Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I am a Member of the National Consumer Panel….My Purchasing Data Will Shape the Consumer Future!!!!

Ok, perhaps “shaping the consumer future” is a bit dramatic…..but I am giving my input!

So a few months ago I was looking for ways to get free stuff and earn a little extra “fun’ money, as we have none of that, so I joined a few different opinion type groups.  Most, like “Opinion Outpost” and “ShadowShopper” are easy to get in to and you can start right away.  But The National Consumer Panel took a little more time to be a part of.

So what is the NCP, you ask?


The National Consumer Panel is an operational joint venture between the two leading longitudinal consumer insights providers in the United States – IRi and Nielsen.  By recruiting, incenting, and equipping a representative sample of U.S. consumers with handheld scanning devices as well as alternative methods of data collection, the National Consumer Panel provides the highest quality, actionable consumer data to support the needs of both IRi and Nielsen. This consumer data is the raw material that powers the insights and solutions that IRi and Nielsen individually delivers to their respective clients.  

That sounds fun!!  I buy things and I love to scan things….I would be perfect.  So I filled out a survey to become a part of the NCP and waited.  Then a month later I filled out another survey for them and waited.  Then I had another survey to fill out for them to send me my stuff if selected.  A few weeks ago the packaged arrived….I was in!!!

The way it works is I get this scanner and we have to scan in EVERY purchase we make.  Gas, food, clothes, coffee, etc.  To be honest, I am still getting use to scanning every minuscule purchase in.  For each purchase you say who in the household shopped, whether discounts were used, where you shopped, then you scan the barcode and entry quantity.  (if there isn’t a barcode, they have a handy book with barcodes!) 

When you are done you enter the total spent and how you paid.  Then at least once a week or more you transmit the data to the NCP.  Then within a couple days some points appear in your account!!  You get points for weekly transmissions, if you transmit every week during the month, and for survey’s you complete.  You can then use those points for gifts or gift cards.  I have yet to make enough points to get that far, but looking forward to making even a little money for Christmas, by spending no more than normal and doing nothing more tracking my purchases!!

It can be a little time consuming because I don’t carry the scanner with me so I have to write down little things I purchase.  But for grocery trips I just lay out all the groceries, scan everything in, enter my totals, and put things away.  I usually do multiple small trips during the month at different stores to get sales; like Aldi’s once a month to stock up on canned goods, Walmart for weekly basics, Kroger when I have good coupons, and the meat market for all our meat. So scanning this stuff in take no more than 10 minutes each trip plus all those stores are on the list of stores!!  Easy.

I am getting nothing from this post, I just thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share!!

For more information or to join, click HERE.

Side note: A year ago we got selected to be a part of the Neilson TV survey for a week and record what we watch and we got $50!!!  I like to think what we watch shapes the future for TV programming everywhere!  Too dramatic again?!  Eh….

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