National Consumer Panel is Open Again

National Consumer Panel is accepting applicants again.  This one I usually find people are either black or white on- they hate it or they love it.

It is a program that Nielsen runs (the tv rating company) and what you do is scan your groceries and then transmit the information about what you bought.  You also fill out surveys that they randomly send.  They will mail you this little scanner thing that you need to use to scan the bar codes on the items.  You can connect it to your phone or your computer to transmit.

In exchange you accumulate points that you can redeem toward free products like jewelry, electronics etc..

Some people that do very large shopping trips with a lot of coupons have found this to be too time consuming.  I have also heard from some people that don’t mind it and are saving up for a nice reward.

I personally tried this about a year ago and I did find it too time consuming myself.  But then it already takes me ages to break my trips down and post them on MFA- so a person that does not have a blog might not mind as much.

Anyway, you can get more information about the program here.  They will provide a postage paid box, so if you decide it isn’t for you, just drop the scanner off in the mail and that is it.  One thing is that is took me about 3 weeks to set it up (I just didn’t bother opening the box) and I did receive a call from them basically reminding me to hurry up already.  You might keep that in mind before you decide to give out your phone number.

They are typically looking for a certain demographic so not everyone that applies will get accepted.


  1. Tiffany T says

    I applied for one probably close to a year ago and was accepted but they didn’t have one to send to me. However, about six months after my approval I finally received mine. I was super diligent about scanning my stuff in the beginning, but I agree with Charlene, if you use a lot of coupons it can be a little bit of a hassle. And when I looked at the rewards, it seems like it will take quite a long time to build up to something worthwhile (just my opinion). I am just entering the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy (with a 14 month old running around too), but during my 1st trimester let’s just say scanning and transmitting my shopping trips was the last thing on my mind!!! I got a post card in the mail yesterday telling me I had 48 hours to transmit …. anywho, as excited as I was to get it, I do think it’s time in my house is limited at this point! Just thought I would throw my two cents in there, but don’t let my opinion discourage you from applying. :)

  2. Nicole says

    I signed up for this and after several months, finally got into the program. Once I received all the info and scanner…It really wasn’t worth my time. It is not as simple as just scanning things…you have to record sale and regular price and if you use coupons…which could take quite awhile for each item, after large grocery trips. Also, when I did the math, the rewards weren’t worth it… to get anything decent (like a $50 small appliance) you would have to do this for 2 years!!!!

    It sounds neat…but when you really look at it closely…its just not worth it. :(

  3. K Cook says

    I started with them several months ago, but my scanner kept breaking and I would lose the data that I had scanned. It broke on me 4 times in a month’s time and they had to reset it, which caused me to have to re-enter all the store information, etc. all over again each time. The scanning is also very time consuming so I decided just to quit. I agree with Tiffany that it takes forever to get enough points to get any kind of prize – it just wasn’t worth it to me.

  4. Irene says

    I have to agree, Charlene. I was excited to get it at first too, but it got old fast. I haven’t scanned anything since before the holidays. I think it will be going back soon.

  5. Elizabeth says

    I did this a couple of years ago, and I too found it to be too much of a hassle. I cashed out my points and got a picture frame and a coffee maker (that I ended up giving away because I didn’t need) because that’s all I could really get with my points. I get a lot more value (cash and Amazon credit) from doing surveys on the internet!

  6. Sandy C says

    We have a scanner at our house as well. I do find that through busy times (like December when we have 4 kids with birthdays and Christmas to contend with) I just send them an away notice so they know I will not be transmitting. I also did this when our 6th child was born in September. It’s time consuming but not over-the-top since I have to have my hands on each and every item to put it away anyway. I just scan as I put things away and have the receipt in my hand so I know exact prices/discounts. I can see how people can get overwhelmed with it though, especially if you shop for a large family like I do and use a ton of coupons since you enter each coupon value.

  7. Christie C. says

    Sent mine back. I didn’t transmit for a month and they threatened to turn me over to a collection agency if I didn’t send back the scanner ASAP.

  8. momto3 says

    Another one that agrees about this being WAAAY too time consuming. I was SO excited when they “picked” me and as a child, I even had my own toy cash register because I loved hearing the BEEPS! It was fun at first, but with 3 kids it got to be too tedious–entering what kind of store, what kind of sale it was, how did I pay….ugggg! My time is worth more than a little dinky prize. LOL

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