bigger ticket items at retailers, you earn gift points for virtually everything that comes with a barcode.
In 2010, the Nielson Company and SymphonyIRI Group joined together to form the National Consumer Panel. Merchants and retailers use the NCP to measure consumer attitudes and behavior. As an active panel member, you are required to scan all items purchased on every shopping trip. Your handheld scanner syncs up every week to report your purchases (if you didn’t make any purchases in a given week you report that you haven’t). You answer very basic questions such as who went shopping, where you shopped, if you used coupons, and method of payment you used.
Weekly transmissions earn entries into their sweepstakes program as well as gift points. For the first 6 months, you receive 150 points per weekly transmission. The longer you have been a panel member the more you earn. If you remember to record your purchases every week in a month, you will be awarded 350 additional “super scanner” gift points. The sweepstakes run from once a week to once a year, offering cash prizes from $25-$20,000, the choice of a vacation or a new vehicle, or the “ultimate shopping spree”.
There are also occasional surveys (delivered to your online account or via the handheld scanner) that award you with extra gift points. Points can be redeemed for name-brand merchandise ranging from appliances to digital music downloads to home furnishings.
I will keep you updated on my status with the NCP. It’s extremely simple and only takes about 10 minutes of your time per shopping trip. You aren’t required to take lengthy surveys or make additional purchases. Just send in an application and if you are randomly selected to join the panel, get ready to start scanning.