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Nielsen Consumer Panel Guide – Earn Rewards For Shopping

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Want to make your shopping trip a little more enjoyable? The Nielsen Consumer Panel (NCP) gives you cash prizes each time you scan your purchased products. Anyone over the age of 18 can register at no cost. However, we suggest signing-up as soon as possible since there’s a waitlist.

What Is Nielsen Consumer Panel?

The Nielsen company is primarily known for their television rating system known as “Nielsen Ratings.” They focus on monitoring the Internet and television viewing habits of consumers. Since then, Nielsen has been one of the largest collectors of consumer data in the United States and Canada.

Nielsen Consumer Panel - what is

In order to collect even more data, Nielsen formed the NCP (previously Nielsen Homescan). This allows them to monitor customer behavior and attitudes through a series of product testing, survey completion and other programs. Manufacturers and retailers respond by taking in the panel’s ideas, suggestions and complaints to create a better experience for the customer.

Although the NCP does send out surveys, the easiest way to get rewarded is through scanning the barcodes of purchased items. Keep in mind that the data you submit is 100% anonymous. There’s no need to worry about invasion of privacy regarding your personal information such as your name, email, etc.

How Does The Nielsen Consumer Panel Work?

Once a household becomes a Nielsen Homescan Family, Nielsen either sends them a scanner or gives them access to a smartphone app. Every time that the family purchases something, they scan the barcodes and earn points for it.

It doesn’t matter who the product is for – if you use it or someone else in your household used the product, you should scan it. Each time you submit your data you receive points. Data submission is done once a week.

Nielsen may also contact you regarding the program and similar ventures via phone or email. This is only to benefit the consumer, since you’re going to earn points just by having communicated with them. You must be at least 18 years old to participate. Currently, the program is only available in the United States and Canada.

Your Responsibilities

The main duty that a panelist has is to report to the NCP what he or she buys. By using the scanner provided, scan the barcodes on the products that you purchase when you or anyone in your household goes shopping.

You also need to keep track of your shopping location and the total price paid. This information must be transmitted to the NCP at least once a week. On average, it takes about 1 hour per week of effort to participate.

The scanner is small enough and lightweight, making it easy to carry to the store. In order to make the shopping trip more efficient, a lot of participants scan the products as they place them in their cart. Some families even have their kids do it to make it seem like less a chore.

How Do I Earn Points?

Points are awarded to panelists for each week that they participate in the panel. The longer that a person participates, the greater the number of points they will receive each week. Additionally, panelists earn entries into numerous sweepstakes.

These sweepstakes are held on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. At the time of this post, the quarterly prize drawing is valued at $20,000. Other prizes have included money, new vehicle and vacation packages. One week’s data entry from the scanner is equal to one entry in a random sweepstakes.

Nielsen Consumer Panel - what is 2

You earn points each time you make a weekly transmission. You can also earn points by interacting with the National Consumer Panel, such as answering surveys and responding to messages. If you are consistently providing them with data, you may also receive special bonuses. There is no cost to join, and the scanner you receive is free.

What Are The Prizes?

The points that panelists earn can be redeemed for cash, Visa Rewards cards, Amazon and iTunes gift cards, a Kindle Fire and other great products. Log-in to your account to see what other cool prizes they have to offer. Sometimes you can also receive special discounts, such as a 25% discount on qualifying wireless plans and accessories with AT&T. A participant can cash in points at any time.

Other Opportunities

You may be asked to test out other products as well. These are often products that have not made it to the market yet. Nielsen wants to first evaluate how well they’ll perform in stores.

Because Nielsen is such a large company, there may be other opportunities available for panelists. For example, you may be chosen to participate in the Nielsen’s Television Review Program. This particular program pays $30 in cash once the panelist is approved.

In addition to the cash benefits, panelists will also benefit from the knowledge that they provide to companies. The information that panelists transmit is shared with product retailers and manufactures who may use it to guide their decisions regarding product and marketing efforts.

How Do I Get Started?

Getting started with the Nielsen Consumer Panel is incredibly easy. We’re going to walk you through it in just 3 easy steps. The only downside is that panelists must be chosen since there are only so many panelists permitted for a given location.

1. Register. You can register for the NCP by clicking this link here. Create a username and password along with completing a small survey. NCP will review the information and get back to you with a decision.

They may contact you and ask you about your current mobile device. If you have a smartphone, they might just give you access to their Android or iOS app. I personally find this much easier since I don’t have to carry around and extra device. Otherwise, you’ll receive a handheld scanner in the mail.

Nielsen Consumer Panel register

2. Wait. Since panelists are selected based on their location, wait time varies dramatically. Some panelists can start immediately, while others have to wait up to several months. If you see a notice that recruiting is not happening within your area,this means that you most likely can’t participate.

However, current panelists can drop out causing a new recruiting session to begin. Continue to check the NCP website to see if there’s an opening. We suggest checking back at least once a month.

3. Scan & Claim rewards. Use your new scanner to scan barcodes and earn points. You can use your rewards to cash out at any time. This includes gift cards, direct deposits to PayPal and other cool prizes.

Nielsen Consumer Panel Rewards


More Details

Each week, you must submit data regarding your purchases if you want to keep participating in the program. You must include information about the store, where you purchased the items, the quantity, the price and if there were any special deals or coupons that you used. Some of this information may populate automatically, but there are times in which you may have to do it manually.

Keeping track of receipts can help make this process easier. For each item that is scanned, the panelist’s account is credited with points. For participants using the scanner instead of the smartphone app, you can connect it to the computer to upload the data. This process usually only takes a few minutes to complete.


The scanner also comes with a return sticker. By applying, you accept responsibility for the equipment that you receive. If you no longer wish to participate, you must return the scanner back to Nielsen. Panelists should keep the original box intact to make returns easier and cheaper.

Final Thoughts

The Nielsen Consumer Panel is a great way to make your shopping experience just that more enjoyable. You can also stack this program with receipt scanning apps to increase your cash back earned. Have any questions or comments? Be sure to leave them down below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!

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One Response

  1. Rick Iorfida Jun 19, 2017

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