National Consumer Panel – Still Accepting Applications

* If you do not have a landline, but have a cell phone, sign up here.

The National Consumer Panel (formerly Nielsen Homescan) focuses on measuring consumer attitudes and behavior. The panel is made up of people just like you, whose opinions help manufacturers and retailers make decisions on what products to develop or improve. You’ll earn gift points that are redeemable for name-brand merchandise, including electronics equipment, jewelry, household items, toys, and much more. You’ll also earn entries into their many exciting sweepstakes. But, above all, you’ll be making your opinions count!

As a panel member, NCP will provide you with a hand-held scanner. Every time you or members of your household shop, you’ll use the scanner to scan the barcodes on all of your purchases. Then, once a week, you’ll send Homescan your purchase information. It’s as easy as that!

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  1. Paige says

    I love Nielson! I just scan my groceries as I’m putting them away. It is so easy . . . and using the scanner is fun! =)

  2. Kim says

    Do you need a home phone to submit the data to them? I don’t have a home phone and was wondering if I should bother signing up. Thanks!

  3. Wendi @ The Freebie Blogger says

    Hi Kim,

    I’m not sure, but the form doesn’t specify “home phone” so I would think that you could use your cell number (if you have one)


  4. Sarah says

    How many points do you get for each item? And, how long does it take to accumulate points? As for the prizes, would it take a long time to get something really good?

  5. Wendi says

    FYI..I got the scanner and never could get it to submit the info so I returned it. I was harassed for months by them and an attorney saying that I didn’t return it, even though ups tracking info said that it was received. I guess they figured out that they were wrong since I haven’t heard from them in a while. Just beware and if you do have to return it, make sure you keep the tracking number.

  6. Deb says

    I signed up…took way too much time with littlw reward. It was going to take me over a year to earn anything aned even then it was a small item. I returned it and was also harrassed by calls. Ups delivered it finally and the calls have stopped. If you are late submitting by one day they start calling! UGH!

  7. April says

    I signed up. I received my scanner. But it was near Christmastime and I had no time to open the box or do anything with it. I sent it back using their free return label. It was easy and, hopefully, that will be the end of it. I did receive a nice bonus gift in the meantime. Often we can get reusable shopping bags, but they sent me a reusable shopping bag that was insulated with that silver stuff (for cold foods). I’m happy to have it. Someday I might try doing this again, but I realized I just don’t have the time.

  8. Sherri says

    I’ve been a member of Homescan for 12+ years and have always been very happy with the scanning/sending and especially with the free gifts. I’ve even ordered the gifts to give as Xmas gifts. One major perk about ordering the gifts, no shipping charges! Deb says they harrassed her by calling… they’ve never harrassed me because I’ve been late sending. NEVER. I’ve gotten a postcard when I was 3 weeks late sending a report once. That was all. I’ve had to return my scanner several times for maintenance and have never had a problem with them receiving or returning the unit to me.

  9. Sherri says

    Also… Kim had asked about using a home phone to submit reports… I also do not have a home phone, and you cannot send over a cell phone but I take my scanner to work with me and send from there during my breaks. It’s a toll free # and it works just fine.

  10. Donald Brewer says

    I’m trying to sign up but it says I am already signed up. I,ve never received a scanner and I would like to get one so I can start entering

    • Wendi @ The Freebie Blogger says

      I’m not really sure how to help you. Have you contacted them through their website?

  11. says

    i am trying to get to the website also, and cannot get into the website for the national consumer panel, i called the neilson phone # and it is no longer working, and have not gotten any emails from them also

  12. says

    If you do NOT have a landline(home phone) you can still join the service if they accept you in general. You would be sent one that requires you to install the hardware on your home computer instead of the phone line. The easiest way is if you have a standard home phone line(POTS) is to use that version of the homescan hardware. They provide all you need to hook it up for both versions. However the phone line version will NOT work if you have VOIP or fiber optic service that uses Voice Over IP. My family has fiber optic high speed Internet however the phone service still works fine to connect to the home scan.
    Best of luck,

  13. Carole says

    I used to belong to Shoppers Hotline for years until they merged with National Consumer Panel. Decided to go ahead with change to National, however, cannot get onto website to sign up. I understood there was a waiting list somewhere I could sign up for? Does anyone have any info on this? Thanks!

    • Wendi @ The Freebie Blogger says

      I received an email from a person with your problem so you are not the only one. I’m sorry but I don’t have any info to help you.

  14. Rochelle says

    I’ve been on the waiting list for about 9 months now and haven’t been able to get in. :(

  15. says

    I have been doing the scanning with them for over 2 years, while sometimes it can be a pain in the but its easy money tho. :)

  16. Annie says

    Signed up not too long ago and received my scanner last week…Everything has been smooth thus far

  17. Jan says

    Have been with NCP (formerly Nielson) for some time now–Scanners are provided for either Analog landlines or for Optic (Digital HSP or Cable Internet) lines–If using Analog service, NCP will even provide corded-phone to transmit Data—If you use digital or have internet service the Scanner Base plugs into an open port on your Modem or Router and automatically transmits weekly. All equipment and connectors are provided by NCP.
    Bonus pts. are given at sign-up and pts. are earned weekly and monthly, with extra pts. earned for taking fun surveys. Bonus pts. are given on weekly, monthly, quarterly,and yearly anniversaries–Weekly pts. increase as you participate–Easy,fun program for the entire family with the knowledge that your opinions and info matter to the store, suppliers, and corporations.
    Welcome aboard and feel free to ask me any questions you may have–

  18. renate parks says

    Just scanned for the first time today. It seems like a lot of work for little reward. Especially when you have to remember prices and coupons used. (I use a lot of coupons!) How long does it take to earn anything worth it? Is it really worth it?

  19. Robyn says

    I just started with NCP about 3 weeks ago. To make the scanning process easy, just scan your items as soon as you get home from shopping & have your receipt from the stores. Every purchase is listed on your receipt to make it simpler. You are correct when it comes to trying to remember which coupon was used for what item.

  20. Melissa says

    I just go the call saying I’ve been picked today and I should get my scanner in about 3 weeks. I can’t wait to get started.

  21. Neesy says

    I used to belong to Shopper’s Hotline too, and couldn’t sign up on NCP’s website. So I sent an email to an address I found on the website. A couple months later I received a response that my inquiry was being forwarded to the right person. A month or so later, I received an email asking for my Hotline account #. That was so long ago I forgot all about it. Yesterday, I got the sign up form in the mail. Two things that I liked about Shopper’s Hotline was that you could trade the points in for a cash card and that the data was automatically sent over the phone line. NCP doesn’t do either of those things? Are gift cards offered as rewards?

  22. Julie says

    I received the scanner 3 weeks ago and I have decided to send it back. I was trying to figure out how to connect it and I received some not so polite letters saying I am late in responding. Some people are saying it is easy to scan and use but I don’t understand why they never mentioned anything about the rewards?

  23. Jeanne says

    I just passed my six month anniversary with NCP – they were still the other site when I started – I only waited a few weeks before they called me and asked if I still wanted to get the scanner. It is a pain – I shop for a family of four plus cat/s (depending on what strays are in the hood!) so I buy a lot! And I go to a variety of stores – some stores are “built in” on the scanner so you don’t have to add in the prices, but others you need to put in the price of everything. But I’ll keep plugging away in order to get a decent reward.

  24. Jeanne says

    I’ve been a member for over six months now – it is a pain scanning everything, esp. since I shop for a family of four plus cat/s (depending on neighborhood strays!) and I go to a variety of stores each week. But I’ll keep plugging away to get a decent reward some year.
    My question is: how many members are there in the U.S.? I would hope more for a chance to win one of the monthly or quarterly sweepstakes drawings but the odds are probably against it. Has anyone won any of those? A thousand dollar check would be totally welcome, or a five hundred dollar gift card. Does anyone know the answer to this?

  25. Nicky says

    It sounds easy to use the scanner according to those who are saying they have joined the program for months. If they are for real, I wonder why they did not talk about the reward points? After I received the scanner, it says I will have to key in the price, the store, the total costs, the coupon used… manually and individually. As a member, I still can’t get to see how many points I will get for doing this everyweek and how many points I will need for a $5 gift card. They gave me 1000 points last week for confirming my address. The sent me lots inserts showing great prizes. Who is the winner? No body knows. For those who are saying it is a good program, could you just tell me how many points I will need for a $5 gift card. Thanks.

  26. Adrianne says

    I recieved an email about 2 1/2 weeks ago that they were going to send me a scanner, but I haven’t heard anything since. Does anyone know how long it takes to recieve the scanner after approval? And what type delivery does it have UPS, FED-EX , or U.S. Mail?

  27. Marlene says

    I have been a member of AC Nielsen now NCP since 1992. I have enjoyed being in this program very much. I have earned quite a few items,vacuum cleaner,RCA Stereo Sound System, IPod Shuffle, etc. I will tell you this that the points do accumulate but not overnight, but they do accumulate pretty quickly, especially if you do the online surveys and special surveys they offer. I have not needed to send back my scanner so far, only request batteries. I think once anyone gets into the groove of scanning and then sending the results in weekly you will really begin to enjoy it. I would like to know if there are anymore programs similar to this program. I have been 100% satisfied. Also, any questions large or small they respond within 1 day usually. Try it – it is really fun. Another thing to add – sometimes demographics of homes change and they don’t request your scanner in return when this happens – if anyone wondered.

  28. Louis says

    Another member is saying it is a good program, again, she can’t say how many points it takes in order to redeam one lowest value prize. I am a member for 2 weeks and I can’t find anything about the points in its web site. I know it doesn’t takes days or weeks or even months to earn enough points and I know there is no free lunch. Just wondering.

  29. Chandra says

    I just signed up and they put me on a waiting list. Does anyone know how long I can expect to hear from them?

    • Wendi @ The Freebie Blogger says

      Well, they may have all the people they need in your area right now, so you might have to wait until some people drop out.

  30. says

    I signed up about 9-10 months ago. I received an email that there was an opening. I filled out the survey and 2 weeks later (today) I got notification that the scanner is on it’s way. It takes quite a while for an opening. I hope it’s worth it. But I’m excited!!

  31. Marlene says

    I want to respond regarding points accumulating to rewards. Let’s say one of the items in the prize catalog is 9,000 points and you could earn this in a short period of time 4-6 months or less possibly it depends on what you do though. You earn points in a few ways: weekly transmission of your purchases, on line surveys, on line weekly special surveys and demographic surveys mailed to you. NCP sends you surveys and “special” surveys to send you that range from 100 points a survey to 300 points if you do the survey weekly plus your sending a weekly transmission which is about 300 points. Do everything you can to earn as many points as possible. NCP selects homes that meet their demographic criteria in specific cities so although you submit your request to join, like another said, someone may have to quit before you will be added.

  32. Brenda says

    This is not it is all it is cracked up to be. The act like all you need to do is scan and that’s it. You have to scan the item, put in the price, put in the number purchased, tell them if you used a coupon, etc., etc. It takes a long time to earn points to get prizes. I sent mine back because I couldn’t transmit. Then they wanted to send another scanner. I received different answers to my question on how to scan buy one/get one free items. It is not worth the hassle.

  33. diane says

    i was a member of homescan. it was easy and convient. i am very busy with 2 jobs and 3 kids. nielson required me to scan, enter prices, coupons, store etc. it was more labor intensive than i was accustomed to. also i had to remember to transmit. homescan transmitted automatically. and the surveys! everytime i opened my email it was “take the survey”. im sorry i dont have time to spend sitting on the computer taking survey’s. also shoppers put my rewards on a convient cash card in $25 and $50 increments, so i could use it as i wish. ncp offers items that i have to trade my points in for. i looked through their catalog and couldnt find anything i really “needed” and if it were something i wanted i could purchase it a walmart for less than my time scanning and surveying was worth.

  34. Sharon says

    I have been a member for a year and still do not have enough points for any major gift . i am wondering how to get super ponts quicker . The time put in to scan items is considerable and I am wondering if I should just cah in what I have and quit.

  35. says

    I’ve been doing the homescan thing since mid ’09 and while sometimes it’s a pain, generally it’s not a big deal. One of the stores locally doesn’t require me to enter prices so I try to do most of my shopping there. I do all the surveys as soon as I can and have already gotten something (a pedometer) with the points. Currently there’s something I want for 54,000 points. I’ve got 13,000. Assuming that item or an equivalent is still available by the time I reach 54,000, I’m currently thinking that I’ll get that item and return my scanner once I have the item. It just takes too long to achieve a tangible benefit.

    I might reconsider if they’d just stop pestering me in emails about the surveys. I do all of them that come up every week and don’t need the constant email pestering. It’s bloody annoying when I get that on top of the hundred or more spam emails (from other sources of course) every day.

  36. Jennifer says

    It is soooo not worth the time!!! It is a pain to enter all the information (it’s not just scanning) and it takes a year+ just to get something like a crock pot (that you can buy at Costco for $30)!

    If you have nothing better to do and would like to make less than $1 an hour, then this is for you! 😉

  37. Brian says

    I signed up, received my scanner really quickly…..started scanning and transmitting, then they stated calling me asking me why i havent transmitted. turns out they sent me the wrong freaking hardware. so i asked them to send me the correct one, they never did. then they booted me from the program. no longer apart of it. oh well, their loss.

  38. paul b kulik says

    have been on the panel for 7 years. i have lotd of points
    have been trying fot over a year to get a rewards catalog
    so i canwse my points. NO LUCK

  39. Liz says

    Not worth the time, I started it about a month ago, but it takes forever to earn enough points to get anything. Save your time. I still have to return my scanner, and I am not looking forward to that from what otehrs have been saying.

  40. amanda says

    I started about 4 months ago and yes there is some problems with transmitting and scanning is a pain but i dont know why people complain so much its free stuff. If you dont want to put in the effort dont do it

  41. Peggy says

    We received the scanner and scanned our purchases. Yes, that was fun. NCP said we would receive a $10 American Express Rewards Card! Its been almost 5 months and we have not received it. We’ve called them and they say its being processed. We email and they tell us to call. NCP IS A BIG JOKE!!!!

  42. Vince says

    I was a member of their panel. The scanner is not easy to use at all. takes about 30 sec to enter a single item. They keep calling and sending e-mails EVERY day. As a reward i have received a plastic can opener. For bigger rewards you have to keep entering every week your purchases (and don’t dare to miss one) for at least a year and a half.
    I have shipped my scanner back after being told they were sending me to a collection agency, feels such a relief not being on the panel anymore.
    I do not recommend joining, yet if you have a lot of time and nothing better to do it is free (even to ship the scanner back)

  43. Lisa says

    @amanda, you write, ” i dont know why people complain so much its free stuff. If you dont want to put in the effort dont do it”

    Well, it is NOT “free” stuff. It actually requires a LOT of time and effort to participate. So instead of YOU complaining about people not being happy with a tedious, poorly paying program that sucks up a ton of time, why don’t you stop for two seconds and realize that we have excellent points?

    I participated in NCP for more than three years. At the end of that time, I had earned the equivalent of $80 in gift cards. A measly $80 for all of my time and effort! Even if it took me just a single hour every week to participate (and it actually took longer!), that’s around 160 hours for compensation of only $80–less than 50 cents an hour. Maybe YOU think your time is worth just 50 cents, but mine sure is worth more than that. I don’t value myself that cheaply and feel sorry for people like you who do.

  44. Maire says

    How do you enter in purchases that do not have a UPC code/Barcode? Such as gas, eating out, produce, etc. I’m having trouble with this. Thanks.

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